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Horsemeat Is Not on the Menu: Sam Houston Race Park Names New Chef

Sam Houston Race Park

, which has been so busy of late redefining itself as a music as well as a horseracing enterprise, has decided to renovate its menu as well, and named a new executive chef.

Hugo Gomez, who most recently served as executive chef for Bistro Moderne at the Hotel Derek, is coming aboard to handle the race park’s two upscale restaurants: the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the members-only Jockey Club Restaurant.

His influence will even extend down to the hoi polloi in the general food courts on the Paddock & Club level areas.

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Anyone who’s visited the Winner’s Circle over the past few years would agree there’s been some drop off in quality. What used to be an exciting adventure became somewhat disappointing. Desserts such as the chocolate fountain and the bourbon bread pudding remained crowd pleasers, but often the meat and casserole dishes did not fare well under the heating lamps.

“I look forward to working with the staff to create new menu items and signature dishes for both restaurants as well as enhancing catering menus for private events,” Gomez said.

Dealing with volume should be easy for Gomez. Before Hotel Derek, he was banquet sous chef for InterContinental Hotel and banquet kitchen manager for the Hilton-Americas Hotel, which means he regularly handled convention crowds. – Margaret Downing

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