No run-of-the-mill food competition, The Truffle Masters 2017, held Monday night at the Hobby Center, boasted delicious dishes made with fresh black truffles provided by Houston-based truffle importer DR Delicacy.
As if that wasn't enough to grab our attention, the decadent bites were created by 23 of Houston's hottest restaurants, all competing to win top honors as decided both by the 500 guests in attendance in the battle for the People’s Choice award, and by a panel of a dozen judges including CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler, TV and radio personality Cleverley Stone, and Texas Monthly executive editor and restaurant critic Patricia Sharpe.
The foodie extravaganza, now in its third year, included B&B Butchers, BCN Taste and Traditions, Brasserie 1895, Brennan’s of Houston, Café Annie, Café Azur, Central Market, Culinaire, Eculent, Fielding’s Local Kitchen + Bar, and Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar.
Also participating were Hubbell and Hudson, Kata Robata, Kuu Restaurant, La Table, Le Mistral, Peska Seafood Culture, Quattro Restaurant At The Four Seasons, Radio Milano, Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca, SaltAir, Sud Italia Ristorante, and Triniti Restaurant.
While guests were head-over-heels for the oyster and truffle soup by Hubbell and Hudson, awarding The Woodlands-area restaurant the title of People’s Choice, Kata Robata won over the judges. The Upper Kirby sushi spot claimed first place for its delectable open-faced truffle banh mi sandwich, stacked with oyster mushrooms, kobe beef, pickled cucumber, and carrot and honey-truffle ice cream.
Kuu Restaurant ranked as first runner-up for its truffle kunsei dish made with house-cured smoked salmon on garlic bread with maki, black truffle cream, chives, and shaved black truffle.
Second runner-up was Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, which scored big for its snapper ceviche with truffle, kumquat, lime, mint, and sesame seeds.
Enjoying the evening were event emcee Michael Garfield, David Cordua, KHOU evening anchor Rekha Muddaraj, Shanna Jones, Lauren Barrash, Andrea and T.D. Williams, Bruce and Diane Kink, Heather Ghiselin, Andrea Skrapka, and Cheryl and Kevin Ormston.
Proceeds from the event benefit the Houston chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, an organization that promotes the education and advancement of women in careers related to food, wine, and hospitality, and other Houston culinary and hospitality organizations.