Cookout fundraiser Burgers & Burgundy moves to Trinity Groves

knifeBurgers & Burgundy started when chef John Tesar was on the DIFFA Style Council and wanted to host a fundraiser. I was at the first one… and the six since then. It has moved from an Uptown condo rooftop to a fancy North Dallas estate’s garden, where it has been for several years. It seems it has finally outgrown that space, though, and for its 8th year will move to the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, the walkway connecting Calatrava’s “Large Marge” with the Trinity Groves development in West Dallas.

It’s a fancy-casual event with live music and celebrichefs, where folks dress dapper and simple, where simple burgers are transformed into works of culinary art … all to raise money for DIFFA. This year, it comes on the heals of Black Tie Dinner (which, technically, moved a lot earlier this year), taking place on Friday, Oct. 7, from 6:30–9:30 p.m. Tickets are $150 and space is limited.

In addition, here are some photos from the recent check presentations to the beneficiaries of this year’s DIFFA, presented at LA Traffic at The Joule Hotel.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas benefactor Don Gaiser announces plans to retire … to Mexico

IMG_8894We’ve written about Don Gaiser before, in large part because he has been a reliable fundraiser for a number of gay charities, among them especially DIFFA and the Black Tie Dinner. But Don emailed me today to say he has decided to retire from the law offices of McKool Smith where he has worked 19 years. After that, he says, he’s moving on. Within the next year or so, he plans to relocate to sunny Puerto Vallerta. Congrats, Don!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Break out those spring fashions! DIFFA 2016 moves the May 21

Jeweled body at DIFFA. The annual DIFFA Dallas fashion show and fundraiser has long been a late-winter event, usually taking place — as it has the past two years — the first weekend of March at Downtown’s Omni Hotel. Well, in 2016 it will be back at the Omni, and you can expect more runway glam … but the looks on the red carpet will likely be quite different.

That’s because DIFFA Dallas has announced that the Collection next year will take place on May 21 — fully 10 weeks later in the season that usual. And that probably means a lot of reimagining of what guests will wear. Unlike the Black Tie Dinner, where most men keep it to black tuxes, DIFFA has always been the hipper, crazier cousin of gay Dallas society.

Sure, most of the women already wear dresses that probably make them a little chilly walking into to the hotel. But it won’t just be the cut! That’s on the cusp of Memorial Day, which means we might see more white, more blowsy fabrics, more (ahem) revealing looks.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

UNT names fashion program after Dallas designer Michael Faircloth

DIFFADallas fashion designer Michael Faircloth — a long-time supporter of DIFFA and famous for designing Laura Bush’s inaugural ball gown — has been honored by the University of North Texas with a fashion program named in his honor.

Lisa Troutt, a former fashion designer, and her husband Kenny donated $500,000 to launch the Michael Faircloth Fashion Design Program in honor of the UNT alumnus. The goal is to raise a total of $2.5 million to support the program.

“I am humbled and overjoyed that my friend [Lisa Troutt] and my alma mater desire to recognize my achievements by name the [program] after me,” Faircloth said in a statement.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Cocktail Friday: Everything’s Coming Up Roses

IMG_0221At the DIFFA gala a few weeks ago, Celebrity Cruises had a booth where they were serving a sassy little cocktail of their own making. The coolest thing about it? The addition of actual rose petals to the concoction. My friend asked, “Are they edible?” The bartender paused. “Uhh … sure, why not?” Well, we didn’t eat them. But the cocktail was fun nonetheless.

2 oz. Ketel One vodka

2 oz. brut champagne

1/2 oz. Rose’s syrup

Fresh lime juice.

Making it: Combine in a flute over ice, and garnish with rose petals.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DIFFA tickets available Saturday at Traffic

Runway

DIFFA 2014

DIFFA’s 25th anniversary gala isn’t for more than a week, but if you’ve already purchased seats you don’t have to wait and stand in line at the Omni in your tux. You can beat the crowds by dropping by Traffic at the Joule this Saturday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. There will even be champagne and snacks available! And if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, well, you can do it there and then, too.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

2015 DIFFA Style Council Ambassadors announced

chefAt a party Wednesday night at Neiman Marcus’ flagship store, DIFFA revealed the nine members of the Style Council for 2015. They are tasked with promoting the DIFFA cause and especially generating support for the gala next March 7, which will return to the Omni hotel.

In addition, to mark the 25th anniversary of DIFFA, seven Legends of Style were announced — former Style Council Ambassadors who have long supported the cause over the years in significant ways.

Here are the ambassadors and legends!

Style Council: Jenna Alexander, Jenn Clark, Norma Johnson, Scott Kehn, Debra Nelson, Ralph Randall, Shayne Robinson,  Jody Stein, Patrick Ware.

Legends: Simona Beal, Gillian Breidenbach, Don Gaiser, Rebecca Hallman, David Kiger, Matrice Kirk and Joe Pacetti, pictured.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jennings Street Fall Festival

The weather has finally cooled down enough to make it seem like fall in North Texas, and the folks on Jennings Street in Fort Worth celebrated last weekend with the 2014 Jennings Street Fall Festival. Dallas Voice staff writer James Russell was on hand to get a few photos of the fun.

—  Tammye Nash

PHOTOS: Burgers & Burgundy fundraiser for DIFFA

The annual Burgers & Burgundy fundraiser came back to North Dallas, and honestly, every burgers and wine pairing was stellar. Here are some of the creations, their creators and guests.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DIFFA reveals Style Council, move to Omni for 2014 Collection

Style CouncilLast week at an event at Neiman Marcus, DIFFA/Dallas announced its slate of Style Council Ambassadors for House of DIFFA: Masquerade, which returns March 29. The local luminaries tapped for the honor include: Sami Abboud, David Biggar, Angela Choquette, Leslie Concors, Jennifer M. Kolstad, Lisa Lowery, John Pfifer Marrs, Matthew Minnick, Joseph Minton, Autumn Rich, Marcus Spears, Steve Stodghill, Shannon Sturdivant and Clarice Tinsley.

Style Council Ambassadors help DIFFA/Dallas educate the city about AIDS/HIV needs in North Texas. Ambassadors donate a minimum of 10 hours to various AIDS service organizations across North Texas to understand the community’s needs and make an impact and assist in fundraising efforts, including selling tables and spreading the word about DIFFA’s mission.

The next big public DIFFA event will be the Holiday Wreath Auction at Dallas Market Hall on Nov. 7. The 2014 collection will, for the first time in years, move out of the Anatole Hotel to the still-newish Omni Hotel Downtown.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones