When a member of the San Antonio restaurant community is in need, a number of restaurants have shown themselves willing to pitch in to help out.
That’s the basis of the 2-year-old event, Chefs for Chefs. The first year, the effort was to benefit the young daughter of a chef who has been battling a brain tumor. This year, one of the beneficiaries will be Steve Silbas, the beloved former owner of Casbeers who’s in need of a kidney transplant.
With that in mind, chefs from throughout the city showed up at Biga on the Banks Sunday morning to put on their best for the brunch.
You would never have known that chef John Russ from Lüke hosted hundreds from the San Antonio Cocktail Conference until the wee hours of the morning before showing up to serving a spicy shrimp and grits dish. Or that Jason Dady had just opened his new restaurant, Umai Mi, a day before arriving to serve his Asian-spiced deviled eggs, a taste of the new menu.
Jesse Perez from Arcade Midtown Kitchen offered chicken tinga, while Steve McHugh’s Cured showcased their house-cured meats. Damien Watel of Chez Vatel Bistro presented a veal roulade with mashed potatoes. Mark Bliss served a bright orange trout roe with blini that matched the color of the bacon-topped soup that Lisa Watel of Bite served at the neighboring table. Ceviche from Aldaco’s, smoked trout with kale from John Brand of Omni La Mansion del Rio and a lettuce wrap with mahi-mahi from Zedric’s: Fresh Gourmet to Go were among the other treats. Ron Smith of FreshPoint served up some fine Brazos Valley Cheese, while Casbeers was on hand, too, with their famous enchiladas.
Jeff Wayne White of Boiler House and Diana Barrios Treviño of Los Barrios, La Hacienda de Los Barrios and Viola’s Ventanas had tables as well as Bruce Auden’s team from the host restaurant, Biga. Daniela Borquez of D’Sweets Creations provided the mouthwatering array of desserts. Others pitching in included Lisa Filip, Mercedes Zachary and Fabien Jacob.
For those who remember the story last year of the young girl who was behind the first event, the team at Biga released the following update: “Emma, the daughter of Biga on the Banks’ Executive Sous Chef Daniel, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor and went through radiation. Today, she has made great progress and continues to work on strengthening her immune system while getting better one day at a time. Team Emma inspired this amazing event last year and we hope that we will be able to help many more families in our culinary community for years to come.”