Hal Brock to Lead Boheme's Beverage Program

Photo by Mark Armes
Hal Brock is working on a new drinks menu for Boheme
Local favorite Hal Brock, whose resume includes stints at Hearsay and Anvil will join Boheme to lead its beverage program, it has just been announced.

In an embargoed press release, Brock described himself as pretty happy about his new responsibilities.

"Boheme is that place you go to experience and live, and I'm taking inspiration from all the places the Bohemian folks go to experience and live. It's not about local or luxury, it's about a modern Cultural Collage," said Brock.

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Spice Up Labor Day with Bravado Spice Hot Sauces

Photo by Molly Dunn
Bravado Spice has three hot sauces perfect for your Labor Day recipes.
Cruising the hot sauce aisle at Whole Foods Market, I stumbled upon the three Bravado Spice sauces: Jalapeno & Green Apple, Pineapple & Habanero, and Ghost Pepper & Blueberry, increasing in heat. With varying levels of heat and sweetness, all three hot sauces are great accompaniments to chips and grilled proteins for Labor Day.

If you have to try one of the Bravado Spice products, then take the opportunity to do so this upcoming holiday. Of course, you don't have to wait until September 1.

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Dish of the Week: Summer Risotto

Categories: How To, Recipes

Photo by Luca Nebuloni
There's nothing like a plate of creamy, velvety risotto.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

This week, it's all about risotto.

Risotto is a classic Italian rice dish that is slow-cooked in broth until creamy and decadent. It is typically made using Arborio, Carnaroli, Vialone Nano or other short grain varieties of rice that are high in starch and conducive to absorption, ensuring a velvetty consistency throughout.

Though the slow-cooking method may seem intimidating, with a few simple steps, is easy to perfect. And once you have it down, the flavor possibilities are endless.

First, soffrito -- the flavor base typically consisting of minced onion and other aromatics and spices -- is sauteed in a healthy amount of fat (butter and/or olive oil) until softened and fragrant. Next, the rice is mixed in so that each grain is coated in tostatura (fat). Just when the rice is lightly toasted, the pan is deglazed with a splash of wine to scrape up any caramelized bits.

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Houston Restaurant Weeks: La Casa Del Caballo

Minh T Truong
8oz ribeye at La Casa del Caballo
What they're up to for Houston Restaurant Weeks: La Casa del Caballo is back on the list of restaurants this year and are offering both lunch and dinner. Lunch is three courses for $20, with first course options of two different kinds of soup, or a salad. Entrees include a 6oz ribeye, chicken breast or their wonderful enchiladas saltillo, filled with queso fresco and five types of chiles. For dessert, choose from tres leches, flan or the tradtional arroz con leche, creamy rice pudding laced with cinnamon. Dinner runs for $35, and while the first course and dessert options are the same as lunch, the entrees during dinner is for meat lovers only. Choose between a 10 ounce angus beef shoulder or an 8 ounce ribeye cooked over mesquite wood accompanied with grilled vegetables and refried beans. If you really want to throw all caution to the wind go with the 20 ounce smoked brisket served with crispy potatoes. La Casa del Caballo will donate $3 to the Houston Food Bank for each lunch sold, and $5 for each dinner.

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Does Houston Hate Celebrity Chefs?

Categories: Market Watch

Photo by Phaedra Cook
Katsuya + Stark intended to bring sexy back to Houston, but it didn't work out.

In 2009, a restaurant in The Heights named Bedford closed. It was the latest Houston project of acclaimed chef Robert Gadsby. How significant was this event? Well, Gadsby came to Houston with a star reputation. Five years prior, the Houston Press restaurant critic at the time, Robb Walsh, wrote an article entitled "The Great Gadsby" with the subheading, "One of Hollywood's top cooking stars is moving to Houston."

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Houston Restaurant Weeks: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema -- Vintage Park

Photo by Molly Dunn
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is the first movie theater to participate in Houston Restaurant Weeks.
What they're up to for Houston Restaurant Weeks: This is the first year Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has participated in Houston Restaurant Weeks, and it's the first movie theater to join the HRW lineup. The Vintage Park and Mason locations both serve the same HRW dinner menu for $35 featuring three courses; the meal also includes a movie ticket for that evening plus a return movie ticket when given the check at the end of the meal. So, that's two movies plus a three-course meal for $35 -- not too shabby. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will donate $5 to the Houston Food Bank for every meal sold during HRW.

