In hot pursuit of flavor

Chefs stir up tastebuds in second annual Curry Crawl competition at Straits

Chefs stir up tastebuds in second annual Curry Crawl competition at St

Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Straits owner Chris Yeo and Corporate GM Heather Connery
Straits owner Chris Yeo and Heather Connery, corporate general manager at the Curry Crawl. Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Lauren Boughman and Matt Barrett
Lauren Boughman and Matt Barrett Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chef Rik Patel of Ambrosia serves Miso Chicken Curry
First place winner chef Rik Patel of Ambrosia serves miso chicken curry. Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chris Wadley and Katherine Whaley
Chris Wadley and Katherine Whaley Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chef John Sikhattana of Straits
People's choice winner chef John Sikhattana of Straits Restaurant at the Curry Crawl. Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Jason Arnoldy and Lindley Arnoldy
Jason and Lindley Arnoldy at the Curry Crawl Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Safeena Walji and Faez Khanmohamed
Safeena Walji and Faez Khanmohamed Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Miya Shay and Gene Wu
Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Jessica Ford
Jessica Ford Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Marcy de Luna and Stuart Rosenberg
Marcy de Luna and Stuart Rosenberg Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Evan Turner and Neera Patidar
Evan Turner and Neera Patidar Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Shanna Jones and Felice Simmons
Shanna Jones, left, and Felice Simmons Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chef Monica Pope of Sparrow serves Curried Goat Dumplings
Chef Monica Pope of Sparrow Bar + Cookshop serves curried goat dumplings at the Curry Crawl at Straits in CityCentre. Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chef Manish Chawla of Rasoi
Chef Manish Chawla of Rasoi Photo by © Daniel Ortiz
Katie Flaherty, Lindley Arnoldy, Jason Arnoldy
Katie Flaherty, from left, Lindley Arnoldy, Jason Arnoldy Photo by Daniel Ortiz
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Straits owner Chris Yeo and Corporate GM Heather Connery
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Lauren Boughman and Matt Barrett
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chef Rik Patel of Ambrosia serves Miso Chicken Curry
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chris Wadley and Katherine Whaley
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chef John Sikhattana of Straits
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Jason Arnoldy and Lindley Arnoldy
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Safeena Walji and Faez Khanmohamed
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Miya Shay and Gene Wu
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Jessica Ford
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Marcy de Luna and Stuart Rosenberg
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Evan Turner and Neera Patidar
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Shanna Jones and Felice Simmons
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chef Monica Pope of Sparrow serves Curried Goat Dumplings
Houston Curry Crawl at Straits May 2013 Chef Manish Chawla of Rasoi
Katie Flaherty, Lindley Arnoldy, Jason Arnoldy

Chef John Sikhatta is walking proud these days since his spice-seared tuna with curry potato pani puri earned the approval of the majority of the 200 guests attending Sunday's Curry Crawl at Straits Restaurant in CityCentre. Even if he does helm the Straits kitchen, it was no stacked deck that won Sikhatta the People's Choice award.

While guests voted his dish their fave, the panel of judges awarded Ambrosia chef Rik Patel first place honors for his Miso Chicken Curry. The two winners competed in the second annual fundraiser against restaurants including Latin Bites, Nosh Bistro, Rasoi, RA Sushi, Restaurant CINQ, Soma Sushi, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop and The Tasting Room.  

Beneficiary of the afternoon of grazing and socializing was St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System’s young professional group, PULSE. Curry Crawl chairs Lindley and Jason Arnoldy, also PULSE chairs, joined celebrity judges Cleverley Stone, Greg Morago, Pat Sharpe and chef Kiran Verma in sampling the creative interpretations of traditional curry dishes. In from homebase in San Francisco was Straits owner and founder chef Chris Yao.

Guests taking home the curry spice mix party favors included, Annie and Tyler McQueen, Elizabeth Wise, KHOU Channel 11's Katherine Whaley with Chris Wadley,  KTRK Channel 13's Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu, Heather Connery, Marcy de Luna, Jessica Ford, Lauren Baughman and Max Barrett.