Restaurant News

This Week in Houston Food Events: Take a Holiday Cooking Class

All Week Long

benjy's Goes Back In Time

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, benjy's at 2424 Dunstan in The Village will be throwing things back to 1995 starting December 1. Waitstaff will be decked out in '90s haute couture, and we expect to see plenty of ill-fitting plaid clothing. The menu will include dishes from the original menu, and the best part is that these will be offered at the original prices, too! The party goes on until December 15, so swing by and relive the glory days. 

Monday, November 30

Greek Wine 101 At Helen

Sommelier Evan Turner will lead this wine class at 7 p.m. at Helen Greek Food and Wine, 2429 Rice. The class covers the history of Greek wine making, Greek varietals and regions, and there will be seven samples provided, plus light bites. Cost is $60 per person, and you can reserve your spot by emailing [email protected]

Tuesday, December 1

Tamales 101 Cooking Class at Sylvia's

Sylvia Casares, chef and owner of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen at 1140 Eldridge Parkway, is hosting her fall cooking classes again this year, and this one features pork and chicken tamales. The class includes a full meal of the foods cooked in the class, cheese enchiladas, dessert and a margarita or other drink of your choice. Sign up for this class and future classes. 2 to 5 p.m., $65.

Pour & Explore in Rice Village

Shopping for a cause is always great, especially when there are wine flights and light bites provided. The Pour & Explore, which kicks off at 4 p.m., benefits the Children's Assessment Center, which investigates and assists child victims of sexual assault. The $25 price of admission includes complimentary valet, a gift bag with product samples and a commemorative wine glass. Participating retailers include Kendra Scott, Banana Republic, Lily Rain, Le Creuset, Origins and more. Buy tickets on the Children's Assessment Center website.

Holiday Champagne Dinner at Ouisie's

This sumptuous six-course feast at Ouisie's Table, 3939 San Felipe, is paired with six top-notch champagnes to help you ring in the holiday season. The featured champagnes include Veuve Clicquot, Moët Impérial and Dom Perignon, while the fare includes a sea scallop tower with butternut squash and mushrooms, lobster and caviar ravioli and macadamia crusted sea bass with blood orange sauce. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m., and the cost is $175 per person. Make reservations by calling 713-528-2264.

Charcuterie and Wine Class and Cocktail Party

This informal event combines a good cocktail party with a great cooking class; Agricole Hospitality's wine director, Jeb Stuart, and butcher Andrew Vaserfirer will teach you everything you need to know about creating amazing meat platters and wine pairings for the holidays. The class takes place at Revival Market, 550 Heights, at 7 p.m., and it includes hors d'oeuvres, meat samples, wine and bite-size desserts. Cost is $50, and you can make reservations by calling 713-880-8463.

Thursday, December 3

Over The Top Champagne Class and Dinner

Representatives from Moët Hennessy will lead this 6:30 p.m. class at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, and teach you everything they know about pairing champagnes and what qualities make a champagne excellent. The pairings include buttermilk-soaked, then bacon-fried chicken; oysters two ways and a cheese platter. Cost is $80 per person, and you can make reservations on the Central Market website.

World's Most-Awarded Rum Dinner

Chef Johann Schuster has curated the menu for this dinner at Charivari, 2521 Bagby, to highlight the flavors of Cartavio rums, which have won 57 gold medals since 2007. The menu includes lucuma bread pudding with sea urchin uni, miso broiled black cod ribs with ginger foam and quinoa with chia and glazed pork belly, and the pairings are five varieties of Cartavio rums, both in cocktails, such as the dark and stormy, and alone, either neat or on the rocks. The importer of these rums will be on hand to tell you about each selection and the brand as a whole. Dinner kicks off at 7 p.m. and costs $98 per person. Make reservations by calling 713-521-7231. 

Friday, December 4

National Cookie Day at D'Amico's

Nash D'Amico and his daughter and business partner Brina D'Amico will bake all the extra cookies they can for the big day, including giugiuleni seed cookies, cucidati fig cookies and biscotti with cherries and chocolate chips. These cookies from D'Amico's Italian Market Café, 5510 Morningside, are 50 cents each or $5 per dozen, while supplies last. 

