In the days leading up to Friday, March 22, weather guessers were rolling up their sleeves preparing for a rainy occasion. Little did they know that Dallas Arboretum President/CEO Mary Brinegar had made other arrangements.
With After School Dallas taking place in Ginsburg Plaza and Rosine Hall and the seated dinner for the $500-per guest Vintner’s Dinner over at A Tasteful Place, rain just wouldn’t do.
Whether it was calling in a favor with Mother Nature or just plain luck, the night could not have been more spectacular with temperatures settling in the 70s, a few friendly clouds breaking up the blue sky and the sun setting over White Rock as cyclists pedaled by and a boat paddled by. Adding some splash to the scene was the fountain in the Margaret and Jay Simmons Lagoon.
It was a first-time outing for the event. 2019 Food and Wine Festival Chair Melissa Lewis had decided that the prior year’s one-day fundraiser, with chefs cooking throughout the Arboretum and folks just grazing, needed to be expanded. The result was a three-day extravaganza that included the graze-athon on Thursday evening, the seated dinner on Friday and lectures and demonstrations on Saturday, concluding with a farm-to-table dinner prepared from the garden’s produce.
To head up the Friday night formal occasion, Melissa tapped Barbara Bigham to chair with Festival Chef Chair Sharon Van Meter corralling ten of the area’s leading chefs (Bruno Davaillon of Bullion, Samir Dhurandhar of Nick and Sam’s, Peja Krstic of Mot Hai Ba, Matt McCallister of Homewood, Janice Provost of Parigi, Kent Rathbun of Imoto, Stephen Rogers of Gemma and Sachet, Jamie Simpson of The Chef’s Garden, John Tesar of Knife and Tre Wilcox of Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts). Each chef was assigned a table to create an evening of wining and dining.
Looking over the incredible 3.5-acre grounds of tasty vegetation, Mary looked pleased and relieved that the weather had indeed held out for the first two days. As for the third day, the plan had already been put into place to be held in A Tasteful Place’s Charlotte and Donald Test Pavilion.
Before the guests took their places, they strolled the terrace and walkways looking over the lagoon and the Barbara and Bob Bigham Scenic Overlook. Arboretum Board Chair Alan Walne with his wife Joan Walne looked pleased as a tulip over the expansion of the event…Over to the side Chef John Tesar and Tre Wilcox were challenged to strike a pose. Tesar didn’t hesitate, grabbing Tre for a smooch. But Tre was quick to counter by pulling back and missing the pucker… As Janice Provost and her gal squad were preparing their food just outside on the terrace, Chefs McCallister and Bruno were inside looking over their tables.
Connie and Denny Carreker were checking in and reporting that they would be at Sixty Five Hundred the next night to receive Equest’s Citation Award… Arboretum Women’s Auxiliary President Linda Spina with husband Frank Spina was glowing over the 2019 Mad Hatter’s Tea selling out three weeks before the fundraiser that will held in Ginsburg Plaza and Rosine Hall.
For more “tasteful” looks of the evening, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.