For Houston, It's Party First, Game Second
Published in: The New York Times
By: Ralph Blumenthal
January 31, 2003
In a town where hosts and hostesses regularly knock themselves out with old-fashioned Texas hospitality, the Super Bowl has brought out, if not always the best, unquestionably the most.
"People come to Texas expecting a lot of hospitality, and hosts try to treat them well," said Jackson Hicks, a leading caterer known as the Prince of Parties whose staff of 300 churned out back-to-back dinners for thousands of National Football League players, owners and friends.
Mr. Hicks' apotheosis came Saturday night at his catering hall, The Corinthian, in Houston's revitalized downtown, where Playboy had booked its fifth annual Super Bowl party, one of the week's hottest tickets.
Themed parties are popular here, and Playboy went with Heaven and Hell, asking guests to choose angelic or devilish attire. Mr. Hicks selected the food and drink accordingly, white desserts upstairs and dark spicy fare and chocolate below.
Hugh Hefner was otherwise engaged, publicists said, but 10 Playmates and dozens of celebrities and 1700 others were invited to help support a silent auction benefiting an NFL charity, Athletes Helping Kids.