Category Archives: Food

I think now is a good time to announce a new project I have been working on for several months now. Its not a new restaurant, but it is definitely restaurant related.

I have started a website,, that is a searchable database of Twitter handles of Who’s Who in the Food/Beverage industry from around the world. The database currently consists of 1,800 handles, and not even close to my goal. The people and businesses have been chosen at my discretion. These people may be innovators, leaders, or just solid individuals doing important things for our industry. The categories to choose from are Chefs, Restaurateurs, Coffee (baristas, roasters, growers), Booze (bartenders, sommelier), Purveyors, News/Press, and Food Trucks.

Also featured on the site will be profiles of people whom I think are doing great things in our industry, mostly from Houston, sprinkled with other US cities. As time moves on, you can expect the geographical range to expand.

The site is free. Although I plan to monetize the site in the future, it will always be free to users.

We have been live for a few weeks now. It is a work in progress, and will continue to grow. There is a Recommend It link on the site that will deliver a message directly to my inbox.

Enjoy it! Below are a few videos edited via from last weekends Umami dinner at Kata Robata.

Merry Christmas America!

UMAMI 12/18/11 Kata Robata

Peek into conāt

Feast of Seven Fishes from Ned Elliott

On Christmas Eve, Ned Elliott from Foreign & Domestic will be offering a family style Feast of Seven Fishes.  Ned’s restaurant is in Austin, but Houston loves him too.  So he’s sharing his skills with us this Christmas.

The Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve is actually a Southern Italian tradition.   We appreciate Ned respecting our traditions.

Ned has been getting a lot of deserving press since his opening last year.  Ned has a very impressive resume, which includes opening team of Thomas Keller’s Per Se.  Please check out Foreign & Domestic impressive website.

For more information and to purchase tickets click there ———>TIX

Hope to see as many of you as possible!

Now for some gratuitous musical F&D food photos…Merry Christmas!

Tonight’s Special and Wine Tasting next Tuesday

Hello Friends!

Just a quick reminder of our “Friday night Special”:

Fettucini and Mussels

Mediterranean style mussels sauteed in EVOO, Sherry wine, onions, garlic and rosemary. Tossed in fettucini pasta.  Served with dinner salad and garlic bread.

Here are great choices to pair tonight with your dinner:

2010 Cantina del Taburno Greco (from Campania)

2008 Suavia Soave Classico “Monte Carbonare” (from the Veneto)

2010 Terlan Pinot Bianco (from Alto Adige)

Join us next Tuesday December 13th for a complimentary wine tasting from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. We will be sampling some of our great wines from our “100% Italian Wine Menu”All of our wines come from small, artisanal producers that really, really care what’s inside the Bottle.

Leung Tasting Video

And because I was off tonight…



Chris Leung Dessert Tasting 11/20/11

Another successful private dinner at 1834 Westheimer.  This time with Houston Pastry Chef Chris Leung.  Chris has been in our kitchen before, but this was the first time for him to run the show.  And this time Rucker was the helping hand.  I believe the conat crew has great comradery.  Its fun to watch them work together.  They’ve been through a lot together, and they’re stronger for it.

Chris sent out 5 gorgeous dessert tastings, Rucker added 2 delicious savory vegetable courses.  The Paulie’s Barista crew paired coffee beverages, beer and Italian sodas for the guests.  That crew consisting of Marshall Guthrie, Josh Busby, and Dean Tryst.

These dinners are always fun, and important for culinary growth in our city.  Without a venue to perform, young chefs cant fine tune their skills.  Nor will patrons have the opportunity to experience their skills.  Im proud to have hosted all of the talent I have over the past 3 years:  Randy Rucker, Seth Siegel-Gardner, Justin Yu, Michael Gaspard, Amanda McGraw, Mark Clayton, Chris Leung, David Buehrer, Aaron Lara, Jon Hone, Julio Hernandez and several other young talented industry folk.  Paulie’s parking lot has also hosted a few Food Truck events, including a couple of Modular’s first outings.

From an industry insider to you, let me tell you how special 2012 is going to be for Houston.  I can never say enough about this generation’s Food & Beverage professionals.  This city is changing, but not without hard work and persistence.  2012 is the year of Houston.  Promise you that.

Coming Christmas Eve will be Ned Elliott from Foreign & Domestic in Austin.  Ned will be offering the Feast of Seven Fishes.  Click link for more info, dont miss this one!



And now visual enjoyment…


Try off the beaten path for Thanksgiving!

We have selected a number of small, artisinal producers from Italy to pair with traditional American Thanksgiving fare. Crazy, right? Crazy like a fox! All of these carefully crafted wines will change everything you think about Thanksgiving wine pairing. The quality that comes from small family wineries where they own their land, grow their grapes themselves and make their wines painstakingly by hand is unmatched. The only thing better than these wines will be the Football on TV.

2008 Montepeloso “Eneo” (Tuscany)

A wine that will make you stop, look at your fellow guests and say: “Whoa”. Staggering complexity with an array of red fruit, floral notes and that gorgeous aroma of Tuscan countryside. (Trust me, smell the wine. You will get what I mean.)

For those that are into ratings…

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Antonio Galloni) : “The 2008 Eneo literally sparkles on the palate with vibrant red fruit, freshly cut flowers and spices. It shows remarkable tension and delineation all the way through to the resonant finish. This is a striking wine in every way. Floral notes reappear on the finish, along with iron, smoke and ferrous notes, all of which add considerable complexity. This is a dazzling effort from proprietor Fabio Chiarellotto. It is composed of 40% Montepulciano, 35% Sangiovese, 15% Marselan and 10% Alicante Bouschet. 93pts.”

2008 Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano (Trentino)

I am going to simply say this: Take a sip of this wine. Have a bite of your turkey. Enjoy a life changing Experience. You are welcome.

For those that are into ratings…

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (Antonio Galloni) : “The 2008 Teroldego Rotaliano shows terrific purity and focus. The 2008 is a more cool, reserved vintage of this wine, with less exuberance, but plenty of drive and length. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014.

Elisabetta Foradori continues to set a very high bar in Trentino and the rest of Italy, for that matter. 89pts.”

The Pinot Noir you will be talking about at every holiday party you attend. Graceful, subtle and stylish, who knew that the Dolomites would be producing Pinot Noir like this? Simply exquisite.

2008 Damilano Nebbiolo d’Alba (Piedmont)

With Thanksgiving you need a wine that is strong enough to stand up to the richness of gravy, have good acid to cut through the sweetness of sweet potato and cranberry and subtle tannin to pair with the Turkey. This super-flexible wine prooves yet again why Nebbiolo just might be the best all around red wine for food.

Flour + Water meets MJ

In case you missed this last week from my recent trip to San Fran.

Mama se mama sa mama cu sa