Wine & Food Week Awards $5,000 to Wooster's Garden Capping Spectacular 15th Anniversary Celebration

By: Debra Ford
| Published 06/13/2019

From Left to Right: Clifton & Constance McDerby; Brandon Silva; Wooster's Garden; Tony Unanue, Chef Fernando Desa & Tommy Unanue all with GOYA Foods.
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THE WOODLANDS, TX - That’s a culinary wrap as they say. The 15th Anniversary celebration of Wine & Food Week concluded in the Woodlands with a $5,000 check presentation and final closing ceremony capping off an extraordinary week of culinary and winemaking achievement. More than 10,000 foodie friends, celebrity chefs and wine makers from across the U.S. raised a glass in honor of this annual food fete. All total, the week featured 50 accomplished chefs, 92 restaurants, 928 wines, numerous educational seminars, and various culinary events ranging from taco takedowns to the HEB Wine Walk to the elegant Ladies of the Vine Luncheon panel and culminating in the elegant Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase.

The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase was the ultimate adult evening out where guests sampled dishes like Peli Peli’s South African Surf & Turf; Eunice’s refreshing watermelon gazpacho with crab; and Tlahuac HTX’s beef cheek huarache, oval masa cake layered with clay pot black beans, beef cheek barbacoa and Mexican herb salad, as well as hundreds of wines as chefs representing more than 60 restaurants competed for the national Chef of Chefs Award judged by an esteemed chef and food media panel. The fabulous evening ended on a sweet note with a decadent selection of desserts extraordinaire in the Celebrity Cruises Life is Suite Zone.

Wooster’s Garden took top honors for a braised beef short rib with fermented cauliflower and fresh shaved summer black truffles claiming the coveted Chef of Chefs award and a $5,000 cash prize along with the Waterford Crystal Trophy presented by GOYA Foods. In second place was Carlos Ramos, with Latin Bites for a ceviche mussel. And, in third, was Nick’s Fish Dive & Oyster Bar for a miso- marinated sablefish, daikon radish noodles, grilled Shitake mushrooms with a wasabi ginger beurre blanc sauce.

“This 15th anniversary celebration was a chance for us to reunite with so many talented people who’ve impacted the world of wine and food in big ways while recognizing the fresh faces making their mark as well” said Wine & Food Week founder Constance McDerby. “We hope that guests at Wine & Food Week 2019 enjoyed all the glorious sips and tastes as much as we enjoyed reuniting with the many people who’ve helped this event grow to the magnitude that it has over a decade and a half.”

Mixing, mingling and munching in the crowd were a who’s who of food and wine superstars: including Master of Wine Tim Hanni and founder MyVinoType.com, Master Sommelier, Guy Stout; Wine Enthusiast Wine maker of the year, Michael David Winery—Michael David; Oregon Wine Person of the Year—Biodynamic vintner Rudy Marchesi, Montinore Estates; former and longest tenured White House Chef, John Moeller; Erwin Husken, Owner and Executive Chef of Screaming Eagle, and Chef and Owner Urvin Croess of The Kitchen Table by White ranked as TripAdvisor #1 Caribbean fine dining traveler’s choice. From Houston, rising BBQ stars Chef
Ara Malekian and Wade Elkins both recently featured in the best new BBQ joints in Texas Monthly, plus fresh faces like Alex Au-Yeung, Chef/Owner of Phat Eatery; Wade Elkins, Pitmaster/Partner, Reveille Barbecue Co.; Drake Leonards, Executive Chef, Eunice; Omar Pereney, Chef, A La Carte; Tim Welch, Chef de Cuisine, Emmer & Rye; Brandon Silva, Culinary Director, Wooster's Garden; Vanquelis Pablopulos, Chef, The Petroleum Club; Nicolas Vera, Chef and Owner, Tlahuac HTX; Olivier Ciesielski Chef, Avondale Food & Wine; Ben McPherson, Chef and Owner, BOH Pasta and Pizza; Manuel Pucha, Chef and Owner, Maison Pucha; and Ernesto Villarreal, Executive Chef, Thistle Draft Shop.

Wine & Food Week supports charitable organizations such as New Danville; The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council, Montgomery County Food Bank; The John Cooper School Signature Series just to name a few. Food & Vine Time Productions has raised well over one and a half million dollars through various channels for local charities over the years.

Make plans to attend Wine & Food Week 2020 June 1-7, 2020. Information at www.wineandfoodweek.com

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