Celebrity Chef Nancy Silverton Brought “Zest” To Sold-Out Lunch Fundraiser For VNA Programs

Nancy Silverton

There’s just something about the creation of a meal that is both soothing and magical. At the Haggerty Kitchen Center on Mockingbird, it came together for the Celebrity Chef Luncheon Tuesday, February 28. As Los Angeles-based James Beard Foundation 2014 Outstanding Chef Awardee Nancy Silverton prepared for a demonstration, the sold-out crowd including Honorary Chair Sara Fraser CrismonPaula Lambert, Rena Pederson, Caren Prothro, Mary Martha Pickens, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Anne Leary, Cathy Buckner and Lucian LaBarba with Christina LaBarba gathered. Paige McDaniel proclaimed, “This is one of my favorite events.”

Sara Fraser Crismon

Howard and Fanchon Hallam

Lucian LaBarba, Jennifer Atwood and Christina LaBarba

But before things got started and folks checked out the silent auction items, Empire Baking Company’s Meaders Ozarow recalled her childhood with her creative mother. The twosome would drive in from Abilene and visit NorthPark Center with its Magic Pan, Carriage Shop and Neiman’s. It was her mother’s creative spirit that both baffled Meadows and planted the seeds for her own talents.

Janet Ryan

But all too soon, the program was underway with VNA Board Chair Janet Ryan revealing that it was also President/CEO Katherine Krause’s birthday. Instead of blowing out candles on a cake, Katherine focused on the importance of the fundraiser that would provide funding for the Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs.

Katherine Krause

Katherine told of heart-wrenching numbers and stories about the people served by VNA’s Meals on Wheels program. For instance, 65% of the 4,600 home-bound and in need of the service are women. Of that number, 14 are more than 100 years old. The oldest is 105. Katherine shared the story about hospice-client Priscilla Hartman, who had just recently died at the age of 107. She had started using Meals on Wheels in her 90s. While others her age had found a comfy couch to retire to, she had discovered a new life literally by volunteering at Parkland holding newborn babies until her retirement at the age of 92.

Speaking of hospice, Katherine reminded the guests that Medicare covers hospice care for those over 65 years of age. On the other hand, VNA’s Hospice Care is able to step up and help those under 65 in need of hospice care.

VNA kettle

Chris Culak and Paige McDaniels

Next up was VNA Director of Development Chris Culak, who reported that each year VNA has to spend about $300,000 to replace the kitchen equipment that provides 6,000 meals daily. He then directed the attention to a kettle displayed on the terrace that was the size of a small car. It carried with it a price tag of a SUV — $40,000. But it alone can produce 1,800 meals. Chris then made the request that people donate to the Kitchen Fund to help replace the equipment.

But the day’s program wasn’t to focus on the deeds achieved daily by VNA. Its focus was Nancy, who had also been heavily involved with Meals on Wheels in LA.

Kale salad with zest grater

Despite having more experience and credentials than could be put into that kettle, Nancy walked the room through the creation of her Kale Salad with Ricotta Salata, Pine Nuts and Anchovies. She emphasized the fact that despite 21st century techie tools found in many kitchens, she still prefers some old favorites like her zest grater. She also stressed the importance of fresh ingredients. Despite the initial eye shifting by some members of the audience at the thought of kale and anchovies being tasty, they changed their tunes when a parade of servers presented plates with the salad to kick off their family-style meal made up of recipes (Flattened Chicken Thigh with Charred Lemon Salsa Verde; Pasta Salad with Bitter Greens, Parmigiano Cream and Guanciale; Oily Galicky Spinach; Glazed Onions Agrodolce; Bean Salad with Celery Leaf Pesto; Marinated Lentils; Slow-roasted Roma Tomatoes with Garlic and Thyme; Marinated Roasted Sweet Peppers; and Four-layer Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart) from Nancy’s recently published cookbook, “Mozza At Home.” Organizers were so smart. In listing the various items on the menu, they also included the page on which the recipe could be found.