Saturday, December 5

Brunch with Santa at Brennan's

Bring your kids to Brennan's of Houston, 3300 Smith, at 9:30 a.m. for brunch with the jolly old elf himself. Executive chef Danny Trace will create a two-course meal of your choice with dishes like ham salad with chèvre, caramelized onions and dried cranberries or sliced beef tenderloin with smashed potatoes, roasted mushrooms and Worcestershire. There will also be a dessert buffet and an opportunity to get a photo with Santa. Kids eat for $35, and their menu choices include a strawberry cream parfait and buttermilk fried chicken. Adults get a complimentary mimosa and a keepsake ornament with their $55 meal. Reservations are required and can be made on the Brennan's website.

Paula Deen at Star Furniture

Chef Paula Deen will be holding a book signing for her new cookbook of reduced-fat recipes at Star Furniture, 16666 Barker Springs in Katy. Her new book, Paula Deen Cuts the Fat, will be available for purchase, and you can also check out Deen's new furniture collection, which is on sale at Star Furniture. She'll be there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tamale Festival Houston

From noon to 8 p.m., you can visit this festival on the esplanade at 2600 Navigation, where you'll find more than 20 food vendors, including restaurants and food trucks, live music, shopping and more. Director's Club tickets include a tamale and barbecue buffet, special seating and a reserved cash bar. Get more information and buy tickets on the Tamale Festival Houston website.

Tamales 101 Cooking Class at Sylvia's

Yep, this is the same class that's happening on Tuesday afternoon! Sylvia Casares, chef and owner of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen at 1140 Eldridge Parkway, is hosting her fall cooking classes again this year, and this one features pork and chicken tamales. The class includes a full meal of the foods cooked in the class, cheese enchiladas, dessert and a margarita or other drink of your choice. Sign up for this class and future classes. 12:30 to 3 p.m., $65.

Kids' Gingerbread House Workshop

Bring your wee one (12 and under) to the Four Seasons, 1300 Lamar, any Saturday between now and December 26 for a special child-friendly gingerbread house decorating class at 1 p.m. The admission price of $65 includes your child's beautiful gingerbread house for you to take home, as well as decorating supplies. Adults can also participate for $85 each or $155 per couple. You'll get a special gift if you bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit children in need. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 713-650-1300. 

Entertaining With Style Cooking Class

This hands-on cooking class at Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, will teach you how to make an impressive but simple appetizer, cook a scallop with spices and make a prime dessert using dried fruit. The menu that you'll be making as well as eating includes blue cheese and caramelized onion squares, pepper and coriander scallop skewers with tarragon salad, rosemary lamb chops with Swiss chard and balsamic, and figs and cherries poached in vanilla-honey syrup. The class kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and costs $70 per person. Make your reservations on the Central Market website.

Sunday, December 6

Gingerbread Class at Central Market

Grab the kids and head over to Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, for this class in decorating the perfect gingerbread house, complete with icing and edible decorations. The cost is $65 each, and there are two classes today at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., plus more throughout December. Make your reservations on the Central Market website, where you can also find other dates for this class.

Float & Flick, Minus The Float

As part of the movie screening series at Hotel Derek, 2525 West Loop South, you can catch A Christmas Story by the pool at sunset, although this time, you'll be "floating" under cozy blankets and heat lamps to catch the film on the movie wall. Doors open at 5 p.m., and your ticket includes holiday cookies and a warm cocktail from Revolve Kitchen + Bar. Reservations cost $25 and can be made by calling 713-297-4327. 

Culinary All-Stars Dinner for Liz Fenton

Liz Fenton is a Houstonian whose passion for food and volunteering have made her a beloved friend to many of our city's most beloved chefs. She was recently diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, so those chefs are coming together at Underbelly, 1100 Westheimer, at 6 p.m. to host an incredible benefit dinner to help her with medical bills and other expenses. The chefs include Chris Shepherd of Underbelly, Hori Horiuchi of Kata Robata, Ronnie Killen of Killen's BBQ and Steakhouse, Hugo Ortega of Hugo's, Justin Yu of Oxheart, Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar and more. The wine pairings will be selected by sommelier Justin Van of Oxheart and Public Services. Seating is very limited, and you can obtain a ticket from Fluff Bake Bar, 314 Gray, in exchange for a cash donation of $300 or more. If you can't attend but you'd like to help the cause, check out Fenton's Go Fund Me page.

Hanukkah with Genesis Steakhouse

This kosher steakhouse is the first of its kind in Houston, and will be celebrating Hanukkah from today until December 14. Genesis Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 5427 Bissonnet, will be offering special holiday desserts, such as sufganiyot and latkes, and founder Jason Goldstein will light the menorah every evening at 7 p.m. except for Friday, since the restaurant is closed that night for private parties. 
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