Jesus Pacheco thought Karen Blockman Carrier's first course for the Ballet Memphis fundraiser, "Connections: Food," was "overwhelming." It included Tennessee figs over warm goat cheese, shaved steak salad, peppercorn-crusted tuna, chicken dumplings, grilled scallops sashimi, deviled eggs and fried Apalachicolas oysters.
So, he created a "Comedie of Taste," a florid "comedy of manners" with dancers in French Restoration garb and music by Brahms and Mozart to accompany the food.
As dancers whirled, guests ate at the annual Ballet Memphis fundraiser Saturday night at BRIDGES Inc. Each of the four courses paired a different choreographer with a different chef.
The evening began with cocktails featuring Gary Johns and his band. Guests then moved indoors for the dinner, which lasted about three hours. The event was hosted by Ballet Memphis board member and The Commercial Appeal editor Chris Peck and his wife, Kate Duignan.
Scott Peacock, executive chef and part-owner of Watershed restaurant in Decatur, Ga., was honorary chairman.
After introducing the chefs on stage, Karen said, "Sensuousness is the most important thing in dance and cooking. You can have technique. You can go to school to learn how to make good paintings or how to dance. But if it's only technique you display, then the poetry is lost. This will not evoke happiness from the viewer or the diner.
"This is why cooking is an art. Cooking is not about construction. It's about flavor. You have to have sensitivity to the food intuition. Without that, you are just a technician. You have nothing to say."
Wine tasting benefits Pink Palace
Hubert T. McGhee was the architect for the Memphis Pink Palace Museum and the Residences at the Greenstone, so it was a no-brainer to hold a benefit for the museum at the newly renovated condominiums.
"We've got a natural relationship with them," said Steve Weisman, developer, along with Tobey Hubbard, on the $4 million Greenstone project.
A wine tasting, "Wines of Brutocao," and tour of the condos was held Friday evening at the site on the corner of Poplar and Waldran.
Instead of the Pink Palace's pink marble exterior, the Greenstone, which dates to 1927, was built with green sandstone. McGhee completed the interior and exterior of the Greenstone. He didn't do the interior of the Pink Palace because its owner, Memphis grocery store magnate Clarence Saunders, ran out of money for his dream home.
The Residences at the Greenstone features 18 spacious units. "You can swing a golf club in any room with no fear whatsoever," said Stephen Pike, Pink Palace director of museums, who attended with his wife, Orlie Weisser-Pike.
A sneak peak for a good cause
Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen at 712 West Brookhaven Circle officially opens Thursday, but guests got a sneak peak last Thursday at a jam-packed benefit for The Memphis Cancer Foundation/The Mid-South Cancer Center.
Chef/owners Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman prepared the food, which included shrimp with chorizo vinaigrette, salmon with braised citrus cabbage and filet mignon with fall mushrooms with mint and arugula.
The event, held indoors and outdoors under a tent, also included an art show featuring works by 50 artists and the unveiling and book signing of "Support to Go, The Unbook for Men & Women with Cancer" by Pat McRee and Amber Turner.
Patand Rena Chiozza were co-chairmen.
Contact Michael Donahue at 529-2797 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org