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20th Annual Wine and Food Week presents Chef of Chefs Award at Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Showcase

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A gem of a celebration it was! The 20th Annual celebration of Wine & Food Week concluded in The Woodlands with a $5,000 check presentation and final closing ceremony capping off an extraordinary week of culinary and winemaking achievement with 20th Anniversary special guests, foodie friends, chefs, and winemakers from across the U.S. coming together to raise a glass in honor of this annual food fete. 

All total, the week featured chef teams totaling more than 125, 75 restaurants, 500 wines, numerous educational seminars, and various culinary events ranging from Get Frosted at Rose Way to the elegant Ladies of the Vine Tasting, Luncheon & Panel Discussion and culminating in the show-stopping Emerald Ball themed Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase. A highlight was the celebratory toast inducting the dynamic power food couple Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown into the Hall of Fame for their decades of culinary achievements including the formation of Southern Smoke Foundation which has donated more than 11.7 million to food and beverage workers. The event also highlighted longtime partner H-E-B.

View photos and video from the event on the Hello Woodlands Facebook and Instagram pages:


“Twenty Years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Constance and Clifton McDerby at The Woodlands Corporate Office for H-E-B,” explained Mike Warren, Director of Corporate Merchandising. “They had the ideas and the work ethic to put together this spectacular event for our customers. Wine & Food Week is about how great food may be paired with your favorite beverage; but it is also focused on the community, friendships, and education for our customers. At H-E-B, we think it is our favorite event of the year! Thanks to the entire team at Food & Vine Time Productions!”

The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase was the ultimate adult playgroundwhere guests sipped from a selection of hundreds of wines like a 2017 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages, a 2013 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2019 Ceretto Barolo, and a Kiepersol Bourbon Barrel Sangiovese while sampling dishes like Braised wagyu short rib with chile Morrison and chile ancho, served with corn maize porridge and chipilin leaves from El Quetzal Bakery & Restaurant; a Truffle macaron served with a truffle dulce de leche, classic beef tartar, yuzu & ponzu gel, cured egg yolks and a seaweed crisp from Infini Aruba; a Lychee Ceviche Served with coconut, ginger, serrano, curry leaf, watermelon radish from Musaafer and a Pork lumpia- grape leaf vermicelli, labneh and sweet chili sauce from Lymbar. These decadent bites were created by forty-three chefs competing for the Goya Foods Chef of Chefs Award judged by an esteemed chef and culinary-trained food media panel. Plus, an additional eight dessert chefs who created sweet treats like Mini Tres Leches, Billionaire Brownies, and bourbon chocolate pecan pie.

Chef Nancy Manlove of Puff by Nancy Manlove took top honors including a $5,000 cash prize along with the trophy presented by Chef Fernando Desa with GOYA Foods for a Puff pastry filled with a swirled duck Foie Gras Mousse and à l ‘Orange whipped brie mousse topped with a hot honey fruitta chutney mostrada drizzle and crisp duck bacon bits, bee pollen and edible wafer bees and fresh flowers.

Second Place went to Chef David Guerrero of Andes Café for Encebollado, a dish which originates from Ecuador’s Valdiva culture known for their culinary lifestyle using seafood and local herbs. Salted fish, and cassava are cooked in water, red onion tanned in lemon and salt, a drizzle of olive oil, parsley and a broth made from tomatoes, onions, chili, coriander, and cumin to form a base for the soup, called sofrito.

Third place went to Chef Richard Huber – Swift & Company for his Smoked Wagyu Short Ribs, Black Truffle Au Gratin Potatoes, Black Currant Bordelaise with Brown Butter Caramelized Kimchi.

The Just Desserts winner based on popular vote went to Chef Kady Miller of Alchemy Bake Labs.


“Toasting to 20 years is truly a dream come true. It’s a testament to our unwavering commitment to the culinary community, demystifying wine and making it more approachable, the shared joys, and countless cherished memories that have brought us to this remarkable milestone” said Wine & Food Week Co-Founder Constance McDerby. “When we first set out to create a multi-day culinary and wine event, I’m not sure I would have imagined that 20 years later we would have raised over $2 million for countless charities, built this family of volunteers, and gained the support of winemakers and chefs throughout the world.  But we did.  Clifton and I count ourselves immensely blessed, and we’re already looking forward to 2025, themed “Going Places” added McDerby.

Mixing, mingling, and munching in the crowd were a who’s who of food and wine superstars including Bayway Cadillac owners Darryl and Linda Wischnewsky; Mike Warren, Director of Corporate Merchandising H-E-B, Joe Casiano, Sr. Marketing Manager with H-E-B; John Donald Moore III Beer/Wine Merchandising Manager Houston  Chef Urvin Croes from Aruba; Chef Michael Cordua, the first chef inducted into the Wine & Food Week Hall of Fame, along with his son, Chef David Cordua of Lymbar, Master Sommelier Guy Stout, Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown. Culinary judges included Bart Black, Phaedra Cook and Chef Fernando Desa with GOYA Foods, Bao Ong, Patricia Sharpe, Chef Carlos Ramos, Chef Sunil Srivastava, Katie Stone, Mark Anthony Staha and Chef Shannen Tune.

Wine & Food Week’s 20th Anniversary celebration supported charitable organizations New Danville, The Woodlands Waterway Arts Council, The Montgomery County Food Bank and Southern Smoke Foundation.  Food & Vine Time Productions has raised well over two million dollars through various channels for local charities over the years.

For more Wine & Food Week fun, make plans to attend the Platinum Wine Vault Friday September 20 at Bayway Cadillac and the H-E-B Wine Walk at Market Street on Thursday, October 17.  Information at


Wine & Food Week, produced by Food & Vine Time Productions, is the first multi-day, multi-faceted, comprehensive destination culinary and wine event in the Houston Metro.  Owners Constance and Clifton McDerby are dedicated to showcasing the culinary talent in the Houston metro while welcoming great chefs from across the globe who share their passion for flavors.  They also are committed to extending their love of wine by featuring the flavors of the winemakers, growers, and producers who bring a time-honored tradition of the flavors of the vine.   Food & Vine Time Productions created another first with the state’s first multi-day craft beer destination and educational event featuring over 300 craft beer selections.  Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival which celebrated a decade of craft beer experiences was named #3 beer event in America by USA Today and #1 in Houston by Houstonia Magazine.  Food & Vine Time Productions offerings include Katy Sip N Stroll, Houston Chronicle Culinary Stars, Nach-Yo Ordinary Tequila Tasting Tour, and a myriad of private events for various clients. Since its inception in 2002, Food & Vine Time Productions has assisted in raising well over two million dollars for local charities through live and silent auctions and cash donations. 

Source: Food & Vine Time Productions