This wee in dining

These are the 11 best food and drink events in Houston this week

These are the 11 best food and drink events in Houston this week

Picos tamales
Picos is celebrating tamales on Sunday. Photo by Nick de la Torre
StarChefs Bobby Matos State of Grace La Lucha
StarChefs honors Bobby Matos and other Houston chefs on Tuesday. Courtesy of StarChefs
Etoile Brasserie du Parc bouillabaisse
Enjoy bouillabaisse at Brasserie du Parc or Etoile. Courtesy of Etoile
Picos tamales
StarChefs Bobby Matos State of Grace La Lucha
Etoile Brasserie du Parc bouillabaisse

This week packs a punch, with a celebrations of chefs, as well as chances to hang out with Santa Claus and learn a little more about Champagne — just in time for all those holiday parties.

Tuesday, December 10

StarChefs 2019 Awards Ceremony and Tasting Gala at the Corinthian
Chefs including Johnny Rhodes of Indigo, Kaitlin Steets of Theodore Rex, Patrick Feges and Erin Smith of Feges BBQ, and Meredith Larke of Uchi Houston will each present dishes at this bash, which celebrates up-and-comers on the Houston food scene. General admission tickets are $85 and include admission to the tasting gala and awards ceremony; for $125, guests can arrive at 5:45 pm for a VIP reception. Purchase tickets online.

Thursday, December 12

Champagne Class at French Country Wines
From 7 to 9 pm, learn about Champagne by tasting five examples of the iconic French bubbly in this class led by Charelle Grant. Guests will also receive 10 percent off any bottle purchases they make from the cozy wine shop. The class costs $48 per person, plus tax. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Call 713-993-9500 to make a reservation. The class will be repeated at the same time on Friday, December 13.

Saturday, December 14

Breakfast with Santa at The Annie Cafe & Bar
The whole family will love this holiday affair. From 9 am to 2 pm, guests can enjoy a prix-fixe menu, hot chocolate and cider bars, specialty cocktails, and more. The cost is $45 for children and $65 for adults, excluding tax and gratuity. The prices does include a photo with Santa. Call 713-804-1800 to reserve a spot. Any cancellations made less than 48 hours in advance will incur a $25 per person cancellation charge.

Whole Hog Event at Roegels Barbecue Co.
Owners Misty and Russell Rogels traveled to the Carolinas this summer to learn the secrets of whole hog barbecue. They're monthly pop-ups featuring the dish, along with cornbread, cole slaw, and Carolina-style Brunswick stew, have been a huge hit with local barbecue obsessives. Expect a line when this event kicks off at 11 am.

Dressember Holiday Shopping and Sipping at Forth and Nomad
This event combines many things Houstonians love most: shopping, food and drink, and helping a good cause. For a donation of $15, guests will enjoy cocktails from The Botanist Gin, beer from Eureka Heights Brewing Company, light bites, and a swag bag with one class pass to Control Studios. Several vendors will be on hand showing their unique gifts and Forth and Nomad will donate 10-percent of the event's proceeds to Dressember Houston, an organization that works to end human trafficking, 12 - 4 pm. 

National Bouillabaisse Day at Etoile and Brasserie du Parc
The traditional fish stew gets its day in the sun, and chef Philippe Verpiand will serve different version of the dish at his two restaurants. At Brasserie, look for a Gulf Coast take on the French favorite, with shrimp, Gulf snapper, and a saffron and roasted red pepper sauce. It's available for $20 at lunch at $30 at dinner. Meanwhile, over at Etoile, guests can have the traditional version, made with shrimp, fresh-caught snapper, john dory, mussels, scallops and a saffron emulsion. It’s available at lunch for $28 and at dinner for $38.

Sunday, December 15

Brunch with Santa at Pinstripes
From 10 am to 2 pm, guests can take a a photo with Santa and share holiday wish lists, while also enjoying a brunch spread including Bloody Marys, mimosas, bowling, and bocce at this Upper Kirby newcomer.

Tamale Brunch at Arnaldo Richard's Pico's
Celebrate the holiday season with Mexico's signature occasion dish. Chef Richards has been adding a new, made-from-scratch mole to the menu every day since December 2. It all culminates with today's brunch, when all 12 sauces are available with an array of seasonal tamales and dishes. Each sauce boasts more than 20 ingredients with rich flavor profiles of chocolate, chili, and a few secret ingredients. Brunch is available from 10:30 am to 3 pm.

Kitchen Takeover at Wooster's Garden
From 3 to 8 pm, chef Niki Vongthong (Aqui) serves up a menu of pork belly and red curry noodle soup with fermented green mustard, soft boiled egg, and homemade bean sprouts; lemongrass sausage with sticky rice & tomato jam; and purple rice with coconut custard. The rising star recently returned from a trip to Thailand, so her flavors will definitely be vibrant.

Holiday Family Night at Backstreet Cafe
There's something for everyone at this family-friendly party, featuring Santa Claus and songs from Viva Voce Victorian Carolers. Guests can select from an a la carte menu with happy hour pricing until 8 pm. Festivities start at 5pm and run through 9. For reservations, call 713-521-2239.

Sunday Supper at 13 Celsius
The celebration of the iconic wine bar's 13th birthday continues with this special meal. Chefs Monica Pope of Sparrow Cookshop and Richard Kaplan of Weights + Measures will serve a five-course menu that showcases their love of farm-to-table cuisine. Selections include Dates with a Pig, made with chermoula, cheese, and charcuterie from the Houston Dairymaids, confit chicken and foie gras tortelloni, and salted chocolate crémeux. Tickets are $126 per person and can be purchased online, 6 - 9 pm.