Truffle Masters pivots

Decadent Houston truffle festival grows with more local restaurants and extended run

Decadent Houston truffle festival grows with more local restaurants

Tony's cacio e pepe risotto
Cacio e pepe risotto with black truffle at Tony's. Photo by Heirloom Interactive

One of Houston's favorite food events has reconfigured for 2021. Rather than a large gathering with hundreds of people, The Truffle Masters will spotlight individual dishes at participating restaurants with diners trying them on their own schedule, organizer DR Delicacy announced.

Instead of a one-night affair, this year's Truffle Masters will take place from Thursday, February 11 until Sunday, February 28. Expanding to a longer format allows the event to go statewide, and gives truffle lovers more time to sample each restaurant's creations. In addition to participants from across the Houston area, Truffle Masters will also include establishments in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.

The statewide format also means a new charity will benefit from the event. All participating restaurants will contribute a portion of the sale of each Truffle Masters item to the Texas Food & Wine Alliance. Founded last year, the nonprofit will establish a series of grants that will be distributed by the end of 2021 through the Alliance’s regional chapters statewide.

“Recognizing the impact COVID-19 has had on the restaurant industry, we felt that 2021 was an important year to pivot The Truffle Masters event in a way that we can directly support and promote our featured restaurants while also helping to raise funds that will go back into the restaurant community,” DR Delicacy founder Diane Roederer said in a statement.

Truffle fans will find that participating restaurants cover a range of cuisines and price points. In the fine dining world, people may opt for Tony's cacio e pepe risotto with freshly-shaved black truffles or hamachi sashimi with brown butter and black truffe at Tris in The Woodlands. Turner's and Potente will also be participating, but their dishes were not available as of press time,

More casual options include El Topo in West University Place, which will offer a doughnut with chicken-honey-truffle butter and shaved truffle and East End Thai restaurant Street to Kitchen, which will serve black truffle durian crab curry. Recently opened tasting menu restaurants Hidden Omakase and Degust have added Truffle Masters dishes to their offerings.

Other participants include BOH Pasta & Pizza, a'Bouzy, Étoile Cuisine et Bar, and Lucille's. Some restaurants will offer pairings from sponsor Karbach Brewery. 

In place of the usual tasting panel of media judges, diners who sample Truffle Masters dishes may vote for their favorite sweet and savory dishes. The restaurants with the most votes will  be named as this year's winners.