The Houston Press Menu of Menus Extravaganza is on Tuesday, April 8, at the fully air conditioned Silver Street Station. From 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. you will have the opportunity to sample food from more than 40 Houston restaurants -- bring your stretchy pants! Sample Italian food from Ciao Bello, Peruvian food from Latin Bites, Korean food from Nara, coffee from Katz Coffee, sweets from Fluff Bake Bar and so much more. The night also includes the 3rd Annual Iron Fork Chef Competition featuring returning champion chef Kevin Naderi of Roost and his challenger, Kevin Bryant of Eleven XI. Chef Randy Evans of Haven will moderate this competition in which each chef must prepare his best dish using a secret ingredient; a panel of judges (including our very own Kaitlin Steinberg) will determine who wins this battle of the Kevins. Get your tickets before it's too late! General admission costs $50 and includes entrance to the event, food, wine, liquor and beer samples, plus entertainment; save $10 on general admission tickets until Sunday, April 6, at 11:59 p.m. by using promo code FOODIE14. VIP tickets cost $90 and include entrance an hour before GA, complimentary valet parking until 6:30 p.m., and the same food, wine, beer and liquor samples, plus entertainment, as general admission.
On Thursday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. Central Market Cooking School will host Food Network blogger Virginia Willis as she creates a menu of comforting Southern dishes in this special pop-up dinner and cooking demonstration. During the dinner, Willis will prepare Gulf Coast crab cakes paired with a country remoulade, vegetable soup with okra gougeres, roasted ham with herb jus, Parmiagano Reggiano grits and banana pudding with salted caramel. For $70 you can watch her create each dish, ask her any questions you have about the recipes and, of course, enjoy the scrumptious Southern Supper -- the meal is also paired with wine!
Help raise money for Big Brothers Big Sisters through a silent auction and by making donations, and enjoy a multitude of dishes from Houston restaurants during the 2014 Big Taste of Houston on Sunday, April 13, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. at The Corinthian. Participating restaurants include El Big Bad, Kata Robata, Uchi, Michael's Cookie Jar, Cloud 10 Creamery and Mockingbird Bistro; Becker Vineyards, Evamor, Shaggy Dog Bloody Mary Mix and Southern Hospitality Coffee Co. will provide beverages. Individual tickets cost $125; VIP tickets cost $195 and include early access at 3:15 p.m., VIP swag bags, food and beverage pairings, and access to a crepe station, lounge seating, high-end wine, full bar and a wait staff. For every $500 raised, one child will be taken off a waiting list and matched with a mentor in Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Brennan's of Houston will host Richard Landau and Katy Jacoby, husband-and-wife team, as well as chefs and owners of the award-winning Philadelphia-based vegetable restaurant, Vedge, for the "Collaboration Farm Dinner with a Southern Drawl," on Tuesday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. for $95 per person. Landau and Jacoby, in collaboration with Brennan's of Houston chef Danny Trace, will prepare a menu of dishes featuring produce from local farms. Dishes include an antipasto of farmers' vegetables, chicken-fried cauliflower and a sweet potato waffle served with pimento cheese grits and chicory coffee "black eye" pea gravy, as well as a bread pudding made with strawberries, sorrel bonbons and a pecan pesto.
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On Wednesday, April 16, Rienzi, the house museum of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, invite you to sample gin and cocktails made from the libation, during "A 'Gin Craze' Dinner." Chefs Richard Knight and Benjy Mason of Down House and the coming-soon Hunky Dory and Foreign Correspondents, as well as pastry chef Samantha Mendoza of Triniti, will create a four-course dinner featuring items such as cottage herb soup and roast pork with root vegetables, and a trio of desserts. Down House's bartender, Jeremy Olivier, is quite knowledgeable about gin, so he will be on-site to talk about the alcohol's history and will serve gins from different time periods to go along with each dinner course. Tickets cost $120 per person and include complimentary valet parking.