Chuck Cook

  • Blogs

    September 18, 2014

    A Wine Competition For A Cause:
    Iron Sommelier 2014

    Iron Sommelier, the annual wine competition and fundraiser, returns on October 2nd from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Houstonian. The event benefits The Periwinkle Foundation, a non-profit organization which helps seriously ill children and their families. It's also an opportunity for Houston's top somme ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Rebecca Masson of
    Fluff Bake Bar

    We haven't had a Chef Chat with Becky Masson since 2010 and a whole heck of a lot has happened since then. Here are just a few highlights. In 2011, she competed on "Top Chef: Just Desserts" and represented Houston admirably, despite not winning. Not too much later, for the first time Fluff Bake ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Amalia Pferd of Good Dog Houston

    Food trucks are awesome. They're also a challenge to run and sometimes even finding a stable location to park and do business is problematic. Good Dog Houston still has its truck, but they've successfully made the transition from being on the road to being a traditional restaurant in the Heights. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Amalia Pferd of Good Dog Houston

    Houstonians have raved about Good Dog Houston's gourmet hot dogs ever since they started serving them from their baby blue food truck a few years ago. In time, the owners, Daniel Caballero and Amalia Pferd, were able to secure a storefront location in The Heights which now serves as their home base. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2014

    Dinner Lab: Curated, Members-Only Experiences Arrive In Houston

    Pop-ups are fairly common events in Houston, where a variety of chefs (often in conjunction with bartenders and sommeliers) band together to throw a one-time meal. Pop-ups have been used as fundraisers, helped chefs launch restaurants and functioned as creative outlets that allow chefs to cook diffe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Anthony Calleo of Pi Pizza Truck

    NEWS UPDATE: at 9:15 am this morning, Anthony Calleo has announced that Sandy Witch, his second food endeavor located inside of Grand Prize Bar, has closed. This closely followed an announcement on their Facebook page of a collaborative brunch with Bernie's Burger Bus. The brunch was to be on August ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Anthony Calleo of Pi Pizza Truck

    Anthony Calleo is as colorful as the Pi Pizza monster logo on the side of his truck, from his heavily tattooed arms to the words he chooses. He has a reputation for being frank and passionate about his food. We met Calleo for his interview at the Houston Food Park in EaDo, where Pi Pizza and a few ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Roy Shvartzapel and What's Next For Common Bond

    Check out the first part of our interview with Chef Roy Shvartzapel. At Common Bond, colorful desserts are lined up like painted soldiers behind a glass case. A big metal rack holds generously sized loaves of freshly baked bread. There's a selection of coffee drinks and you can even grab a light l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 1: Roy Shvartzapel's Culinary Journey to Common Bond

    His last name may be a little challenging to pronounce correctly, but chef Roy Shvartzapel of Common Bond is practically a Houston native. After traveling the world and working in some of the most renowned restaurants, he came back home to open the wildly successful, upper-crust bakery at Westheimer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2014

    Upcoming Events: Grab Your Mixers & Bake Cookies at Michael's Cookie Jar

    Next up in the Landry's Summer Chef Series is executive chef Ryan Braden of Brenner's Steakhouse on the Bayou. On Wednesday, July 16, beginning at 7 p.m., Braden will serve guests a five-course dinner with wine pairings for $95 per person. The meal kicks off with an heirloom tomato confit paired wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2014

    Chef Chat, Part 2: Talking Trenza and Those Pesky Closing Rumors With Suzie Jimenez

    This is the second part of a two-part Chef Chat interview. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here. On the day of our visit, Susie Jimenez was working in the kitchen and had been all day. She'd been on-site since 7 a.m. and would be there a few hours past our 5:30 p.m. visit. She's one of those ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2014

    Where To Get Food and Booze-a Near Comicpalooza

    One of the best ways to guarantee you enjoy any convention is to remember to take breaks away from it. After hours of being on your feet amongst thousands of fellow fans, it's important to get away for an hour or two, sit down for a while and get some nourishment. Besides that, do you really want to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2014

    Upcoming Events: Cocktail Lessons and Baking With Citrus

    On January 14, Down House will host a Cocktail Foundations class that will teach you everything you need to know about making drinks. Resident head bartender Jeremy Olivier will lead the class, which runs from 6:30 until 9 p.m and costs $150. While Olivier teaches you about the basics of making cock ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2013

