Tastemakers Houston 2017
CultureMap Tastemaker Awards

Night to remember at CultureMap Tastemaker Awards with top chefs, foodie revelers, and smokin' cookies

Partygoers celebrate top H-Town culinary talent at Tastemaker Awards

Delicious bites delighted, tasty sips flowed, and lively beats amped up the vibe as more than 700 Houstonians turned out for the fourth annual CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, held at Asia Society Texas Center.

The culinary event celebrates Houston’s dynamic restaurant scene, with the respective winners in 10 different categories, from Restaurant of the Year to Favorite Taco, announced this year by celeb chef and restaurateur Bryan Caswell, who was also celebrating his birthdayand CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler. (For the full list of winners, click here.)

What’s more, the spectacular soiree offered partygoers mind-blowing fare from such Houston dining hotspots as Brennan's of Houston, Broken Barrel, Cafe Azur, Cane Rosso, and Fluff Bake Bar. Also doling out tasty eats were Fusion Taco, Le Colonial, Ninfa's on Navigation, Nobie's, Pi Pizza, The Pit Room, Ritual, State Fare, and State of Grace.

But the bite that got the most buzz was the smokin' Dragon Kiss meringue cookies presented by pastry chef Johnny Wesley of Liberty Kitchen. Guests took turns munching on the sweets and then blowing out reams of dry-ice induced smoke, much to the delight of passersby.

Making the night even sweeter, guests loaded up on desserts from KICPOPS, A Fare Extraordinaire, Petite Sweets, and Sprinkles Cupcakes, while bartenders, including Alexander Gregg (Moving Sidewalk), Josh Bearden (Helen in the Heights) and Justin Ware (Johnny's Gold Brick), shook things up, presenting thirst-quenching drinks made with Woodford Reserve bourbon. 

Beer from Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Alaskan Brewing Co., and Odell Brewing Co., plus wine from Sonoma-Cutrer, bubbly from Korbel, mineral water from Topo Chico, and coffee by Illy Coffee Bar also flowed freely.

The party roared as DJ Senega spun high-energy tunes, Venetian Nail Spa offered foodie-inspired nail art, and Whole Foods Market, in partnership with Smilebooth, provided animated snaps.

Joining the fun were Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Gow Communications CEO David Gow and his wife Audrey, Lawson and Lauren Gow, Lonnie Schiller, Shepard Ross (Pax Americana) with Erin Hicks, Ian Rosenberg (Weights + Measures) and his wife Julie, Nick Scurfield, Stuart Rosenberg, Jennifer Caswell, Magen Pastor, Lily Jang, Dominique McGhee, Sonia Soto, Kim Padgett, Lindsey Brown, Tiffany Halik, Lisa Gochman, Mary Clarkson (L'Olivier), Laura Beavers, and ESPN 97.5's Raheel Ramzanali. 

Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Pooja Gidwani, Akhil Khosla.
Pooja Gidwani, Akhil Khosla. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Lawson Gow, Will Ytterberg, Ryan O. Harris
Lawson Gow, Will Ytterberg, Ryan O. Harris. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017
Partygoers have fun taking snaps by Smilebooth.  Photo courtesy of Smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Rebekah Singleton, Robby Rodriguez
Rebekah Singleton, Robby Rodriguez. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Ryan Lachaine, Bryan Caswell, Jennifer Caswell
Ryan Lachaine, Bryan Caswell, Jennifer Caswell. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Partygoers have fun taking snaps by Smilebooth.  Photo courtesy of Smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Isadoro Gomez, Carla Gomez
Isadoro Gomez, Carla Gomez sample the smokin' Dragon Kiss cookies. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Corbin Lawton, Robin Lawton
Corbin Lawton, Robin Lawton. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Janie Yao, Christine Ho, Christine Nguyen
Janie Yao, Christine Ho, Christine Nguyen. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Megha Tejpal, Sumeer Tejpal. Photo courtesy of Smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, DJ Senega.
DJ Senega kept the vibe amped up with high-energy tunes. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Partygoers have fun taking snaps by Smilebooth.  Photo courtesy of Smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Dena Furman, Amanda Cotoer, Taylor Otte
Dena Furman, Amanda Cotoer, Taylor Otte. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Kaylan Young, Ron Davis
Kaylan Young, Ron Davis. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Partygoers have fun taking snaps by Smilebooth.  Photo courtesy of Smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Jordan Strauss, Kirby Cohen, Sidney Giguere, Zach Casler
Jordan Strauss, Kirby Cohen, Sidney Giguere, Zach Casler.  Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Jason Volz, Rachael Volz
Jason Volz, Rachael Volz. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Partygoers have fun taking snaps by Smilebooth.  Photo courtesy of Smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Judith Mahinay, Oliver Labulle
Judith Mahinay, Oliver Labulle. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Celeste Nguyen, Adam Ros
Celeste Nguyen, Adam Ros. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Partygoers have fun taking snaps by Smilebooth.  Photo courtesy of Smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Anne Simpson, Victor Flores
Anne Simpson, Victor Flores. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Meagan Shumate, Frank Lozano
Meagan Shumate, Frank Lozano. Photo by Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Partygoers have fun taking snaps by Smilebooth.  Photo courtesy of Smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Pooja Gidwani, Akhil Khosla.
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Lawson Gow, Will Ytterberg, Ryan O. Harris
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Rebekah Singleton, Robby Rodriguez
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Ryan Lachaine, Bryan Caswell, Jennifer Caswell
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Isadoro Gomez, Carla Gomez
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Corbin Lawton, Robin Lawton
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Janie Yao, Christine Ho, Christine Nguyen
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, DJ Senega.
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Dena Furman, Amanda Cotoer, Taylor Otte
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Kaylan Young, Ron Davis
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Jordan Strauss, Kirby Cohen, Sidney Giguere, Zach Casler
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Jason Volz, Rachael Volz
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Judith Mahinay, Oliver Labulle
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Celeste Nguyen, Adam Ros
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Anne Simpson, Victor Flores
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, Meagan Shumate, Frank Lozano
Houston, CultureMap Tastemakers, April 2017, smilebooth