BY SHELBY HODGE // 02.05.20

PHOTOGRAPHY CHINH PHAN

TCH CUAC 2020-0013 (Photo by Chinh Phan)

When we were growing up, our middle sister had a terrible allergy to chocolate, every child’s (and mother’s) nightmare particularly when the other two sisters are chomping M&Ms almost daily. A few years ago, I developed an allergy to sesame (goodbye, my beloved hummus). I have a cousin who as an adult developed a deadly allergy to shrimp.

So it was that I was interested in Texas Children’s Hospital‘s fundraiser for its Food Allergy Program. Kudos to the brains behind this event that assigns a food allergy to each guest as they arrive. Then, as they peruse the various food stations with ingredients boldly displayed, they are denied foods containing those elements which they were allergic to.

Allergy tags included everything from eggs to peanuts to dairy and, yes, sesame.

This experiment in food allergies played out recently at The Revaire where several hundred guests paid good money to attend “Cooking Up a Cure” and to be denied some really luscious offerings from some of the city’s top chefs. Thus, the “allergic” throng experienced first hand the challenges that those with food allergies face daily. Except in this case, the ingredients were clearly spelled out for every dish. Not so much in real life.

Four couples chaired the evening that raised more than $200,000 during the fifth annual “Cooking Up a Cure” event. Taking bows for their leadership were Rebecca and David Luks, Holly and Jose Bayardo, Amy and Jack Behan, and Ellisa and Nick Gole.

Tempting all during the casual cocktail gathering were the 2020 culinary partners — A Fare Extraordinaire, Awesome Bites Co., Benjy’s, Bloom & Bee, Bouchée Patisserie, Brennan’s of Houston, Doris Metropolitan Houston, Emmaline, La Table Houston, Le Colonial Houston, Royers Round Top Café, State of Grace, The Annie Café & Bar, Uchi, and Weights + Measures.

Leading the brief program was Dr. Carla Davis, chief of Immunology, Allergy and Retrovirology at Texas Children’s, and director of Texas Children’s Food Allergy Program, who discussed the many initiatives the team is undertaking and expanding to help serve children with food allergies.