More than 170 guests made Houston Ballet’s fifth annual “Raising the Barre – A Dinner in Five Acts” the most successful yet, raising $84,000 for the Houston Ballet Foundation on Sunday, March 29.
The lively crowd enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and “en pointe” cocktails at Brennan’s of Houston, while previewing the auction items during the evening.
The presenting sponsor was BB&T, represented by Heather and Tom O’Connor and Courtney and Bill Toomey. Heather, who is the Private Advisor Regional Director, spoke to the guests, expressing BB&T’s excitement to be a part of this unique and popular event.
The evening’s celebrity chefs were Chef Ja’Nel Witt of Corner Table, Chef Ryan Pera of Coltivare, Chef Olivier Ciesielski of L’Olivier Restaurant and Bar, Chef Danny Trace of Brennan’s of Houston, and Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar. Their accompanying dancers/sous chefs were Principal Yuriko Kajiya, Soloist Soo Youn Cho, First Soloist Jared Matthews, Demi Soloist Christopher Gray and Soloist Allison Miller. The menu featured such culinary delights as Togarashi Tuna Tartare, Gulf Coast Bo Ssam, Butternut Squash Raviole, Texas Red Snapper and Crawfish, and Meyer Lemon Tart.
Guests were invited to bid on silent auction items, which featured a wine cellar donated by Ballet Barre Steering Committee members, a James Beard House dinner for 12, Dine-Around Houston, with gift cards from 13 of Houston’s finest restaurants, an original set piece from “Romeo and Juliet” with a dancer-autographed “Playbill,” as well as several Houston Ballet ticket packages and many other treasures.
Chef Danny Trace of Brennan’s created excitement during a spontaneous live auction of “a dinner for 12 in your home,” prepared by all five chefs and dancers from the evening’s event. This live auction item raised $7,500.