At ‘Raising the Barre’ Fundraiser, Ballet Dancers Partner with Chefs to Serve Up Gourmet Grub

Melissa Taylor
At ‘Raising the Barre’ Fundraiser, Ballet Dancers Partner with Chefs to Serve Up Gourmet Grub

Eric Best, Skylar Campbell, Kellen Hornbuckle and Zoe Lucich

HOUSTON BALLET'S ANNUAL Raising the Barre event — a tasting dinner in which dancers serve as both muses and sous chefs for some of Houston’s most notable chefs — took place this year at Caracol and raised more than $110,000 for the company.


Some 200 ballet fans, wearing bright springtime attire to match the room’s colorful florals in hues of peach and coral, dined on a menu that began with chef Chris Williams and soloist Eric Best’s lamb stew. “The stew featured sweet potato puree, coconut collard green pesto and was garnished with roasted peanuts,” noted a Ballet rep. For the next course, chef Aaron Bludorn and Corps de Ballet dancer Zoe Lucich served herbed ravioli with carrot-ginger puree and fresh gremolata, all inspired by Lucich’s love of vivid color and her Californian roots.

Chef Hugo Ortega partnered with principal dancer Skylar Campbell to offer an entrée of Pacific halibut with ginger broth and puya peppers. “Chef Hugo and Skylar both love the Pacific Coast, more specifically a quaint seaside town in Mexico called Puerto Nuevo, thus inspiring Pacific halibut for the entrée,” said the company rep.

The dessert, as imagined by Fluff Bake Bar’s Rebecca Masson and demi soloist Kellen Hornbuckle, was maple bacon crème brûlée. Wines were paired with each course by chef and oenophile Chris Shepherd, a longtime Ballet supporter.

The event was co-chaired by Heidi and Marcus Smith and Roslyn and Derrick Mitchell. Guests included Kristy Bradshaw, Lindsey Brown, Jesse H. Jones II, Terry Wayne Jones, Patti Murphy, Beth Muecke and Ileana and Michael Treviño.

Kristy Bradshaw and Lindsey Brown

Ada Agbor and Zoe Cadore

Derrick and Roslyn Mitchell and Heidi and Marcus Smith

Michel Coret and Tatiana Sorkin

Heidi and Marcus Smith

Laura and Brannon Robertson

Lenni and Bill Burke

Michael and Ileana Treviño

Mignon and Stephen Gill

Susan Binney, Susan Lehmann, Ann Bean and Amy LeBlanc

Terry Wayne Jones and Jay Jones

Victoria Gutierrez and Nick Pierce

Wayne and Tammy Nguyen

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