Houston caterer Jackson Hicks handles the big events: the gala held in the state capitol to celebrate that building’s centennial, the openings of the Wortham Center and the Menil Collection in Houston, and no fewer than 34 corporate bashes at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, among others. Known for his ability to stage complex occasions with flawless precision and elegance, Hicks is the consummate host. For spring, he offers a dessert that is both opulent and light. A rolled génoise layered with raspberry or currant jam serves as the pedestal for fresh spring berries. Fruit sauces add accent and flavor to the base (see recipe). “I usually like to try out a new recipe at a couple of small events before adding it to our permanent repertoire,” Hicks says.

Jackson and Company, 707 Hawthorne, Houston. 523-5780

Jackson Hicks’s Tarte du Paradis—Recipe