On April 16, a crowd of about 400 filled the Cooley Center for the inaugural “Texas Taste Teaser” fundraiser. Food from 17 restaurants and 13 celebrity and novice chefs helped make the “Top Chef”-inspired event quite a success for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry.
We encourage all the chefs to have fun with this great evening,” said Beth Wilson, director of development at the School of Dentistry. “It’s an opportunity to show their talents and generate excitement about a great cause. For those novice chefs, with so many chef challenge shows today, this is an opportunity to be a star for the night. Themes are encouraged and fun is in demand!
Guests could go from table to table, sampling each creative, appetizer-size dish as they pleased. Everyone was given a packet of colorful toy coins to drop into “voting bags” at each competitor’s table. The competitors with the most coins won the People’s Choice Award.
After tasting each dish, the panel of judges awarded the top chefs based on categories such as Top Executive Chef, Most Creative, Most Delicious and Most Outrageous.
Texas Taste Teaser proceeds are currently estimated at $25,000, benefitting the School of Dentistry’s Community Outreach Program. The program reaches more than 10,000 patients every year through the school’s two mobile dental vans, Give Kids a Smile Day and other initiatives.
Words cannot express my gratitude for all of my colleagues and the superior leadership at the UTHealth School of Dentistry. They’ve made us so proud of the dental profession through these wonderful community outreach initiatives,” said co-chair of the event Yasmine Haddad, DDS, PhD, of the UTSD Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences.
In short, everyone walked away a top chef from this event. After all, anything that brings a smile to a child’s face is bound to be a recipe for success!
Winners and participating restaurants/chefs listed below.
Winners in the Professional Category:
Top Executive Chef: Mockingbird Bistro (Awarded for donating the silent auction item that drew the highest bid)
Most Creative: The Americana Café
Most Delicious: Mockingbird Bistro
Most Outrageous: Ouisie’s Table
Winners in the Celebrity/Novice Category:
Top Executive Celebrity: Dr. Quang and Staci Henderson (Awarded for donating the silent auction item that drew the highest bid)
Most Creative: Dr. Quang and Staci Henderson
Most Delicious: Dr. Emmanuel De La Cruz
Most Outrageous: Team Smiley Chef — Alex Martinez, Connie Kwan-Wong, Cindi Rose and Victoria Zhang
Winners of the People’s Choice Category:
Professional Category: Macaron by Patisse
Celebrity/Novice Category: Team Bite My Gumbo — Rita Cammarata, DDS and Dean John Valenza, DDS
All Restaurant/Chef Participants:
Cacao & Cardamom — Chef Annie Rupani
Café Byblos Houston — Chef Wasfi
Carmelo’s Ristorante Italiano — Chef Carmelo Mauro
Danton’s Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen — Chef Danton Nix
Dunn’s Catering — Chef Charlie Dunn
El Tiempo Cantina — Chef Donny Navarrete
Frankie B. Mandola’s Catering — Chef Adolfo Monjaras
Macaron by Patisse — Chef Sukaina Rajani
Mark’s American Cuisine — Chef Mark Cox
Merlion Restaurant — Chef Andrew Lobeck
Mockingbird Bistro — Chef John Sheely
Narin’s Bombay Brasserie — Chef Carlos Martinez
Ouisie’s Table — Chef Martin Bolanos
RG Grill and Café – Skyline Deli — Chef George Pechazis
Taste of Texas — Chef Stephen Edelstein
The Americana Café — Chef Edilerman “Eddie” Molina
Trentino Gelato — Chef Marcelo Kreindel