More than a thousand food fans, restaurant and bar professionals and insiders as well as makers and shakers have packed the Silver Street Studios fully packed CultureMap’s TasteMaker Awards 2021 on July 22nd.
Houston’s hottest and biggest food event is the culmination of our annual, weeklong program that highlights and celebrates the hottest, most innovative and visionary of the city’s culinary and bar scene.
The Tastemaker Awards went to a local charity Lucilles 1913, the non-profit organization founded by Lucille’s owner Chris Williamswho made national news for the generous feeding of the locals.
Sponsors who made the night possible were Save up, Master Dobel Tequila, Stranahan’s Rocky Mountain Single Whiskey Single, Cigar City Brewing, and Top chico. Guests packed the sponsors’ activations, enjoyed fine drinks and sips before heading to some of the city’s best dining options.
And oh, the food. Delicious dishes included:
Red Hot’s Tex-Mex ribs
- Turners East coast oyster and Wagyu oyster
- Hidden Omakases Kinoko Nigiri
- Acadian Coast Coast Seafood gumbo and shrimp and grits
- Pier 6 Oysters on the half-shell
- Phat Eatery’s Kerabu shrimp
- Yelos Pork ribs
- Ostias Seasonal dumplings
- Bludorns Pumpkin blossom
- Tatemos Ribeye taco
- 93 Tils Shaved radishes with brown butter anchovy almond tuile
- Trill burger (New company from moderator Bun B) Smashed Onion Burger
- MADs Smoked eel and apple foie and huevos voladores
- The original ninfas Short rib tacos
- Bread Man Baking Company Ciabatta with sliced tasso ham and persillade aioli
- Road to the kitchen Wagyu beef cheek Khao Soi
- Dak & Bop’s Octopus kimbap
- Rosie Cannonballs Bacon crocchè
- Brazil Lipstick on a grizzly bear
- Gatlin‘S BBQ’s smoked pork belly and shallot pancakes
- Kins Rendang curry with roasted pork loin
Participants came to our photo booth to take photos and jumped into the super cool 360 degree photo booth from PicMe events – an Instagram story favorite – for taking selfies.
CultureMap editor Steven Devadanam greeted the crowd, recognized sponsors and staff including the food editor Eric Sandler, and introduced the moderator Bun B. Houston’s own hip-hop icon and frequent trill host of the Tastemaker Awards quickly wowed the energetic audience and set the tone for a speedy awards program. (His Trill Burgers table was one of the busiest stops of the night.)
Nominees included Pop-Up of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year, Bar of the Year, Best New Restaurant, and Much Anticipated Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year.
The winners were selected by our jury of restaurant professionals – with the exception of the best new restaurant, which was voted by CultureMap readers. You can find the full list of winners here.
Similar to the Academy Awards for the best actor and the best film, the anticipation for the Tastemaker Awards revolves around the categories Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year. After all, Kaitlin streets by Littlefoot / Theodore Rex was named Chef of the Year while Nobies awarded as restaurant of the year.
Since it was launched in 2014, our Tastemaker Awards have been the city’s defining food event – and 2021 was one of the biggest and brightest of all time. Congratulations to the winners; we can hardly wait for the next year.
Gourmets, fans and happy people included David and Audrey Gow, Sarah and Reece Foy, Ben Berg, Wes Winn, Aaron Bludorn, Tasos Katsaounis, Brooklynn Weatherill, Jonathan Horowitz and Quinn Hoang, Jess Timmons, Karen de Amat, Felice Sloan, Danielle Dubois, Thomas nguyen, Matt Harris, Diane and Willet Feng, Brittany Meisner, Peter Falcon, selection and Lee Womble, Mowing Rahman and Johnathan Jones, Eva Wilke, Nick Scurfield, Jordan Smith, Catherine Manterola, Tiffany kiss, AJ Hoffmann, Sara Jackson, and many, many more.