Food & Drink Festivals
Houston Competition Seeking the Best Bao Returns for Fourth Year
On November 6, the 4th Annual Big Bao Battle returns to the Ballroom at Bayou Place. The charitable food competition and all-you-can-eat event raises funds money for OCA-Greater Houston. Founded in 1973 as the “Organization of Chinese American” the OCA evolved to spread its advocacy and civil rights mission to all Asian-Pacific American communities. Among the organization’s stated missions are the promotion of civic participation and the fostering of cultural heritage for the over 400,000 Asian Pacific residents in Houston — of which 70-percent are first-generation immigrants and roughly a quarter are of low-income.
This year, OCA-Greater Houston, along with event organizer chef Dory Fung, is hosting the competition at The Ballroom at Bayou Place. Located at 500 Texas, the venue is in the heart of Houston’s Theater District. Fung, a Chinese-American pastry chef born and raised in Houston, spun off the Big Bao Battle from her first charitable food project, the Banh Mi Cook-Off, which had its six year anniversary earlier this fall.
Expect a mouthwatering display of traditional Chinese steamed sandwiches and dumplings. This year’s event features eleven of the best chefs, restaurants and food trucks in the Houston area. Here is a full list of this year’s contestants:
- burger-chan, Willet Feng
- Click Virtual Food Hall, Gabe Medina
- Eatsgonewild Ice Cream, Josh Deleon
- Eminent Catering, Rob Frias
- Just CUC It, Cuc Lam
- R-C Ranch, Rick Dixon
- Tlahuac HTX, Nick Vera and Stefani Velasquez
- Tobiuo Sushi & Bar, Sherman Yeung
Tickets for the Big Bao Battle are still available at the Eventbrite website. General admission tickets start at $35 and VIP tickets are $100. Valet parking at Bayou Place is $10, while street parking downtown is free after 6 pm.
Editor’s note: the initial list of participants was inadvertently that from 2018; have updated with the 2019 list.