When the celebrity chefs touted their “pre-orders” at the Dallas American Heart Association‘s 2019 Cotes du Coeur Fine Wine & Celebrity Chef Experience on Saturday, May 4, it wasn’t said with boasting so much as with great pride. “Four hundred and 50 pre-ordered our dish,” said Sevy’s Grill’s Jim “Sevy” Severson, referring to his Tender A Bar N Ranch Texas Wagyu Short Rib.
Cotes du Coeur Chief Chef Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House, who’d prepared 300 pounds of Texas Prime Beef Pastrami, said he too was girding for 450 diners. And in fact, he explained, Kent Rathbun of imoto, John Tesar of Knife, and Gerard Thompson of Rough Creek Lodge had also logged 450 pre-orders for the event at the Omni Dallas Hotel. And, why not. Kent was offering up a Salmon-Cucumber Roll, John had prepared Pork Belly Hash, and Gerard was spooning up Oak Grilled Texas Quail.
Those were just a few of the sensory treats — fine-dining bites, plus great wine from some of the country’s most renowned vintners — on offer at the 28th annual Cotes du Coeur. Hosted by the AHA’s Dallas division, the event chaired by Laura and Eric Hutto welcomed nearly 1,000 guests and featured one of the biggest fine-wine auctions in the Southwest. Typically, the black-tie bash raises more “mission funds” than any other U.S. fundraising gala for the American Heart Association, whose mission includes cardiovascular research, education, advocacy and health equity.
During the reception, where guests could peruse and bid for fine wines from the likes of Kosta Browne, Knights Bridge Winery, and Clos Du Val, AHA Dallas Division Executive Director Melissa Cameron was seen darting here and there. Snapshots around the festivities included Lisa Trupp and Alissa Coates laughing about wearing the same cocktail dresses… Lauren Chapman and Francoise Bellemare in countdown mode for their wedding in Beverly Hills on Saturday, June 1… Jana Brosin in Roaring ’20s attire with husband Mike Brosin… Jessica and Jon Reid taking in their first Cotes du Coeur after just settling in North Texas… Another couple experiencing their first time at the American Heart Association event was Jan and Fred Hegi… Brooke Shelby and Kristen Sanger enjoying a gals’ night out. Husbands Aaron Shelby and Ladd Sanger were out of town…Also attending were Melanie and Eugene Jabbour, Jeanne and Andrew Medland, Kina Kreer, Gretchen and John Bookwalter, Trish Larsen, Greyson Gallagher with parents Terri and Tim Gallagher (Tim’s heart transplant in 2014 brought him to the AHA board).
Inside the Dallas Ballroom, meantime, chefs like Janice Provost, David Holben, Luis Ruiz, Dan Landsberg, and Christian Stewart were putting the finishing touches on their stations. Lisa Peju of the Peju Province Winery in California’s Napa Valley was accepting congratulations for being named the 2019 Tete du Cuvee Honoree. And, in no time, 1920s music was heard and crowds were forming around flapper-dancers, a torch singer, and aerialists — spinning high from thick red ribbons — who poured out champagne into the glasses of the thirsty guests below.
Later, the event lived up to its big-bucks billing when the Open Your Heart call for money kicked off with four gifts of $50,000 apiece and climbed to more than $1.1 million in just 30 minutes. Then, highlighting the live auction, the Ultimate Dine In package hosted by Chefs Richard, Kent, Gerard, and John sold twice, at a whopping $40,000 a pop.
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