    Houston Restaurant Weeks: Glass Wall

    What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: Glass Wall is on the higher end of pricing ($45 for dinner instead of the usual $35) for Houston Restaurant Weeks but it's a case of getting what you pay for. They are only open for dinner. There are optional (and astute) wine pairings by "Grape Alchemist" an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2013

    Houston Restaurant Weeks: Hearsay Gastro Lounge

    What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: Three course lunch for $20 and three course dinner for $35. The price is right and the historic, brick and mirror-walled space is stunning. The lunch entrée selections are the Hearsay burger, grilled salmon and chicken picatta. All entrees come with side ite ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2013

    The Final Feast: Groundbreaking Restaurant Closes With Sold-Out Night

    Click to view the full, final menu from Feast. Feast's friends and fans packed the little house at 219 Westheimer for a final taste of hearty delights such as fish and scallop pie and coq au vin. The sold-out final night was a fitting end for a place that convinced Houstonians that offal was not aw ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2013

    The Eating...Our Words 100: Seth Siegel-Gardner & Terrence Gallivan of The Pass & Provisions

    Who are they? Siegel-Gardner: I'm a Houstonian born and raised who's getting to run a restaurant in my hometown. Gallivan: I'm a cook, I'm a husband and I'm learning how to be a business owner.

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2013

    Food, Art and Love: Notes from the 2nd Annual Bento Competition

    The Consulate-General of Japan at Houston and the Japan-America Society of Houston hosted its second annual bento competition this past Saturday, along with sponsors H-E-B's Sushiya, Satake USA Incorporated and Glen Gondo of the Greater Houston Partnership. It was held in the Community Room at the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 22, 2013

    Houston Turns In Lackluster Performance For Speed Rack 2013

    Speed Rack is a series of cocktail competitions that raise funds for cancer research. This year, proceeds are going to SHARE Cancer Support, a support organization for women with breast or ovarian cancer. Last year, Houston's lady bartenders really shined in the competition. The high-speed cocktai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    Houston Lady Bartenders Prep and Party For Speed Rack 2012

    This Sunday, January 13th, the Original OKRA Charity Saloon will host the Speed Rack Send Off Party for five Houston competitors from 6 to 10 p.m. (and possibly later). The party serves multiple purposes: All donations, proceeds and tips from drink sales will go to breast cancer research (because ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2012

    Houston's Best Gluten-Free Dining Options

    One of the more frequent questions I'm asked these days is where to find good gluten-free food. And when GF folks ask this question, they're looking for more than an answer of, "Oh, any place that serves vegetables and meat. Can't you figure out your own dietary restrictions?" No; they're looking f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2012

    Reserve 101 Rolls Out a Fall Cocktail Menu With Something For Everyone

    There's a huge range of palates when it comes to cocktail drinkers. Some like boozy concoctions where it's basically drinking the spirit with just a little enhancement, and others -- especially younger drinkers and those who rarely indulge -- don't even want to know the alcohol is there. You wouldn' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2012

    The $20 Trader Joe's Challenge

    Editor's note: We asked five Eating Our Words bloggers to head to Trader Joe's with $20 and write about what they were able to get. We've gathered their stories together here. Katharine Shilcutt: Objective: Two meals for two for $20 My boyfriend and I hit Trader Joe's a little before 5 p.m. on a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2012

    Perry's Steakhouse and Glenmorangie Team Up For Scotch Dinner Series

    Bob Perry started the Perry's group of restaurants in 1979 with a humble butcher shop. That first place, Perry & Sons Market and Grille, is located on Scarsdale Boulevard in Southeast Houston. Chris Perry, Bob's son, developed the Perry's Steakhouse & Grille concept. These days, there are nine Perry ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2012

    Upcoming Events: Mix It Up Tonight and Help Clean Out Rudz's Cellar

    Been waiting for the perfect Friday night to check out the new LaB 5555 series at the Houston Museum of Natural Science? Grab your soft-soled museum shoes, because tonight is that night. Tonight, four of Houston's best bartenders will be shaking things up as they compete to make the best Tanqueray ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2012

