Chef Richard Chamberlain is Top Toque for April’s Cotes du Coeur Fundraiser
When it comes to Cotes du Coeur, the American Heart Association‘s annual wine-centric fundraiser, Chef Richard Chamberlain has an enviable job.
Beginning next week, Chamberlain and the event’s other organizers will sit down, sip fabulous wines and decide which foods will best complement them for the fundraiser’s April gala dinner.
When I talked with Chamberlain last week, he told me the menu-planning process consists of sampling buttery chardonnays and hearty cabernets while imagining them paired with, say, scallops or short ribs. In many cases, Chamberlain knows the specialties of the other Cotes chefs, so the right dish usually springs to mind.
Chamberlain readily admits he never tires of the fun he has working with great people who support a special cause. He’s been involved with Cotes du Coeur since the 1990s, when he participated as an invited guest. He recalls being at a table where beautiful wines such as Stags’ Leap and Camus were being poured—and how disappointed he was when they were paired with dried-up chicken. He approached the event’s organizers and proposed that he help “take it up a notch.”
Since then, Chamberlain has had broad involvement in Cotes du Coeur, from recruiting other top chefs to putting together the packages that will be sold at the auction. He says it’s the wineries’ generosity– accommodations, tours, and wines–that help make Cotes du Coeur’s fundraising so successful each year.
Chamberlain has watched as the Dallas event has grown in prestige and excellence. Last year, despite the tough economy, more than 1000 people attended the Gala and helped the American Heart Association raise huge sums to support the AHA’s nonprofit missions.
Chamberlain and his colleagues hope this year’s Gala fundraising event will continue to build on that success.
Cotes du Coeur will be held at the Hilton Anatole on April 10. Richard Chamberlain’s restaurants include Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill, both in Addison. For more Cotes du Coeur information, visit www.dallaswineauction.com.
Rebecca Marmaduke is Cotes du Coeur Editor for EscapeHatchDallas.