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Culinary Blog

A Chat With Restaurateur Paul Petronella

Paulie’s in Montrose has been a Houston neighborhood staple for years. With its homemade pastas, reasonable prices and friendly counter service, Paul Petronella’s namesake restaurant is beloved among Houstonians. This April, the restaurant celebrated its 20th anniversary with a party and the release, in January, of Petronella’s book, “ Paulie's: Classic Italian Cooking in the Heart of Houston's Montrose District. ” Petronella has been running the restaurant since 2009, when he took it over from…

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Q&A with Chef Kiran Verma

Sitting down to talk with chef Kiran Verma over a cup of chai is like being embraced in a warm hug. Known as the godmother of Indian fine dining, she exudes warmth and passion for her craft, which she fell into without any formal training some 21 years ago when she bought an Indian restaurant from another family. In 2005, after owning another restaurant, she opened Kiran’s on Westheimer, and in January of last year, she moved it to Upper Kirby. There, she continues to work to offer diners…

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A Chat With Adele Corrigan and Ian Rosenberg of 13 Celsius

For 10 years, Midtown wine bar 13 Celsius has been a favorite among Houston locals for its unique yet accessible wine list, well thought out meat and cheese boards, knowledgeable staff and architecturally striking building. Those things Houstonians love about it earned the wine bar a spot in Food & Wine Magazine’s list of best wine bars in the country, which recognizes wine bars with “wine lists that provide a distinct point of view” as well as a good atmosphere and experience. We chatted with…

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For Super Bowl, Make Chef Ben McPherson’s Chicken Fajita Spring Rolls

Chef Ben McPherson is gearing up to open his new endeavor: Krisp Bird & Batter. McPherson, who’s been involved with several Houston restaurants including Batanga, Prohibition Supperclub, Conservatory and El Burro & The Bull, is centering his new concept around chicken sandwiches. On the menu you’ll find six to eight chicken sandwiches, including a Korean fried chicken sandwich, on a variety of breads -- wheat, challah and on a waffle -- as well as custards, shakes, salads and sides. McPherson is…

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Ronnie Killen Talks About STQ, His New Houston Restaurant

Chef Ronnie Killen has earned heaps of praise over the years, attracting faithful fans to Pearland for a taste of his food at one of his three restaurants -- Killen’s Steakhouse, Killen’s Burgers and Killen’s Barbecue. Now those who live in Houston can have a little taste of his food closer to town at STQ, his fourth restaurant and the first inside Houston city lines. STQ opened in early December in a space along Voss Road that formerly housed Bramble. For Killen, STQ is an opportunity to cook…

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Sylvia Casares Shares The Best of Tex-Mex Cuisine in “The Enchilada Queen Cookbook”

For a little more than a year, Houston’s “Enchilada Queen,” Sylvia Casares, has been pouring her culinary secrets into a cookbook that she hopes will shine a positive spotlight on Tex-Mex cuisine. Tex-Mex food “is so misunderstood and maybe it doesn’t have a great reputation but I really believe it’s because people who have tasted it a) don’t really know what they’re getting, and, b) maybe what they were getting really wasn’t so good,” said Casares, who owns Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen. In “The…

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Chef Ryan Pera On Getting Healthy And His Favorite Places To Eat

Photo Credit: Julie Soefer Three years ago, when chef Ryan Pera turned 41, he made a decision to get healthy. He lost 50 pounds and made going to the gym and exercising a part of his daily routine. Now Pera, who owns Revival Market, Coltivare and Eight Row Flint with Morgan Weber, is melding that passion for fitness with efforts to raise money for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry, a program dedicated to helping end childhood hunger. Pera and nine members of his team across the three…

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Ziggy Gruber On Houston And Deli Life

Ziggy Gruber didn’t expect he would be the central character in Deli Man, a 2015 documentary about Jewish delis around the U.S. But Gruber, owner and chef of Kenny & Ziggy’s and third-generation deli man, stole the show. When he asked film director Erik Greenberg Anjou why, “he said, ‘because you’re the biggest character I know.’ And if you see the film, I guess I am a character,” said Gruber. A character he is and one sure to make you smile with his stories and good food. Gruber arrived in…

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Space Food: What Goes On In NASA’s Food Lab

Photo Credits (above and below): NASA's Flickr Stream Thinking about eating in space may evoke thoughts of bland and boring food. But much of the food that astronauts consume today are foods they would eat on the ground; they’ve just been processed and prepackaged to withstand microgravity and time. “When you go to a restaurant a lot of it is presentation. When we process food, the presentation is gone and so you are very dependent on the quality of the product and the flavor and the smell and…

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Erin Smith on Winning Chopped and Her Favorite Houston Eats

Houston chef Erin Smith, formerly of Main Kitchen at the JW Marriot, Clumsy Butcher Group and Plonk! Bistro, was crowned victor of the Food Network’s cooking competition, Chopped. Smith won the title in an episode that aired in late May and required her to cook with exotic ingredients such as rattlesnake. She’s the third Houston chef to win on the show. A native Houstonian, Smith went to culinary school in San Francisco before going to work in New York and returning to Houston. She’s currently…

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