Foodie Events / Restaurants

Woodlands’ Wine & Food Week Kicks Off With a Rocking Party and the Return of a Houston Favorite at B&B

Maeve Pesquera Brings the Glamour — and Some Serious Wines

BY // 06.07.22

When we saw Maeve Pesquera’s name on the invitation to celebrate the kickoff of Wine & Food Week with an exclusive launch event at B&B Butchers & Restaurant, we were in. Now senior vice president at Daou wines, one of the festival’s presenting sponsors, she was back home in the terroir where her career began — at the knee of renowned  restaurateur Tony Vallone.

The glamorous, congenial Pesquera has advanced eons since at age 19 she began working for Vallone at Anthony’s on Westheimer. With a degree from the University of Houston Hilton School, she moved from waiter to general manager at the tender age of 21. Her next step was managing partner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on West Alabama where she continued earning friends and admirers, many of whom still lament her departure. But it was a major career move.

In 2011, this highly skilled businesswoman was tapped by the company to move to California headquarters where she would take the helm as national director of wine, culinary strategy and innovation for all of Fleming’s restaurants. In the interim, Pesquera earned certifications from the Court of Master Sommeliers, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the Society of Wine Educators.

In 2016, the native Texan joined Daou Vineyards & Winery in Pasa Robles, California, and last summer was named senior vice president, strategy & business development.  Thus, she helmed the launch party where Daou wines were showcased and will be on hand at Wine & Food Week events in The Woodlands throughout the week. On her dance card are Grapes and Games, Wine Around The World Wednesday, Rose’ Way, A Sweet Soiree and The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase, to name a few.

Wine and Food Week
Maeve Pesquera, Matthew Kleinhenz, Ashlie Leslie, Lia Stevens at Daou Vineyards’ Wine & Food Week launch held at B&B Butchers & Restaurant. (Photo by Steven David Johnson)

On this evening, Maeve’s staff served glasses of Daou rosé, poured from a jeroboam, a style that she credits to Vallone. “Make and impression, go big,” she recalls of his lessons. Also in the offerings on this evening that took place on the second floor terrace of B&B were Daou’s chardonnay, sauvignon  blanc and notable cabernets.

The Daou cabernet sauvignon dubbed  Paso Robles, 2020 received a gold medal at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Wine Garden competition and Daou had the No. 1 selling cabernets at the rodeo Wine Garden and at Ben Berg’s Ranch Saloon + Steakhouse sit-down rodeo restaurant.

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Winemaker brothers George and Daniel Daou, flank Daou Vineyards senior vice president Maeve Pesquera. (Facebook photo)

Catching up With Maeve

Maeve Pesquera and her husband, veteran chef Luis Pesquera, have raised five sons, all but two of which have already left home, giving the couple an inkling of what the empty nest will be like. Very quiet, she observes. That home is Milagro Ranch in Pasa Robles where they grow wine grapes, olives and vegetables while raising chickens, rabbits and sheep.

The couple recently added a pig to their menagerie. Luis is making olive oil and the production has grown so large that Maeve is eyeing the thought of shipping to friends back in Texas.

Maeve will allow that the family’s lifestyle reminds of The Biggest Little Farm, but quickly adds that Milagro Ranch is neither that large nor that grand. But she is quick to invite friends to come and visit what she considers one of the most beautiful parts of California. And it’s only 14 miles from the Pacific.

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