Opera star Mary Costa, pictured here with my husband, Alan Carmichael, is a big supporter of Childhelp Tennessee.
This post is from the Better Late Than Never Department! Les Trois Chefs, the signature fundraiser of Childhelp Tennessee, was held before Christmas at Cherokee Country Club. Traditionally, it involves three great chefs — thus the name of the event — working together to prepare a four-course meal with wine pairings. And the obligatory silent and live auctions, of course.
But this year, the food of just one chef (and his team) was featured — that of Cherokee Country Club’s David Pinckney. “Just say I’m not good with numbers,” joked Hugh Nystrom, Childhelp’s director of community relations.
I want to give a big shout-out to Hugh and the others responsible for this evening in that they decided to keep the live auction short — just three items! I can’t tell you what a good decision this is. I attend literally scores of fundraising events every year and nothing is worse than a live auction that just won’t stop. The auctioneer loses the crowd, you can hardly hear the auction for all the talking, and it’s extremely boring after a few items.
At Les Trois Chefs, the three live auction items were great: a wild game dinner for 10, an original Mike Berry painting, and a week-long stay for six in Costa Rica. And then it was over, and we could turn our attention to the entertainment. Bravo, friends, and thanks.
Childhelp supports victim of child abuse and their families. Since opening in 1995, Childhelp has served more than 10,000 children in East Tennessee.
Who wouldn’t like a real whiskey barrel? This one from Woodford Reserve Private Label Bourbon was one of 32 silent auction items, many involving food and drink.
David Purvis, left, is the founder of the Les Trois Chefs event. The proprietor of Farragut Wine & Spirits, he is pictured here with, from left, Omar Jubran, Julia Purvis, Kurt Purvis and Robin Purvis.
Moll and Charlie Anderson during the silent auction.
Hungry, anyone? Look at all these meats and cheeses! You’ve got to keep up your strength during cocktail hour!
From left, David and Debbie Jones with Angelia and Hugh Nystrom.
Jimmy Buckner, left, with Kati and Jim Blalock.
Gary and Jessica Drinnen.
State Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, left, with Alan Carmichael and Marsha Grieve.
Mary Alice Tucker, left, with Sis Mitchell.
Stephanie Daniel, left, with Angelia Nystrom.
From left, Lou Moran, Staci Crawford and Cindy Cassity.
Roger and Katharine Killen.
Holly and Russ Watkins.
Rebecca and Alan Williams, left, with Alyson Ferine Gallaher and Dr. Kevin Gallaher.
Diane and Randy Miller.
Rick Stone and Angela Howard.
Artist Mike Berry and his wife, Leah.
From left, Myra Hamilton, Mindy Kasten and Emily Dempster.
Becky Thompson, left, and Angelia Nystrom.
Soon it was time for dinner.
This fall salad contained apples, Noble Springs goat cheese, pickled okra croutons, Benton’s country ham and red eye vinaigrette over baby lettuces. It was paired with a 2014 Ruffino Orvieto Classico.
The founders of Childhelp, Yvonne Fedderson, left, and Sara O’Meara talked about the organization for a few minutes.
This was my favorite course. Sunburst Farm smoked trout cake with chowchow remoulade and micro arugula. Wine pairing was a 2014 SIMI Sonoma County sauvignon blanc.
Frank and Lisha Venable.
Rip and Joann Creekmore.
The entree was hickory grilled filet mignon, Sweet Grass Dairy Asher blue whipped potatoes, roasted root vegetables and a raspberry balsamic demi glaze. It was paired with a 2012 Robert Mondavi Oakville cabernet sauvignon.
Janet Testerman Crossley and Bill Regas enjoying the repast.
Muffet and Jimmy Buckner.
Kristin and Eric Seabrook.
Chad and Melissa Tindell.
These entertainers called HypnoTwist were a hoot.
Desserts were cranberry port wine poached pears with buttermilk panna cotta, gingerbread crumble and pumpkin creme Anglaise. They were paired with Ruffino extra dry prosecco.
And then we were ushered onto the patio overlooking the Tennessee River for fireworks!
I love fireworks!
It was a fun, fun evening. And I didn’t have to drink a drop of chardonnay!