2023 Pet of the Year Contest

Raising the barre

Angie Frederickson
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Jim Nelson, Mackenzie Richter, Reggie Smith, Leigh Smith

Jim Nelson, Mackenzie Richter, Reggie Smith, and Leigh Smith (Photo: Wilson Parish)

Jim Nelson, Mackenzie Richter, and Reggie and Leigh Smith (pictured, from left) enjoyed an evening at Houston hotspot Bludorn benefitting Houston Ballet. The annual tasting event, Raising the Barre, was co-chaired by Lilly and Harrison Cullen, and Amy and Jordan Pincu. Each year, a four-course menu is created uniquely for this event. This year’s menu was developed by four of Houston’s top chefs coupled with four Houston Ballet company dancers who served as both the inspiration and sous chef for their dish. Throughout the dinner, the chef-and-dancer duos visited tables explaining where they found inspiration for each course. The first course was provided by Chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi of Kata Robata and soloist Mackenzie Richter, and by Chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly Hospitality and demi soloist Chae Eun Yang. Next, guests enjoyed the entrée, created by Bludorn’s Executive Chef Aaron Bludorn and demi soloist Naazir Muhammad. Dessert was presented by Fluff Bake Bar’s Owner and Pastry Chef Rebecca Masson and first soloist Chris Coomer.

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