Head down to Galveston this Saturday, December 11, to raise money for a very good cause and meet a 'cue-lebrity at the same time. Neil "Bigmista" Strawder, contestant on TLC's BBQ Pitmasters and owner of nationally acclaimed Bigmista's Barbecue in California, will be coming home to the island he was born and raised on to help his old church raise money to help create the Margaret Biehl Community Garden. The church, St. Augustine Episcopal Church, also happens to be the oldest African-American Episcopal church in Texas and continues to invest in its community to this day by attempting to create a garden not only for its members, but for the island as a whole.
The cost for the event is a very reasonable $9 for brisket or chicken dinners or $13 for a two-meat plate (with chicken and brisket). All plates come with two sides and a dessert. Tickets for the fundraiser can be purchased by calling 409-763-4254 or by showing up at 1410 41st Street (Jack Johnson Boulevard) starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Also on Saturday (and closer in to town) is the 2nd annual Gingerbread Build-Off sponsored by the Architecture Center Houston. You might remember this event from last year, when it was held at the Caroline Collective and I happily helped award first prize to a team that had built a post-apocalyptic gingerbread landscape complete with mutant trees. This year's Build-Off will be held at Market Square in downtown from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get there early if you want to watch the houses being built (and build your own at the spectators' table); otherwise, judging and prizes get awarded closer to 3 p.m.
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As mentioned earlier this week by Lauren Marmaduke, Central Market (3815 Westheimer) is hosting its first ever Foodie Shopping Night on Wednesday, December 15 from 5 to 9 p.m. The shopping event will feature an array of gifts for the food-lovers in your life, as well as free gift wrapping for your wine sampler packs or mandolins.