Salty Supper Nº2… Southern Salt Foundation


You may have followed our adventures in our new-ish non-profit we started last year, Southern Salt Foundation. We had our second fundraiser, Salty Supper Nº2, last Sunday. Four award winning celebrity chefs joined Bryan in the kitchen at Reef for an evening filled with fun, food, wine, cocktails, art and fundraising for the Gulf Coast.

Honestly, while we’ve been fundraising for many different organizations for many years, being on this side is a slightly new experience for us. As you can imagine, with several busy restaurants, four children and three new projects on the horizon… life can be a bit overwhelming.

We spent the last quarter of 2016 balancing our time, between the restaurants, our family and the foundation with a few escapes to Galveston to get on the boat and fish. Those last months went something like this:
6:30 Wake up (luckily Bryan did more of this than I did, I hate mornings)
7:30 Kids depart to school
8:00 Tennis if we were lucky
10:00 Restaurant + Bryan To-Do’s
3:00 Rush home to see our babies
6:00 Back to restaurant + Bryan To-Do’s
12:00 Start working on foundation + additional random items
4:00 Go to bed

That’s a rough timeline, but very close. Those months we were trying to work, efficiently might I add, off of two to four hours of sleep. I can function somewhat off of 4 hours, but 2 hours… eh… not so much. That’s the point of no return. I start gurgling and mumbling strings of sounds that resemble a language and are somewhat similar to words, yet… not quite.

Sleep deprivation be damned, I was thrilled when the days until the supper were inching closer and our friends and celebrated chefs from across the country joined us in Houston to participate in Salty Supper Nº2.

We had another all-star line up just like Salty Supper Nº1. Steven Satterfield, Philip Speer, Richard Knight , Michael Gulotta joined my own favorite chef, Bryan Caswell to toast the coast. These five chefs have garnered 14 James Beard nods, 2 were on the cover of Food and Wine Magazine for Best New Chef and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of accolades they’ve collected.

I, am humbled to call them my friends and even more honored that they were generous enough be a part of our team for just one night. For a dinner never to be replicated.

Along with our chefs Anat Ronen, street artist and philanthropist, joined as our special guest. Her work is incredibly inspirational. Being a steward of philanthropy and activism especially with wildlife, we knew that she was in our lives now for a reason (Thank you Mark for the introduction!).

After watching Anat paint throughout the evening, Bryan and I decided that we wanted to bid on the artwork. Which meant we had to beg a friend, that we had invited, to stand in for Bryan as auctioneer to avoid conflict. Michael Pearce, possibly one of the wittiest individuals I’ve ever met, stepped in… Thank God. The painting was now mine…. er, ours.

Michael started the bidding and as luck would have it, our son’s Godfather threw up the first bid… I, setting up the posters for as the next and last live item, stopped what I was doing immediately and joined the bidding. But, our son’s Godfather kept trying to outbid me!

How did our friend not know that he was going down?! He knows us… but better than that he knows how stubborn I am. After all, I did have a magazine rename his favorite intercostal haunt, Jennifer’s Cove. Officially making it mine. Foot down… dig in flag. Houston, we have landed.

How could he possibly think he would win!?

A few minutes of bidding later, Bryan and I were the proud new owners of a piece of artwork that will now find it’s resting place in our home. On later observation of Anat’s masterpiece, we noticed that one of the pelican’s has hazel eyes and the other (slightly more feminine) pelican has blue… clearly it was meant to be.

We also finally showcased our new screen printed Salty Supper posters… they will be printed in very limited quantity, as in 20 for each dinner and the foundation reserves 6… leaving the remaining 14 for media, VIPs and the supper live auction. We also revealed the symbolic design elements… you can see more on the Southern Salt website soon.

All this said, we couldn’t have done it without the help of our superhero friend Kathryne Castellanos, this was her second fundraiser with us. It is possible however, that this one may have pushed her over the edge with the holidays and our inability to focus on anything for longer than 30 seconds before spurting out yet another random thought… Look squirrel!!!! <—- sorry, it’s my favorite Pixar and fits me to a T.

Kat deserves a medal or at least a bottle of tequila for putting up with us. I feel like maybe… just maybe by Salty Supper Nº341 I might finaly relax… Maybe. Not likely… but maybe.

I had fully intended on hibernating after the event, but as life would have it, Monday we had a meeting with our friends from Atlanta Food and Wine Festival… followed up by phone calls/meetings for Super Bowl LI… evidently that’s here in Houston… and evidently it’s soon. Like a few weeks kinda soon. Stay tuned… I’ll share some of our favorite Houston locations for food/wine/booze/fun and random harmless chaos.

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