One guest later admitted that she went home and tried the recipe, only to discover that it was just as good as what had been served at the luncheon.

In between stages of preparation, Nancy provided anecdotes like the fact that the VNA’s purchase of 400 copies of her new cookbook “Mozza At Home” as favors had turned out to be a record-breaker for her. The book was the result of Nancy’s realizing that after rising up the food chain and running six restaurants in the U.S. and Singapore, she had gotten sidetracked from her original love of cooking for friends. During a restful trip to Italy, she started rediscovering the joy of food, friends and fresh ingredients. She also realized that other hosts/hostesses found themselves in similar situations. So, she put together 19 menus with easy-to-follow recipes that could be prepared in advance and interchanged.

But her work wasn’t done. Later she would do another demonstration for the sold-out Celebrity Chef Dinner.

For more pictures from the food-fest fundraiser, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: VNA’s 2017 Celebrity Chef Luncheon

Nancy Silverton

Each day VNA turns out thousands of meals for those in need through its Meals on Wheels and Hospice Care programs.

But on Tuesday, February 28, the Haggerty Kitchen Center added a couple of additional feedings — VNA Celebrity Chef Lunch and VNA Celebrity Dinner — to provide $400,000 to support its programs.

Both events were sold out thanks to longtime supporters and food-lovers, and author/award-winning Chef Nancy Silverton demonstrating how to make a kale salad complete with anchovies yummy.

Kale salad with zest grater

While the post on the lunch is being cooked up, pictures are available over at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

VNA’s Celebrity Chef Nancy Silverton’s Lunch And Dinner Resulted In Gang-Buster $400,000 With Kale And Anchovies For The Hungry

Just as predicted, the VNA Celebrity Chef Luncheon/Dinner proved to be money makers. And why not? Supreme Chefist Nancy Silverton was a major-league hit making kale and anchovies seem downright tasty and healthy.

Meaders Moore Ozarow and Nancy Silverton

While coverage is yet to come, the accountants’ tally is already in. For the two events combined, a whopping $400,000 was provided, not just raised.

That means more seniors and others lacking meals will have folks providing food and friendship.

How yummy that Nancy, VNA and supporters were able to pull together for those in need and also provide two fun events.

Responsible for the success were Honorary Chair  Sara Fraser Crismon and Event Co-Chairs Becky and Mike Casey.

There will be more in the days to come about the event, but just wanted to share the great “net” results.

BTW, sponsors who made this happen included

  • Presenting Sponsor ($50,000) — Valley Services Inc.
  • Platinum Sponsor ($30,000) — Lyda Hill
  • Gold Sponsor ($15,000) — Sara Fraser Crismon and Peggy Dear
  • Silver Sponsor ($10,000) — Linda and Jay Barlow, Jill Bee, Ben E. Keith Company, Becky and Mike Casey, Energy Transfer Partners, Katherine Krause and Warren Zahler/Nichole and Chris Culak, Astrid Merriman and Bob and Janet Ryan Stegall
  • Bronze Sponsor ($5,000) — Lydia and Bill Addy, Susie and Steve Anderson, Bank of America/U.S. Trust, Suzanne and Enrico Bartolucci, Mary Frances and Timothy Bellman, Della and Bob Best, Kathy and Gene Bishop, Jan Hart Black/Rena Pederson, Angie and Marshall Brackbill, Neva and Don Cochran, Bess and Ted Enloe, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Jan and Al McClendon/Kate McClendon/Brooke and Jason Villalba, Susan and Bill Montgomery, Meaders and Robert Ozarow, Katherine and Bob Penn, Property Advisers Realty, Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation, Texas Instruments Incorporated and Cathy and Ike Vanden Eykel
  • Apron Sponsor — Central Market
  • Floral Sponsor — Astrid Merriman
  • Tent Sponsor — Grand Bank

VNA’s March For Meals Had Some Interesting Food Delivery Folks At Seniors’ Doors

Everyone knows that one of VNA leading programs is its Meals on Wheels that provides meals for seniors. But to stir up the “issues of senior hunger and celebrate the work and impact” of the program, VNA held “March for Meals” last month.

