Houston’s Best Chefs, Dancers and a Girl on a Swing Bring Back the Roaring ’20s

Houston’s Best Chefs, Dancers and a Girl on a Swing Bring Back the Roaring ’20s

Houston’s Best Chefs, Dancers and a Girl on a Swing Bring Back the Roaring ’20s

This is a Big Spender’s Dinner

BY  // 11.21.17


It was a tasty night for certain when 11 chefs joined the friendly competition to win the hearts of more than 450 partygoers who gathered at The Corinthian for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Gala. Through rounds of Roaring ’20s style partying and intense programming, the night was a success of more than $400,000.

Applause, applause for chairs Christie and Mark Sullivan and Kathy and Paul Mannand for Community Honorees Cora Sue and Harry Mach and Corporate Honoree H-E-B.

Congratulations go to Brennan’s chef Joe Cervantez, who won Best Signature dish for his shrimp creole tamales, and to Emmaline chef Dimitri Voutsinas, who earned Best Presentation honors for his salmon wellington. And then there was the People’s Choice winner — chef Hilda Ysusi of Broken Barrel, who melted our hearts with her confit of apricot pork belly with potatoes and jicama slaw.

Culinary chair Matt Harris rounded up the coterie of chefs that included Del Frisco’s James Cole, Pax Americana’s Martha DeLeon, Nothing Bundt Cakes’ Eduardo Garcia, Kuu’s Adison Lee, Potente’s Danny Trace, The Pit Room’s Bram Tripp and Harold’s Antoine Ware

The Astros and Caviar Go Together Like Carlos Correa and Daniella Rodriguez –  It’s Gourmet Foodie Heaven

The Astros and Caviar Go Together Like Carlos Correa and Daniella Rodriguez – It’s Gourmet Foodie Heaven


The Astros and Caviar Go Together Like Carlos Correa and Daniella Rodriguez

It’s Gourmet Foodie Heaven


With World Series celebrations in order, timing could not be better for a night of caviar, truffles, bubbly and Belvedere — to benefit the Astros Foundationand the Astros Harvey Relief Fund. The “Evening of Indulgence & Extravagance” takes place Tuesday, November 7, at Potente, which happens to be Astros owner Jim Crane‘s experiment as restaurateur.

DR Delicacy and Potente chef Danny Trace are teaming up for the six-course dinner extravaganza with the former providing the caviar and truffles and the latter delivering on a menu worthy of a World Series victory celebration. Moet & Chandon and Dom Perignon will be icing down the champagne at the restaurant that is within cork-popping distance of Minute Maid Park, home to the 2017 World Series champions.

Reservations, $200 per person, are available here. For that tariff, diners will taste four different caviars, Texas Wagyu beef, black truffle spaghetti, foie gras mousse, foie gras torchon, and more.

Tis the season for baseball and truffles, a happy coincidence that DR Delicacy is giddily embracing as the first direct importer of fresh black and white truffles in the southern U.S. Add to the company’s luxury larder caviars, foie gras, edible gold and the like.

The importer of gourmet foods has also teamed up with UberEATS to offer home or office delivery of all manner of delicacies including Russian and French blinis to pair with DR/Delicacy’s Royal Osetra caviar, duck foie gras torchons, or smoked salmon. It’s a holiday thing, available within a six-mile radius of the company’s headquarters at 4120 Directors Row, Suite A, 77092. That includes parts of Tanglewood and Memorial. The service is available via the UberEATS app on Thursday and Friday, 9 am to 3 pm. Saturday and evening hours are planned.

Houston’s Great Chef Shakeup — Major Changes at Three Top Restaurants

Houston’s Great Chef Shakeup — Major Changes at Three Top Restaurants


Houston’s Great Chef Shakeup — Major Changes at Three Top Restaurants Spur Musical Chairs – PaperCity

Where is Your Favorite Kitchen Star Now?

BY // 05.15.17

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The name Danny Trace has been synonymous with Brennan’s of Houstonfor nearly 10 years. So when news broke that he would suddenly depart from the storied New Orleans-centric institution, many were left scratching their heads in confusion.

What would happen to Brennan’s kitchen without Trace, and what was next for the beloved chef who’s called the Midtown restaurant home since 2009?

Trace heads downtown to helm Houston Astros’ owner Jim Crane‘s duo of new restaurants — Potente, which specializes in fine Italian dining, and Osso & Kristalla, a casual cafe  — stationed inside developer Marvy Finger’s recently opened mid-rise project 500 Crawford.

“Growing up with an Italian grandmother and Cajun grandfather was truly a culinary experience, everyone looked forward to Sunday dinners,” Trace tells PaperCity. “From an early age until now, my whole world has been surrounded by the love of food. I am excited to bring her authentic Italian inspiration to Potente and Osso & Kristalla.”

