Return to Meetings Focus Supplements

August 2014

Mouthwatering meccas grace the Lone Star State

by Jeff Heilman

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The culinary scene in Texas is as hot as ever, especially when it comes to cutting-edge concepts and notable chef-driven establishments.

Anticipation is building in San Antonio for one such offering: Kimpton’s Hotel Emma, opening in spring 2015 at the Pearl Brewery complex. Housed in the Pearl’s iconic 119-year old brewhouse, the 146-room boutique property, honoring Emma Koehler, wife of Pearl Brewery founder Otto Koehler, comes with a unique concept.

“By design, Emma will help reinforce the distinct culinary identity of the Pearl and San Antonio itself,” says Executive Chef John Brand, who promises a unique food-oriented experience for guests. “From a culinary concierge to culinary-themed touch points throughout the hotel, the kitchen will be the focal point at Emma.”

Inspiration and innovation drive the entire Texas F&B; scene, offering groups a tantalizing range of options for wining, dining and remarkable culinary-themed encounters.

Divine Dine-Around

Home to 4,000 restaurants, Dallas’ ever-evolving food scene offers two enticing new choices for groups. At Hotel Palomar Dallas, Knife is a reinvention of the steakhouse experience from James Beard-nominated Top Chef contestant John Tesar.

Southwestern cooking pioneer Stephan Pyles, meanwhile, has transformed his former Samar space in the Dallas Arts District with San Salvaje, or “Wild Saint” in Spanish, a high-energy fusion of various Latin American cuisines.

In San Antonio, serial restaurateur Johnny Hernandez’s latest concept,El Machito, pays homage to traditional mesquite-grilled meats, while in Houston, Chris Shepherd’s 2014 James Beard win as “Best Chef Southwest” underscores the flavor of the local scene. Groups of up to 180 can buy out his flagship restaurant Underbelly, which also offers private space for up to 36. Shepherd also leads Houston Culinary Tours: Where the Chefs Eat in his spare time.

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