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World class chefs highlight Spirit of Hope Dinner Dance celebrating 50 homes and 50 families

By Alexis White

Casita Linda’s October 13 dinner-dance, Spirit of Hope: Celebrating 50 Houses and 50 Families, will be more than a feast for the eyes, ears and palate. Besides the twinkling and sparkle, the music and ambience, and the over-the-top taste bud sensations being created by Mexico City’s preeminent restaurateurs/chefs, all of whom will be on hand that evening, the gala will offer Tiendita Linda and Neat Temptations for a Cause.

Gala Dinner
Spirit of Hope – Casita Linda
Celebrating 50 Houses/50 families
Sat, Oct 13, 6-10pm
The Winery
Los Senderos
US$125 or 1600 pesos
More info at

Tiendita Linda is a one-night-only boutique of unique and specialty gifts. Proceeds from its sales will help Casita Linda continue building homes that provide dignified, safe and empowering environments and offer a foundation of hope for families who live in extreme poverty in the San Miguel area.

Highlighting Tiendita Linda will be hand-carved glassware and handmade Santa Rosa candles from Rose Ann Hall Designs, a San Miguel-based, high-end home and entertaining retailer whose products are sold throughout the United States. Available for purchase will be glasses and barware sets as well as vases from their Agave and Dancing Dots collections. Dancing Dots was recently featured in the museum shop of New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). It was created for Rose Ann Hall Designs by San Miguel resident Ana Thiel, a glass artist and sculptor whose work is in museums and private collections throughout Europe, Mexico, South America, the United States and Japan. Thiel worked in collaboration with Exportadora Camino Norte, (ECN), which manufacturers all Rose Ann Hall Designs products, including Santa Rosa candles. Founded by Charles Hall in 2005, ECN is well-known for training local people in grabado (glass carving), an art with a diminishing number of highly-skilled craftspeople who can execute it. The company has drawn the attention of American media because Charlie Hall, who was born with Moebius syndrome, makes a point of hiring persons with disabilities. They represent more than 20 percent of his employees.

Tiendita Linda also will showcase Camino Silvestre’s large, hand-blown, recycled glass hummingbird feeder, called Mini-Blossom Luna, which will please nature viewers and feathered sippers alike. The Tiendita will offer Tequila Don Ramón, well known for its product and the strikingly tall glass bottles that hold it. The bottles are etched with Casita Linda’s logo to commemorate the occasion. Represented in both the Tiendita and at the dinner tables will be the work of the Corcoran College of Art + Design of the world-renowned Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Students and faculty have created Talavera products for the home that will be sold in the Tiendita, and centerpieces that will be offered in silent auctions at their respective tables. All purchases made as well as auctioned items won during the benefit will be safely tucked into Casita Linda embroidered fabric tote bags especially created and donated for the event.

Neat Temptations for a Cause comprises special donations that have been made on Casita Linda’s behalf by generous organizations and individuals. American Airlines has provided two coach tickets for auction and they are good for flights anywhere in the continental United States, (some restrictions apply). Bahia de la Luna, the tranquil, at-the-beach resort located in the state of Oaxaca at La Boquilla, has given a raffle prize of a seven-day/six-night stay. Accommodations include two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sala with two sofas that can sleep youngsters, kitchen, patio, and a romantic hanging Bali Bed that is positioned steps from the beach. The package (some blackout dates apply) includes breakfast each day and the complementary use of kayaks, snorkel equipment and kick boards.

Limited to 200 guests, Spirit of Hope includes a gourmet dinner by culinary stars Enrique Olvera (Pujol Restaurante), Mikel Alonso (Biko Restaurante), and Sonia Arias (Jaso Restaurant). Pujol and Biko were recently ranked 36 and 38, respectively, in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012 list, an annual snapshot of the opinions and experiences of over 800 international restaurant industry experts that is organized by the British Restaurant magazine. Culinary Institute of Arts (CIA-Hyde Park, New York) graduate Arias worked for Daniel Boulud, David Bouley and pastry master Thomas Haas before she and her partner-husband opened Jaso. The dinner has been coordinated by CIA professor Joseba Koldobika Encabo, who is flying in for the occasion.

In addition to the three-course menu (vegetarian option provided), wine, light beverages and coffee-tea service, the ticket covers a pre-dinner champagne and hors d’oeuvres hour, dancing to the music of Mannix, and all-evening transportation to and from El Cardo and Fabrica Aurora parking lots and The Vineyard at Los Senderos.

Sponsors of the evening include American Airlines, ArtPrint Express, BajioGO, Cafe Gourmet Express, Camino Silvestre, Casa Don Ramón, the Corcoran College of Art + Design, Don Pedro Grupo Ferreterro, Hotel Bahía de la Luna of Oaxaca, Los Senderos, Rose Ann Hall Designs and Exportadora Camino Norte, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, and Starbucks. For ticket and other gala information, please contact Casita Linda at


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