July 2010 Fundraiser

The first annual A Prairie Experience event took place on July 17, 2010 at Pigfoot Ranch, a remnant of the Central Texas tallgrass prairie in Mills County. Horse-drawn wagons ferried guests up the hill to the event site, where they were greeted with beverages and a delicious assortment of appetizers prepared by award-winning Executive Chef Richard Hetzler of the Smithsonian Institution that included:

  • Corn-infused crab cake
  • Roasted corn and piquillo pepper remoulade
  • Pinenut rosemary seared breast of quail with sorrel cactus syrup
  • Sweet corn cake
  • Chile dusted pork with guava BBQ sauce
  • Watermelon heirloom tomato skewer with jalapeno drizzle

As appetizers were passed around, guests mingled outdoors with other guests and project team members, wandered inside Pigsfoot Lodge to admire the vast array of beautifully-presented plates of food on display, and perused the live auction items. Guests then were seated at tables assembled under an expansive white tent where, following a welcome speech and chef’s remarks, they dined on a sumptuous three course meal of Native American foods that included:

First Course:

  • Calabaza squash soup with white sage and clover honey foam
  • Smoked Quinault tribe salmon, wild rice crisp and fresh horse radish
  • Mini Peruvian yellow and purple potato cause with yellow and red pepper confit


  • Elephant garlic studded buffalo tenderloin
  • Achiote whipped potatoes
  • Wild flower honey roasted baby carrots
  • New Mexican green chili sauce


  • Warm chocolate tamale
  • Prickly pear reduction
  • Dulce de leche

Following the meal, auctioneer Layton Black, former Texas State Representative from District 54, led a spirited live auction where guests bid on such items as a guided rattlesnake hunt, a Navajo rug, a star party, and a campfire cookout and hayride under the prairie night sky. Guests then gathered for stargazing and storytelling until horse-drawn wagons took them back down the hill to their waiting cars.