Feast of a fund raiser

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At the 19th annual Chef’s Gala, the Colorado Springs Chorale provided a prime opportunity for more than 300 guests to sample culinary masterpieces created by chefs from 28 of the Pikes Peak Region’s finest restaurants.

Held Feb. 29 at the Broadmoor International Center, the event was sponsored by Adelphia and The Gazette and raised money to benefit the Colorado Springs Chorale, the Pikes Peak Region’s 130 voice auditioned volunteer adult choral group, which is celebrating its 47th season. The chorus is known for its work with the former Colorado Springs Symphony, the Philharmonic and its regional pops concerts, including the annual Deck the Hall Christmas performance. The Chorale also is recognized for its support of local and national charities, including Pikes Peak Hospice and the Fallen Firefighter Memorial, and its benefit performances that assist social service agencies.

The Chef’s Gala isn’t called the “Granddaddy” of the region’s culinary competitions for nothing. This year’s celebrity judge was Brian Streeter, resident chef for Cakebread Cellars, Napa Valley, Calif. Streeter has represented Cakebread at marketing events, charity benefits and educational programs across the United States, Japan, Singapore and Canada. He is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute and interned under Philippe Jeanty. Streeter also is a member of the Chef’s Collaboration, a national organization that sends chefs to elementary schools to teach children about sustainable agriculture and cuisines of the world. He was assisted in judging by Cris Poulos, former chef/owner of the Craftwood Inn, and John Broening, executive chef of the Brasserie Rouge in Denver.

Winners in the category of appetizers included Ketil Larsen from Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. for his crispy pork confit with apples, with James Davis, Jr. of The Blue Star and Dan French of MacKenzie’s Chop House rounding out second and third place respectively. Steve Flohr and Peter Johnson of Country Club of Colorado took home first place in the entrée category for their seared New Zealand lamb loin medallions, with David Platzer of The Tavern Restaurant in second place and Eric Viedt of The Margarita at PineCreek a close third. In everyone’s favorite category, desserts, Derek DeVries Howard of Black Tie Gourmet Catering placed first, and also won Best in Show, with his amazing chocolate peanut butter martini. Mary Oreskovich & Richard Warner of Steel City Diner & Bakeshop came in second and Espiridion Moreno of La Petite Maison was third. The People’s Choice Award went to Heidi Trelstad and David Cottrill of Amusé Gourmet Catering for their chocolate-covered banana bombe.

“It was a pleasure to have been a part of the Chorale’s Chefs’ Gala this year,” Streeter said. “After seeing the enthusiasm and creativity of chefs involved, I can see why this has become such an anticipated event each year in Colorado Springs.”

For information about Colorado Springs Chorale, call (719) 634-3737.

Whodunnit?

The Children’s Advocacy Center celebrated their 10th anniversary with an annual mystery evening with a Hawaiian luau flair (any excuse to break out the lei) Feb. 21 at the Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort.

The centerpieces of the evening were fabulous silent and live auctions featuring such items as the Olympic torch from the 1984 Los Angeles games, a botox party for four with wine and cheese, of course and dinner for 10 at The Blue Star. The live auction was made even livelier with the auctioneer talents of Samantha Rush, along with Dave Moore who was master of ceremonies for the evening.

Artists including Kathleen Gremillion Baker, Darce Bjorkvist, Kimberly Bjorndahl, Rita Mae Cannafax, Eddie Gray, Casey Hankin, Barbara Midyett, Jes Raintree, Carol Sue Shaw, Pat Sheeran-Daggett, Lindsi Stinson, Dick and Millie Watson, Mark Wong and Debbi Yarra contributed their time and talent to further the Children’s Advocacy Center mission, which is to provide a warm, home-like environment where children are interviewed, videotaped, and medically examined during the investigation of child abuse.

Seen scoping out the suspects were board members John Gomes, David Johnson, Linda Moyes, Diane Sears, Carlos Douglas, Teresa Murphy, Wendy Morrison, Will Bain, Geoff Heim, Bill Berenz, Regina Heuberger, Karen Rackley, Cori Parisi, Jarie Wood, Maggie Santos and Suzanne Royer.

Sponsors for this wonderful evening that raised more than $80,000 were Colorado Springs Utilities, The Gazette, Springs Mortgage, American National Bank, BiggsKofford, Kane, Donley & Johnson and many more.

Diane Kilbourn took home a Nancy Drew badge for solving the mystery, while the Wood table succeeded in the manner of Cagney and Lacy, winning the table award.

For information about The Children’s Advocacy Center, call (719)636-2460.