5 reasons every Houston food and alcohol fan should attend the 2018 Tastemaker Awards

5 reasons every Houston food and alcohol fan should attend the 2018 Tastemaker Awards
There are plenty good reasons to attend Tastemakers. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam

Steven Devadanam is editor of CultureMap/Houston. This article originally appeared there.

You know the nominees and you’ve voted for your favorite new restaurants. It’s time now for Houston’s premier culinary event — the 2018 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards party presented by Woodford Reserve. Here are our top five reasons to attend this can’t-miss bash that's happening April 4 at Silver Street Studios.

1. A smorgasbord of Houston’s hot spots
Consider this a buffet of Houston’s best restaurants. Sample items such as peppercorn seared tuna from A’Bouzy, scallop crudo from Field & Tides, chicken biryani from Himalaya, a sausage sampler from The Pit Room, salmon poke from Pokeology, a venison puff from Yauatcha, and much, much more.  You’d need 10 times the ticket price — not to mention a month of your time — to sample this much fare.

2. The sweet life
After the savory hors d'oeuvres and entrees, get your just desserts at the Sweet Suite. Gorge on items such as bread pudding with smoked cream cheese from Alyssa Dole of Pinkerton's Barbecue, assorted petite fours from La Table, all-natural popsicles from Kicpops, truffles and macarons from Maison Pucha Bistro, and cream puffs from Killen’s Restaurants pastry chef Samantha Mendoza.

3. Cocktail hour
You’ll need something to wash down these delectable items, such as a Woodford Rye Old Fashioned; a Texatucky Tea; signature margaritas; a variety of red and white wines from ONEHOPE; and craft beers from Deep EllumAlaskan, and 11 Below breweries.

Also watch for the bartender showcase, which features sophisticated, signature sips from the Bartender of the Year nominees: Stuart Humphries of The Pass & Provisions will serve up the Anderson Fair (Woodford Reserve, lemon, dry Curacao, tea syrup, Angostura Bitters). Sarah Troxell of Nobie’s offers up the Ain’t No Holla Back Girl (Woodford Reserve, creme de banana, pecan orgeat, lime, Angostura Bitters). Kristine Nguyen of Nancy’s Hustle mixes up her Single K.O. (Woodford Reserve, Lustau Palo Cortado sherry, Cappelletti, lemon juice, simple syrup) cocktail.

4. Meet your host, Houston rap legend Bun B
Your host for the night is legendary rapper Bun B, who helped put H-Town on the current rap map as one-half of the duo UGK, and has since exploded with his own solo career. When not hosting segments on Vice or his own Trill Foods web series (or guest lecturing at Rice University), Bun is a veritable foodie and man-about-town at Houston’s restaurants.

With his latest album due this spring, is there any chance Bun might drop some bars? “There’s always the potential if I’m in the building,” Bun teases CultureMap. “On that day, in Houston, that might be the best place to perform. Not a promise — but if the drinks are flowing you never know.”

5. It’s the perfect date (or, the place to meet your future date)
In a food town such as Houston, you’d be hard-pressed to make a better date than what’s become the city’s signature culinary event. “This is great event to bring a date,” says Bun. “It’ll make you look cosmopolitan — you’ll look like you're dialed in to what’s hot — and who’s-who, and that you’re actually in that circle.”

But what if you’re single, and ready to mingle? “This party puts you in an extremely enviable social circle,” notes Bun. “And you’re gonna meet some like-minded people.”

General admission tickets are on sale now for $55; a portion of the proceeds benefits Second Servings of Houston. Get your tickets before they sell out, or risk missing a food fest like none other. 

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Rockets fall to the Mavericks. Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images.

Luka Doncic had 41 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and the Dallas Mavericks prevented the Houston Rockets from advancing to the quarterfinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament with a 121-115 victory on Tuesday night.

Kyrie Irving added 22 of his 27 points in the second half for the Mavericks, who had already been eliminated. Their victory allowed the New Orleans Pelicans to win Group B in the Western Conference with a 3-1 record.

Doncic fell just short of his 59th career triple-double. That would have tied him for ninth place all-time with Larry Bird. He shot 15 of 29, 3 of 10 on 3-pointers.

“Sometimes we take him for granted, and we shouldn’t,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “He’s about winning, but it just so happens he’s a walking triple-double.

”The Mavericks, who trailed by nine points in the third quarter, grabbed the lead for good at 99-98 with 6:25 to play on a drive by Irving. Leading 103-100 with 5:25 left, they went on an 8-2 run that included three free throws by Derrick Jones Jr. when he was fouled by Dillon Brooks on a 25-footer with the shot clock about to expire.

Jabari Smith Jr.’s 3-pointer with 8 seconds left pulled the Rockets within 119-115 before Dallas closed it out.

Doncic played after sustaining a low-grade sprain of his left thumb on his non-shooting hand early in Saturday’s game. He wore a wrap on the thumb.

Doncic made a hook shot from the free throw line after recovering a loose ball near the baseline.

“I’m 2 for 2 in my career on the hooks,” Doncic said, saying the other came while playing for the Slovenian national team against Sweden.

Irving shot 2 for 11 in the first half, 1 for 5 on 3-pointers, with no free-throw attempts. He was 6 for 11 in the second half, hitting 1 of 2 behind the arc, and sank all nine free throws.

“I told the team, ‘Played well enough to win, not smart enough to win,’” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “We were extra-aggressive, especially at the end of the third quarter. Had multiple players make a few dumb fouls, put Kyrie at the line and got him going when he didn’t have a lot going. You can be aggressive, obviously, but slapping somebody on a 3-point shot on the arm is an unintelligent play. It has nothing to do with aggression.”

Alperen Sengun had a season-best 31 points for the Rockets, who had six scorers in double figures. Fred VanVleet had 10 points and 12 assists.

The Rockets have lost all six of their road games this season. They went into play leading the NBA by allowing an average of 104.4 points per game.

The Mavericks didn’t use the specially built court for either of their home tournament games, citing dissatisfaction with the quality.


Rockets: Will finish a back-to-back at Denver on Wednesday.

Mavericks: Host Memphis on Friday.

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