Houston's Coolest Chef

Houston's Coolest Chef is revealed: National pub touts a food pioneer, rails against wannabe hipsters

Houston's Coolest Chef is revealed: National pub touts a true pioneer

Best Cellars, September 2012, Robert Del Grande.jpg
Robert Del Grande is cool enough to put down his knives and pick up a guitar as part of The Barbwires.  Robert Del Grande Photo by Shelby Hodge

Who are the coolest people in the world of food and drink? The Daily Meal, a website usually known for suspect lists and trolling food critics, has some thoughts on the subject, with its annual survey of "The 60 (Plus) Coolest People in Food & Drink 2014."

James Beard Award winning chef Robert Del Grande is the only Houston representative on the list, which also includes celebrity pitmaster Aaron Franklin, vodka mogul Tito Beveridge and Dallas celebrity chef Tim Love as Texas representatives. Nationally, the list has a who's who of media adulation, with big names like David Chang, Andrew Zimmern and First Lady Michelle Obama all getting nods.

So, whatever the merits of the honor, at least Del Grande is in good company.

 Thankfully, the list isn't ranked. Trying to rank coolness is definitely not cool.  

The site admits that defining cool is tricky, but writes that "cool people are true to themselves, and don't serve the masters of fad or fashion. Hipsters aren't cool. Cool is the opposite of trendy, the antithesis of 'hot.' If you think you're cool, you probably aren't."

Thankfully, the list isn't ranked. Trying to rank coolness is definitely not cool. 

Del Grande, who also appeared on the list last year, earned a spot for being "wry, soft-spoken and amiable" as well as the way he "galvanized the Houston dining scene with his Cafe Annie." The chef also plays in a band, the Barbwires, that's shared a stage with a few big names.

Knowing went to put down the knife and pick up a guitar? That's totally cool.