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Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair ready to impress with chefs, wine and food

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The 11th Annual Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair is set to wow visitors this weekend, April 23-27, 2014 with an array of new attractions and added international flair. Attracting chefs from across the U.S. and Mexico, this five-day event celebrates all types of food with live cooking demos, interactive seminars, tastings, bartender’s challenge, pop-up book spot, beer garden and much more.

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Located in historic Sugar Land just minutes from Houston proper, its dinners, tastings and demos has gained a well-deserved reputation where chefs share secrets, sommeliers get uncorked and attendees have exclusive access to incredible food, wine, spirits and beer.

Events take place at Sugar Land sites that include Sugar Land’s Town Square, Sugar Land Marriott Town Square and the grounds of the former Imperial Sugar Factory and historic Char House.

The five-day wine and food affair kicks off with a soldout VIP dinner, followed by four days of events and tastings. New attractions include an outdoor beer garden, pavilion for chef demonstrations and cookware, and a pop-up book spot sponsored by My Table magazine.

Adding to the international flair will be a cadre of celebrated chefs from Mexico. The Visiting Chefs of Mexico include Arturo García Mogollón, Mexico City, Yolanda Yanar, Puerto Vallarta and Isaac Esparza, Riviera Maya. Representing the diversity of fine Mexican cuisine, the chefs will create dishes that reflect indigenous ingredients and technique. Chefs will be paired with wine producers from Mexico and makers of small-batch tequilas, many of which are highly sought after by tequila connoisseurs and difficult to find stateside.

The upcoming 2014 Event Schedule offers the sold-out VIP Kickoff dinner, the Hendrick’s Gin On the Rocks Bartender’s Challenge on April 24 from 6:30-9 p.m. at Anson Aviation-Sugar Land Regional Airport, Wine, the Herradura Tequila, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey Seminars on April 25 at 5:30-6:30 p.m. at
Sugar Land Marriott Town Square, The Grand Tasting on April 25 from 7-9:30 p.m. at Sugar Land Marriott Town Square, the Sip and Stroll on April 26 from 1- 4 p.m.at Imperial Sugar Land concluding with the Bistro Brunch on April 27 at 11 a.m.-2 p.m.at Sugar Land Town Square.

Participants for the 2014 Grand Tasting are:

John Signorelli, Remington at St. Regis Junnajet Hurapan, BLU
Manual Pucha, TABLE on Post Oak Mario Valdez, TRIOS American Grill
Maurizio Ferrarese, Quattro Kourtenie Tyson, Burning Pear
Danny Jacob, Brasserie 19 Ricky Cruz, Grotto
Kenneth Burke, Ibiza Food & Wine Bar Jacques Fox, Artisans
Randy Evans, Haven Nick Arduini, Seasons 52
Jean Phillipe Gaston, Cove at Haven Shannen Tune, Hotel Derek
Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar Peter Laufer, Royal Sonesta
Kevin Williamson, Ranch 616 Scott French, Mister French’s Gourmet
Neal Cox, Olivette @ The Houstonian Hotel Club & Spa Frederick Perrier, Aura Brasserie & Coco Pazzo
Brian & Shanna O’Hea, Acadame @ The Kennebunk Inn Taylor Salazar, Veritas Steak & Seafood

Tickets are priced from $40 - $150. A three-day VIP Grand Pass with access to The Grand Tasting, Sip & Stroll and Bistro Brunch is specially priced at $200. Special hotel packages are available at the official sponsor hotel, the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square.

Ticket purchases and additional information are available at www.sugarlandwineandfoodaffair.com or 713.SIP-WINE (713.747.9463). Listings of attending chefs, presenting wine, beer and spirits providers —updated frequently—are showcased on Facebook at facebook.com/sugarlandwineandfoodaffair and Twitter at twitter.com/SLFood.

Produced by The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, the proceeds benefit a permanent scholarship endowment for Houston’s finest hospitality students. Since its inception, the event has given more than 45 scholarships to students, with a record-breaking eight scholarships awarded to students in 2013. A handpicked team of students will assist in this year’s event production, marketing and social media campaigns.

“The students who participate in the festival benefit from both hands-on experience and valuable connections in the world of hospitality,” said director Krystal Peay. “They have the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry’s finest and learn from them in a very interactive setting. Many students will be working with their idols, and their lives will be forever changed by the experience.”

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