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Editor’s Choice
Tracy Vaught and Hugo Ortega

The 2018 James Beard Award Semifinalist List Is Out—And It’s A Banner Year For Houston

Posted: February 15, 2018 at 11:36 am   /   Editor's Choice, Featured, News

The cuts from the “long list” of James Beard Awards to the short list of finalists run deep, so there is no telling who from Houston will remain when that happens. For now, though, the Bayou City can revel in a lot of pride in the quality of its food scene as demonstrated in the lengthy number of semi-finalists. This year’s list ranges from the very expected to the insanely surprising. Some of those surprises are delightful; others are a bit troubling. The Tracy Vaught-Chef Hugo Ortega power team (otherwise known as H-Town Restaurant Group) continues to ride higher than […]

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flaming match

Editorial: Pageviews Is Not The Only God Of Internet Journalism

Posted: January 12, 2018 at 6:19 pm   /   Editor's Choice

Taken together, articulating and acting on clear values alongside an aggressive commitment to transparency and community can be a roadmap for news organizations wanting to rebuild and strengthen trust and the emotional relationship with its audience. —”(HINT: IT’S ABOUT YOUR BRAND)” by Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg You know I love it when the news is bad Why it feels so good to feel so sad? I’m only happy when it rains —“I’m Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage It’s no secret that journalism — especially journalism that focuses on arts and entertainment — has been on a long, […]

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flooded truck downtown

Opinion: With Devastating Floods, Houston Restaurants & Bars Should Only Open For The Right Reasons

Posted: August 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm   /   Editor's Choice

From editor Phaedra Cook with additions by Josh Armendariz:  In light of the unprecedented, devastating flooding occurring across Houston and the surrounding areas, business owners need to take a strictly conscientious approach to whether or not to be open. Here are good reasons to be open: To help the surrounding community—your immediate neighbors—and take care of basic needs: food, drink, a dry place to rest, charge phones and provide access to a clean restroom. The restaurant or bar is not touched by floodwaters The ability to maintain sanitary conditions as required by law is intact Owners are working performing work […]

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Cuchara's cooks

The Chef Is NOT In: The Arguments For And Against A “Name” In Restaurant Kitchens—Updated

Posted: July 26, 2017 at 9:19 am   /   Editor's Choice, News

Most restaurants aim to provide fantastic food, drinks and environment at a fair value. However, with the “celebrity chef” trend that started a few decades ago, diners often want something more: a well-known chef in the kitchen. An executive chef lends a certain amount of credibility or cachet; someone who is perceived as having formal education in the culinary arts, many years of experience and exceptional creativity. “I feel that it is important to have a chef,” said Shanon Scott of Sud Italia, where Sandro Scarafile oversees the kitchen. “A chef brings his own family recipes and considers each dish a reflection […]

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Tracy Vaught and Hugo Ortega

Opinion: Houston Gets Short Shrift In 2017 James Beard Award Finals

Posted: March 15, 2017 at 7:16 pm   /   Editor's Choice

Out of eight James Beard Award semifinalist candidates Houston ties, only two made it to this year’s James Beard Award semifinals. Considering the well-regarded food mecca that the Bayou City has become, that’s too few to be fair. This is similar to last year, when only two of 10 nominees made it to the finals. In an entirely expected (and well-deserved) development, chef Hugo Ortega was selected as a Best Chef Southwest finalist for the sixth year in a row. (By the way, let’s remember that the annual pilgrimage is an honor, but it is not free.) In a more surprising […]

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