top of page

Photography: Wilson Parish 

The Celebration

Bludorn was the place to be for lovers of fine food and delightful dance on Sunday, April, 23, 2023. Hosting the Houston Ballet’s annual Raising the Barre tasting event, the sophisticated restaurant welcomed 150 guests eager to participate in the food and fun. Presented by Truist, the ebullient event was cochaired by Dr. Liliana Soltero and Dr. Michael Hawkins along with Mitchell B. George and Stanley Curtis, Jr. Proceeds went to Houston Ballet’s mission to inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, extraordinary performances, and educational programming.


The Story

Spring was in the air as well as in the clothing of the gaily turned-out crowd. Not to be outdone, Central Market adorned the venue with delicate centerpieces featuring spring blossoms. Hydrangeas, roses, delphiniums, lilies, ruscus, and dusty miller sitting primly in clear glass vases crowned every table. When it was time for dinner, participants eagerly took their seats to await the original four-course meal prepared by four of Houston’s top chefs in collaboration with four dancers from Houston Ballet. The latter were both muse and sous chef.


The Moments

As each course was presented, the chef and dancer duos told the story of how the course was inspired.


First Course: Chef Hugo Ortega and corps de ballet dancer Rafaela Henrique: artichoke and asparagus salad with seasonal lettuces and avocado tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and garnished with shaved hard-boiled egg and gorgonzola.


Second Course: Chef Chris Shepherd and demi soloist Syvert Garcia: Alaskan king salmon sinigang accented with sour tamarind pork broth and chiles.


Entrée: Chef Aaron Bludorn, Bludorn executive chef, and principal Beckanne Sisk: veal tenderloin complimented by peas, morel mushrooms, and a savory veal jus.


Dessert: Chef Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar owner and pastry chef, and first soloist Chandler Dalton: S’mores tart with Graham cracker ice cream.


At the end of the perfect evening, each guest was gifted classic chocolate chip cookies courtesy of Fluff Bake Bar.


The event raised over $90,000 for Houston Ballet’s mission to inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, extraordinary performances, and educational programming.


Guests: Aaron Bludorn; Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown; Hugo Ortega; Rebecca Masson; Akemi Saitoh; Beth Muecke; Christine Underwood; Crystal Wreden; Dannika Simpson; Duyen and Marc Nguyen; Eric Brueggeman; Hallie Vanderhider; Heidi Smith; Ileana and Michael Treviño; Joe and Jeni Matula; Jeremy Griggs and Jessica Trincanello; Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones; Karl Fennessey; Kristy and Chris Bradshaw; Leigh and Reggie Smith; Lenni and Bill Burke; Liliana Soltero and Mike Hawkins; Mike and Jennifer Chou; Mitchell George and Stanley Curtis, Jr.; Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell; Mignon and Stephen Gill; Susan Binney; Tammy and Wayne Nguyen; and Victoria Gutierrez.


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.

bottom of page