Things To Do

This Week in Houston Food Events: Sip Mint Juleps and Watch the Kentucky Derby

Photo by John Huang
Permission Whiskey channels Churchill Downs at its annual Kentucky Derby bash.
Here's a look at this week's hottest culinary happenings:

Wednesday, May 3

Celebrity Chefs Against Cancer at Four Seasons Hotel Houston,

The Celebrity Chefs Against Cancer event returns to Four Seasons Hotel Houston, 1300 Lamar, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The evening showcases top Houston chefs—including Muse’s E.J. Miller, Loro’s Chris Bosch and Toro Toro's Richard Sandoval and Rafael Villalpando, among many others—alongside a silent and live auction to benefit Camp H-Town, a summer sleep away camp at Four Seasons Hotel Houston conducted in collaboration with MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. Individual tickets start at $150.


Soy Pinoy X Kooya & Sarsa Pop Up

On May 3-4, FAM Hospitality will host a Soy Pinoy X Kooya & Sarsa Pop Up experience at Post Houston, 401 Franklin, featuring James Beard Award-winning chefs Paul Qui and Tom Cunanan and Top Chef winner JP Anglo, considered a founder of modern Filipino cuisine. Guests can enjoy a limited-time menu of traditional Filipino dishes featuring a Texas-smoked spin, with highlights including fish chicharron, palabok with shrimp, pork belly and crab fat, and oxtail kare kare tacos. Plates range from $25 to $40, available on a walk-in basis only from noon to 9 p.m. or until sold out.

Thursday, May 4

Star Wars Wine Dinner at Max’s Wine Dive

Max’s Wine Dive, 4720 Washington, will host its third annual Star Wars themed wine dinner at 7 p.m. Guests can enjoy a five-course menu inspired by the iconic films paired with the exclusive labels from MAX’s Wine Dive. Costumes are encouraged and cost is $99 per person (reservations required). Call 713-880-8737.

Friday, May 5

Cinco de Mayo

From tequila dinners and mariachi to queso and margarita-fueled happy hours, our Houston Cinco de Mayo guide has the rundown on where to celebrate the holiday in Houston this year.

Saturday, May 6

Royal Coronation Breakfast at Ouisie’s Table

Beginning at 8 a.m.,Ouisie’s Table, 3939 San Felipe, is bringing in the big screens for a special viewing of the Royal Coronation for King Charles III. Guests are encouraged to dress in the royal best while enjoying a special pre-fixe breakfast menu ($36) featuring English-themed dishes. Reservations are required.

Kentucky Derby Watch Parties

Brasserie 19, 1962 West Gray, will host a Derby Day party featuring a screening of the race, Best Hat contest and more from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Julep, 1919 Washington, invites guests to get down and derby at its annual Kentucky Derby Day Party, held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 6. Expect plenty of house cocktails including mint juleps, Champagne, two main bars, a whiskey bar, tacos from El Topo, a live DJ set and a live stream of the Kentucky Derby. Tickets are $20 presale and $25 at the door.

Permission Whiskey, 2920 White Oak, will host its third annual Kentucky Derby party, staying true to owner Peter Nolan’s Kentucky roots. This year’s Derby celebration will feature a broadcast of the race, fresh mint juleps, live music, trumpet player, Derby-themed roses, a festive hat contest and other surprises from noon to 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $20, in advance with a cocktail included or at the door while supplies last.

Brenner’s Wine Fest

Wine Fest is back at Brenner’s on the Bayou, 1 Birdsall, held from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Wine enthusiasts can stroll the scenic grounds and sample the collection of exclusive winemakers alongside chef-crafted bites from Brenner’s on the Bayou, Grotto Downtown, McCormick & Schmick’s, Cadillac Bar, Willie G’s, Babin’s and a dessert station from chef Eunice Grassa. There will also be a Derby Hat Contest with prizes and VIP experience with early admission and access to exclusive slections. Tickets are $150 GA and $250 for VIP.

Sunday, May 7

Rock & Roll Picnic at Last Concert Cafe

From noon to 4 p.m., locals are invited to the second annual Rock & Roll Picnic at Last Concert Cafe, 1403 Nance, benefitting I’ll Have What She’s Having and its mission to fund a network of preventative medical and mental healthcare services for the hardworking people in Houston’s restaurant and bar community. The family-friendly event will feature picnic-inspired fare from volunteers including chef Dawn Burrell (Late August), Layne Cruz (Lagniappe Kitchen and Bar), Houston Dairymaids, Blood Bros. BBQ, bar stars Sarah Troxell, Lindsay Rae Burleson and Lainey Collum and more, alongside live music, a sundae bar, champagne and whiskey tastings, silent auciton, VIP tiffins from some of Houston’s top chefs and a whole lot more fun. GA tickets are $85 ($15 for kids) with VIP offerings and add-ons available.

All month long

Lupus Foundation Fundraiser at Molina's

For the second year, Molina’s Cantina has teamed with Lupus Foundation of America’s Texas Gulf Coast Chapter to raise money for research and awareness to help those dealing with lupus (a cause close to the family, as Mary Molina—the daughter of third-generation Molina’s Cantina owners Roberto and Erica Molina—suffers from the disease. This May, during Lupus Awareness Month, three percent of proceeds from total Tuesday sales from all three Molina’s Cantina locations will be donated to the foundation.

Enchilada of the Month at Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen

Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen, 1140 Eldridge, 6401 Woodway, is bringing back its Enchilada of the Month beginning this May, offering the Three Rivers through May 31. Made with corn tortillas rolled around a combination of chorizo, beef fajitas and chicken fajitas and topped with spicy chile de arbol sauce, jack cheese, avocado and cilantro, it comes with rice and beans or a Caesar salad for $18.95 per person.

New and ongoing specials

AAPI Dessert Box Pop-up for Mental Health at Money Cat

In honor of May being both Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, the team at Money Cat, 2925 Richmond, is hosting an encore dessert box pop-up fundraiser. The jewel box-like special will feature eight treats, each highlighting a different Asian nation but crafted with French technique. Boxes are $70 each and available by pre-order only from May 1-13 by calling the restaurant at 281-974-3735. Pick up will be on Saturday, May 20 or Sunday, May 21 from 1 p.m. to close. Twenty percent of proceeds from each box sold will benefit the Asian Mental Health Collective’s efforts to normalize and destigmatize mental health within the Asian community.

Summer specials at Kenny & Ziggy’s

Kenny & Ziggy’s, 1743 Post Oak, is bringing back two popular limited-time specials, its Bronx Fried Chicken and chilled Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup. Starting Monday, May 1, both return to the menu for the summer season. The matzo meal crusted Bronx Fried Chicken costs $28.95 with sides; while the sweet and sour traditional soup runs $6.95 for a cup or $13.95 for a bowl.