In addition to Pi Day Pie Contest held on Monday, March 14, and the launching of “Text GIVE2VNA to 20222 to donate $5,” the organizers managed to have some impressive types deliver 469 meals during the month. Imagine having one of these folks show up at your door with a meal:

Pete Sessions (File photo)

Pete Sessions (File photo)

Royce West (File photo)

Royce West (File photo)

  • Pete Sessions, U.S. Congressman
  • Marc Veasey, U.S. Congressman
  • Royce West, Texas Senator
  • Jason Villalba, Texas State Representative
  • Mike Garcia, District Manager for Texas State Representative Jeb Hensarling
  • Susan Hawk, Dallas County District Attorney
  • Elba Garcia, Dallas County Commissioner
  • Sandy Greyson, City of Dallas Councilwoman
  • Jim Phaup, Mayor of Sunnyvale
  • Fernanda Gray, Dallas Fire-Rescue Assistant Chief
  • Heather Hays, Anchor, Fox 4
  • Sparky the Fire Dog, Dallas Fire-Rescue
Susan Hawk (File photo)

Susan Hawk (File photo)

Heather Hays (File photo)

Heather Hays (File photo)

There was also the 3650 Days of Caring, where organizations took place in a three-hour team-building opportunity” while they delivered meal to homebound, hungry seniors.” During March the following groups were able to help feed seniors and bond with their fellow associates:

  • Dallas Fire-Rescue
  • Remax
  • Texas Instruments

But these activities aren’t limited to March. Heck, no! This month-long effort was just to spread the word that volunteers, as well as funds, are needed to take care of seniors.

But if you just don’t have time to volunteer, you can still sign up for the Legends and Leaders Luncheon with Jim Lehrer being served up as the feature speaker. Funds raised at the event will benefit the VNA Hospice Care and Meals on Wheels programs. It’s Thursday, April, at the Hilton Anatole, and tickets are available here!

October 25 Round Robin: VNA Lunch, Signature Chefs Auction, Senior Source Underwriters And Rock The Red Door

Thursday, October 26, was the loneliest night of the year at MySweetCharity International headquarters. No one was there. All elves, including interns and retirees, were dispensed to every ZIP code around to cover the countless events for nonprofits on this night. We are pleased to report that all elves eventually made it back, but they’re demanding that Red Bull on the go be provided in the future and Botox treatments be made available.

VNA’s Real Cooking with Kevin Gillespie

Kevin Gillespie

While some guests toured the Meal on Wheels Kitchen at the Visiting Nurse Association Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Center before noon, others stood in line. No, not for food. Rather, it was to have their copy, or rather copies, of “Fire in My Belly” by the chef/author Kevin Gillespie. Followers of Bravo’s “Top Chef” were prepared for the tattoo-decorated arms of the chef/author. Others couldn’t help their eyes making a first stop at the wild boar and copperhead snake tats. But as soon as they got past the decorative arms, they eye-locked with the young Southern chef who was the show’s fan fav.

But he wasn’t at the VNA Center to just sign autographs. Kevin was the centerpiece of a luncheon benefiting the VNA’s Meals on Wheels. Why, he was even going to demonstrate one of his recipes complete with overhead mirror, so all could see the step-by-step procedures.

Fanchon and Howard Hallam

After Luncheon Chair Sara Fraser Crismon welcomed one and all including her sis Beth Enloe, brother-in-law Ted Enloe, niece Rebecca Fletcher, Honorary Chair Caren Prothro, Lyda Hill, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Patsy Donosky, Billie Leigh Rippey, Lottye Brodsky and Suzanne McGee, it was time for the cooking lesson for the 160 guests.

And what did he cook up? Buttermilk biscuits. Oh. . . really? What’s so tricky about making biscuits? Obviously, some folks had never tried their hand only to fail, or had never had a truly memorable biscuit. Within a half hour, Kevin with his boyish charm wove tales of his life in with tricks of the trade in biscuit making, resulting in a dying desire for one of the buttery confections. For instance?

