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Chefs, Ballet Dancers, and Foodies, Oh My!

Houston Ballet’s 9th annual Raising the Barre pairs ballet dancers with chefs to create one-of-a-kind dishes no foodie could resist

Photo credits: Daniel Ortiz

General Editor: Margaret MacMillan

Publisher: Connie Kwan-Wong

The Celebration

Artisans was the place to be for Houston Ballet’s 9th annual Raising the Barre tasting event presented by BB&T. Chicly turned out for spring, 170 guests gathered for the delightful evening, which was chaired by Amy LeBlanc Cloud and Jeremy Cloud. Beth Muecke was the honorary chair. As in years past, the highly anticipated four-course menu was created by four of Houston’s top chefs assisted by Houston Ballet dancers who served as their muses and sous chefs.

The Story

Lilting music played by classical guitarist Mark Moore, along with pretty floral designs adorning tables, banquettes, and booths, added an air of soothing sophistication. As each course was served, the chef and dancer duos visited the diners explaining how it was inspired.

First Course: Chef Chris Davies of Uchi and Soloist Bridget Kuhns: salmon belly, Asian pear, smoked trout roe and cherry tomato.

Second Course: Chef Matt Staph of One Fifth and Demi Soloist Natalie Varnum: jalapeno cornbread, Alabama white sauce, green apple, and crispy chicken skin.

Entrée: Executive Chef Jacques Fox of Artisans and Principal Ian Casady: shrimp de jonghe, French mashed potatoes, baby carrots, braised shitake mushrooms, and bok choy with a red wine demi-glace.

Dessert: Pastry chef and owner of Fluff Bake Bar Rebecca Masson and Soloist Aaron Daniel: a sundae made of cookie dough ice cream, brownies, cocoa pebble crunch, and hot fudge. 


The Moments

Guests took home a custom Raising the Barre-themed cookie by Houston Cookie Crew.

Over $100,000, for Houston Ballet was raised, making it the most successful Raising the Barre to date.

Guests: Lilly and Harrison Cullen, Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Jaquel Charlesworth, Mignon and Stephen Gill, Laura and Brannon Robertson, Lauren and Herschel Hamner, Dr. Michael Hawkins and Dr. Liliana Soltero, Jesse H. Jones II, Elizabeth and Charlie Leykum, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, Cabrina and Steven Owsley, Lindsey Brown and Chris Shepherd, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Ann Trammell, and Jim Nelson.  

About Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet is committed to maintaining and enhancing its status as: A classically trained company with a diverse repertory whose range includes the classics as well as contemporary works; A company that attracts the world's best dancers and choreographers and provides them with an environment where they can thrive and further develop the art form; An international company that is accessible to broad and growing local, national, and international audiences; A company with a world-class Academy that provides first rate instruction for professional dancers and meaningful programs for non-professional dancers; A company with state-of-the-art facilities for performances, rehearsals, and ongoing operations.

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