Houston’s True Truffle Masters — See Which Chefs Won This Spirited Foodie Showdown
A Swank Hotel, 500 Lucky Guests and Divine Kitchen CreationsBY Shelby Hodge // 03.10.22
At far right BCN and MAD executive chef Luis Roger with his team that won first place at the Truffle Masters competition held at C. Baldwin Hotel (Photo by Emily Jaschke, zenfolio.com)
BCN/MAD executive chef Luis Roger and his team take top honors at the Truffle Masters competition with the Winter Truffle Basque cheesecake with tangerine and apricot confit. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Truffle Masters founder Diane Roederer with chef Sherman Yeung and his team from soon-to-open Money Cat which took second place at the Truffle Masters competition. (Photo by Emily Jaschke, zenfolio.com)
The Hidden Omakase team and chef Niki Vongthong celebrating the Truffle Masters third place win. (Photo by Emily Jaschke, zenfolio.com)
The People's Choice award went to Kata Robata and chef Manabu Horiuchi, who created a truffle and fatty tuna hand roll with mushroom sushi rice. (Photo by Emily Jaschke, zenfolio.com)
Heralded bar tender Alba Huerta mixing her special concoctions at the Truffle Masters competition. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
a'Bouzy owner Shawn Virene assisting chef Jose Ruiz with his Truffle Masters competition entry. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Alvin Schultz, Catherine Manterola, Matt Adams, and judge Katie Stone huddle for a photo at the 2022 Truffle Masters competition. (Photo by Emily Jaschke, zenfolio.com)
Musaafer chef Mayank Istwal and his team created the most beautiful of entries in the 2022 Truffle Masters competition. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Alice Jackson, Eva Barrios, and Maria McGinity at the 2022 Truffle Masters competition. (Photo by Emily Jaschke, zenfolio.com)
One of Money Cat's duo of creative entries in the Truffle Masters competition held at C.Baldwin Hotel. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)
Popular BCN and MAD executive chef Luis Roger and his team are beaming after taking first place in the annual 2022 Truffle Masters competition with an out-of-this-world winter truffle Basque cheesecake laced with tangerine and apricot confit. It was indeed a masterful dish that bested those of 26 other entries in the annual truffle fest that benefits the Texas Food & Wine Alliance.
It took two ballrooms of the swank C.Baldwin Hotel in downtown Houston to accommodate the chef stations and the 500 guests who poured in to sample the divine creations from the chefs of Steak 48, Brennan’s, 1751 Sea and Bar, Concura, Alba Ristorante, La Colonial and all the rest. Each chef was given one pound of black truffles from Truffle Master founder and organizer Diane Roederer, the CEO and owner of DR Delicacy.
Second place went to chef Sherman Yeung and his team from soon-to-open Money Cat who created a savory dish combining truffle oil rice, sweet tamago, A5 Wagyu beef, braised hedgehog mushrooms, and pickled maitake mushroom as well as a sweet offering made from cocoa koji truffle entremet, matcha sponge, cocoa soil, shio koji truffle ice cream and chocolate tempered tree. It was as beautiful of an entree as it was tasty.
Third place was awarded to Hidden Omakase and chef Niki Vongthong, who prepared a plate featuring A5 Wagyu, Nam Jim, Perilla seeds, Wagyu fat crumbs and truffle.
A panel of one dozen food editors, bloggers and chefs judges including Texas Monthly‘s Pat Sharpe, chef David Cordúa and Joe Monastero of Texas Restaurant Association made the call that sent those three chefs over the moon.
And then there was the People’s Choice award. That honor went to Kata Robata and chef chef Manabu Horiuchi, who created a truffle and fatty tuna hand roll with mushroom sushi rice, as well as a Monaka Japanese-style truffle ice cream sandwich.
In addition to the truffle tasting, foodies were able to sample original cocktails created by acclaimed bartenders Alba Huerta and Derek Brown, bid on a silent auction, purchase raffle tickets and indulge at the espresso martini bar presented by Meticulous Spirits and chef David Skinner of Eculent.
“What a beautiful night, spent enjoying one another and the truffle with a delicious supporting cast comprising delicacies from around the world,” Roederer says. “We are so grateful to all of our chefs, restaurants, bartenders, judges, guests and sponsors whose creativity, enthusiasm and generosity ensured that we can support the important work of Texas Food & Wine Alliance.”