Thirteen looks to be a lucky number for the Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair. Taking place from April 6 to 10, the festival invites dining enthusiasts from across the Houston-area to celebrate all elements of gastronomy at the 13th annual foodie extravaganza.
On Wednesday night, the event begins with a sold out VIP seated dinner at NOAH's Event Venue featuring courses prepared by former Haven chef Randy Evans (now with H-E-B), Artisans owner Jacques Fox, and two chefs who are undoubtedly excited about being in warmer temps, Shanna and Brian O'Hea of Maine's The Kennebunk Inn. Hosted by California winemakers Randy and Charlene Lange, all courses will be paired with wines from their LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards.
Cocktail fans will want to round up a designated driver Thursday night, as five of Houston's top bartenders compete in the On the Rocks Bartenders Challenge ($40) at the Imperial Lofts. In addition to earning the bragging rights of having his or her cocktail designated the festival's official drink, the winner receives $1,500 from sponsor Hendricks Gin.
Some of Houston's top chefs will appear at Friday night's Grand Tasting ($150, VIP $225) at the Sugar Land Marriott. Look for Mike McElroy from CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant nominee The Durham House, Neal Cox (the Houstonian Hotel), Manuel Pucha (La Table), Jett Hurapan (Songkran Thai Kitchen), and more. In addition, a silent auction featuring wine, trips, and memorabilia will raise funds for a scholarship at the University of Houston's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Saturday's Sip and Stroll ($65) moves from the ground of the former Imperial Sugar factory (currently being transformed into the Imperial Market mixed-use complex) to Constellation Field. Highlights include an outdoor beer garden with 100 brews from 25 breweries and a butchery demonstration by the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat.
Finally, Sunday's Bistro Brunch ($50) will take place at Sugar Land Town Square. The event features breakfast bites from around the world, plenty of cocktails like Bloody Marys and mimosas, and live music by Yvonne Washington.