From an outdoor feast at a sustainable farm, to CultureMap’s annual celebration of culinary talent, we’ve rounded up 10 can’t-miss food events to hit up now through May. This is your chance to kick off the new year, and mix and mingle at some standout parties, while noshing on amazing food, and enjoying crafty libations.
This menu of hot happenings features some of the biggest names in the Houston — and Texas — dining scene, so we recommend grabbing your tickets now.
They had us at black truffles, the star of dishes made by more than 20 top chefs at Truffle Masters, this year held at The Astorian. Then, they added a charitable component, with event proceeds benefiting Casa de Esperanza de Los Ninos, and we’re all in. The lengthy roster of culinary talent includes Luis Roger (BCN Taste and Tradition), Philippe Verpiand (Étoile Cuisine et Bar), Jose Hernandez (Lucienne), Danny Trace (Potente), and Ryan Lachaine (Riel). (VIP reception from 6 pm-7 pm, and general admission from 7 pm-10 pm; tickets: $175 per person for general admission and $275 per person for VIP).
2500 Summer St.
Cooking Up a Cure
Texas Children's Hospital organizes Cooking Up a Cure, which raises funds for the hospital’s food allergy program. The epicurean soiree, held at The Astorian, promises food prepared by top cooking talents including Tommy Elbashary (B&B Butchers), Martin Sayer (Nobie’s), Jim Mills (State Fare), Richard Kaplan (Weights and Measures), and Lance Gillum (Uchi). (7-10 pm; tickets: $250 per person, tables range from $1,000-$15,000)
2500 Summer St.
Texas Monthly Whiskey Affair
Whiskey makers from near and far come together at Silver Street Studios to serve straight pours and cocktails from their portfolios at the Texas Monthly Whiskey Affair. Expect spirit seminars led by Texas Monthly editor-in-chief Tim Taliaferro and wine and spirits contributor Jessica Dupuy, music by jazz musician Doc Watkins, and bites and cocktails served up by food and beverage superstars from Mike Raymond (Reserve 101), to Shion Aikawa and Kevin Kobayashi (Ramen Tatsu-Ya), to William Wright (Helen Greek Food and Wine). A portion of the proceeds goes to Feeding Texas and the Houston Food Bank. (6-10 pm; tickets: $95 per person).
2000 Edwards St.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Best Bites
Go big at Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s (HLSR) mega food and wine event, Rodeo Uncorked! Best Bites. Here, you can load up on fare from more than 100 high profile local restaurants, and take your pick of more than 400 wines available to sample. (6 pm for table buyers and 6:30 for general admission; tickets: $165 per person, tables range from $2,000-$2,500)
1 NRG Park
Enjoy an outdoor feast at a sustainable 12-acre farm, Harvest Green Village located in Richmond, Texas, at Chef Fest. Dig into dishes, made with local produce and proteins, by Houston-area chefs: Monica Pope (Sparrow Bar + Cookshop), Jill Bartolome (Aqui), Ara Malekian (Harlem Road Texas BBQ), Becca Reyenga and Jason Kerr (Little Kitchen HTX), Stephanie Hoban (Ripe Cuisine), Chris Zettlemoyer (Renegade Kitchen) and Rebecca Masson (Fluff Bake Bar).
The event also includes regional chefs, from Matt McCallister (Dallas’ FT33) to Andrew Wiseheart (Austin’s Contigo), to Ryan Trahan (Lafayette’s Dark Roux). Tickets also include beverages from local purveyors, live music, a Kids’ Can Cook tent, and farm tours. (12-4 pm; tickets: $75-$90 per person).
8939 Harlem Rd., Richmond
CultureMap Tastemaker Awards
An annual celebration of talent in Houston's restaurant and bar community, the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards shine the spotlight on the people making the city's restaurant scene special by honoring their innovation, energy, and creativity. In March and April, we'll feature all the nominees in a special editorial series.
Then, join us on April 4 at Silver Street Studios for a swanky tasting event and awards ceremony, where attendees can mix and mingle with the city's top culinary talent and fellow foodies as we celebrate the nominees and unveil the winners. (6-9 pm; tickets: $45 per person through Feb 15 and $55 per person thereafter)
2000 Edwards St.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Taste
Satisfy your taste buds at the Big Taste of Houston. Get delicious bites and drinks from more than 20 restaurants (past participants include Kitchen 713, Mala Sichuan, The Pit Room, Uchi), while bidding on silent auction items. Held at Audi Central Houston, the event is chaired by Stacy and John Andell, Divya and Chris Brown, Leigh McBurnett and Matt Harris to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. (4:30-7 pm; tickets: $125 per person for general admission and $195 per person for VIP)
2120 Southwest Fwy.
Tacos Over Texas
El Tiempo Cantina and The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation team up to present the inaugural Tacos Over Texas event, benefiting the Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund. Phyllis Mandola (Tony Mandola's Gulf Coast Kitchen) and Jonathan Horowitz (Legacy Restaurants) chair the event, with Barbara and George Bush designated as honorary chairs.
Score libations, enjoy live music, and an abundance of tacos by chefs Domenic Laurenzo (El Tiempo) and Alex Padilla (The Original Ninfa’s), who are joined by Michael Cordua and David Cordua (Churrascos; Americas); Johnny Carrabba (Carrabba’s); Bud Royer (Round Top Cafe); Charles Bishop (Presidio); Lee Ellis (Cherry Pie Hospitality); and more. Tacos Over Texas takes place in the outdoor area between El Tiempo and The Original Ninfa’s, located in Houston’s East End. (1- 4 pm; tickets: $40 per person for general admission and $200 per person for VIP)
Houston BBQ Festival
More than 20 barbecue joints — including four of Texas Monthly's top 10 in the state: Tomball's Tejas Chocolates & Barbecue, Spring's CorkScrew BBQ, Taylor's Louie Mueller Barbecue, and Brenham's Truth BBQ (coming soon to Washington Ave) — as well as local favorites like Blood Bros. BBQ, The Brisket House, Feges BBQ, Killen's Barbecue and Gatlin’s BBQ gather together to offer up tasty ‘cue at Houston BBQ Festival, which moves to a new venue in 2018: Humble Civic Center Arena. (1-4 pm; tickets: $50-$60 per person for general admission and $100-$120 per person for VIP)
8233 Will Clayton Pkwy., Humble
Raising the Barre: A Dinner in Four Acts
At the Houston Ballet's Raising the Barre: A Dinner in Four Acts, expect a stylish crowd and a special four-course menu created especially for the occasion by four local chefs alongside four Houston Ballet dancers serving as sous-chefs. Last year’s roster of top chefs included Lance Gillum (Uchi), Nicole Routhier (Le Colonial), Robert Del Grande (Cafe Annie), and pastry chef Rebecca Masson (Fluff Bake Bar). Chairing this year's event are Elizabeth and Charlie Leykum, and Elisa and Cris Pye — with Kristy Bradshaw and Lindsey Brown as 2018 honorees. (location and time TBD; tickets: $350 per person. Tables range from $3,500-$10,000)