Making biscuits:

  • Use disposable gloves when working with the ingredients.
  • Always use the coldest butter and buttermilk possible.
  • Don’t chop up your butter. Grate the butter with a cheese grater. That’s why it helps to have cold bars of butter.
  • Use real, unsalted butter.
  • Beat your dough flat with your hands. In addition to prepping the dough, it helps you work out the frustrations of the day.
  • When punching the biscuit out, most people put the cutter into the dough and twist. Do NOT twist. Rather, dunk your biscuit cutter in flour and push it straight down into the dough. That’s it. You cut all of your biscuits, then pull the loose dough away leaving the cut-out biscuits. “By twisting it, what you do is you’re actually forcing the outside to close up. If you push straight down, you leave holes behind and those holes allow the air to escape and allow it to rise. If you twist the cutter, it’s like sealing it up. It’s like making a pretzel.” A manicured eyebrow salute was seen throughout the crowd.

Learning how to make biscuits

Shoot, after watching and listening to Kevin, all anyone wanted was a light, buttery biscuit. And what was the first thing to emerge from the kitchen? Platters stacked with biscuits followed by a full luncheon.

Ah, those VNA folks know how to tantalize and fulfill. They should. They provide over one million meals every year to seniors in Dallas.

15th Anniversary Signature Chefs Auction

Kent Rathbun chef hugs

The day truly proved that Dallasites love to eat. However, hardly a chef was to be found that evening. It seemed like they were all down at the Omni Dallas thanks to Lead Chef Kent Rathbun. He had rounded up chefs Scott Gottlich (Bijoux), Eric Brandt (Bistro 31), Jeff Harris (Bolsa), Richard Chamberlain (Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fishmarket Grill), Mike Sindoni (Charlie Palmer at the Joule), David Holben (Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House), Abraham Salum (Salum and Komali), Kevin Garvin and Anita Hirsch (Neiman Marcus restaurants), Samir Dhurandhar (Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse), Dwight Harvey (Off the Bone Barbeque), Cameron Handler (Pyramid Restaurant & Bar), Bruno Davaillion (Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek), Joel Harloff (The Second Floor Bistro & Bar), Anthony Van Camp (SET Steak + Spirits), Jim Severson with wife Amy at his side (Sevy’s Grill), Shuji Sugawara (Shinsei Restaurant), Stephan Pyles (Stephan Pyles Concepts), Gilbert Garza (Suze Restaurant), Jason Weaver (Texas Spice), Marcelo Vazquez (T/X Restaurant) and Tre Wilcox (Village Marquee Grill and Bar). Some of these chefs have supported Kent from the beginning and deserved a group hug.

March of Dimes lounge

This was the first time that the huge fundraising eat-athon for the March of Dimes had taken place at the Omni and it really was rather spectacular for the 850 guests including Barbara Daseke soloing it, Mark Edgar talking politics, Kathleen and Robert Gibson checking out the various stations and Nancy Gopez sans camera. From an elegant lounge with oh-so comfy couches to dramatic lighting, the mega-room seemed like a dazzling spectacle of sights, sounds and “smells.”

Kent Rathbun and Max Rathbun

While Stephan Pyles himself had to bow out due to “something about opening a new restaurant,” Kent was pleased that his brother Kevin had joined him in preparing venison meatball carbonara. Of course, Kent’s son Max was on the scene better looking than ever.

But it wasn’t all chefs cooking and guests eating. The exercise of the night was auctioneering with Louis Murad and his posse ramrodding the unique live auction. Oh, and what packages they were and what they went for. Why, Kent’s “Taste of the Derby,” which included five days and four night at the Hyatt Place Louisville East Hotel for the Kentucky Derby, transportation via private aircraft catered by Kent, a reserved box at the Derby plus great food, went for a record-breaking amount of $62,500 — “the highest winning live auction bid” in the event’s history.

