Sweet & Savory Benefit Helps Save Dogs With Delicious Dinner
The next two courses were the show stoppers for me. Matt McCallister of FT33 in Dallas prepared a simple dish of several varieties of peas sautéed with lavender, then topped with caramelized whey and cured ham from his restaurant. The dish was complex in spite of the seeming simplicity of its preparation, and the cured meat and slightly sweet peas paired perfectly with the spicy Thai-pepper-infused southside made by El Big Bad's Ricardo Guzman Venegas. That was followed up by the awesome pork and beef brisket/sausage hybrid by the boys from Revival. There was one giant sausage link left over after the plating, and it was so good that it got auctioned off for $350.
A guest paid $350 for one of these beef brisket and pork sausages. That's a deal.
The fifth course was prepared by Plinio Sandalio, the pastry chef at The Carillon in Austin. Apparently Masson had wanted a cheese course in the lineup, and no one would volunteer to do it except Sandalio, who wowed the diners with a sheep's milk blue cheese that he turned into panna cotta and served atop a thin date cake sprinkled with powdered bacon. Yes, that's right. Powdered bacon. Oh, the things I would do with my very own supply of powdered bacon...
Finally, the sweet portion of the Sweet and Savory dinner was served. Masson made profiteroles that were sliced in half and filled with caramelized white chocolate ice cream and pickled plums. The dessert was perfectly balanced--just the right amount of salt and vinegar to play off the sweet ice cream and pastry.
Philip Speer of Uchi and the upcoming St. Philip in Austin acquiesced to Masson's request to make a chocolate dessert. But instead of just doing chocolate, he essentially made a dessert that tasted like two of everyone's favorite things: Beer and Nutella. Chocolate ice cream was frozen into nuggets using liquid nitrogen, then sprinkled on top of Saint Arnold's Brown Porter sorbet along with crunchy hazelnut.
Chocolate ice cream made with liquid nitrogen for Philip Speer's dessert.
A surprise chef made an appearance at the dinner. Justin Turner of Bernie's Burger Bus closed out the evening with a peanut butter and jelly milkshake featuring sweet cream custard, peanut butter marshmallows and cassis fizzy chocolate that tasted like something out of Willy Wonka's factory.
After the final tally, Masson says the event plus the silent auction and the impromptu sausage auction raised about $14,300 for the animal rescue organization. If the food wasn't enough to encourage diners to spend big, Cooper, a Lucky Dog foster looking for a home, sure was. His big, soulful eyes and happy smile had everyone wanting to take him home.
Photo courtesy Lucky Dog Won't you adopt sweet Cooper?
If you couldn't make it to the dinner, be sure to check out Lucky Dog's webpage to find out how you can help Houston's homeless dogs and eat well along the way!