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November 2010 Archive

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News Bytes

Where the Chefs Eat Culinary Tours Return for 2011
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau announces another round of Where the Chefs Eat Culinary Tours for next year. Only sixteen people are allowed on each tour, so if you want to know where the city’s top chefs chow down, sign up at Tours for 2011 include a tour of hidden spots in new Chinatown with chefs Randy Evans and Chris Shepherd and a tour of the city’s hottest food trucks with chefs Justin Basye and Jonathon Jones.
Be a Chef for a Day at Brennan’s Houston
This might be the best Christmas gift ever for foodies: Brennan’s of Houston will let you become its "chef" for a Day for $1,450. You get a chef’s outfit, a day of one-on-one training in the kitchen and bar, food and beverage training, a six-course dinner and wine pairing for yourself and five guests and a personal gift from the chef. “A lot of people wonder what it’s like to work in the kitchen of a restaurant like Brennan’s of Houston, and with this program they get to find out,” says Alex Brennan Martin, president of Brennan’s of Houston. “But this isn’t like dining at a chef’s table or watching the action in an open kitchen from the dining room. This opportunity is definitely designed to put our guests to work!” Brennan's of Houston, 3300 Smith St., Houston, TX 77006, 713-522-9711.

Chef Shuffle

Two popular and highly acclaimed young chefs have quietly slipped away from their restaurants. Chef Michael Dei Maggi, who helped Tony Vallone open Caffe Bello to much praise, hung up his apron with barely a word recently and now chef L.J. Wiley has departed Yelapa Playa Mexicana. If a brief statement, owner Chuck Bulnes said he decided to part ways with the chef and “L.J. Wiley will no longer be affiliated with Yelapa.” He also said the restaurant, which opened one year ago, will continue with its Mexican cuisine. Wiley says he is looking for a space to open his own eatery. Yelapa Playa Mexicana, 2303 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX 77098, 281-501-0391.


Take your taste buds on a walk down memory lane! Check out our exclusive closed restaurant database for Houston to virtually visit your favorite dining spots from yesteryear. Zula, R.I.P.

Not only did Houston chef Bryan Caswell get the boot from Food Network’s "The Next Iron Chef" this month, he also wound up closing one of his restaurant locations. Caswell and partner Bill Floyd, who own REEF and Stella Sola, are planning a new Tex-Mex concept called El Real with Texas food writer Robb Walsh. They also had two slider havens called Little Bigs. The one in Montrose is still packing them in, but the location in Hermann Park is now closed. According to Floyd, the weekday traffic in the park just wasn’t enough to keep the biddy burger spot open. Little Bigs in Hermann Park, 1600 Zoo Circle Dr., Houston, TX 77004, no phone.

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