Then there was the Fund the Mission in which guests raised bid cards at various levels of financial support ranging from $100 to $10,000. This one brought in $129,000.

Before the night was over and the aroma had cleared from the ballroom, Event Chairs Diane Brierley, Shannon Brame, Anita Braun and Dean McSherry had raised $610,000.

One can only imagine what Kent, 2012 Event Chairs Tracy and Jay Bell and Drs. Lisa and David Genecov are planning for “sweet 16,” when the Signature Chefs will return to the Omni on Saturday , October 24, to cook, auction and raise more money for the March of Dimes 75th anniversary celebration.

The Senior Source’s Spirit of Generations Underwriters’ Party

Nancy Carter, T. Boone Pickens and Anne Motsenbocker

T. Boone Pickens is busier nowadays than a presidential candidate. But unlike the types looking for votes of approval, Boone is being swamped with honors. But this one is really special. On Monday, November 19, he’ll be honored at The  Senior Source‘s Spirit of Generations Awards Luncheon.

Jorge Calderón and Emilynn Wilson

To get things rolling the luncheon’s underwriter party sponsored by Capital One Bank was held at Debbie Oates‘s marvelous Preston Hollow home. Oh, so perfect for any occasion except when all the guests want to stay in the entry. That was the problem. But who was complaining when Luncheon Chair Extraordinaire Nancy Carter all in red is at the front door making “gracious” seem easy or mixing it up with Christie Carter fresh from producing the Crystal Charity Ball’s Circle of Angels dinner, Lee Ann and Alan White on their way to a dinner engagement and luncheon underwriting chair Emilynn and Claude Wilson promising the final results from the Kidney Texas luncheon.

Attitudes & Attire Announcement

Lyn Berman, Michael Faircloth and Dr. Sandra Chapman*

Dr. Sandra Chapman was indeed a busy girl this week. In addition to running the Center for BrainHealth, Tuesday she oversaw the Legacy Dinner honoring Daryl Johnston and Lee Roy Jordan. But this evening the tables were turned on her at Maggiano’s at NorthPark Center by Attitudes and Attire Executive Director/Founder Lyn Berman. It was announced that “Sandi” would receive the Kim Dawson Award at the annual luncheon and fashion show at the Dallas TradeMart on Friday, March 1.

It was also revealed that Dallas designer Michael Faircloth would be the event’s honorary chair. Funds raised from the luncheon/show help the personal growth of women seeking self-sufficiency through traditional job training, positive self-image, appropriate workplace behavior and appearance.

Cancer Support Community Young Leadership Board’s Rock the Red Door

The last little elf turned in this report:

Halloween came early at House of Blues Thursday night. Over 350 party goers dressed as all things 80’s–from aerobics maniacs to glam rockers–attended the Cancer Support Community Young Leadership Board’s annual fundraiser, Rock the Red Door.

Chace Crawford and Meredith and Rand Wrighton*

Emcee Chace Crawford, Gossip Girl star — also Tony Romo‘s brother-in-law — spent the greater part of the evening graciously taking photos with guests. Stoli provided the evening’s signature drink named The Chaser after guess who… The always fun Spazmatics had the crowd of Don Johnsons and Madonnas, along with lots of leg-warmers and hair bows, dancing the night away!

Event chairmen, Meredith and Rand Wrighton, promised a “totally gnarly 8o’s Halloween bash complete with wicked tunes, righteous food and drinks and some sweet auction items” such as 2 tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman, 2 tickets to NYC Fashion Week  and Tony Romo signed memorabilia.”

They delivered! The party scheduled to end at eleven — after all, it was a week night — rocked on considerably later.

Sponsors for 2012 Rock the Red Door benefiting Cancer Support Community included Steve Brown, Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation, Grant Thornton, Meredith and Rand Wrighton, SLALOM Consulting, Park Place Volvo and Starwood Motors.

* Photo provided by Attitudes and Attire
** Photo provided by Cancer Support Community