Houston’s Juneteenth Jubilee Brings the City’s Top Black Chefs Together With a James Beard Legend

This Touching Powerhouse Food Evening Is No Ordinary Cookout

BY Shelby Hodge // 06.21.24

Of the dozen or so Juneteenth celebrations held throughout the Houston/Galveston area none was more memorable nor more sophisticated than the Juneteenth Jubilee. This dinner fête featured the talents of a dozen distinguished Black Houston-based chefs with Top Chef finalist Dawn Burrell hosting.

The Cookout as it was originally dubbed, was moved into the soon-to-open Hotel King David in a restored 1935 mansion in the historically black Riverside Terrace neighborhood. Headlining was James Beard Award winning food and nutrition journalist Toni Tipton-Martin, who signed copies of her book Juke Joints, Jazz Clubs, and Juice: Cocktails From Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks.

Cocktails from the book included sparkling watermelon lemonade with Houston-based and Black-owned Highway Vodka, watermelon, lemon, lime and sparkling wine, Sorrel with Highway Vodka, hibiscus flowers, ginger, cinnamon, orange and mint, and Planter’s Punch with Flor de Caña Rum, pomegranate and citrus.

Juneteenth Jubilee 2024 Participating Chefs with Featured Guest Toni Tipton-Martin
Leading Houston Black chefs with James Beard Award winning journalist Toni Tipton-Martin at the Juneteenth celebration dinner.

The chef lineup included 2024 James Beard Award Semifinalist Ope Amosu (ChòpnBlọk), Joseph Boudreaux (Boo’s Burgers, Crawfish & Brews), Anitra Broussard (Riel), 2024 James Beard Award Semifinalist Tristen Epps (Epps & Flows), 2023 James Beard Award Semifinalist Greg Gatlin (Gatlin’s BBQ, Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers), Dominick Lee (Augustine’s), Florangel Polanco (Flor y Miel), Shannen Tune (Craft Burger, Carol Kay’s Cafe, Pecking Order), Lawrence Walker (Winnie’s), and Khalieb Rufael and Olayemi Thomas (Spice Boyz Supper Klub).

The sellout Juneteenth Jubilee dinner featuring a dozen Houston black chefs, held at the soon-to-open Hotel King David in Riverside Terrace.

The evening launched with everyone joining together to sing James Weldon Johnson’s 125-year-old hymn Lift Every Voice and Sing, long considered the Black National Anthem

Dinner featured green tomato crab salad with spicy tomato consommé, pea shoot oil and fried shallots from Epps and Broussard; fried chicken and watermelon with compressed watermelon, chicken crackling, pickled beets, beet fluff, roasted garlic oil, mint and feta from Boudreaux and Tune; smoked oxtails with yam and sweet potato porridge and crispy turnip greens from Gatlin and Thomas; tasso pork collar with suya peanut and charred onion relish, romaine lettuce, fermented cantaloupe and crispy rice from Burrell and Lee; and plantain bread pudding with dulce de leche ice cream and coconut fried chick from Amosu and Polanco.

The collaborative experience was designed to reflect the unity displayed by Black communities during Texas’ first Juneteenth celebrations.

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