Congratulations to the Winning Chefs and our

Official Charity Second Serving of Houston!

The 15th International Risotto Festival was a great success grossing more than $135,000 and counting (online auction available here.) The net proceeds will benefit Second Servings of Houston, the city’s prepared and perishable food rescue organization, on a mission to fight hunger and end food waste.

More than 725 Houstonians gathered for a festive afternoon of food and fun on Sunday, November 14. Guests strolled the Houston Design Center’s expansive grounds to visit chef stations and savor tastings of risotto, antipasti, pours of fine wines, enjoy Italian music and entertainment, admire exotic cars and partake in family-friendly activities. 

The Most Creative Food Festival Ever

Since its founding in 2000, this popular charitable event has raised more than $750,000 for worthy causes including the Children’s Assessment Center, Casa de Esperanza, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Dean’s Academic Excellence Fund at the Conrad N Hilton School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, The Scarlett Fund at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Education Foundation providing scholarships for students

Proud to Benefit Second Servings of Houston

Fighting Hunger. Ending Waste.

Second Servings is Houston’s only prepared and perishable food rescue organization. The nonprofit is on a mission to fight hunger and end waste in the Houston community be picking up unsold and unserved food from food businesses, such as distributors, retailers and manufacturers. Then, immediately delivering the perfectly edible surplus food at no cost to more than 90 local shelters, soup kitchens, low-income housing and many other charities.

2021 Competing Chefs

Chef Alessandro Scarafile

Roma An Italian Eatery

Chef Maurizio Ferrarese

Alba Ristorante at Hotel Granduca

Chef Angelo Cuppone

Concura Italian Bites

Chef Luzim Shimaj

51 Fifteen Cuisine & Cocktails

Chef Artem Orlovskyy

La Table

Chef Wesley Tyler

Carlton Woods Country Club

Chef Mardoni Escalante

Prego-Houston

Chef Dillon Kao

Old Railroad Café

Chef Scotty Campbell

Sweet Marie

Chef Dylan Longaker

Hess Corporation

Honorary Chairs

Tom and Robin Segesta

Tom and Robin Segesta are proud to be the Honorary Chairs of the 15th International Risotto Festival benefiting Second Servings of Houston. Tom and Robin Segesta are the co-founders of Camp H-Town, an urban oncology youth camp at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston that provides a fun and safe camp setting at no financial cost to children who have been touched by cancer. As General Manager of Four Seasons Hotel Houston, Tom Segesta has been donating the luxury hotel’s surplus food to Second Servings since the food rescue nonprofit began operations in 2015. Tom is also on the Board of Directors of Houston First and is active in the Hotel and Lodging Association of Greater Houston, as well as the Texas Restaurant Association.
Robin Segesta is a well-established Houston realtor with Carruthers Real Estate Group of Compass Real Estate and is a member of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing. Robin also serves on the Advisory Board for Dress For Success and is on the Wine Sales Committee of the Houston Rodeo. In the Segesta’s free time, you will find them enjoying quality time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, cheering on the Houston Rockets and all things Italian. Tom and Robin are very excited to be this year’s Honorary Chairs and support an important cause that’s close to their hearts.

 

Introducing The 2021 Event Chairs

Fran Zandstra

Fran is a retired registered nurse and healthcare executive with the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Previously, the Executive Director for the Cancer Survivorship Program, Fran and her team developed a state-of-the-art survivorship program to address the long-term needs of patients and their families. It was here she became aware of the growing issue of food insecurity in our nation and community. In 2019, she was introduced to Second Servings as their drivers brought fresh fruits, vegetables and frozen poultry to the food pantry where Fran was volunteering. When Fran learned of Second Servings’ mission to fight hunger and end waste, it was a perfect match: less food waste meant better nutrition for our community. Fran quickly became a fan, regular volunteer and contributor to Second Servings of Houston.

Tony Greisinger

Tony was previously the Executive Director of the Kelsey Research Foundation. Tony finds meaning and purpose by serving those in need, and began volunteering with Second Servings of Houston in 2018. He became passionate about the nonprofit’s mission to fight hunger and reduce waste in Houston once he saw, firsthand, how delivering donated food made a real difference in the health of those who are most vulnerable and experience hunger every day.

Jennifer Greenberg

Jennifer is a dedicated Second Servings volunteer who was first impassioned by the organization’s concept at a brainstorming session in 2014. Years later, Jen spent her birthday riding “Second Seat” on a post-Hurricane Harvey food rescue. The team crisscrossed town until early evening, rescuing and delivering thousands of pounds of fresh food. Blown away by witnessing first-hand the impact of Second Servings, Jen signed on as a regular “Second Seat” volunteer and never looked back. Her background includes Associate Publisher of performing arts magazines, advertising exec, and travel agent. She’s a “foodie” and “experience junkie” and loves exploring those passions – and anything “arts” and travel – with friends and family.

Host Committee

Gayle Abrahams & Corby Kelly
Dr. Kenneth & Judy Arfa
Automated Security IS
Michael & Mimi Berkowitz
Nan Brewer
Suzanne & John Caram
Stuart & Sharon Cayer
Eric & Allie Danziger
Greg Dillard
Jacques D’Rovencourt
Geoffrey & Jana Emerson
Myrna Engler, LCSW
Flowers Health Institute
Marcia & Bruce Friedman
Dean & Janie Gladden
David Greiss & David Romero
Nancy Guinee
Maggie Hawk

Lori & Benny Herzog
Gabe Hubbard, Winstead PC
Carol & R.O. Hunton
Janine K. Iannarelli
Impressions Design Group
Arthur Keller
Scott Kelley
Karen & Seth Lerner
Ann & Mitch Liberman
Denise Marks & Steve Weisberger
Evi & Steve Marnoy
Midcity Design Group
Jerome Mulanax
Gene & Meredith O’Donnell
Tom & Elizabeth Netting
Carol Philips Hopson
Lisa & Adam Pollock
Dr. David & Cynthia Portugal

Nikki & Matt Ranzinger
Karen & Peter Remington
Sheri & Grant Roane
Heidi & Nick Rockecharlie
Jane Root & Jim Berdou
Caren & Darrell Rosenthal
Angela & Christopher Roth
Rottet Studio
Betsy & Ed Schreiber
Paul Seernani / Active Athlete
Marianna Servitje
Joy Soloway & David David
Gail & Norman Stalarow / Buffalo Specialties
Shelley Starr & David Martin
Bette & Ralph Thomas
James & Ilona Thomson
Catherine & Randy Wile
Donna & Ken Yanowski
Ted & Kathy Zwieg

FESTIVAL SPONSORS

Proud to Partner with Cultural & Affinity Organizations