Foodie Events / Restaurants

Houston Chef Wins Major Award From National Food Magazine — Lucille’s Chris Williams Moves to the Head of the Table

Bon Appetit Recognizes a Community Leader of the Future

BY // 09.14.21

Houston chef Chris Williams and his Lucille’s team and his remarkable Lucille’s 1913 nonprofit has been awarded one of Bon Appetit magazine’s inaugural “Heads of the Table” honors. With the restaurant world turned upside down due to COVID-19, the magazine pivoted from the annual “Best New Restaurants” feature to the new awards program.

Lucille’s group was among only 12 nationally to receive the honor that spotlights “trailblazing, community-building, future-making leaders changing the restaurant industry.” Houston’s hometown team was honored for its culinary and community leadership over the past year.

This is the second national award given for Williams’ his good works and culinary prowess. In late July, “James Beard Awards: Stories of Resilience and Leadership,” honored the founder of Lucille’s Hospitality Group along with Late August restaurant chef Dawn Burrell.

The awards were announced Tuesday on CBS Mornings by Bon Appetit‘s new editor-in-chief Dawn Davis. A spread on the awards appear in the October issue of the magazine, which landed on stands on Tuesday, along with Williams’ recipe for Berbere Spiced Roast Chicken & Vegetables, which pays homage to his hospitality group’s namesake and his great-grandmother Lucille B. Smith. The full recipe can be found here.

Followers of Williams’ evolution from lauded chef to philanthropic leader and chef will recall that since his founding of Lucille’s 1913 and the onset of the pandemic, his team has served more than 300,000 meals to those in need of food support.

During the pandemic, Lucille’s launched a Bar Pop-Up program on its restaurant patio providing a space for out-of-work bartenders to create their own cocktail menus and earn much-needed income. Bartenders received 100 percent of the profit in the initiative that put more than $50,000 into the pockets of participating bartenders.

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