Haute cuisine for a higher cause
Publication Date: Wednesday Mar 29, 1995

Haute cuisine for a higher cause

The Children's Health Council's Celebrity Chef Dinner and Auction features Roland Passot of La Folie

The epicurean creations of master chef and La Folie owner Roland Passot will tempt wine and food enthusiasts at this year's 16th Annual Children's Health Council Celebrity Chef Dinner and Auction. The event, slated for April 21, is the chief fund-raiser of the Children's Health Council of Palo Alto, a non-profit organization providing professional care to children with emotional and behavioral problems.

This year's celebrity chef, Roland Passot, owner of La Folie restaurant in San Francisco, will oversee preparation of the three-course dinner, working with the Fairmont Hotel's executive chef and kitchen staff.

Passot, who began his culinary career at the age of 15 in Lyons, worked as an apprentice for Pierre Orsi and Leon de Lyons, among others. Five years later, at the invitation of Chef Jeann Banchet, he moved to Chicago to work at Le Francais. He went on to open Le Castel in San Francisco and the French Room at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. Returning to San Francisco in 1988, Passot, along with his wife, Jamie, and brother Georges, opened La Folie.

Passot's culinary skill has earned him many awards, including the prestigious "Best Culinary Master of San Francisco," from the Fine Beverage and Food Federation. La Folie, one of the top three critic-rated French restaurants in San Francisco, possesses a long history of participating in charitable events.

"He is a very gracious and generous person who has donated his time and talents to the dinner and auction," said Ellen Rose, one of the coordinators of the Celebrity Chef Dinner and Auction.

Passot painstakingly designed the three-course menu to highlight the wines to be served. The first course, a leek canneloni garnished with crab, avocado, tomato and a mustard vinaigrette, will be followed by an asparagus soup with sea scallops quenelle. The evening's entree is a roast veal loin with wild mushrooms wrapped in cabbage with potatoes, celeriac root puree and a Merlot sauce. The dessert will be a vanilla bean creme brulee served with fresh berries and hazelnut.

The selection of fine wines includes a 1992 Santa Cruz Mountain Chardonnay donated by the Thomas Fogarty Winery, a 1992 Rutherford Hill Merlot from Betsy Morgethaler, a 1992 Monticello Vineyards Estate Merlot and a Mumm Cuvee Napa Blanc de Noirs, gift of the Seagram Classics Wine Company.

Live and silent auctions will feature fine and rare wines, holiday tours and vacations, winery trips and gourmet dinners at top Bay Area restaurants.

Packages on the auctioning block include a "Bon Voyage For Two," including round-trip airfare from San Francisco to Paris and accommodations at Veuve Clicqot, one of France's most renowned Champagne houses, and Chateau Poiteviniere in the Loire Valley. A weekend in Manhattan for two at the Peninsula Hotel will be coupled with dinner with Robin Leach, host of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Closer-to-home prizes include dinner for six at Stars Restaurant in San Francisco, featuring the wines of Far Niente, and a weeklong stay at Skylonda Retreat in Woodside.

The auction and associated events have raised more than $1 million for the CHC in the past 15 years. For over 40 years, the Children's Health Council has served thousands of children and adolescents who face a variety of emotional, behavioral, learning and development problems.1 n

--Julie Ratner

Celebrity Chef Dinner and Auction

When: Friday, April 21. Cocktails and silent auction at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m., and live auction at 9 p.m.

Where: Fairmont Hotel, San Jose

Cost: $125 per person; special corporate, patron and benefactor tables available.

Information: Ellen Rose, 326-0543 

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