Top Houston Chefs Compete in Heady Fundraising Challenge
January 11, 2016. Houston, TX. – On a brisk Monday evening, cars lined up around the Summer Street Studios in The Heights. Over 300 guests made their way to the third floor to The Astorian, where a pungent aroma wafting through the entrance eagerly welcomed all to the second annual Houston Truffle Chef Charity Challenge.
The decadent affair features a selection of Houston’s top chefs, who turn out dishes that showcase fresh black truffles provided by event hosts DR | Delicacy. Chefs compete to win the favor of judges, who select their three favorite dishes, earning winning chefs the coveted prizes: hefty hauls of black Spanish truffles. After sampling the bite-size offerings provided by each chef, guests also vote for their favorite creation for a People’s Choice Award.
Competing restaurants this year included Arcodoro, Arturo Boada Cuisine, B&B Butchers, BCN Taste and Traditions, Brennan’s, Corner Table, Durham House, Eculent, Etoile, Kata Robata, La Table, Le Mistral, Quattro At The Four Seasons, RDG + Bar Annie, Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Graduca, Sparrow, Tasting Room, Triniti, Urban Eats and Weights + Measures.
2016 judges were: PaperCity’s James Brock, Teresa Byrne-Dodge of My Table, reigning challenge champion David Cordua of America’s and Cordua Restaurants, Jaques Fox of Artisans, Eric Sandler of CultureMap and Houston Chronicle’s Greg Morago.
After deliberation, judges bestowed First Place and the prize of 1kg of truffles to Chef Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata for his cold soba noodles sautéed with mixed mushrooms and uni foam, a distinct standout among the many competitor plates featuring braised meats. Second and third places went to RDG + Bar Annie’s chefs Robert Del Grande and Chef Elliott Kelly and The Tasting Room’s Chef Michael Pellegrino respectively. People’s Choice was awarded to Chef David Denis of Le Mistral for his truffle-braised oxtail and fried quail egg stack.
The evening was chaired by Diane Roederer and Elizabeth Stone and proceeds from ticket sales and silent auction benefit the Les Dames d’Escoffier Scholarship Program, which supports students in the culinary arts.