Every social butterfly in Dallas was elated when the weather cooled just in time for Burgers & Burgundy benefiting DIFFA. The eighth annual fundraiser had a “DIFFAcella” theme, and it changed venues, to the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge. So you can imagine the Insta possibilities with Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and downtown Dallas as backdrops.
Also new this year were caricature artists and live entertainment from Repel the Robot and The Please, Please Me. But true to theme, the thing to do was eat and drink. Host John Tesar rallied other celebrity chefs — Brian Luscher (Luscher’s Red Hots and The Grape), Jermaine Brown (Julia Pearl), Casey Thompson, David Fingerman (Madrina), Sharon Van Meter (3015 at Trinity Groves), Blaine Staniford (Grace), Jacob Williamson (Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck), and Rodman Shields (Common Table) — who prepared sliders for sampling. Renditions ranged from Tesar’s semi-classic with pimiento cheese to Staniford’s pork belly ham with fermented chilies and caramelized pineapple.
Guests washed it all down with wine, of course, then moved onto sweets such as cupcakes and rolled ice cream from Chills 360.
Burgers & Burgundy also serves as the announcement party for the Style Council, and TV personality Jane McGarry had the honor of introducing the 2016-17 ambassadors: Gonzalo Bueno, Annika Cail, Justin (JC) Collins, Bill Corbellini, Caroline Kraddick, Suzi Ellis, Melissa Enriquez, Jenny Esping Kirtland, Faisal Halum, Lainie Kritser, Julian Leaver, Muffin Lemak, Josh Madans, Bina Palnitkar Patel, and Ann Sutherland. They help raise awareness for DIFFA/Dallas and donate their time to various North Texas AIDS service organizations.
The Style Council also helps DIFFA/Dallas with fundraising efforts, which culminate with the theatrical House of DIFFA. This one, scheduled for May 6, 2017, at the Omni Dallas hotel downtown, has an “Arabesque” theme.
“House of DIFFA Arabesque combines the boldness of courage with the beauty of peace,” says 2017 chair Sami Abboud. “It represents resilience in the face of pain and strength in numbers. It’s about never giving up. While a lone stallion may get lost in the dark, Arabesque is the unified harras that stampedes into the light. Its saddle is tight, its stride is long, and its destination is freedom!”
DIFFA/Dallas has provided funds to more than 25 frontline AIDS service organizations in North Texas, which assist more than 23,000 men, women, and children in the area who are living with or are affected by AIDS.