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Feast your eyes and stomach at the International Risotto Festival

It's autumn, and the cooler weather has finally started to filter into the Houston area. For many, this means breaking out creamy, starchy comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, baked potato soup and risotto.

Risotto can be a blank slate for cooks.
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Taste of Vail

If you have never had risotto, it consists of short-grain starchy rice that is cooked and continuously stirred until the rice gives up its starch to create a creamy dish. Since it is basically rice, there are many variations on the basic risotto recipe, and some have even tweaked the basic recipe to make it easier to make, like Serious Eats' The Food Lab's work on The Road to Better Risotto, which resulted in this Perfect Risotto recipe.

Once you have mastered the basic risotto recipe, there is no limit to what you can add to it, and this year, Houston-area chefs will be adding their own creative touches to this classic dish.

This year marks the 10th annual International Risotto Festival, which will be held this Sunday, November 10, 2013, at the Houston Design Center. At the festival you can sample some of the most creative risottos from over a dozen of Houston's most beloved chefs like:

  • Jamie Zelko of Zelko Bistro

  • Jonathan LeBlanc of The Tasting Room

  • Ronnie Killen from Killen’s Steakhouse

  • Carmelo Mauro of Carmelo’s

  • And many more.

The cost to get into the festival is $65 per person, but children get in for free. If you would like VIP perks like access to closer parking and being able to get into the chef's tent to meet the entrants, the cost is $100 per VIP ticket. Proceeds from this event this year go to fund scholarships for the Art Institute of Houston.

Risotto sampling will start at 3 p.m., but there will also be wine tents and antipastis to enjoy as well. For children under 12, a kids' area will have fun-filled activities to keep them busy while you savor your risotto samplings.

International Risotto Festival

Houston Design Center

7026 Old Katy Road Suite 274

Houston, Texas 77024

(713) 864-4735

Date: Nov. 10, 2013 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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