Bizarre Press Release of the Day: Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

Categories: News

I have a mental list of all the strangest press releases I've received in my short time as food critic for the Press. They include:

And now, this.

Sylvia Casares, chef and owner of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, was shot in the stomach on Monday night. Her shooter -- former boyfriend and business partner, Michael Warren -- remains at large.

But by God, the restaurant is going to hold its April Frontera Festival.

I found it supremely bizarre that the first prepared statement from her restaurant, Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, after the shooting would include a quote from Casares saying: "I love the flavor of that a mesquite wood-fire grill gives meat." Nowhere in the press release did it mention that Casares probably isn't sitting around thinking about mesquite wood these days, since -- you know -- getting shot in the stomach isn't enough to worry about.

But maybe I wasn't giving the poor press release a fair shake. After all, it's entirely possible that it could have been scheduled to be sent out weeks ago.

So I emailed Casares's main PR guy, Dick Dace of The Epicurean Publicist, to ask if the restaurant had any other statement about Casares's condition other than the fact that she thinks "any meat, fish, beef, chicken or carbrito, cooked over a mesquite is a taste of home."

Dace responded right away, with a much more appropriate statement from Casares's family:

As you may have already heard, our mother and owner of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, Sylvia Casares, was recently shot and seriously wounded at her home. The police are working hard to investigate the incident to its fullest. Our mother's doctors and nurses are doing a wonderful job, and expect her to make a full recovery. We appreciate all the concern from friends and ask them to keep her in their thoughts and prayers. As our mother would want us to, we remain focused and optimistic on her recovery. If you would like to send your well wishes to Sylvia, there is a guest book at both her Woodway and Westheimer locations.

From Nicholas Martinez, Celeste Martinez, and Jason Martinez - the Family of Sylvia Casares

Dace confirmed that the press release was scheduled weeks ahead of time. But it was still jarring nevertheless.

And in case you're wondering, that Frontera Festival is still on throughout April. I don't think Casares would have it any other way.

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Location Info



Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen

12637 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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New menu iten...menudo de Sylvia.


Why not?  It's been planned, it's ready to go, why would they cancel?  It's a business.  


you sorta missed the point. this was the first press release that came out after Sylvia's incident had made news in Houston media. you might have hoped for a human touch and a mere mention, rather than a robo press release


On a positive note -- Michael Warren was arrested this afternoon. 


Further proof that most PR is inane babbling, and disconnected from the real world in disturbing ways.

You'd think that a statement about your symbolic mother (sorta kooky in itself) would take precedence over canned ramblings about mesquite and meats. But if you're paid by the hour....



this dick dace fella is a rather odd duck


I think you missed the point that the updated press release came from Sylvia's family, who naturally refer to her as mother, and not Dick Dace, who issued the oddity about the smoked meats and upcoming event, without a mention of 'what's happening on the ground, so to speak. 


LOL. I used to teach my kids how *not* to write by taking them to the 'Press Releases' section on

I don't know if they still have it, but it's worth a look; we had some belly-laughs.

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