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September 30, 2007 - Project PAVE's 'Secret Chefs' Cook Up Gourmet Delights for Violence Awarness

What: Project PAVE's 15th Annual Secret Chefs Dinner & Auction

Where: Strings Restaurant, 17th & Humboldt

When: September 30, 2007

Time: 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $150 per guest, $250 per patron guest, $2,500 - $10,000 contribution per Secret Chef

Beneficiary: Project PAVE's violence prevention, detection & intervention services

Host(s): Noel and Tammy Cunningham, Strings Restaurant

EMCEE: Vic Bourassa

Co-Chair(s): Joe Hubbard & Tracey Lepine

Executive Director: Mike Johnson

Committee Members: Michael Alcott, Hayley Boumeester, Patrick Gibbs, Scott Greiner, Tracey Lepine, Ellen Lidsky

Staff: Jaime Peterson; Development Director, Amy Stambuk; Director of Clinical Counseling, Adam Evans; Director of School Based Program, Linnette Barreto; School Based Counselor, Melina Fraga; Violence Prevention Educator, Meghan Kearney; School Based Counselor, Stephanie Roman; School Based Counselor, Rachel Shapiro; Financial Manager, Natalie Ward; Child & Family Therapist

Welcome: Joe Hubbard

Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor: The Gaines Foundation; Executive Sponsors: Gary Paul, Artist; Patricia (PC) Crown, Hors d'oeuveres: Jim & Pamela Basey, CoBiz, Tom & Jane Petrie, IMA / True North; Sous Chef: Bank of Choice, BTG Foundation, Eventeur, Elaine Gampel & Alan Tedeshi; Cookbook Sponsor: Whole Foods Market; Table Sponsor: Epicurean Catering; Auction Sponsor: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Auctioneer: Vic Bourassa

Menu: Cobiz Greens, warm goat cheese salad with pancetta, shaved fennel & sliced pears. Seafood Found Only Along True North, seared diver scallop, sweet pear risotto, vanilla scented sauterne cream. Chef's choice soup, butternut squash soup with sherry & almonds. Zoka's Duck Comfit - Pine CO, shredded duck comfit in a balsamic red wine reduction over stilton corn. Phantom, It's Not Easy Being Green, verte sorbet. Gary's Painted Elk in a Truffle & Chanterelle, braised elk medallions, truffled sweet potatoes, red wine ajus leek and chanterelle tart. Chocolate Goes with Everything, decadent bittersweet chocolate layers with hints of ganache galore.

Attendance: 250

Attire: Evening attire, business formal or cocktail attire

Special Thanks: Secret Chefs - Noel Cunningham, Strings Restaurant; Greg Barnhill, Zoka's Restaurant; Jim & Pamela Basey; Shultz Hartgrove; Joe Hubbard; Bruce Janda; Ian Kleinman, O's Steak & Seafood at the Westin; Gary Paul; Tom & Shari Scholten, Fritz's Alpine Bistro Catering; Marc Spritzer & John Toby, EVENTeur

Hors D'Oeuvres:: Smoked sturgeon, green apple diakon salad and carrot, cardamom caviar buffalo and blackberry jam cones, ginger butternut squash elixir cooled with liquid nitrogen.


Donors: Food & Wine contributions from Baroness Vineyards, Giuliana Imports, National Distributing, Rombauer Vineyards, Southern Wine & Spirits, Zoka's Restaurant

Board of Directors: Cecilia Sanchez de Ortiz, chair, Raydean Acevedo, Michael Alcott, Marti Awad, Kenneth Crichlow, DDS, Patricia (PC) Crown, Gerald Gaines, Elaine Gampel, Michael Hammell, Michelle Kales, Kelli Kindel, Marc Levine, Jon Lorenz, Jeannie Ritter, Shawn Worthy, Ph.D

Blacktie Photos by: Billie Rommes

 Pave Executive Director Michael Johnson and Vic Bourassa of Bourassa Vineyards
Pave Executive Director Michael Johnson and Vic Bourassa of Bourassa Vineyards

If there is anything better than great food, paired with fine wines, and the company of good friends, then it would have to be an evening at the Project PAVE's 15th Annual Secret Chef's Dinner & Auction. Where else can one combine all of that with a very worthy cause?

On September 30th, host Noel Cunningham of Strings Restaurant once again closed its doors to host this unique event. Over 200 guests and supporters of Project Pave gathered to dine on a magnificent seven-course meal prepared by celebrity chefs and sponsors. Each course was paired with a fine wine to compliment the meal. This was not your typical fundraising event. The evening started with champagne and hors d'oeuvres. It was a perfect autumn evening for many of the guests to enjoy the open patio, while inside the restaurant, others could look over the variety of silent auction items.

Event chair Joe Hubbard then got the crowd's attention to welcome everyone and get the evening's program started. He introduced Vic Baroussa of Baroussa Vinyards. Vic was the event's emcee and also the auctioneer for the live auction. Vic shared a few words about his own past that led to his involvement with Project PAVE, stating how near and dear to his heart this cause was. He then invited PAVE executive director Michael Johnson to the podium.

Michael Johnson spoke to the guests and offered his sincere appreciation to the many sponsors of the event. It was then time to turn things back over to Vic, who got the live auction going. The live auction consisted of some very interesting packages, such as a food and wine pairing at the Sculpture House, a girl's night out with sushi and champagne at the Woodhouse Day Spa, a Newport Beach vacation, a Cakebread Cellars wine dinner and a fly fishing excursion and dinner with two celebrity winemakers.

But the real excitement of the evening was the magnificent food presented by local celebrity chefs and a few of the sponsors. Guests were treated to a seven-course meal, which started with the hors d'oeuvres sponsored by O's Steaks & Seafood at the Westin. The other gourmet delights were; Cobiz Greens, sponsored by Colorado Business Bank, Seafood Found Only Along True North, sponsored by Joe Hubbard, TrueNorth Corporation Chef's Choice Soup, sponsored by Bank of Choice, Zoka's Duck Comfit - Pine CO, Phantom, It's Not Easy Being Green, sponsored by Jim & Pamela Basey, Gary's Painted Elk in a Truffle & Chanterelle Forest, sponsored by Gary Paul, Chocolate Goes with Everything!, sponsored by John Tobey.

At the end of the evening, guests were given a goody bag that included a copy of the Secret Chef's Cookbook, sponsored by Whole Foods Market--just a little reminder of the great food, the fine wines and good company of a fabulous and memorable evening.

Project PAVE, Promoting Alternatives to Violence through Education, is a nonprofit organization that provides violence prevention education, victim identification and counseling services in underserved Denver communities. The mission of Project PAVE is to empower youth to end the cycle of relationship violence. PAVE provides prevention, detection, and intervention services for children, and youth affected by relationship violence such as child abuse, domestic violence and teen dating violence.  For more information or to get involved with Project PAVE, you can visit their website at or call 303-322-2382.

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