Sake Cosmopolitans and Smithfield pork were the order of the evening for the 24th annual Richmond Heart Ball’s VIP cocktail reception and auction preview, held last night at the Gateway Plaza to kick off next week’s main event.
Four local chefs accepted the challenge to create heart-healthy dishes using reception sponsor Smithfield’s “Lean Generation” pork. At tables scattered throughout the room, attendees noshed on colorful pork stir fry from Mama J’s Kitchen’s chef Velma Johnson, piquant pork and cabbage tacos from Emilio’s chef Chad Stambaugh, spicy pork lettuce wraps from chef Loretta Montano at Stella’s and rosy pink pork tenderloin with dragon fruit relish from chef Cory Sheldon of the Boathouse.
Mosaic Catering + Events also contributed selections of Asian meatballs and other goodies and oversees the Richmond Heart Ball's concept and event production.
A tower of pink, pre-made Cosmos, adorned with paper parasols and enlivened with sake, got almost as much traffic as the regular bar, with one attendee overheard saying, “I’ll drink one if you will.” Both did.
The preview also provided an opportunity for people to get a look at some of the silent auction’s glamorous prizes, from a string of South Sea pearls, to a Bermuda getaway, to “Fore for Two,” an opportunity to spend a day inside the PGA tour during its run at Country Club of Virginia in November. None of those grabs you? How about a diamond bracelet, a NASCAR package or an oyster weekend with friends?
Raising funds for research and prevention programs across the region is the primary goal of next Saturday’s sold-out Heart Ball, this year themed “Fortune of the Heart.”
Last year's gala, which transforms the space inside and out of the Science Museum of Virginia, hit $1 million raised, an event record.