The weather knew better than to interfere with DIFFA/Dallas' signature Burgers + Burgundy event, held for the first time this year at Klyde Warren Park.
The rain stopped and the temps rose just enough so hundreds of foodies and philanthropists could mingle on the lawn, partaking of slider and vino pairings from 10 of the most renowned chefs from Dallas and beyond.
Hosts Terri Provencal and chef John Tesar (who was seen manning the grill at Knife's table) welcomed supporters of the Dallas chapter of Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS for an evening of eating, drinking, and dancing. Event chairs Christopher Baker and Robert Lee dubbed the party a Feather Fete, and patrons showed up in their bird-inspired best.
But back to the food. The chefs were tasked with using 44 Farms protein and Empire Baking Co. hamburger buns to create the ultimate slider, and offerings ranged from exotic to classic. Jim Smith (executive chef of the State of Alabama), Joshua Smith (Boston, MA), Sharon Van Meter (3015 Trinity Groves), Luke Rogers (Savor Restaurant), Rodman Shields (Milkshake Concepts/Common Table), Jacob Williamson (Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck), Samir Dhurandhar (Nick and Sam's), Richard Blakenship (CBD Provisions), and Brian Zenner (The Porch).
Guests — including Eric Grove, Natasha Shaw, Justin Ghirardi, Tim Adair, Matthew Sanchez, Cameron Hernholm, Karla Noone, Parker Williams, Izabela Florence, and Lauren Slade — could also indulge in sweet treats from Botolino Gelato, and if the wine samples weren't enough there was also full-size wine, beer, champagne by Impeccable Brut Rosé, and specialty cocktails presented by Diageo and Frio Vodka, along with Starbucks to warm everyone up.
Besides raising money for local HIV/AIDS service organizations within the DFW community — the wine pull proved especially popular — the Feather Fete was also the big reveal for the upcoming House of DIFFA gala on May 16, 2020, at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Taking inspiration from the popular television show Pose, this year's theme is House of Extravaganza.
The 2019-2020 Style Council Ambassadors and DIFFA Legends were also named. Style Council Ambassadors serve as DIFFA/Dallas representatives in the community, helping raise awareness about the organization's cause and continue efforts in the education and prevention of HIV/AIDS throughout North Texas.
The upcoming year's stylish group includes Alison Volk, Chris Angelle, David Dummer, David Putnam, David Weir, JD Miller, Ken Weber, Kimberly Alexander, Kris Ammon, Kyle Shiels, Lara Whittington, Neil Cazares-Thomas, Steve Noviello, and Yana Greenstein.
The 2020 Legends are Carol Hatton, Cearan Henley, Darin Kunz, Don Gaiser, Greg Johnson, Mai Caldwell, Ralph Randall, Shayne Robinson, and Simona Beal.
After the program, those still in the mood to party headed to Savor for the official after party.
Formed in 1984, DIFFA/Dallas is one of the largest HIV/AIDS organizations in Texas, having granted more than $8 million to 25 frontline HIV/AIDS service organizations in North Texas that provide direct care to those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.