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Eat, Drink and be Artistic!

Eat, Drink and be Artistic!

Society with Ruchi

It was ‘the’ weekend for food lovers and art snobs! On Friday June 10, 2011 the Barbara Davis Gallery, near Montrose Blvd, was swamped with fashionable art enthusiasts as the gallery hosted the artist reception for Julie Soefer titled ‘Out of Range’. The opening night most definitely kicked off on a pleasant note with a packed house as some gathered to support a friend and some serious art lovers.

“We are so excited to host the opening of ‘Out of Range’, the first solo-exhibition for Houston-based photographer Julie Soefer,” said Barbara Davis. “This is an exhibit of photography that traverses the globe in an exploration of cultural landscapes drawing from my travels to Asia and several other experiences stateside,” explained the artist Julie. The crowd had mixed feelings about the exhibit as her photographs transcends geography and culture. The exhibit was like the artists’ very own personal diary with images ranging from the Houston Rodeo, to the tender, as seen in Boy on a Bus, which captures the wistful glance of a boy aboard a bus in India. Soefer’s photography captured intimacy, nuanced moments with parts of humor and romance. Present at the reception Houston based contemporary artist Marcus Mann expressed joy in the photography of Julie and was especially thrilled with the colors and the diagonal affect on the images. “My favorite was the little boy with sunglasses in India as it speaks volumes,” says Mann. Also present appreciating Julie’s art Kim Padgett, Miya Shay, Culturemap folks Clifford Pugh and John, Stuart Rosenberg, Cathy Gordon, Karen Steele, David Rassin and many others joined the art soiree. Julie Soefer: Out of Range exhibit is now on view from June 10, 2011 – July 2, 2011.

The Wine & Food Week in the Woodlands area had already kicked off last Monday with 40 plus wine and food events. Food and wine buffs have been captivated at the very chic Woodlands neighborhood for the entire week. However, I waited patiently for Saturday June 11, 2011 to attend my favorite, the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting and Chef Showcase at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott.

This premiere event touted as one of the most ‘magnificent’ wine and food events in the country with 50 chefs from all over the world showcasing their talents as they compete for the national Waterford Crystal Chef of Chefs Award. Wine connoisseurs enjoyed over 500 wines, and a pre-event live auction benefiting culinary scholarships for Houston Community College Foundation.

Doors opened at 7pm with a beautifully decorated ballroom filled with tantalizing aromas of different spices and flavors, after all it was themed Southern Hospitality to the max! It can be a little overwhelming and one can easily forget what was most yummy. After sipping on some sweet wines, Kirby’s Prime Steakhouse’s saucy steak served over a mini tortilla was everyone’s favorite. The list can go on but some of the top list yummiest were Italian Blossom, an avocado smoothie with mild chipotle sauce with a shrimp, Wild Mushroom Tart with Serrano Ham Salad with Triple Chocolate Truffle. The Waterway Marriott served up some pork tenderloin with corn queso and honey glazed salmon with cheesy polenta. Other creations like duck confetti with egg yolk, shrimp with vodka sauce, Latin bites, lobster bisque, roasted lamb tenderloins with black garlic sauce topped with baby carrots, asparagus, crispy potatoes and micro greens.

Shamelessly, the guests at this sold out event, finished the fabulous evening on a sweet note with a wide display of desserts prepared by renowned pastry chefs vying for the ‘Just Desserts’ Award presented by My Table Magazine. While every contestant made very special efforts to present their cupcakes, canoles or ice-cream sandwiches, 23 year old Tyler Stone drew a crowd with a twist of mini coconut ice cream on a stick.

Some of the wine wizards were Dr. M Revana, Fall Creek Vineyards Ed and Susan Auler, Scott Thomas, Billy Cox Jr, Retreat Hill Winery and Vineyard.

It must have been a tough one for judges to come up with winners. Without further ado the winners are:

  • Waterford Crystal Chef of Chefs Award – David Denis, Le Mistral (Houston)
  • 2nd Place – Roberto Castre, Latin Bites (Houston)
  • 3rd Place – Jason Dady, The Lodge Restaurant at Castle Hills (San Antonio)
  • My Table “Just Desserts” Award – Elizabeth Stone, Stone Kitchen Catering (Houston)

The event came to an end at 10pm as guests walked away with plenty of delicacies and wines to quench their thirst. Those who missed it this year make sure to grab your tickets next year.

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