Hitting the high notes

Top Dallas chefs orchestrate fine cuisine for kid-focused fundraiser

Top Dallas chefs orchestrate fine cuisine for kid-focused fundraiser

Amy Pratt, Diana Crawford
Amy Pratt, Diana Crawford Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Ally and Davis Ravnaas
Ally Ravnaas, Davis Ravnaas Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Maria Manas, Patrick Johnson, Anne Johnson and Joe Goyne
Maria Manas, Patrick Johnson, Anne Johnson, Joe Goyne Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Jean Marie Gisellu and Salvatore Gisellu
Jean Marie Gisellu and Salvatore Gisellu Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Aimee and Adam Hall
Aimee Hall, Adam Hall Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Bonnie and Nathan Shea
Bonnie Shea, Nathan Shea Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Pete Delkus
Pete Delkus emceed before delivering the 10 pm weather forecast on WFAA. Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Symphony of Chefs 2019
A toast to fine cuisine and fundraising success. Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Symphony of Chefs 2019
The 2019 participating chefs. Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Circo chefs, Symphony of Chefs
Chef Mauro Maccioni and the team from Circo prepare one of the courses. Photo by Tamytha Cameron
Amy Pratt, Diana Crawford
Ally and Davis Ravnaas
Maria Manas, Patrick Johnson, Anne Johnson and Joe Goyne
Jean Marie Gisellu and Salvatore Gisellu
Aimee and Adam Hall
Bonnie and Nathan Shea
Pete Delkus
Symphony of Chefs 2019
Symphony of Chefs 2019
Circo chefs, Symphony of Chefs

What: Symphony of Chefs benefiting KidLinks

Where: Sixty-Five Hundred

The 411: The ninth annual fundraiser took giving to charity and culinary excellence to new heights. On February 25, about 250 supporters of KidLinks gathered to enjoy a wine-paired, four-course dinner prepared by 29 of the most reputable chefs in the Dallas area. All proceeds supported the North Texas non-profit that provides healing, hope, and happiness for children and families through therapeutic music entertainment and music therapy programs.

When they arrived, guests were greeted by a champagne wall and enjoyed a cocktail reception in the foyer. They enjoyed light bites from featured hors d’oeuvres chef, Isaac Kek of Musumé, and live musical entertainment from the talented performing-arts students of Booker T. Washington.

When the doors opened to dinner, the aroma of fine cuisine filled the air and teased guests, as chefs made last-minute preparations before welcoming patrons to their individual tables. At the stroke of 7 pm, it was "bon appetite." Each guest got to sit down to a meal meal prepared tableside by their selected chef. 

During the first course, the evening's emcee, WFAA Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus, welcomed patrons and relayed how music is something that's near and dear to his own family. 

Servers kept the paired wines (courtesy of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits) flowing and expertly moved guests from one course to the next. While the dinner was to be four courses, some chefs offered second helpings or even an extra-special fifth course. Absolutely no one pushed back from the table hungry.

KidLinks CEO Diana Crawford took the stage to express her gratitude to the crowd, sponsors, and chefs for contributing to the success of the night.

A video presentation highlighted the impact KidLinks has made on clients and tugged at guests' heartstrings. Afterwards, auctioneer Mike Trent kicked off the auction with the classic game of Heads & Tails. The lively crowd came out of their food coma to raise over $45,000 in an auction featuring seven culinary experiences, generously donated by event chefs.

Each guest left with a nicely bound cookbook composed of original recipes from each of the participating chefs. As the last course wrapped up, featured pastry chefs Cesar Barachina of The Star and Dunia Borga of LaDuni Baking Studio presented their decadent desserts, which ended the evening in the sweetest way possible.

Who: Honorary Chairs Jenny and Tim Dove; Event Co-chairs Vinette and Mike Montgomery, Amy Pratt, and Kaari and James Wicklund; Founding Event Chairs Bonnie and Nathan Shea; Honorary Chef Chair Gorji of Gorji Restaurant; Honorary Chef Chair Emeritus Salvatore Gisellu of Urban Family Restaurants; Ann and J.W. Brown; Karen and Mike Dollar; Georgia and Marc Lyons; Mynan and Sam Feldman; Marian and Jon Glass; Jesse Betts; Ellen and Jim Markus; Giulia and Erec Winandy; Sara and Matt Bodzy; Pebble and Mike McGhee; Suzanne and Scot Smith; Karen and David Skidmore; Joe Goyne; Maria Manas; Rae and Craig Story