Esteemed chefs prepare unique dishes at Symphony of Chefs fundraiser

The 7th annual Symphony of Chefs benefiting KidLinks was held on Feb. 27 at the newly renovated and renamed Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station.

The culinary evening was led by Honorary Chairs D’Andra Simmons-Lock and Jeremy Lock, Event Co-Chairs Georgia and Marc Lyons and Bonnie and Nathan Shea and Honorary Chef Chair Salvatore Gisellu with Urban Family Restaurants.

Funds raised from the event will support KidLinks’ efforts to provide healing experiences for the special needs of children through the therapeutic power of music – a unique mission that seeks to enrich the lives of children everywhere through songs of health, healing and happiness.

The night began with an hors d’oeuvres reception featuring Rising Star Chefs Jan Loov of Texas Spice, Benjamin Maulsby of Happiest Hour and Juan Orocio of 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery. DSQ Electric provided a live musical performance from the balcony in the Stationmasters Lounge lending a romantic flavor to the start of the night.

Guests then entered the ballroom for a seated four-course dinner prepared tableside by featured chefs with differing menus.

Uno Immanivong of Chino Chinatown prepares a dish for her table. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)
Uno Immanivong of Chino Chinatown prepares a dish for her table. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Each course was paired with wine selected by winemaker Willem Johnson of 4R Ranch Vineyards and Winery and a specialty cocktail using Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege cognac crafted by Joshua Hendrix, Hennessy Brand Mixologist. DSQ Electric played everything from classical music to pop throughout the dinner.

Good Morning Texas Co-Host Jane McGarry served as emcee for the evening and even got in on the action when she joined Tim Willett on stage for the culinary experiences live auction.

Julie Nelson, Dale Wilson and Tim Willet during the live auction. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)
Julie Nelson, Dale Wilson and Tim Willet during the live auction. (Photo credit: Thomas Garza)

Their job was made easier after guests viewed a video called “Griffin’s Song”, bringing KidLinks’ work to life through the eyes of one young patient.

The evening concluded with a dessert reception by Pastry Chefs Dunia Borga of LaDuni Baking Studio, Tina Miller of Proper Baking Company and Tida Pichakron and Gianni Santin of Haute Sweets Patisserie.

The event was made possible in part by Presenting Sponsors Mason and Allen Custard, Emily and Bruce Robson and Kaari and James Wiklund.

The complete list of chefs included:

Jan Loov, Texas Spice
Benjamin Maulsby, Happiest Hour
Juan Orocio, 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery

Kevin Ashade, Celebrity Chef
Andrew Bell, Saint Ann’s
Justin Box, The Cedars Social
Richard Chamberlain, Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House
Robert James Clifford, Nick & Sam’s
Tiffany Derry, The Cupboard by Tiffany Derry
Fitzgerald Dodd, Celebrity Chef
Francesco Farris, Zio Cecio
Salvatore Gisellu, Urban Family Restaurants
Gorji, Canary by Gorji
Joshua Troy Harmon, Kitchen LTO
Josh Healy, Filament
Chad Houser, Café Momentum
Nick Hurry, Proof+Pantry
Uno Immanivong, Chino Chinatown
John Kleifgen, Nick & Sam’s Park Cities
Dan Landsberg, Dragonfly
Juan Orocio, 4R Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Ken Patrick, Celebrity Chef
Jared Robinette, Le Bilboquet
Jeramie Robison, Uchi Dallas
Steven Torbron, Asador
Jacob Williamson, Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck
Yutaka Yamato, Yutaka Sushi Bistro

Duni Borga, LaDuni Latin Cafe
Tina Miller, Proper Baking Company
Tida Pichakron and Gianni Santin, Haute Sweets Patisserie

For decades, KidLinks has provided healing experiences for the special needs of children through performing arts and media. The support of donors has enabled KidLinks’ musicians to perform in hospitals and special care centers across the country, funded university-level music therapy training and provided free/low cost treatment programs for children in need. Through therapeutic music entertainment and clinical music therapy programming, KidLinks reaches children of any ability level.

Funds raised go directly to the creation of content for the Hugworks Children’s Network (HCN) – content that can improve the daily experiences of children when they need it most as well as provide educational resources for the adults who care for them.

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