More than 450 people made history last week when they attended AVDA's 14th annual Home Safe Home Gala, which raised a record-breaking $610,878 for the agency's cause of ending family violence—the highest-grossing (and net) gala in AVDA's history.

AVDA, which stands for Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, has provided advocacy, safety planning, counseling, and legal representation to more than 100,000 survivors in Harris and Fort Bend counties since its founding in 1980. The nonprofit also runs the largest Battering Intervention and Prevention Program for abusers in Texas and offers youth programming to break the cycle of violence.

Chaired by Meredith and Ben Marshall, this year's historically successful fundraiser drew scores of supporters to The Revaire to taste the creations of 14 local master chefs and wines curated by expert sommeliers. Chef stations lined the perimeter of the 4,000-square-foot ballroom filled with tables sporting massive flower arrangements of hydrangeas, tulips, orchids, Bells-of-Ireland, and roses by Plants N' Petals.

The rockstar lineup of participating chefs this year included Ryan Bouillet of A Fare Extraordinaire, Joe Cervantez of Brennan's, Giancarlo Ferrara of Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar, Maria Gonzalez of The ClassicRyan Lachaine of RielDominick Lee of PoitínKevin Naderi of Roost, Peter Petro of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, Russell Roegels of Roegels Barbecue Co.Jeff Taylor of Steak 48, Dustin Teague of RelishDanny Trace of PotenteTessa Trace of Houston Cookie Crew, and J.D. Woodward of 1751 Sea & Bar. Sommeliers Sean Beck, Antonio Gianola, David Keck, and Cat Nguyen selected wine pairings for the delicacies on offer, which ranged from Vietnamese beef tartare salad to pickled shrimp with charred green tomatoes and fennel.

Khambrel Marshall emceed the program, which included the presentation of two awards: The Joseph D. Jamail Award for Justice to Judge Ruby Kless Sondock—the first woman to serve on the Texas Supreme Court, among other myriad accomplishments—and the AVDA Heart of Houston Award to Karen and Buster Freedman for their years of support in the community.

AVDA CEO Maisha Colter welcomed Sherri Kendall, who just retired after seven years in that role, to the stage with a mayoral proclamation and video greeting from Mayor Sylvester Turner.

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1751 Sea & Bar

$$$ American/New American, Seafood 191 Heights Blvd.


$$$ Italian 1515 Texas Ave.

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Relish Restaurant & Bar

$$ American/New American 2810 Westheimer Road

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Steak 48

$$$$ Steak 4444 Westheimer Rd.

This Arizona import fills up 13,700 ultra-chic square feet in River Oaks District. Steaks are cut and aged in-house, but Gulf seafood, imaginative sides such...

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Roegels Barbecue Co.

$$ Barbecue 2223 S. Voss Rd.

Russell and Misty Roegels use their two custom-modified, all-wood smokers and a Bewley pit from Dallas to imbue minimally trimmed briskets with a crusty bark...

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

$$ American/New American, Pub/Brewery 4310 Westheimer Rd.

The owners may be fitness-minded, but this restaurant that has its original location in Newport Beach is all about indulgence. You might be surprised how man...

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Roost Restaurant

$$ American/New American 1972 Fairview St.

From quinoa-stuffed poblano peppers with red beets and chocolate mole to jerk duck breast with mung bean slaw, the culinary mash-ups at the fun-loving little...


$$$ American/New American 2313 Edwards St #100


$$$ American/New American 1927 Fairview St.

Ukrainian-Manitoban chef Ryan LaChaine named his restaurant after Louis Riel—the first and last president of the provisional government of Saskatchewan and f...

The Classic All Day

$$ American/New American 5922 Washington Ave.

The Classic All Day, like Levit’s other ventures (Local Foods, Benjy’s) specializes in sourcing locally whenever possible. In fact, the restaurant is putting...

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Amalfi Ristorante Italiano & Bar

$$$ Italian, Seafood 6100 Westheimer Rd. #140

Despite the seaside theme of this Italian trattoria from Salerno native Giancarlo Ferrara, you can find plenty of homemade pasta and pizza keeping company ...

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Brennan’s of Houston

$$$$ Cajun, Creole, Seafood, Southern 3300 Smith St.

Housed in the old Junior League of Houston building on the edge of Midtown where it meets Montrose, this stalwart seafood palace was also the site of Aurora ...