"We have some hot chefs coming to this," Becky Masson, pastry chef and owner of Fluff Bake Bar tells me giggling. "You're definitely going to want to be there."
For the past several years, Masson has organized a bi-annual Sweet & Savory dinner with local chefs to benefit Houston's Lucky Dog Rescue. Last year, one of the themes was "Bitches for Bitches," featuring all female chefs.
"It was the quietest kitchen I've ever been in," Masson says of working with all female chefs. "I didn't have to wrangle any boys. It was seamless!"
For this upcoming event, Masson is predicting there might be a little more wrangling. She's hosting an "All Male Revue," with talented (and attractive) male chefs from Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
The featured chefs/beverage folks include Andrew Vaserfirer, the head butcher of Revival Market; Antonio Gianola, store manager and sommelier of Houston Wine Merchant; David Gilbert, chef and owner of Tuk Tuk Tap Room in San Antonio; Matt McCallister, chef and owner of FT33 in Dallas; Nathan Lemley, chef de cuisine of Parkside in Austin; Philip Speer, executive pastry chef of Uchi and St. Philip in Austin; Plinio Sandalino, pastry chef at The Carillon in Austin; Randy Rucker, roving chef here in Houston; Ricardo Guzman Venegas, bartender at El Big Bad; and Ryan Lachaine, executive sous chef of Reef.
Masson says there will be eight courses in all -- four savory and four sweet -- as well as a course of passed appetizers. There's also a mystery chef joining the bunch. He'll be revealed on the evening of the event. Gianola will be doing wine pairings, and Venegas will be creating cocktails. Saint Arnold is sponsoring the event, so there will also be plenty of beer, if that's your drink of choice.
"Philip Speer has been a part of every dinner except 'Bitches for Bitches,' so he's been able to get other Austin chefs involved," Masson explains. "This is the first time we've had San Antonio chefs, though. It's good to get these big guns, but it's also cool to get people like Andrew from Revival Market. Everyone knows his charcuterie, but no one knows Andrew, so it's a great way to spotlight some lesser-known chefs."
Sponsors Whole Foods, Saint Arnold and Katz's Coffee have also been a part of the event since the beginning. Whole Foods is providing all the food and swag bags for the chefs, and Katz's Coffee will be serving espresso after dinner. A La Carte Catering is supplying the chefs with all the rentals, as well as servers for the event.
"It's grown a lot since we first started," Masson says. "At the very first one we had 40 people and raised $3,500. Last Spring, we raised $23,000 for Lucky Dog Rescue."
Masson explains that much of that money comes from the silent auction, which offers guests the opportunity to bid on "experiences." Instead of gift cards for restaurants, the auction will have items like a chef's table meal prepared by Justin Turner at the new Bernie's Burger Bus restaurant. Masson grew up with the CEO of Schlitterbahn, so he's donated a weekend at the popular water park in New Braunfels.
The dinner and silent auction will take place at Ralph Smith Photography Studio on April 27 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased online at the event site or at luckyrescue.org. Seating is limited to 125 people, and Masson says many tickets have already been sold, so snatch them up fast.
"I always promise that people will leave happy, fat and buzzed," Masson says.
And it's all for a good cause. What could be better than that?
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