This Week in Food Events: Top-Notch BBQ and Beer Before Game Time

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Michael Fulmer
Now THIS is what you call pre-gaming! An afternoon barbecue event precedes the Super Bowl this-coming Sunday.

Monday, January 26

Bon Vivant Houston

This over-the-top dinner for charity means that a table of 10 guests at the Royal Sonesta gets their very own noteworthy Houston chef for a night. Here are just a few of the ones participating: Danny Trace from Brennan's, Richard Knight of upcoming Hunky Dory (formerly of Feast) and Oliviere Ciesielski of L'Olivier. Chef Bryan Caswell of Reef will also be there and is an event chair as well. Each chef will create and prepare a five-course dinner tableside. This event benefits The Youth Development Center, an after school academic program that addresses literacy and math development for low-performing students grades 1-6 in the Greater Fifth Ward. Call 713.686.4845 to arrange this rare opportunity. Table sponsorships may still be available. 6:30 p.m. $1000 per person.

Andes Café Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary In a Charitable Way

Today is the first day of a two week celebration that is dotted throughout with special events. From now until February 8, for every $35 spent on dinner, Andes Café will donate $7 to El Centro de Corazon and $25 it will donate $5. Check out the rest of this calendar for other events at Andes Cafe.

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The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: A Texas Spirits Showdown

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by David Rozycki
Head to Harold's for a Texas-style cocktail throwdown.
Final Nights of Galveston Restaurant Week @ Galveston
Friday and Saturday

This is your last weekend to enjoy special prix-fixe menus at 35 of Galveston's most delectable restaurants. We love Farley Girls Cafe, Number 13 and Porch Cafe, to name a few.

Texas Spirits Throwdown @ Harold's Restaurant & Bar
Saturday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
350 W 19th

Watch as your favorite local 'Mixologists' compete to create some tasty cocktails using spirits from the Lone Star state at this first annual Texas Spirits Showdown. As you taste and drink craft cocktails, enjoy a live DJ, raffle prizes, and complimentary appetizers.

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Upcoming Events: Hurricanes, Green Eggs and a Whiskey Dinner

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Fumiaki Yoshimatsu
A five-course, whiskey-paired dinner could be in your near future.
On Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m., Brennan's of Houston will welcome esteemed vineyard manager and owner Jim Barbour of Napa Valley's Barbour Vineyards for an exclusive five-course wine-paired dinner ($255 per person). Enjoy Barbour selections from winemaker Celia Welch alongside lobster and caviar soufflé, sorghum roasted duck, and more. 3300 Smith

Also on Tuesday, January 27, Backstreet Cafe will be hosting a "Days Gone By Wine Dinner" featuring the wines of Australia. Rediscover Australian wines as you feast on five courses, including a cocktail reception featuring Gulf oysters and salmon rosette, a five-spiced pork loin, almond tea cake, and more. For reservations ($110 per person), email 1103 S. Shepherd

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Kipper Club Test Kitchen to Host Pop-Up Dinner With Guest Chef Michael Gulotta of MoPho in New Orleans

Photo, left, by Eris Walsh; Photo, right, courtesy of Michael Gulotta
Michael Gulotta of MoPho will be the guest chef at tomorrow night's Kipper Club pop-up dinner; One of the courses will be a cured tuna from his tasting menu.

Thanks to Kipper Club Test Kitchen, tomorrow evening, Houstonians will have the chance to experience the cuisine that earned Michael Gulotta's MoPho in New Orleans a nod as one of the 50 Best New Restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit magazine.

For those not familiar with MoPho, the restaurant offers a contemporary take on Vietnamese and New Orleans cuisine. "We have a really big Vietnamese population here. New Orleans is really good at assimilating cultures -- that's what creole food is. We've taken these elements from French and African cuisine and melded it into one. My food is not creole-cajun, but it's not Vietnamese, either. It's just a new evolution of how I view food -- where I take local products and Southeast Asian influences and create things that are fun to eat," says Gulotta.

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Where to Eat on Valentine's Day 2015 in Houston

Photo by Sam Howzit
Have all the champagne you want; V-Day's on a Saturday this year.
Love is in the air -- because Cupid's favorite holiday is right around the corner! Whether you're looking for a date night that's cute and sweet or an evening full of champagne and over-the-top romance, we've got the lowdown on the city's best dining deals happening Valentine's Day (and Valentine's Day Weekend).

024 Grille
945 N. Gessner, 281-501-4350

Head to Memorial City's 024 Grille on Valentine's Day to indulge in a four-course dinner with an amuse-bouche from the chef for $90 per couple (plus $45 per additional person).

60 Degrees Mastercrafted
2300 Westheimer, 713-360-7757

This elegant steakhouse will be offering a specially crafted 4-course V-Day menu on Saturday, Feb. 14 for $75 per person.

2040 W. Gray, 832-200-1492
21 Waterway, 281-367-1492

Both the River Oaks and Woodlands locations of modern Latin restaurant Américas will be offering a three-course menu -- featuring lobster corndogs, their famous churrasco steak, one of the best tres leches in town, and more -- for $75 per person on Feb. 13, 14, and 15.

Artisans Restaurant
3201 Louisiana, 713-529-9111

You'll have a bonne Saint-Valentin at this sexy, rustic-chic bistro on Valentine's Day. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., enjoy a special pre-fixe menu -- think Pacific ahi tuna, pan-seared lamb, triple chocolate mousse, and more -- for $140 per person.

