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Houston’s Best Meatballs

10 Top Chefs Brawl to Decide Who’s King

BY // 04.27.17
photography Kirsten Gilliam

What: Damian’s Meatball Brawl

Where: Damian’s Cucina Italiana

PC Moment: Meatballs took center stage at Damian’s Meatball Brawl chef competition. Ten of the city’s most popular chefs competed for the title of meatball king in a showdown benefitting the Texas Italian-American Sports Foundation, which raises scholarship money for local athletes.

Competing chefs included chef Alex Padilla (Antone’s Famous Po Boy), chef Joe Galluzzi (Brooklyn’s Meatball Company), chef Martin Weaver (Brennan’s), chef Nash D’Amico (D’Amico’s), chef Dimitri Voutsinas (Emmaline), chef Mark Holley (Holley’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar), chef Richard Kaplan (Weights & Measures), chef Martin Stayer (Nobie’s), chef Anthony Calleo (Pi Pizza), and chef Alexandre Scarafile (Sud Italia).

In the end, chef Alex Padilla‘s veal risotto meatballs served with roasted tomato marinara sauce took home the top prize of Best Meatball. The Forager — an open face slider topped with a wild boar blueberry meatball, porcini mushroom ragu and sottocenere cheese — from Pi Pizza’s chef Anthony Calleo snagged the title of Most Creative Meatball, while the People’s Choice award went to chef Dimitri Voutsinas’ smoked venison and ricotta meatballs with pepper agrodolce.

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