Videos of the Week: Watch Houston Area Chefs and Restaurants Take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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Mark Gabriel Medina and Tai Nguyen of Soma Sushi

It's become something of a badge of honor for people around the country -- chefs, celebrities, whole restaurants -- to be nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. A viral social media campaign meant to bring awareness to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, the challenge is to dump a bucket of ice water over yourself or donate $100 to ALS research at www.ALSA.org (most people do both).

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, progressively causing total paralysis while the mind remains fully lucid. The prognosis is dire for those who are diagnosed, who have a life expectancy of two to five years.

To date, high profile celebrities from Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey have accepted the challenge, videotaping the act for all to see. In the food world, chefs and restaurants as a whole have risen to the challenge, and a quick search for the hashtag #icebucketchallenge will yield videos of everyone from Thomas Keller to Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, Stephanie Izard, Dominique Crenn and more.

In Houston, whole restaurant teams and individual chefs and other industry players have been dunking themselves with large buckets of ice water, some matter of factly, some with a bit more verve. Restaurants and industry people in Houston that have risen to the challenge at the time of this writing include Underbelly, Holley's, Hugo's, Kata Robata, Coppa Ristorante, Triniti, Uchi, Soma Sushi, KUU, Coltivare, Pax Americana, Eleven XI, Black Hill Meats, Randy Evans, Philippe Schmit, Felipe Riccio, Brandi Key, Sean Beck, Luis Villegas, and more.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, we've compiled some of the most creative (read: funny) videos from our Houston area brethren (we especially like the enthusiastic video filmed by Soma Sushi, at top):

Kevin Bryant and Joseph Wellborn of Eleven XI

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Donald Chang of Nara Sushi and Korean Kitchen

Adison Lee and Martin Weaver of

KUU Restaurant

Manabu Horiuchi and the team at

Kata Robata

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Ryan Pera and the team at Coltivare

Kaz Edwards and the team at

Uchi Houston

Adam Dorris, Plinio Sandalio and Shepard Ross of

Pax Americana

The entire staff of

Triniti Restaurant

Chris Shepherd and the staff of


Tracy Vaught and Hugo Ortega of


, Caracol and Backstreet Cafe

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