Select Page brought their Rising Stars Gala to Houston last night to highlight some of the best in Houston’s culinary world. The event was held at the Four Season’s, atop their lovely pool deck. It was the perfect Spring evening, the weather was just right, the fabulous cocktails were flowing and the food was extraordinary to say the least.

There were 12 pairings, all put together by Sommelier Sean Beck. Each Chef presented their best and the guests were the judge of who was to win! Picking the best dish out of these, was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

Thanks to our friends at Highland Park, who had us out for the evening. We had the pleasure of sipping their oh-so-fine 18-year whiskey throughout the evening.

Highland Park, voted “Best Spirit in the World”, is hand-crafted in Spanish Sherry Oak on the Scottish island of Orkney. Highly recommend this beverage.

Mixologist, Bobby Heugel of Anvil Bar & Refuge concocted some very original drinks. Featured drinks of the night were the Anvil Paloma, including tequila, grapefruit beer, lime juice and simple syrup and the Orkney Opponent with Highland Park 12-year Scotch Wiskey. Both were very refreshing, very fitting for a spring eve.

A big hit of the night was the Uni Chawan Mushi presented  by Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi from Kata Robata. The dish is a traditional egg custard with shrimp, chicken, sea urchin, shiitake mushrooms and dashi.

Kata had another Chef cooking at the event, Seth Siegel-Gardner prepared flawless Australian Beef Short Ribs with broccoli puree, toasted nori yogurt, kaeshi sauce and wasabi vinaigrette.

Bryan Caswell, as seen on the Next Iron Chef on Food Network and owner of Little Bigs, Reef and Stella Sola delivered a roasted fish dish that was fresh and delicate, yet hearty with braised collard greens and pecan-shallot cracklins.

David Grossman of Branch Water Tavern had one of the most savory dishes of the evening. His roasted cervena venison, brussel sprout hash and bacon hash was so tender and flavorful. He topped it off with a pomegranate jus that transformed the dish into what I would consider a perfect Thanksgiving meal.

Sauteed Jumbo Shrimp, white cheddar polenta and sweet soy agave nectar prepared by Jamie Zelko of Zelko Bistro was one of the crowd favorites, you could definitely tell by the length of the line.

A very hearty and savory chicken fried chicken livers, buttermilt biscuit and andoille sausage gravy by Haven’s Randy Evans was to-die-for. The pairing was slightly reminiscent of syrup, which very much rounded out this awesome breakfast combo.

All of the dishes were fantastic and it was such a great night to mix and mingle with the chefs and hear more about their food, thought process and meal for the evening. For a complete list of all of the Chef’s from the evening, visit for the roster and menu.