Local Spotlight

MasterMind 2012 Awards Recognize Pilot Light Chefs Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner

This time last year, our third annual MasterMind awards was recognizing the new Foodways Texas organization for its work in preserving Texan food history and traditions in the same way that Southern Foodways Alliance has done for a dozen years. It was the first time that a MasterMind award -- which carries $2,000 in prize money with it -- had been given to a food-oriented group.

And it wouldn't be the last.

This year, the 2012 MasterMind awards recognize the talented duo of Pilot Light chefs, Terrence Gallivan and Seth Siegel-Gardner.

The pair of adventurous chefs were recognized this year for creating astounding meals from temporary bases throughout the city while they marshal their money and resources to find a more permanent home. The two chefs left worthy jobs in New York City to make a go of it here in Houston, betting on the city as the next new frontier for talented young chefs with progressive ideas like themselves.

"We would be foolish if we didn't have some trepidation," Gallivan says in this week's cover story, "but we're both really confident that Houston is the place to do this."

Last year, most of the $2,000 prize money for Foodways Texas went toward a symposium held in Galveston, which helped heighten the organization's profile in the community.

"I would say we gained several new members, for sure," said Marvin Bendele, executive director of Foodways Texas. "It really helped us early on. We weren't even a year old then."

We can't wait to see how Gallivan and Siegel-Gardner put their money to use, but we bet that whatever comes of it will be delicious.

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Katharine Shilcutt