Do we need a recount?
In super-close vote, 5 contenders squeeze into finals of Last Chef Standing
Scores were tight, tough decisions were made and favorites were cut as CultureMap readers cast their votes to decide which restaurants will proceed into the final round of Last Chef Standing. The Top 10 was sliced in half, with the final five restaurants picked to compete for the People’s Online Choice Award. (Vote here to decide which restaurant should win.)
The scores were closer than they have ever been in previous rounds and in last year's inaugural competition; the biggest difference was a mere dozen votes amid the more than 3,300 cast in the second round.
In the tight matchups, Benjy’s in Rice Village narrowly beat out Haven by only four votes.
The biggest difference was a mere dozen votes amid the more than 3,300 cast in the second round.
Only nine votes separated two restaurants owned by the same company as The Tasting Room in Uptown Park squeezed by Max’s Wine Dive. Latin Bites scraped by Vic & Anthony's by seven votes and the Royal Sonesta Hotel bested Sparrow Bar + Cookshop by 12 votes.
And Brennan’s made it to the Final Five by six votes over Houston Texans Grille.
Don’t worry if your favorite restaurant did not make the cut because you can help it win the People’s Choice Award at the second annual CultureMap Last Chef Standing competition on June 4 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. All 20 of the top Houston restaurants in the competition will be serving up their signature dishes, with wine and beer pairings from Pisco Portón, Dripping Springs Vodka, Cabresto Tequila, Bombay Sapphire and Rebecca Creek Whiskey.
A panel of distinguished experts, including KHOU foodies Lily Jang and Katherine Whaley, Cleverley Stone (founder of Houston Restaurant Weeks), Mix 96.5’s Blake Hayes, Eric Sandler of Eater Houston and CultureMap contributor Marcy de Luna, will determine the Judges' Choice Awards.
The event, sponsored by Cadillac and Ben E. Keith, takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. VIP tickets, which include early admission, a meet-and-greet with the chefs and exclusive food samples, are $125 each; General admission tickets are $65. Both are available online.
A portion of proceeds benefit the Houston Food Bank.