Wine & Food Week in The Woodlands is back again with a bountiful assortment of wines and food concoctions from outstanding chefs. Starting Monday, June 3, until Sunday, June 9, anyone can attend the variety of events centered on wine (of course), food, socializing.
Constance McDerby, alongside her husband Clifton, have been putting on the Wine & Food Week event since 2002. While the week features many of the same events, including the core events -- The Big Three -- this year is focused on being Retro Rad and keeping it fresh, according to Constance.
"Our theme this year is Retro Rad," Constance says. "It came to us because our Wizard Gourmet is a Food Network Star contestant. She is really frozen in time... cat eye glasses and has a fun vibe."
Emily Ellyn, whom many will recognize from last season's Next Food Network Star, will join the festivities this year as the Wizard Gourmet, where she will help educate Wine & Food Week attendees about food, alongside Wine Wizard Tim Hanni.
Hanni is America's first master of wine and has created a progressive wine list starting with light white wines and increasing in intensity.
"He studies why you like the wines you like -- psychological responses -- and he makes it fun," Constance says.
Constance explains that there are three big events throughout the week, as well as several events where attendees can enjoy lunches, dinners and seminars at several locations around The Woodlands area.
The first of The Big Three events includes the H-E-B Wine Walk which will take place at Market Street Thursday, June 6, from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. Constance says that there will be at least 40 tasting stations for food and wine, and places to shop while enjoying wine at the same time. "Three hours is just not enough time," Constance notes.
The second event is the Sips, Suds & Sliders on Thursday, June 7, from 5:30 until 9 p.m. This is a wine, slider and beer tasting festival and a slider competition amongst chefs and restaurants.
The final event of The Big Three is the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase and takes place Saturday, June 8, from 7 until 10 p.m.
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"It is a mouthful, but even that doesn't encompass what it is," Constance says. With more than 50 chefs competing for the Chef of Chefs Award and a $5,000 cash prize, those who attend are in for some good food to go with their wine.
Some of the items you can taste at this event include root beer braised pork over a cornbread pancake topped with a bread and butter pickled compote and adobe cream, or shrimp cooked in a light curry sauce with Thai basil. If the food isn't enough, pastry chefs will also compete for the Just Desserts Award which attendees can sample as well.
After putting on this event with the assistance of H-E-B for the last nine years, Constance's favorite event is the Ladies of the Vine Tasting, Panel & Luncheon at The Club at Carlton Woods. "It's the only event where you can buy a ticket at a private club with four panelists who are all women, who come from different walks of wine," Constance says. "It's an intimate event where you get to know them; it is like sitting around the kitchen table with a four course lunch paired beautifully with wine."
Check out the Wine & Food Week website for the full schedule and to purchase tickets for each event as well. Get your tickets soon to ensure your spot at one of the various wine and food events offered each day.