    A (Very Nearly) Comprehensive Guide to Houston's Food Trucks

    Last week, one of our Twitter followers made a special request: a guide to all the nearly 50 food trucks currently roaming around town that use Twitter -- along with their Twitter handles. So @sarahnoid, this list is for you. Food trucks are sorted alphabetically, along with their primary type of c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2012

    Houston Bartenders Shine on a National Level

    A few years ago, a bar in Houston was just a place to get a drink and the people who worked there were just part of the service industry. Chefs were rock stars and everyone else was fairly invisible. In the last few months, there have been multiple bartenders who have become worthy of notice in the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 27, 2012

    A Nice, Quiet Dinner at Fratteli's

    "Red or white?" the server asked. My partner got the white, and I ordered the red. As I sipped the serviceable house Chianti, I considered that sometimes it's nice to be presented with such a simple choice. No fretting over the wine list, just a quick glass to help shunt off the workday. There was ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2012

    Rum Competition Sends Another Houston Bartender to National Finals

    On Monday night at Grand Prize Bar, seven Houston bartenders competed in a throw-down sponsored by Don Q Rum and the Houston chapter of the United States Bartenders' Guild. The three men and four women came from a mix of Houston restaurants, clubs and bars. The competitors were: Kehlen Selph--Cop ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2012

    Secret Food Confessions

    No matter how well-educated one becomes about food, some cravings never go away. Some are born in childhood. My husband complained for years when Grape Tang was discontinued and gets bizarre cravings for the crime against nature called "circus peanuts." Supposedly, it's a candy; a mind-boggling, rub ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2012

    Stick It Truck Serves Up a Dose of Festival Fun

    There's something about putting food on a stick that makes it more fun. Perhaps it's the bite-size pieces. Maybe it's being able to gnaw the tasty morsels directly off a skewer. Eschewing knives, forks and plates gives a sense of freedom to the whole act of eating. I think the folks running the St ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 29, 2012

    Bento Bliss: Competitors Study the Art of Lunch

    The Epicurean Cooking School in Rice Epicurean on Fountainview was at its maximum capacity of 40 on Saturday, February 25. The big draw: the Bento Contest, which was organized by the Consulate-General of Japan at Houston. It was sponsored by The Epicurean Cooking School and Satake USA, Inc., which m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 21, 2012

    Bingo and Booze at Double Trouble

    Chuck Cook PhotographyLooking out onto the patio, where the bingo happens.​"G 48, G 48. Gee, I can't believe Whitney Houston was only 48." The basic requirements of bingo-calling are so undemanding that an illiterate person could fulfill them. Doing it well, though, takes wit, and often the w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2012

    In the Middle of Strata

    Chuck Cook PhotographyStrata is lovely and beckons attractively, but the lonely corner it sits in does them no favors. ​Strata is an attractive restaurant in Vintage Park near Chasewood Park Drive and 249. While the middle section of this upper-scale shopping center resembles an outdoor restau ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2012

    Bacchus Boasts an Assumption-Challenging Wine List

    Chuck Cook Photography​Have you ever told a friend, "I simply have to come see you sometime!" and then ended up saying that every time you ran into each other? And then, by the time you're ready, or he's ready, something has changed? Well, while "wine badass" Marc Borel was at Bacchus, I kep ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    Chocolat d'Arte Hits the Road with Devilish Delights

    After a great deal of planning, faith and up-front investment, Chocolat d'Arte has driven into Houston's burgeoning food truck scene with a new, spotless van. Rich graphics laden with photos of some of the chocolates on offer adorn the sides. Entrepreneur and artisan chocolatier Nancy Burke, of Cho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2012

    Bare Bowls Are Remarkably Filling at New Food Truck

    On a gorgeous, unseasonably warm Thursday in January, the new Bare Bowls truck made its debut in back of The Menil Collection building. Despite the fact that it was its first day out, it didn't lack for customers. A crowd that averaged five people persisted during our visit. Bare Bowls is the late ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 5, 2012

    Mango Tree Thai Bistro: Dancing on the Edge

    Almost exactly a year ago, I left a job downtown to start a more exciting one in Northwest Houston. While it may have been a good career move, it killed the fun I used to have at lunchtime. I went from getting to see and dine with my spouse and my friends every day to driving around, alone, in searc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2011

