Top Houston Chefs Battle to Make the Best Truffle Dishes in Luxurious Event — Updated

truffle masters black truffle dessert

The Truffle Masters, an annual event from luxury ingredient purveyor DR Delicacy, is returning to an in-person format for the first time in two years on Monday, March 7. As was the case in 2020, it’s being hosted at the C. Baldwin Hotel at 400 Dallas in downtown Houston. A portion of proceeds benefits Texas Food & Wine Alliance, a non-profit organization that fosters awareness and innovation in the Texas culinary community through grants, educational programming and events. This year’s event is sponsored by Texan Bank.

In 2021, diners were invited to try dishes on their own at participating restaurants and vote for the winners, not just in Houston, but in three other Texas cities: Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. The Houston winner was chef Billy Kin, formerly of Hidden Omakase. (Chef Niki Vongthong is now in charge of that restaurant. Both chefs are competing again this year, with Kin representing his new place, Kinokawa.)

Chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi and his team from Kata Robata have won The Truffle Masters multiple times. Photo courtesy of The Truffle Masters.

As the name implies, Houston chefs are challenged to make the best dishes possible using coveted (and expensive) black truffles, and attendees can try them all in a walk-around tasting format. Here are the 24 27 chefs competing this year (list updated on 3/2/2022):

Pastry chef Karla Espinosa (center) celebrates her dessert’s win with chef Luis Roger (right in chef’s jacket), emcee Michael Garfield aka The High-Tech Texan, DR Delicacy and The Truffle Masters founder Diane Roederer (top center) and the team from MAD. Photo by Emily Jaschke.

The event this year is offering only VIP-level tickets. Regular VIP is $295 and includes tastings from all restaurants, additional dishes such as hor d’oeuvres and desserts, and wine and other beverages to go alongside. Patron VIP is $395, and those attendees also get access to the Reserved Patron Lounge with premium wines and Champagne, a caviar bar and truffle chocolates. There’s also a special Patron pin and gift bag, and a VIP pre-party from 6 to 7 p.m. with chefs, judges and sponsors in attendance. Chef-owner David Skinner of Eculent and Meticulous Spirits are also hosting an espresso martini bar featuring machines from French coffee roaster Malongo, and there’s also a silent auction and raffle.

“We are so pleased to be back in person this year for the Truffle Masters,” said Diane Roederer, CEO & owner of DR Delicacy. “Being together as we are amazed and delighted by the dishes Houston’s culinary masters can create with the truffle is such a wonderful experience. When you consider we’re also raising funds to support the important work by our friends at the Texas Food & Wine Alliance, it’s easy to see why this has become one of our city’s favorite nights. We can’t wait to share it again.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased online.


Editor’s note: a previous version of this article incorrectly stated the winning chef of 2021. We apologize for the error. 


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