Service/Atmosphere: If you want to be able to see your food before your movie, then get to your seats quickly and select your courses right away. But, if eating in the dark doesn't matter to you, then hold off until the previews start to place your order. It's a nice change of pace to eat an HRW dinner at a movie theater; you don't have to worry about the kitchen being slammed.

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The 5 Best Things to Eat or Drink This Weekend: Unlimited Spaghetti & Garlic Bread at Alamo Drafthouse

Categories: Edible Events

Photo courtesy of Olivia Luisa Garcia
Houston welcomes its first urban ice cream truck.
Food Truck Friday @ Houston Press
Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
2603 La Branch

Kurbside Eatz will be parked outside of our offices from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. to serve lunch during Food Truck Friday. Swing by our offices in Midtown and get something scrumptious to eat, like the Kurbside fries and the pork belly buns -- how can you say no to slow-braised pork belly stuffed inside a deep-fried bun? You also can't deny a crispy pork belly taco.

Grand Opening of Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats @ East End Studio Gallery
Friday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
708 Telephone, Suite C

Get a first look (and taste) of the new urban ice cream food truck, Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats, tonight from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the East End Studio Gallery. Chocolate Wasted carries a variety of the old-school, classic ice cream treats, such as Bomb Pops and various animated character pops. Customers can also nosh on Ben & Jerry's ice cream or sip on a root beer float made with Saint Arnold Root Beer and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. The launch party coincides with the art show, Just Ink 4, a pen and ink art gallery show.

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Upcoming Events: Do You Know How to Spatchcock a Chicken?

Categories: Edible Events

Photo courtesy of Edible Earth Resources
Support Planted: Houston at the Food-as-Medicinal Experience on Monday, August 25.
Discover why local foods matter during the Food-as-Medicine Experience at
Sparrow Bar + Cookshop Monday, August 25 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Chef and owner Monica Pope along with Ali Miller of Naturally Nourished, will teach guests about the medicinal qualities of foods, and demonstrate how to include these in recipes for food and drink. For $85, each person will enjoy food-as-medicinal cocktail pairings, listen to a lecture from Miller and watch Pope demo recipes; a panel discussion on the importance of local foods is included as well. Proceeds from the event will benefit the urban farming project Planted: Houston.

Treat your special someone to a date night cooking class at Brennan's of Houston on Friday, August 29, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the class cost $150 per couple and include a three-course meal plus wine. Executive chef Danny Trace will demonstrate how to prepare Creole cuisine with an African twist. The first course includes gumbo with beaucop greens, okra and sassafrass. Next he will prepare a version of Texas shrimp and grits made with coconut curry, parsnips, charred peppers and summer greens. Finally, Trace will show guests how to make sweet potato beignets topped with peanut butter icing and Porier's cane syrup ice cream.

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Openings & Closings: More Tex-Mex, Please

Categories: Restaurant News

Photo by Francisco Montes
Sandy Witch Sandwich Company has officially closed.
Anthony Calleo, owner of Pi Pizza Truck and Sandy Witch Sandwich Company, announced this week on Twitter that his sandwich shop has officially closed. Sandy Witch, located inside Grand Prize Bar, was Calleo's second food endeavor. Calleo tells Phaedra Cook in part two of this week's chef chat that running Sandy Witch from within another restaurant created many difficulties and challenges for him.

"Yeah, it's hard as shit. It's hard for me and I treat it like a business," Calleo says. "It's not for fun or a hobby or every once in a while. It's a business and it still HARD. I thought about so many things for the sandwich shop before I did it, but the one question I failed to ask myself was "How are people going to react to a business inside of a business in Houston?" In New York, it happens all of the time. It's no big deal. It's a challenge for Sandy Witch."

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Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats Truck Hits the Houston Streets Friday

Photo courtesy Olivia Luisa Garcia
Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats will open for business Friday, August 22.
Remember when you were a kid and would hear the jingle of the ice cream truck coming down the street?

Nowadays, we tend to get our ice cream and popsicles from either the grocery store or one of the various ice cream shops around town. Yes, these are great, but what happened to the right to your neighborhood experience that traditional ice cream trucks provided? And again, that jingle?

A new updated version is about to hit the streets of Houston. Susan Sahwani-Garcia, owner of Chocolate Wasted Ice Cream & Treats, originally wanted to open a homemade ice cream mobile eatery, but as she began developing her project and realized how expensive that would be, she decided to start her business as a traditional ice cream truck selling all the classic treats and local products.

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