With 10 delish food stations, bartenders creating cocktails featuring Herradura tequila, and a flock of Porsches to dream over, the annual Tastemaker Awards celebration was the best ever, transforming Asia Society Texas Center into foodie heaven.
More than 750 guests coursed through the stately cultural center rubbing elbows with the city's top chefs, sommeliers and restaurateurs. All were eager to learn who had won the coveted nod in nine categories from Tastemakers judges and who had won the CultureMap reader's bracket challenge for Best New Restaurant. Celebrity chef and restaurateur of Reef fame (just to name one of his eateries) Bryan Caswell joined this editor in presenting the awards.
You can read Eric Sandler's report on the winners here.
The awards presentation polished off the evening that was filled with tasty diversions, all played out to the tunes of DJ Special K from 104.1 KRBE. Celebrity bartenders Chris Frankel of Spare Key, Alex Gregg of Moving Sidewalk and Leslie Ross of Canard had guests swooning over their Herradura cocktails while Fluff Bake Bar's Rebecca Masson and Killen's Steakhouse's Samantha Mendoza tempted taste buds with their dessert offerings.
A portion of the proceeds from the Tastemakers Awards was earmarked for Women of Wine, which provided samples of white sangria. And that was just one of the adult libation offerings that included sips from Chloe Wine Collection and beer from Alaskan Brewing Co., while Acqua Panna and S. Pellegrino kept guests hydrated.
Adding to the sweet allure of the evening were Lillian Vega of Macaw Confections, who offered samples of her chocolates, and Tiffs Treats which sent guests home with warm-from-the-oven cookies.
As guests departed, they had a second look at the line-up of Porsches, by this time spotlighted for night drama. Porsche of West Houston sent over a Macan, a Boxter and allowed this editor to drive the splashy new 2017 911 (top down, thank you) from their Katy Freeway location to the Asia Society.
Savoring the evening were Tacodeli principles Roberto Espinosa and Eric Wilkerson from Austin visiting Houston in advance of opening their first location, Shepard Ross and Erin Hicks, Jennifer Caswell, Lilly and Harrison Cullen, Dr. Bradley Eisemann, Racheal Lewis, Nick Scurfield, Michelle Wuerch, and Dan Koo.