Everything to Look Forward to During Wine & Food Week 2024 in The Woodlands

Masaru Fukuda of Peruvian restaurant Pacha Nikkei (holding check) was the 2023 winner of the Chef of Chefs competition during the Food & Wine Week Grand Tasting in The Woodlands. To his left are Kevin Lee and Marvin He of Phat Eatery, the first runner-ups
The Upshot: Wine & Food Week is returning for its 20th anniversary with fun events in The Woodlands and Spring from June 5 through 8, 2024. While some events are tailor-made for wine lovers, those who prefer beer or spirits are going to find plenty of enjoyment, too. That’s not to mention that every event includes food tastings from locally and internationally acclaimed chefs. Tickets for the various events range from $35 to $200.

Wine & Food Week, the popular, weeklong extravaganza of tasting events hosted by Food and Vine Time Productions, is returning to The Woodlands from Wednesday, June 5 through Sunday, June 9, 2024. It’s a special year too, as it’s the 20th anniversary of the event series. To celebrate reaching this milestone, the organizers have numerous special guests planned. 

Here are all of the activities happening throughout the week, along with details and ticket prices.

Wednesday, June 5

Aruba Fusion: Stretch, Sip and Savor

8 to 10 a.m., Market Street, 9595 Six Pines Drive

This first event of the week of festivities is hosted by Aruba Tourism. It includes “island yoga wellness” followed by a brunch and sparkling wines. Chef Urvin Croes of Infini Restaurant in Aruba is serving a Caribbean Breakfast Bowl made with tropical fruit and yogurt, and topped with pitaya, bananas, mangoes, pineapple, shaved coconut, granola, cashew nuts, chia seeds, and chocolate chips. Capital One Bank Café is bringing the coffee and a barista team to make espresso beverages. Organic still and sparkling Italian selections from Candoni Wines will also be served. 

Participants will get an Aruba yoga mat to take home. The cost is $35 plus tax and online ticket fee. Click for tickets and additional information.

The Bayway Cadillac team during a Wine & Food Week event
The Bayway Cadillac team during a Wine & Food Week event. Photo by Kelley Sweet Photography.

Wine Around The World Wednesday

5:45 to 9 p.m., The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive

Wine experts will lead attendees in tastings of wines from all over the world. Participants will be led in groups by their very own tour guide to different rooms with featured wineries. 

Local restaurants are handling the food pairings. Some of those team-ups include Bodega Garzón with Latin Bites and Italian wines distributed by Palm Bay International served alongside food from Sorriso Italian Kitchen. Origami Sake, which is based in Japan but uses water from Ouachita Mountains in Hot Springs, Arkansas, will also be on hand. H-E-B is providing sushi to pair with the sake.

The cost is $55 plus tax and online ticket fee. Tickets and additional information are available online.

Thursday, June 6

One of the big features of this year's Get Frosted at Rosé Way event will be the Chloe Dao Fashion show
One of the big features of this year’s Get Frosted at Rosé Way event will be the Chloe Dao fashion show. Courtesy photo.

Get Frosted at Rosé Way

6 to 9 p.m., The Peach Orchard Venue, 1737 Sawdust, Spring

This big event will take participants to Spring rather than The Woodlands — and it’s worth the jaunt as there is a great deal happening. There are not one but two fashion shows, and one is by Houston-based celebrity designer Chloe Dao, who grabbed the national spotlight after winning the second season of Project Runway. The second show features Coach handbags, including one embellished by Houston artist Shelbi Nicole whose murals adorn the walls of many local businesses, such as Common Bond, Pappasito’s Cantina and Bluestone Lane. 

During the shows, guests will be able to sip on rosé, sparkling and sweet wines and nibble on bite-size delicacies. In addition, they can get their photos taken with sparkly gems and bid on culinary experiences with top chefs benefiting the Southern Smoke Foundation. These include dinners by executive chefs Austin Simmons of TRIS, Ara Malekian of Harlem Road TX BBQ and Aaron Bludorn of Bludorn. Malekian and Simmons will be on hand to meet before the auction.

The general admission ticket price is $75 plus tax and online ticketing fee. However, the VIP ticket, which is $125 plus tax and fee, guarantees you a front receipt at the fashion show plus a swag bag with makeup samples, a Joe mask, a $25 gift card to Seychelles and other goodies. Go online for tickets and additional information. Attendees must be 21 or older. Pink derby attire is encouraged. 

Top women sommeliers host a Ladies of the Vine panel, one of the events during Wine & Food Week
Top women sommeliers from the greater Houston area and other parts of Texas host a Ladies of the Vine panel, one of the events during Wine & Food Week. Photo by Kelley Sweet Photography.

Friday, June 7

Ladies of the Vine Tasting, Luncheon & Panel

11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Club at Carlton Woods, 1 Carlton Woods Dr.

