Truffles Galore

Truffle masters from 23 hot Houston restaurants vie for top honors, and the winners are......

Truffle masters vie for top honors, and the winners are....

Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Holleys Snapper Ceviche
Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar's snapper ceviche made with fresh black truffle took second runner-up. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Truffle Masters 2017 People's Choice Austin Simmons Hubble and Hudson
The oyster and truffle soup by Hubbell and Hudson chef Austin Simmons, won The Woodlands-area restaurant the title of People’s Choice, Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Ianir Divinsky, Raquel Franco, Alexis Franco
Ianir Divinsky, Raquel Franco, Alexis Franco. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Truffle Masters 2017 first place winner Kata Robata honey truffle ice cream and open face truffle banh mi
The judges picked the Kata Robata dish open face truffle banh mi and carrot & honey truffle ice cream as the winner. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Leo Avinger, Denise Conrad, Leslie Harvey, Irwin Harvey
Leo Avinger, Denise Conrad, Leslie Harvey, Irwin Harvey. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata
Chef Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata poses with his dish, which took home first prize.  Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Tim Balombin, Lee Stockwell
Tim Balombin, Lee Stockwell. Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Holleys Snapper Ceviche
Truffle Masters 2017 People's Choice Austin Simmons Hubble and Hudson
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Ianir Divinsky, Raquel Franco, Alexis Franco
Truffle Masters 2017 first place winner Kata Robata honey truffle ice cream and open face truffle banh mi
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Leo Avinger, Denise Conrad, Leslie Harvey, Irwin Harvey
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata
Houston, The Truffle Masters 2017, Jan 2017, Tim Balombin, Lee Stockwell

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.