This past June, a group of industry professionals and food writers from many publications (including this one) gathered to mull over the restaurant and bar scene over the past year and to nominate their picks for My Table magazine's 2016 Houston Culinary Awards. Those with the most votes each made it to the “short list” of seven per category — which are all now available for public voting. Ten Houston Culinary Awards and 13 Houston Foodie Star Awards — a category of casual “favorites” awards introduced in 2010—will be presented.
To cast a ballot, visit the voting page at the Houston Culinary Awards website. Voting requires validation via Facebook (this helps prevent “stuffing” the virtual ballot box). However, those who don’t use Facebook can still download and mail in a hard-copy ballot.
There are a few changes this year. First, the annual dinner and awards ceremony will be held on October 2 from 6 to 10 p.m. at The Corinthian, 202 Fannin, rather than The Houstonian where it’s been the past few years. Second, during the ceremony, The Grant Gordon Initiative For Chefs, Inc. will award “$5,000 to a Houston-area chef or individual in the hospitality industry who has gone through a crisis or hardship, be it due to an illness or other reason.” The foundation was established in honor of chef Grant Gordon, a young, successful chef who, tragically, committed suicide in 2014. A page has been set up to nominate hospitality professionals who need assistance.
In addition, the annual Legends of Houston Restaurants Award will also be presented. This year, the honoree is Felix Florez of Black Hill Meats, meat delivery service Ranch to Kitchen, and Ritual, of which he is a co-owner. He is being honored for his work in creating awareness of heritage meats. (Florez was similarly recognized in our Best of Houston issue last year for making humanely raised meat accessible to restaurateurs in Texas and other states.)
Tickets to the award ceremony are $185 each and include a cocktail reception, a multi-course dinner and a treat to take home.
The culinary stars preparing the cocktails and meal this year are as follows:
Justin Burrow, Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge
Richard Middleton, Brennan’s of Houston
Rob Crabtree, Armadillo Palace and Goode Co. Restaurants
Richard Knight, Hunky Dory
Alex Padilla, The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation
Addison Lee, KUU
Bobby Matos, State of Grace
Jackson Hicks, Jackson & Company
Susan Molzan, Petite Sweets
Greenway Coffee & Tea team
Takeaway Treat: Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar
Tickets for the ceremony can be purchased at the Houston Culinary Awards web site.