This perpetually popular event of Wine & Food Week allows participants to sip alongside and learn from experts in the wine industry. Monique Studak of Thirst For Knowledge will moderate a panel discussion that includes winery owners, wine company executives and entrepreneurs in the field. The event starts with a tasting reception before leading into a multicourse wine luncheon. Door prizes and swag bags for everyone will add to the merriment. Country club chic attire is encouraged. 

The cost is $165 plus tax and online ticketing fee. Tables for group seating are also available. Visit the website to buy tickets and for more information. Attendees must be 21 or older.

The Goya Foods team at the Sips, Suds & Savor event, part of Wine & Food Week in The Woodlands
The Goya Foods team at the Sips, Suds & Savor event, part of Wine & Food Week in The Woodlands. Photo by Kelley Sweet Photography.

Sips, Suds & Savor

6 to 9 p.m., The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive

As the name indicates, many of the events during Wine & Food Week focus on elegant grape juices. The casual Sips, Suds & Savor event puts the shoe on the other foot, bringing craft beer and spirits into the spotlight. (Oh yes, there’s still wine, plus 23 restaurants serving food, too.)

Entertainment includes live music, as well as artist Harvey Dunn’s PaintJam! speed painting performance. In addition, there will be an interactive tribute to the golden anniversary of the Texas Renaissance Festival.

The cost is $45 plus tax and online ticketing fee. More information and tickets are available on the website.

Expect a whole lot of wine and food at The Grand Tasting in The Woodlands, part of Wine & Food Week
Expect a whole lot of wine and food at The Grand Tasting in The Woodlands, part of Wine & Food Week. Photo by Kelley Sweet Photography.

Saturday, June 8 

Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase

7 to 10 p.m., The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive

This is the grand ball of the event series, featuring dozens of dishes to taste, hundreds of wines and the Chef of Chefs Competition. The theme this year is “A Gem of a Celebration”, and since the traditional 20th-anniversary gem is an emerald, the event is being called “The Emerald Ball”. Guests are encouraged (but not required) to wear emerald green. 

General admission tickets cost $150 plus tax and online ticketing fee. VIP tickets, which cost $200 plus tax and fee, get you into the Bayway Cadillac VIP Luxury Lounge, which has several exclusive wines.

Chefs from at least 35 restaurants will compete, and they will be judged by other respected chefs as well as members of the media (including myself). At stake is a $5,000 cash prize presented by Goya Foods, the Chef of Chefs trophy, and, of course, bragging rights for a year. It will be hosted at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott ballroom. 

Last year, the big winner was chef and owner Masaru Fukuda of Peruvian restaurant Pacha Nikkei for his Lobster Ceviche with poached lobster, guanabana (soursop), leche de tigre, Peruvian corn, crushed cancha (dried corn) and cherry. The chef’s reputation seems to be growing as he was just invited to cook for Victor Óscar Shiyin García Toma, the Ambassador of Peru, at the United Nations On May 30, which is “International Day of the Potato.” The day was designated by the United Nations “to raise awareness of the multiple nutritional, economic, environmental and cultural values of the potato and its contribution as an invaluable food resource and as a generator of income for rural families and producers.” 

The runner-up was the team of Kevin Lee and Marvin He of Phat Eatery who were there on behalf of owner and chef Alex Au-Yeung. They served Steamed Lobster Dumplings with sesame scallion aioli and topped with pickled red onions, a bell pepper trio, shaved green scallions, scallion oil and lime zest. Devastatingly, the community lost the beloved chef to cancer earlier this year. Fukuda, Lee and He are all coming back to the competition this year to defend their titles from stiff competition. Other locally known participating chefs include David Cordua of The Lymbar, Fadi Dimassi of Fadi’s, David Guerrero of Andes Café, Ryan Hallsted of Pearl & Vine (the winner of the Katy Sip & Stroll chef competition just a few months ago), Mayank Istwal of Musaafer, Nancy Manlove of Puff by Nancy Manlove and Elizabeth Stone of Silver Stone Events, just to name a few!

Chef Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown of the Southern Smoke Foundation
Chef Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown of the Southern Smoke Foundation. Courtesy photo.

This is also the event when Wine & Food Week Will induct a new member into its Wine & Food Week Hall of Fame. This year, it’s the power couple of chef Chris Shepherd and his wife, Lindsey Brown, founders of the Southern Smoke Foundation. They’ll be in good company, as previous inductees include chefs Michael Cordúa, Robert Del Grande, restaurateurs Carmelo Mauro and the late Tony Vallone, food journalist Patricia Sharpe of Texas Monthly and the late founder of Houston Restaurant Weeks, Cleverley Stone. 

There are two additional, related events that will happen later this year. The Platinum Wine Vault Tasting will be on September 20 and the big H-E-B Wine Walk On Market Street will be on October 17. Tickets for both of those are on sale now.

Tickets for some of the events, especially the smaller ones, do tend to sell out. So, if you see something you’re particularly interested in, it’s important to not procrastinate. With this being its 20th anniversary, Wine & Food Week in the Woodlands will be an especially fun-filled extravaganza for 2024.

Comments (0)

Share Your Thoughts on This Article