Founders Award Raises Funds at El Centro

by Ina Bostick

photos by Nick Bostick

Recently graduating from DCCCD I felt a little strange returning to the school, however seeing DCCCD Chancellor Dr. Wright Lassiter’s warm smile made me feel right at home.  Sunday evening I was at El Centro College for a different reason — a fund raiser for the culinary school where many accomplished  chefs first cut their teeth — over 150 to be precise. The goal for the evening was raise funds for a complete kitchen renovation and addition for El Centro.  The event also honored three members of the community with the prestigious Founders Award and all worked tirelessly to support the school’s efforts.

Chef Chad Houser and Daughter

The first honoree was JoJo LaBarba, who was celebrated posthumously and was responsible for starting American Foodservice which later became the produce company Freshpoint.  His niece Christina LaBarba said he was “an inspiration to all, showing love and kindness through food.”

Anthony “Tony” LaBarba was also  posthumously recognized at the event.   Tony is best known for starting American Wine Company which was later purchased by Glazier and instrumental in bringing wine to Texas.

Founding member of Les Dames d’Escoffier Delores Snyder was the third honoree. Les Dames is a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality.  Their goal is to support and promote young women in the hospitality industry.

Many chefs donated their time for the evening, presenting some wonderful “bits and bites” including alum chef’s Marc Cassell, Dunia Borga and Chad Houser.  I was able to sample savory shrimp from Parigi, delicious cookie bites from Kessler Cookie Company, a fantastic peach Bellini from the MargaritaDiva and an assortment of Dallas-made cheeses from  Paula Lambert’s Mozzarella Company.

The wines and spirits flowed as we sampled various reds, whites, bubblies, lagers, and even a cider or two.  The crowd strolled through the tight aisles trying bite after bite while keeping cool with the aid of a five foot tall ice sculpture of the El Centro logo that sparkled throughout the hall.  Bits and Bites made the perfect Sunday afternoon complete. For those wishing to contribute to the future chefs and palate pleasers of Dallas contact the DCCCD Foundation.


Filed under Cheese, Downtown, Events, fun with food, Ina Bostick

4 responses to “Founders Award Raises Funds at El Centro

  1. El Centro is such a great program! I took culinary classes there at night for a few semesters, and I was so impressed with the caliber of teachers and dedication of the students.

    • C. Gus Katsigris

      The El centro College Food and Hospitlaity program has served over 10,500 individuals since its opening in 1966. Many hold prestigious jobs in Dallas and elsewhere. The bits and Bites event is one of many fund-raising efforts to built two more kicthen labs, so more Dallas residence can attend an affordable culinary program. For information contact El Centro Food and Hospitality at 214.860.2202.
      C. Gus Katsigris

  2. For program details or for dates to attend a Food & Hospitality Institute seminar, see El Centro’s website: http://WWW.ELCENTROCOLLEGE.EDU
    The El Centro crew thanks all those who participated, attended or volunteered at Bits & Bites 2011. It was a lovely afternoon!
    C. Bozzelli-Duke

  3. Jessie

    Thanks to everyone who supported, participated and attended this year’s event. It was a very special evening . Thanks to JoJo, Tony and Dolores for thier support of El Centro College.

Leave a Reply