Inaugural HTX Whiskey Weekend Opens Featuring Houston-Based Top Chef Contestants

Evelyn Garcia Top Chef

On the last weekend of April, the guests can enjoy the inaugural HTX Whiskey Weekend, a celebration filled with cocktails, food and, of course, whiskey. The weekend begins with The Butcher’s Ball, a dinner presented by a City Place resident chef and three Top Chef Alumni. It all takes happens at City Place (formerly Springwoods Village), a complex which borders Lake Plaza Drive just west of I-45 in Spring, that is a hidden oasis of restaurants, business centers, upscale apartments and more. The area’s centerpiece, City Place Plaza, is anchored by City Place Marriott and home to a few more upscale restaurants, a movie theater, a spacious green courtyard and activities almost weekly. This latter is hosting the special weekend event.

The event runs for three days and kicks off on Friday, April 29 with a four-course spring dinner in collaboration with The Butcher’s Ball organization. Featured are three, Houston-based Top Chef Alumni: Dawn Burrell, Sasha Grumman and current competitor Evelyn Garcia working in collaboration with Daniel Chang, who owns Sushi Rebel in City Place and Uptown Sushi. Katy-based MKT Distillery is curating the drinks. Following the meal, guests will be treated to a DJ, cigar-rolling and whiskey tastings. Tickets to the event can be purchased the Butcher’s Ball website for an additional $150.

The green area at City Place.
The green area at City Place is spacious enough to host dozens of vendors. Courtesy Photo.

The festivities for Saturday, April 30 run for most of the day, starting in the early morning with fitness and yoga classes and ending with live music until 8 p.m. In between are whiskey and food events, such as complimentary seminars, like Collecting Whiskey 101 and The Business of Whiskey. (A Perfect Pour: Whiskey Cocktail Class hosted by Patrick Abalos, formerly of Night Moves, is already sold out.)

There is also an event called A Taste of City Place, which is a separate, ticketed food and beverage experience with vendors, food and whiskey samples from 3 to 8 p.m. Expect brands such as William Price Distilling, MKT Distilling, Still Austin, Devil’s River and Rebecca Creek. For food, HTX Whiskey Weekend is teaming up with Urban Harvest to present snacks from chefs Ara Malekian of Harlem Road Texas BBQ, Austin Simmons of Tris and Drake Leonards of Eunice, along with Bryan Caswell and Jason Kerr of Little Kitchen HTX. The event also features a cash beer, wine and cocktail garden.

Sunday, May 1 is a change of pace with an event called Waffles & Wheels running from 9 a.m. to noon. HTX Whiskey Weekend is working with City Place Plaza’s Star Cinema Grill, and the event features a live DJ, art cars and food items to purchase à la carte. The event is non-ticketed and free to attend.

Other events held at City Place.
City Place regularly holds events and celebrations, including Dia De Los Muertos. Photo by Ryan Baker.

As far as prices go, sampling tickets are $45 for whiskey and $35 for food; there is also a combination ticket for $65 per person. There are three hotels available in the City Place area. Houston City Place Marriott has a HTX Whiskey Weekend package, which comes with two complimentary drinks and a discounted rate of $209 per night. The other nearby hotels include Residence Inn Houston, Springwoods Village, featuring a Snacks On Us package that comes with a $10 snack credit, and the Courtyard Houston at Springwoods Village.

Check out the HTX Whiskey Weekend website to purchase tickets and see the full schedule of events.

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