ike drama: poor brennan's

it should be no news to you by now that brennan's, our uppercrust creole eatery in downtown houston burned down early saturday morning last weekend while hurricane ike was quickly approaching. while the loss of this houston institution was tragedy enough, even worse consequences ensued. brennan's sommelier james koonce and 4 year old daughter katharine were critically injured, while general manager (and ex-executive chef) carl walker was severely burned.

the koonces are currently listed as being in critical condition and a fund has been set up at amegy bank to assist with their medical bills. please consider making a donation to the benefit bank account under "James Koonce & Katharine Koonce, Trustee: Denise Koonce." or send a check to: Bank by Mail, P.O. Box 4837 Houston, TX 77210-4837

it is touching how the local restaurant community has reacted and are trying to help. catalan food and wine is offering a brennan's inspired tasting menu for $60 of which $10 will go to the koonce family fund. the menu was offered for the first time last thursday and will be ongoing for the foreseeable future. alison cook says the "4-course homage" to brennan's will include "crab and corn bisque; Gulf shrimp remoulade; blackened redfish over St. Arnold's local shrimp boil with "all the goods"; and New Orleans style bread pudding topped with whiskey sauce."

gravitas restaurant, negociants USA and prestige wine cellars will be hosting a wine tasting fundraiser on monday, september 22 from 1:30 - 4 pm. negociants' icon release wines will be paired with seasonal appetizers. please donate generously as all proceeds benefit the Koonce family. please RSVP to david maib at 713.962.9085 or email dmaib@negociants.com or yolanda@gravitasrestaurant.com.

del frisco's, who donated so generously during houston restaurant week to benefit the end hunger network, will also be hosting a koonce benefit sunday, september 28 from 6 - 9 pm. the event will be held in their gorgeous wine cellar where they will be pouring wines from silver oak, far niente, cakebread, duckhorn and pommery. light fare will be served including andouille-stuffed goat cheese mushrooms, barbecue shrimp, sliced tenderloin, and mini crab cakes. the cost is $50 per person and 100% of the proceeds will go to the koonce family fund. brennan's executive chef randy evans will be in attendance. please call del frisco's at 713.355.2600 to reserve a spot.

please find a way to contribute to the cause. the houston chowhounds are brainstorming on how we can donate to the cause too.

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