Every good party has three things in common — plenty of wine, tasty bites and a good crowd — and the launch party for CultureMap's Last Chef Standing at The Tasting Room in Uptown Park had each in spades.
Chefs, restaurateurs and other representatives from many of the bracket restaurants were on hand to toast the beginning of the competition, including Ava Kitchen general manager Rawad Semaan and new executive chef Ryan Savoie, Lasco Chief Brand Officer Jonathan Horowitz, Sullivan's general manager Zaidi Syed and Roots Bistro executive chef German Mosquera.
Many at the launch event took advantage of the iPads on hand to vote in the first round of the online bracket competition.
CultureMap CEO Stephen Newman welcomed the crowd and noted that a portion of the proceeds from the competition will go to Houston Public Media and the Houston Food Bank while CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh announced a stellar-line up of judges for the April 9 food and wine tasting event at the Hotel ZaZa, where all 16 restaurants in the competition will vie to serve the best bites.
Foodies sipping wine and noshing on beer-battered shrimp and bacon-wrapped chicken breast included Houston Public Media general manager Lisa Shumate, Houston Food Bank chief development officer Amy Ragan, Edward Sanchez, Taylor Byrne Dodge, Erin Hicks Miller, Jodi Eisenhardt, Judy Nichols and Last Chef Standing event judge John Demers.
Many at the launch event took advantage of the iPads on hand to vote in the first round of the online bracket competition that is taking place through Friday. Here's now it works:
Sixteen Houston restaurants are facing off head-to-head with the goal of being named the Whole Foods People's Choice Champion. Fans can vote everyday, so whether you love the burger at The Grove, the gumbo at Liberty Kitchen or the samosas at Straits, click here to make your voice heard.