Trace becomes the third chef to be put in charge of Crane’s new restaurants. The Astros owner originally tapped celebrity chef Bryan Caswell to manage the two kitchens before a mutual parting. Chef Michael Parker, head of culinary operations at Crane’s Floridian National Golf Club, stepped in shortly after.

“We are fortunate to have found someone with Chef Trace’s culinary training and breadth of experience,” Crane says. “He impressed us with his energy and talent and we look forward to seeing how the menus at Potente and Osso & Kristalla will continue to evolve and expand.”

Will the third chef be the charm for the mid-rise restaurants? Only time will tell, but we’re hoping that chef Trace’s culinary expertise and loyal following will breathe new life into both outposts.


As for the Brennan’s kitchen, former Killen’s Steakhouse executive chef Joe Cervantezwill fill the executive chef job, a fitting match considering Cervantez trained under Trace at Brennan’s before his two-year Killen’s stint.

Of course, Cervantez’ departure also leaves a vacancy in the Killen’s kitchen. Chef-owner Ronnie Killen replaces Cervantez with steakhouse veteran Steve Huang, whose resume includes 18 years with Del Frisco’s.

“Besides working at one of the best steakhouses in Texas, [Huang] has a corporate restaurant background, so consistency is also a strong asset that he will bring with him. And I’ve always loved his calamari  — we’ll have great calamari on our menu!” says Killen, who also addded, “I have nothing but the utmost respect for Joe and am looking forward to continuing to watch him grow within the Brennan’s family.”

But the barbecue maestro didn’t stop there with new team additions. Killen revealed today that former Bernadine’s and Hunky Dory culinary director Graham Laborde will also come on as operating chef for Killen’s Restaurants.

“I’m excited about working with Ronnie,” Labrode says. “What I immediately admire about him is how hard he works. If it’s making all the barbecue himself at NRG stadium or touching all the restaurants every single day… he’s been there.”

Jim Crane’s New Restaurants Open with a Chef Dream Team

Jim Crane’s New Restaurants Open with a Chef Dream Team

View article online at PaperCity Magazine.

The highly-anticipated new restaurants from Houston Astros owner Jim Crane are set to quietly open this week with a powerhouse new kitchen team, PaperCity has learned. In a week of Super happenings, the one that happens almost under the radar is liable to leave some of the most lasting buzz.

Crane’s restaurants have gone through multiple name changes — and a major chef shakeup — to get to this point.

In the end — after mutually parting ways with celebrity chef Bryan Caswell — Crane went with a man used to his exacting demands. Michael Parker, who helms the culinary operations of Crane’s  ultra high-end Floridian National Golf Club, will be the executive chef. Micah Rideout, the former chef at Asian hotspots Tarakaan and KUU, takes on the role of chef de cuisine for Crane’s new Houston restaurants. David Berg, Houston’s own Bakery Magician, is the pastry chef.

This new chef team speaks to the scope of Crane’s ambitions for the new restaurants at 500 Crawford, the Marvy Finger mid-rise that overlooks Minute Maid Park. Crane yearns for the more formal of the two restaurants, an Italian fine dining spot now named Potente, to be recognized as one of the very best restaurants in Houston. This is an extremely personal project for the Astros owner.

In his first foray into the culinary world, Crane’s named the restaurants after his kids. Potente is the Italian translation of his youngest son James’ nickname. Potente means mighty in Italian. Osso & Kristalla — the more casual all-day cafe — is named after his son Jared and daughter Krystal’s nicknames.

These final names end quite the naming odyssey. When plans for the restaurants were first revealed, they were dubbed Brocca and Il Panchina before morphing into Osso and Kristalla. Now, Osso & Kristalla are one restaurant and Potente is the showpiece high-end spot.

Potente will be going full force for this upcoming Super Bowl weekend, but a restaurant spokesperson tells PaperCity that it will be likely exclusively limited to private dining for openers. With its prime location, right next to Minute Maid (the site of Monday’s night’s media day and Super Bowl opening night extravaganza) and its short walking distance from Discovery Green and all the NFL-booked downtown hotels, Potente has already drawn plenty of big game power player interest.

Yes, Roger Goodell may get to eat there first. But the plan is to be open to everyone shortly after.

Crane’s culinary dream team has been putting out test dishes since last week. The results show that Rideout’s Asian influences make an major impact on the Italian menu. This will be a cutting-edge modern restaurant rather than a throwback traditional Italian spot. (See an exclusive photo of the new food in the slider above this story).

Jim Crane’s new restaurants have gone through a number of changes pre-opening, but they’re here now — and as ambitious as the Astros’ self-made mega-millionaire owner himself.

For more, read PaperCity’s exclusive profile of Jim Crane in the February print issue of PaperCity magazine, on newsstands now. Crane talks Astros, fiscal responsibility, his vision for downtown and the new restaurants — and you get an exclusive look at his behind-the-scenes day-to-day operations.