2008 Archives

The Culinary Community Pulls Together to Benefit the Koonce Family

Gracie Cavnar
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The community spirit shone brightly through the last ten days as Houstonians pulled together to deal with the aftermath of Ike. Although the disaster has been widespread, few have suffered like James Koonce and his daughter Katherine who were both badly burned in the fire that destroyed Brennan's restaurant. James is best known to patrons as "The Wine Guy" and his four-year-old daughter, Katherine are both in specialty burn units in San Antonio and remain in critical condition. Through this tragedy, the extended Brennan's family has gathered round to help.

The moment he regained power and reopened Catalan, partner & chef (former Brennan's sous chef and Wine Guy himself), Chris Shepherd designed a special menu that pays homage to Brennan's cuisine. Each order generates $10 for the Koonce Family Relief Fund. The menu will continue indefinitely.

This week Jason Gould follows suit at Gravitas with a wine tasting on Monday afternoon from 1:20 to 4:00 September 21 with all funds collected going to the relief fund. For more details, call David Maib at 713-962-9085 or email yolanda@gravitasrestaurant.com

On Wednesday, September 24 at the complimentary fete Singapore Slings and Asian Street Fair hosted by Gigi's Asian Bistro and Dumpling Bar for Recipe for Success from 6:30-8:30 we will collect donations for the Koonce Family Fund. RSVP to nar@wardandames.com

On Sunday, September 28, Del Frisco's is hosting a wine tasting fundraiser from 6-9. Dozens of premium vintners are participating in this event which costs $50 per person with all proceeds going to the Koonce Family Fund.

Other chefs, including Monica Pope, are planning events and we will keep you posted as they unfold.

For those who want to help but unable to attend an event, please go to www.amegybank.com for a list of bank branches. You can make a donation at any of the branches by simply giving the account name: Fund for Denise Koonce in Trust for James and Katharine Koonce.

Don't Be Fooled by the Corn Producers Association's New Ad Campaign

Gracie Cavnar
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I couldn't believe my eyes and ears the other night as I was monitoring coverage of Hurricane Ike on CNN. The scene: young couple in the park on a blanket under a big tree--the quintessential idyllic picnic setting. She offers him a Popsicle, which he initially refuses because "It's filled with corn syrup sweeteners." She smiles lovingly at his silly ideas and says "But why is that bad? Corn is natural and corn syrup is no different that sugar--it's fine in reasonable amounts." After which he sees the error of his foolishly misinformed ways and accepts the yummy treat. A voice-over says "know the facts."

Good idea. What it doesn't say is that often times high fructose corn syrup is the dominant ingredient in soft drinks and snack food. I don't think anyone would consider eating 16 teaspoons of sugar at a sitting, while they think nothing of downing several sodas a day, each one with the corn syrup equivalent of 16 teaspoons of sugar. But the FACT is that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is much worse than sugar in the way it interacts with our body chemistry.

Our bodies function through a series of chemical interactions that act as traffic signals and everything we ingest has an effect. When operating properly, our systems generate one chemical to signal our brain that we are hungry--ghrelin, and another to signal that we are full --leptin. HFCS plays havoc with these two important message systems. First, it inhibits the secretion of leptin, so your brain never gets a full message. To make matters worse, it never shuts off ghrelin, so even with a full tummy, your brain keeps getting a hungry message.

Knowing the facts is an excellent idea.

Gigi's throws a party for the Blue Plate Special Cafe's event Chairs, Committee and Sponsors

Gracie Cavnar
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RSVP for party on September 24
to Nancy Heitshusen at nar@wardandames.com



Turn Up the Heat Raffle offers 5 Great Prizes

Gracie Cavnar
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To buy your tickets
email info@recipe4success.org



Don't wait!




























Join us on August 26th to kick-off the Blue Plate Special Cafe Festivities

Gracie Cavnar
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Join in the party as we kick-off festivites for Blue Plate Special Cafe

Don't Miss the Chance to Have Lunch with Dr. Oz

Gracie Cavnar
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The MacGregor and Rodriguez Elementary Summer Camps have Kids Cooking and Gardening!

Gracie Cavnar
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Not only did these fourth and fifth grade groups continue to hone their cooking and gardening skills, over the course of four weeks, they each focused on a special project.



The Food Marketing Group at MacGregor researched, developed, tested, created, packaged and marketed their own healthy food product. Over the course of the program the children learned all about how food is marketed to them. Then they turned the tables to apply their newly acquired skills to the development of a healthy packaged food using produce from their 1/4 acre Recipe Garden. What was the final product? Rainbow Ribbons, brightly colored handmade fettuccini noodles created by adding beets, spinach and basil, and other garden fresh goodies to their basic homemade pasta recipe.


The Jr. Master Gardener Group at MacGregor worked to get their full accreditation and completed all of the projects necessary to receive the Golden Ray recognition in garden nutrition. They also operated a Farmers Market, harvested food for snacks and "sold" produce to the Marketing Class to use in their pasta.


The class at Rodriguez combined time in the gardens and kitchen to study the traditions of a Three Sisters Garden and produce a Native American Harvest Festival that celebrated the culture of food.



All of the children took 3 movement breaks each day to enjoy a variety of exercise opportunities from walking, to yoga and dance movement class.



Dr. Allen Inspects the Produce


The Market Stand at MacGregor


Rainbow Ribbons Handmade Pasta for Sale

Recipe for Success Summer Camps Make Lasting Impressions

Gracie Cavnar
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Cookie magazine will feature Recipe for Success this winter.

