The kickoff of the Food Experiments was held in Houston, Texas at Fitzgerald’s on March 4th. Fellow Houstonians were honored to have been selected as the first city in the tour, but we did question why we were not selected for the “Chili” theme; being the chili connoisseurs we are (the Chili theme is set for Stockholm, Sweden). Apparently, Houston was not given the option to partake in the chili cookoff because that would have been too “easy”! Okay, agreed…we guess that would have been a clear choice. We digress…

We were up for the challenge and were prepared for anything the Food Experiment threw at us, including Beer; so we said…bring it on baby!!! Approximately 25 local chefs competed in the beer-themed competition and the entries ranged from pork belly, to brownies, to cheese soup. The spectrum of sweet to savory was fully covered at this event and beer was plentiful and available for a nice pairing. The crowd was pumped and could not have been more impressed by the options presented. These local chefs and cooks were ready to compete!

The tour, sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery, covers 16 cities and will result in a competition for the title of The Food Experiment 2012 National Champion. This national championship will be held December 16, 2012 in Brooklyn, New York. Before you can compete for that title, you must win a local title at one of the 16 stops. The are only two requirements for entry into this cook-off based competition. You must have a “competitive spirit and a love for cooking”. If you are interested in putting your dish up against some of the best in your city, make sure you get those entries in! The Houston Beer Experiment had entries coming in the day of. One “day of” entry was received for chili…the guy swore he could get his chili done in less than 1 hour and be prepared for the challenge. A winning chili in 1 hour? Hmmm…you may want to reconsider dude. #imjustsayin

In addition to this being one of the nation’s top cook-off organizations, The Food Experiment is also giving back. A portion of the proceeds from the tour will go towards charities that promote sustainability and local culinary education for disadvantaged children and teens. The Urban Swank Girls are all about giving back, so to see an organization with this level of exposure giving back deserves a double high five!

The Houston Beer Experiment was judged by Chris Shepherd (Chef of newly opened Underbelly), Adam Dorris (Chef of Stella Sola), and Jenny Wang (Producer of radio show, Southbound Food). Urban Swank got an opportunity to sit down with Theo Peck of the Food Experiments. He is a great guy and an equally great fit to host an event of this nature. His enthusiasm and passion for what he is doing with the tour is ever present. We hope you check out the Food Experiment in your city. The tickets are only $10, which includes access, tasting of the entries, and a complimentary Brooklyn Brewery beer! You can check out details and keep up to date on the tour (and cities) by visiting the Food Experiments website here. And remember…it’s not just about the food; it’s about the experience.

The winners of the Houston Beer Experiment:

Judges Award

First Place: Sybarite Pigs / Guava Wheat Lamb Stew
Second Place: Gastro Chic / Sweet Charcuterie
Third Place: Sorachi Kolache / Oxtail Kolache

Audience Award

First Place / Grand Prize Winner: Magic Hops / Pork & Grits Under the Influence
Second Place: Beer Belly / Fried Pork Beer Belly
Third Place: Sybarite Pigs / Guava Wheat Lamb Stew
Theo Prize For Experimentation: The Brittle Bakers / Spicy Beer Brittle with Chocolate Stout Ice Cream


*We received complimentary media passes for this event.

The Urban Swank Girls


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