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This Week in Food Events: Valentines for Veterans and Meet Houston's Youngest Executive Chef

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Julie Soefer
Chefs compete at Julep to see who can shuck 24 oysters the fastest.

Monday, January 19

5th Annual Valentines for Veterans
Say "thank you" to a veteran with a valentine. The public is invited to come to Saint Arnold Brewery to help make valentines for those who have done so much for us. Baked goods will be available for purchase. There will also be auction items to benefit Expedition Balance, a Houston-area organization that supports combat veterans facing emotional trauma. Area food trucks Blood Brothers BBQ and Taco Nuts will be on-hand to serve anyone with a hungry tummy and are donating 5 percent of their proceeds to the cause, too. 2000 Lyons. 6 to 9 p.m. $10 ($5 from each entry fee goes to Expedition Balance).

Watch These Shucking Chefs
Chefs will do anything for bourbon. Today, they're throwing down at Julep to see who can shuck 24 oysters the fastest. A mix of industry professionals and even some customers have accepted. (Each will compete in their own category: chefs vs chefs, customers vs customers, etc.) Competing chefs include Julep's own Adam Garcia, Underbelly's Chris Shepherd, Seth Siegel-Gardner of The Pass and Provisions, Morgan Weber of Revival Market and Coltivare, Kenten Marin of Holley's, Eric Laird of Liberty Kitchen & Bar and Philippe Gaston of Kata Robata. Stakes are high. The winning chef gets a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20 year. Aim true, y'all. It's open to the public and oysters (to eat, not shuck) are $1 each, as they are every Monday at Julep. 1919 Washington. 6 p.m.

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The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: Shuck Oysters With Chefs

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Julie Soefer
Who's the fastest mother-shucker in town? We'll find out Monday.
Chili Quest & Beer Fest @ Galveston's Strand
Friday, 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
23rd & Strand Street

On Friday, YAGA's 6th annual Chili Quest & Beer Fest kicks off with a party at Beerfoot Brewery, 2816 Avenue R 1/2. Then on Saturday, get ready for live music, a 5K fun run/walk, a washer tourney, margarita making and jalapeño eating contests, tons of vendors, beer tasting, chili, chili, and even more chili. Tickets are $12.50 for a chili tasting; $34 for a beer tasting; $41 for a beer and chili combo; and $51 for a premium beer tasting.

7th Anniversary Party @ Reserve 101
Saturday, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
1202 Caroline

Celebrate Reserve 101's 7th birthday with $7 Makers Mark 46 Old-Fashioneds, with proceeds benefiting Lucky Dog Rescue. They will also be debuting their new barrel-aged cocktail "Get Off My Lawn" -- a drink made with four-month ex-bourbon-barrel-aged Monkey Shoulder scotch, Aperol, and Drambule.

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Upcoming Events: Beer, Chocolate and a Fun Run

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Tim Sackton
We foresee lots of chocolate in your future.
Former chef and MF Sushi co-owner Chris Kinjo launched his Omakase pop-up dinner series at Kaneyama earlier this week. While he's making progress on his new restaurant -- set to open in a contemporary building at 1401 Binz Street in the Museum District -- Kinjo will be offering a signature omakase tasting menu every Tuesday through Saturday. The cost is $100 per person with reservations most definitely required. Call 713-784-5168 to reserve your spot. 9527 Westheimer

On Thursday, January 22, Eleven XI will be hosting an Old World Wine Dinner with Paladin Family Vineyards ($125 per person). Chef Kevin Bryant has prepared a decadent seven-course menu to pair perfectly with the elegant selection of Italian wine. The event kicks off with a sparkling reception at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner at 6:30 p.m. 607 W. Gray

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This Week in Food Events: Wine, Mezcal and Whiskey (but Not All at the Same Time)

Categories: Edible Events

Photo by Phaedra Cook
There are many pairings dinners this week, including one at Holley's that features whiskeys from around the world.

Tuesday, January 13
Notable Napa Winemaker Comes To Vallone's
Robert Foley, previously named as "winemaker of the year" by Food & Wine magazine and called an "ultra-cult" vintner by The World of Fine Wine, is visiting Houston and his wines will be showcased at a special five-course dinner. Wines poured include the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, a vintage awarded 96 points by Wine Advocate. Call 713-395-6100 for information and reservations. 947 Gessner. 7 p.m. $195 per person plus tax and gratuity.

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Whose Black Truffle Dish Will Reign Supreme? 20 Houston Chefs Compete in the First Annual Truffle Chef of the Year Challenge

Photos courtesy of the Truffle of the Year Challenge
Twenty Houston-area chefs are set to compete in the 1st Annual Truffle Chef of the Year Challenge this Monday, January 12, 2015.

This coming Monday, there's a one-of-a-kind event -- the first ever in Houston -- that you're not going to want to miss. Titled the Truffle Chef of the Year Challenge, the friendly competition pits 20 of Houston's best chefs against each other in a battle for the best dish featuring freshly shaved black truffles, which are prized for their earthy, sensuous aromas.

This is the first year that the event is being held. Roederer USA, an importer of truffles and the title sponsor, is donating all of the fresh black truffles for the event. The winning chef, determined by a panel of judges in a blind tasting, will receive a prize of one kilogram's worth of fresh black truffles (valued at $1,500).

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