Gracie Cavnar
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In June, photographer Mark Leibowitz flew in from Los Angeles, Gracie flew back to Houston from Vermont, we rounded up Chef Randy Evans and all met at MacGregor Elementary School to do a photo shoot for Cookie magazine. Recipe for Success operates a Summer Camp at MacG with Team Leader Carlos Meltzer and his kids were more than happy to participate in the fun. The story about the creation of Recipe for Success will be a "Mothers of Invention" feature in the Conde Nast pulbished magazine.


In June, Gracie was a guest on Dr. Oz's radio show

Gracie Cavnar
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Welcome to New Members of the Recipe for Success Foundation Board Members

Gracie Cavnar
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Molly Hubbard, Michele Luke, Kathi Mosbacher


Carolyn Roch & Rick Terry

Mark Your Calendars for June 1, when Voice at Hotel Icon and Slow Food Houston are giving a party benefitting Recipe for Success Foundation

Gracie Cavnar
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You can follow this link to the evite and make your reservation now,or RSVP to Cissy Davis at csgall@swbell.net

The Fifth Grade RFS Dinner Club at Mac Gregor Elementary School Have Planned a Special Year-End Garden Party

Gracie Cavnar
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The Spring Fling will celebrate a year of cooking from the bounty of Mac Gregor's Recipe Garden. Under the tutelage of RFS Team Leader, Carlos Meltzer, the Dinner Club has organized every grade group participating in RFS Kids Cooking Afterschool. Each will be preparing a different specialty dish for guests who will include their parents, as well as Recipe for Success sponsors and board members. But their most treasured guests will be the PriceWaterhouseCoopers employees who volunteered their time over two hot summer days last year to build their Recipe Garden. If you would like to come see what we have been up to at Mac Gregor, please RSVP to Leah Whitley leah@recipe4success.org

Generous donations for the Spring Fling picnic include:
organic, all beef hot dogs by Jolie Vue Farms and Australian Spring Water by Good Vibes for You.

Mac Gregor Dinner Club Kids appear with Gracie on Great Day Houston

Gracie Cavnar
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Watch 5th graders Jacobi Glover, Teiondreia Kelley & Amanda Lan talk to Cristina about their upcoming Spring Fling Garden Party on May 22.

It's Spring and the Recipe for Success Kids are Visiting Farms

Gracie Cavnar
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Houston area farms have opened their arms and fields to hundreds of fourth grade students who participate in Recipe for Success Foundation programs. Even though the children have spent all year working in their own Recipe Gardens at school, most have never experienced anything like this.  Atkinson Farms and Froberg Farms have been particularly generous--allowing the children to pick their own strawberries to take home and to harvest and wash fresh carrots, before taking a big chomp out of them.There is no better way to exemplify the journey their food takes from the farm to their own tables than getting our children out into the fields in order to participate in the process themselves.




Gracie is Honored by Dr. Oz at Benefit in New York City

Gracie Cavnar
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Dr. Mehmet Oz, with whom many of you are familiar through his appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America, was so impressed with the work of Recipe for Success Foundation, that he singled Gracie out for a special award and recognition at his annual HealthCorps benefit in New York.

HealthCorps is a foundation that Dr. Oz and his wife Lisa created to educate youth about the workings of their bodies and empower them to make good decisions.  HealthCorps works with high school age students in New York, Florida and California and now Recipe for Success Foundation is helping to bring them into Houston schools, which will complement our own work with elementary school children.

I love the slogan on the side of Central Market's reusable shopping bag . . .

Gracie Cavnar
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"Chew With Your Mind Open" I couldn't have said it better myself. We are most thankful to Central Market for underwriting all of the wonderful gourmet ingredients that have powered our chef's creative menus for Small Bites this year. Make sure to thank them yourself next time you stop in at their 3815 Westheimer location to shop!

We're Cooking Now!

Gracie Cavnar
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Our Gala in Small Bites kicked off January 31 with a rousing success at Hotel Zaza.   Thank you to hostesses Jennifer LeGrand & Marcy  deLuna.

March's schedule is packed with Small Bites opportunities beginning with two events next week: on March 4,
Chef Michael Kramer (Voice at Hotel Icon) will make magic in Melanie Gray & Mark Wawro's beautiful River Oaks home
and on March 6 Chef Ryan Pera (The Grove) will create a magical evening at Carolyn & Jimmy Robertson's stunning museum area home.  There are still spots available! Sign-up now.

Later in March . . .  a Small Bites Spring Break Party on March 14, designer Naeem Khan will be cooking for us at Saks on March 26 and  Chef John Sheely  
will collaborate with artist William Betts in his home on March 27.  Don't miss the fun.  Register now!

March is a great month to volunteer

Gracie Cavnar
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Bountiful gardens, busy kitchens, great weather, why not join us?  There is something happening every day with Recipe for Success programs.  Take a few hours and come see for yourself.  Download our March Volunteer Calendar and come join in the fun.


Time to Take a Small Bite!

Gracie Cavnar
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Yes it's that time again . . .the 2008 season of We're Cooking Now! Gala in Small Bites kicks-off on January 31 with a spectacular dinner for the lucky few in a theme suite at Hotel ZaZa with hostesses, Jennifer LeGrand and Marcy deLuna.  The ladies have a few seats still available.  email info@recipe4success.org for more information, or book on line within our website www.recipe4success.org

To download the entire invitation with details on all 12 upcoming events click here.

Fabulous Food, Friends and Fun to be had at every one.

Happy 2008! Start the New Year off Right . . .

Gracie Cavnar
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It's a New Year with brand new opportunities to get involved with Recipe for Success. Gardens are in full production. We're harvesting cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi and a mess of greens for our kitchens and classes which are back in full swing for the winter and spring.  If you haven't come and played with us in the kitchen or garden, consider it this year.  We have a volunteer orientation on Tuesday, January 29 at 11:00.  email info@recipe4success.org for details. Or download our February calendar of opportunities here.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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