    Return to Backstreet Café

    A few years ago, I tried being vegan. Then, I swapped to a vegetarian diet, and finally, pescetarian. I found it extremely educational. (For example, I learned that I don't want to live the rest of my life without cheeseburgers.) It also sent me on a quest to find restaurants that could accommodate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2011

    Philippe Offers Luxurious To-Go Items for the Holiday Table

    Chuck Cook PhotographyTake home a pack of gravlax from Philippe to make the lovely appetizer dish on top.​Philippe (the acclaimed Galleria-area restaurant headed up by Chef Philippe Schmit) is offering a small selection of delicacies that you can buy and serve at home for the holidays. We were ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2011

    Open Jukebox Night at Fitzgerald's: Mixing New Wave Tunes With No-Nonsense Cocktails

    Chuck Cook PhotographyJustin Burrow pours a craft cocktail on a quiet night at non-pretentious Fitzgerald's.​Justin Burrow, who recently received the Favorite Mixologist nod for the My Table Houston Culinary Awards in October, is using his experience to create a casual and accessible cocktail ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2011

    5 Gifts for the Coffee Snob

    Chuck Cook Photography​As a coffee snob myself, I am here to advocate for my people. Please, don't break our hearts. You know how much we love coffee, but since you're not a coffee snob yourself, you might think we'd appreciate one of those machines that make coffee by squirting hot water into ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2011

    It's Ribs, But Go For the Chicken

    Chuck Cook PhotographySkip the grocery store and take this chicken home instead.​Have you ever walked into a restaurant where the staff is so kind and eager that you just don't want to say anything bad about the food? Such is the predicament I find myself in. When I read about a place called ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2011

    1252 Tapas Bar in Vintage Park Opens to Bad Weather With Good Food

    Chuck Cook Photography1252 Tapas Bar in Vintage Park​I visited the new location of 1252 Tapas Bar in Vintage Park on its first two opening nights. (The original is located in The Woodlands.) Vintage Park is near 249 and Louetta and is structured a great deal like Uptown Park off of Post Oak. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Coffee and Cocktails at Double Trouble Are Double Delights

    Chuck Cook PhotographyA full house of buzzing patrons celebrate Double Trouble Caffeine & Cocktails' grand opening​I first met Robin Berwick while she was working as a bartender at Anvil Bar & Refuge. She said that she wanted to have her own place someday. Many bartenders say that, but Robin w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Openings & Closings: Trouble and Tacos

    Photo by Chuck Cook​Blind Item of the Week: A Heights hotspot in a somewhat cursed location is rumored to be closing soon. Its intended replacement was said to have been a new Bruce Molzan restaurant, but the Ruggles owner's current legal troubles may prevent that from coming to fruition. What ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2011

    The Modular: Blowing Up Boundaries with Big Bones and Burgers

    Photo by Chuck Cook PhotographyIt's just another night at The Modular​Some of the best food to be had in Houston is happening in a small kitchen at Grand Prize, and a trailer in front of Liberty Station. The Modular (as reported on previously by Minh Truong and Mai Pham) is the brainchild o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2011

    Openings & Closings: Every Day We're Shuffling

    Photo by Ed T.What's happening with Ruggles Grill?​It's been a busy week to be in the restaurant business, especially if you're in Montrose. When Latina Cafe closed a few months ago, not many tears were shed over the loss of the little Cuban restaurant -- I liked it just fine, but it had gone ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2011

    Photos: Anvil's First Annual Enthusiast Cocktail Competition

    Photo by GroovehouseChuck Cook made a Star Trek-inspired Mon Capitan cocktail.​Customers from all walks of life -- from IT professionals to aerospace engineers -- competed last night in an unusual twist on a cocktail competition at Anvil Bar & Refuge. Although they were all cocktail enthusiast ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2010

    Caesar Salad Cupcakes and More: The 26th Annual Caesar Salad Competition

    Caesar salad cupcakes: Where is your god now?​"We worked on these for two days straight," laughed Jody Stevens as she proudly displayed a cupcake garnished with a romaine lettuce leaf. Stevens and her partner, fellow pastry chef Rebecca Masson, were in inhospitable waters on Friday night as th ... More >>

  • More >>