Neal Cox | Executive Chef, The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa
Having spent his entire life in southeast Texas, Cox is passionate about and fiercely loyal to traditional cooking techniques and flavors that are indigenous to our region. He says the culinary journey for TRIBUTE is a comfortable yet exciting one, having spent years cooking in some of Houston’s premier establishments like Trevisio, Zula, Americas, Churrascos and Pappas Bros Steakhouse where under his leadership it earned the title of “No. 1 Steakhouse in Texas” by Texas Monthly magazine. As the Executive Chef at The Houstonian since 2010, he has built a reputation with travelers, locals and Houstonian Club members for fabulous tasting food and “come back for more” dishes. He pushes for food that is authentic, fun and flavorful and looks forward to leading the TRIBUTE culinary team to unforgettable and spot-on tastes of Texas, Louisiana and Mexico. The highly anticipated restaurant opens in October.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A fighter pilot. Damn you, Top Gun!
How did you learn to cook?
From all the special ladies in my life. Grandmothers, mom, aunt, mother-in-law. They all have a love of food and family.
What ingredient can you not live without and why?
Our house rub. It’s great on everything!
What utensil can you not live without?
A good knife.
Favorite affordable wine?
McPherson Cellars, Roussanne, High Plains, Texas. It’s only $15…for now.
What is your comfort food?
Is there a food you won’t eat?
Boiled eggs. They were spawned by Satan himself.
Who are your favorite chef and restaurant?
Too many to list in this city. Robert Del Grande, Chris Shepherd, Hugo Ortega – to name a few.
What do you see as the next food trend?
In Houston, you’re going to see more and more restaurants opening up that are meat-centric. Not just steakhouses, but all forms of meat cookery. Houstonians have always been carnivores but I feel like it’s about to go to the next level since BBQ has arrived in the culinary scene.
What would people be surprised to find in your home refrigerator?
Mole and chapulines. I have a cook from Oaxaca who brings me back homemade mole and chapulines when he goes home during the summer. Love ‘em!
TRIBUTE | The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa
111 North Post Oak Ln. | Houston, TX 77024