For Houston diners, August signifies two important events. The first, of course, is the return of Houston Restaurant Weeks. When friends meet to sample those special menus and raise money for the Houston Food Bank, they'll undoubtedly be discussing the nominees for the My Table magazine Houston Culinary Awards.Voting for the awards began July 31 and continues through Aug. 31.
Voters need only to access the Houston Culinary Awards website and log in via Facebook (to ensure each person only votes once) to cast their ballots in the 25 categories that are broken into 10 Houston Culinary Awards (best restaurant, best chef) and 15 more casual Houston Foodie Star Awards (favorite burger, favorite coffeehouse).
A panel of sponsors, food writers and local dining enthusiasts selected the seven semi-finalists in each category, which includes established names like Tony Vallone, who has also been selected for the prestigious Legends of Houston Restaurants Award to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his namesake restaurant, to this year's trendiest arrivals like Oporto Fooding House & Wine and Weights + Measures, which garnered nominations in a whopping seven categories.
Fear not about the absence of big names like Tracy Vaught or Ronnie Killen from the ballot; as previous winners, they're ineligible for five years.
The winners will be revealed at a gala event at The Houstonian Hotel on October 4. Tickets for the banquet dinner, prepared by a who's who of Houston chefs including Brandi Key (Clark/Cooper Concepts), Travis Lenig (Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette) and Kelly Boyd (Rainbow Lodge) are on sale now for $160 each.