By Rebecca Combs, Foodable Contributor
“Together, we can change lives and save lives”. That is what Cotes du Coeur is all about. For the past 24 years, The American Heart Association has teamed up with celebrity chefs in Dallas to put on THE event of the year in order to raise money and support.
It all started when, cardiologist, Dr. Bob Hillert was drinking wine around the fire with his friends. He wanted to create an event that would benefit the AHA and also be able to center the event around wine. So, Dr. Hillert and his friends reached out to their favorite wineries from around the world and started what would become Cotes du Coeur.
About 16 years ago, Chef Richard Chamberlain attended one of the events. He loved the wine but, as the story goes, he said that these amazing wines were being served with hotel rubber chicken. He suggested that he get his friends together and they would create fantastic dishes to pair with the fantastic wines. Since then, it has been all about the celebrity chef dinner and fine wine auction.
Events of the Season
Now, the Cotes du Coeur Gala event is preceded by several pre-parties. The first event is the Big Bottle Party (January 2015). This event is usually done in a patrons home. This year, it will be held at Mike and Jana Brosin's – Mike is the Executive Partner for Crest Cadillac, Crest Inifinti, and Crest Nissan. This is the party that kicks off the season. There is a wider range of invites but, the entrance into the party is a large bottle format. The average bottle is about $250. But, guests really get into it because awards are handed out and it's all about the honor of having your name as the award winner at the event.
Next up, is the Chef Announcement Party (February 2015). This is where the 17 chefs reveal what they will be preparing the night of the gala. The Cotes du Coeur pros go in with a game plan – they know what they want to try and in which order. After all, it would be almost impossible to try 17 dishes on top of 32-33 wineries.
The third party in the line up is the Catalog Preview Party (March 2015). The purpose of this party is to prepare guests for the auction – with a 250 page catalog and 2000 wines on lot, it's important for guests to have an idea of what they will want to bid on. There is also a wine expert on hand who can give guests detailed information.
Lastly, the night before the gala there is a final pre party (April 2015). This is the number one grand tasting. This is a sponsor only event. The wine makers are flown in and bring their private collection and reserve bottles.
The Final Event: the Cotes du Coeur Gala
All of these events of course end with the Cotes du Coeur Gala (April 2015) – a black tie event filled with food, wine, and entertainment. And, in case you're wondering, the chefs include: Richard Chamberlain, Bruno Davaillon, Dean Fearing, Kent Rathbun, and John Tesar. Some of the featured wineries include Domaine Paul Blanck, Chequen, Gamble Family Vineyards, and Red Mare Wines. All of the wines that are up for auction are donated and during the evening, guests have the opportunity to give personal donations during “Open Your Heart” – last year they raised one million dollars in just one night.
The food and the wine is the best of the best – it's sure to be the foodie event of 2015. Plus, it's for a good cause.