Succulent, chef-prepared oxtail dishes await at the Houston event at Project Row Houses

The most popular garden party in town is based on the back of a cow – the tail, or as it’s commonly known in the kitchen, the oxtail. Despite its humble origins, a well-designed oxtail dish is a thing of beauty. “Oxtail is peasant food,” says Rishi singh, executive chef at Hotel Derek, who is participating in his third Oxtail Mashup. This culinary celebration of the benefits of the down-to-earth oxtail Townhouse project and Texas Sickle Cell Disease program and will take place on Sunday, November 14 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Project Row Houses at 2521 Holman Street. (VIP entry starts at 6:00 p.m.; general admission starts at 7:00 p.m.)

Since oxtails contain more collagen and bone than meat, when properly prepared, a rich gelatin is released, and that’s part of the appeal. “It’s a slow process, but when you’re done you get a luscious, mouth-watering collagen sweetness that’s so heartwarming,” says Singh.

From left to right: Sara Smalling, Emmet Stone, Rishi Singh, Krista Stone. Photo by Leonard Smith.

Singh enjoys participating in the Oxtail Mashup because the place is a sanctuary for artists, the weather is always nice, and it’s a treat to honor the modest ingredient. “There are also some great bartenders,” he says. In the past it has served curry and menudo. This year, he’s making a white bean and oxtail stew.

The idea for the challenge came when Shakti Baum, chef / owner of Etta’s kitchen, and Chris Williams, chef / owner of Lucille’s, were discussing who made better oxtails. Thereafter, Baum began to think about organizing a competition. So she talked to her friend Warren Luckett, founder of Black Restaurant Week, and decided to create a fun event that would raise funds to support two groups they care about. Baum says the result, the Oxtail Mashup, is “a wildly delicious and artistic mashup of creations in various mediums, appealing to all the senses and true to Houston’s diverse nature.”

Oxtail Mashup co-founder Shakti Baum and 2019 Judges winner Dawn Burrell at the 2019 Oxtail Mashup at Project Row Houses. Courtesy photo.

Entries from previous years included oxtail marmalade, tamales and ‘Pop Tarts’ made by local chefs such as Dawn Burrell, the winner of the 2019 jury, a 2021 Top Chef competitor, and chef / partner in the next end of August, part of the new Williams Lucille’s hotel group. “This year we’ve introduced a few new features for guests with a little competition from some well-known names beyond Texas,” Baum said. Chefs come from all over the country to participate, and they’re not afraid to think beyond oxtails in brown gravy.

Oxtail Mashup Braised Oxtails 2019. Courtesy photo.

Fifteen chefs and five bartenders compete to “create the most inventive oxtail dishes, drawing from their own diverse roots and global flavors from Jamaica, Asia, Peru, France and more”, according to a press release. The winners chosen by the public will receive $ 500, and the chef who prepares the judges’ favorite dish will win a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. This year’s chef candidates are:

  • Andre Burns of Original Burns barbecue (Houston, TX)
  • Andremica Braggs of A fiery chef (Houston, TX)
  • Don Bowie of Taste Bar + Kitchen / Rare HTX (Houston, TX)
  • Erica Barrett of SoCu Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar (Mobile, Alabama)
  • King Javani of JK luxury kitchen (Houston, TX), 2018 Oxtail Mashup winner
  • Jonny rhodes of Broham Soul Food and Grocery and the recently closed Indigo restaurant (Houston, TX)
  • Kurt evans of EMI Dinner Series, Everyone eats Philly (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Laurent Walker of Lucille 1913 (Houston, TX)
  • Mark Clayton of Square (Houston, TX)
  • Melvin “Boots” Johnson of Harlem Biscuit Company (New York, NY)
  • Ossume Collins of KISS Vibe Dinner (Houston, TX)
  • Randy and Silvia Duncan of Daddy Duncan’s barbecue (Houston, TX)
  • Reggie Scott of Uncle Reggie’s International BBQ (Houston, TX
  • Rishi singh of Hotel Derek (Houston, TX)
  • Robert butts of Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Verses (Atlanta, Georgia)
Cocktails at the Oxtail Mashup 2019. Courtesy photo.

Bartenders create fresh, innovative, Tiki-inspired punches from pre-selected alcohols and local ingredients. Customers can sample the five competing cocktails and warm up at the hot toddy bar. The best bartender of the “People’s Choice” night will win a grand prize of $ 500 in cash. Guests will also be able to taste beers brewed in Houston and New World wines from the event sponsor. Branwar wines. This year’s bartender candidates are:

There is more to this garden party than great food. It is set at Townhouse project, a campus in the Third Ward that includes five blocks and 39 buildings, centered around a row of revitalized shotgun-style homes, which have been converted into homes of groundbreaking art projects and innovative neighborhood hubs. Guests will be free to walk around the artists’ facilities while Melodic dj and DJ G-Funk spin melodies near the fireplaces. There is also a silent auction to benefit Project Row Houses and the Texas Children’s Hospital Sickle Cell Disease Program.

General admission tickets for the event are $ 75 (plus fees and sales taxes) and include 7 p.m. admission, one sample of food from each chef, and four drink tickets. VIP tickets cost $ 135 (plus fees and sales taxes) and include early entry at 6 p.m., unlimited food samples from each chef, free cocktails, access to the Etta private lounge and bar, and a parking pass . A portion of all proceeds will go to Project Row Houses and the Texas Children’s Hospital Sickle Cell Disease Program. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website Oxtail Mashup Website.

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