Chefs: Seth Siegel-Gardner & Manabu Horiuchi “Hori” 

Nov 3, 2010   |   News

We are super excited to add 2 more amazing chefs to our lineup. Seth Siegel-Gardner and Manabu Horiuchi also known as “Hori” will be joining us at the wine conference on November 21st.

Seth Siegel-GardnerSeth Siegel-Gardner has worked with some of the greatest chefs of our time.  After graduating from the University of Denver, Seth made his way to New York City, where he worked in the kitchen at Aquavit, under the brilliant tutelage of Marcus Samuelsson.  Two years later he went on to work for Scott Conant at Alto and then with Gordon Ramsay at his restaurant inside The London hotel in New York City.His close working relationship with Samuelsson has provided the essential foundation for the techniques and simplicity that are at the heart of Seth’s cooking today.

Seth, a native Houstonian, finally found his way back home.  He produced the amazing Just 8 Project, hat took place in August, which was a hit with the Houston scene. Today Seth brings passion and experience as Chef de Cuisine at Kata Robata, one of Houston’s best Japanese restaurants.

Manabu Horiuchi or "Hori"Manabu Horiuchi or “Hori” as he likes to be called – was born in Shizuoka, Japan in 1974.  At the age of 10 he was inspired by his mother to become a chef. After graduation he moved to Osaka to attend the country’s most prestigious culinary school,  Tsuji Culinary Institute of Japan.
Hori excelled, graduating in 1993 with top honors and a special certification to handle and prepare blowfish.

He moved to Tokyo in 1993 to work at Sushi-Ko Honten, one of the most high profile sushi restaurants in Japan. Hori was the Executive Assistant Chef under celebrity chef Mamoru Sugiyama.  In 1999, Hori was bestowed the great honor of moving to Houston to serve as the Consulate General of Japan’s Official Executive Chef, preparing family meals in addition to cooking for large social events attended by dignitaries such as James A. Baker, Sen. John Glenn, and former NBA player Clyde Drexler.

Hori was on the lookout for a new challenge, and Azuma Group’s Yun Cheng, who is a long-time fan  suggested that his new Japanese tapas concept might be a perfect fit. No longer behind the scenes, Hori is ready to pursue his goal to make Kata Robata the best Japanese restaurant in America, he says with a laugh and a look that is anything but a joke.

You have until November 5th to get full registration to the Wine Conference for only $75. Join us at the Four Seasons Hotel Downtown, Houston with 4 sessions that include 4 tastings & 4 gourmet food pairings in each session. Drink and dine on cuisine from your local rock star chefs and wine experts for only $75.

The ticket price will continue to go up the closer we get to November 21st -  so get the deals while you can!

The Wine Conference Team

Branch Water Tavern: Chef Grossman & Evan Turner

Oct 26, 2010   |   News

We are so excited about having Chef David Grossman and Evan Turner at The Wine Conference. Chef/owner David Grossman and managing partner/sommelier Evan Turner, both formerly of Gravitas have partnered up with their new establishment, Branch Water Tavern.

Chef David Grossman

Chef David GrossmanChef Grossman sums his culinary perspective in just a few words, calling it “classically inspired modern American cooking.” “It is very much this idea of timeless great food that we want to bring to Houston,” he says.

Chef Grossman attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. While there, he took an externship with Roland Passot of La Folie in San Francisco, gaining appreciation for using the finest ingredients, while mastering solid French cooking techniques.

He graduated top in his class and signed on with Alfred Portale at Gotham Bar & Grill in Manhattan. Then he moved on to Restaurant Oceana and sharpened his seafood skills while working under Chef Cornelius Gallagher.

Next he was off to East Hampton, where he was employed by Chef John Delucie, owner of the Waverly Inn, a favorite celebrity spot.

Grossman’s time in New York gave him immeasurable experience, which he poured into the Houston kitchens at Reef and Gravitas. Branch Water Tavern reflects the years of experience Grossman gained from working at some of the most respected restaurants in the country.

Sommelier Evan Turner

The second part of this amazing duo is Evan Turner.

Evan, was inspired to be a sommelier because of his fascination with the art and science of wine coupled with the theater of serving guests.Now, as Branch Water Tavern’s managing partner and beverage director, Turner looks forward to broadening the breadth and depth of his beverage offerings.

“Every sommelier dreams of working on a list from the ground up. Branch Water Tavern offers me that opportunity for the first time ever, not only for wines, but handcrafted beers and signature cocktails as well,” says Turner.

The opportunity to partner with Executive Chef David Grossman was also a great draw for Turner. “He has tremendous talent and passion that will be exciting to be part of,” he says.

Wine Conference Special for 10 days!
For only 10 days you can get full registration at the Wine Conference for only $75. Join us at the Four Seasons Hotel Downtown, Houston with 4 sessions that include 4 tastings & 4 gourmet food pairings in each session. Drink and dine on cuisine from your local rock star chefs and wine experts for only $75. You have until November 5th! The ticket price will continue to go up to $95 so get the deals while you can!


The Wine Conference Team

It’s Wine Conference Time! Join us Sunday, November 21st!

Oct 4, 2010   |   News

We are happy to announce that the Annual Wine Conference will be hosted at The Four Seasons Houston, Downtown on Sunday, November 21st.

We are very excited about the programming this year and can’t wait to give you all the updates. This year we will focus on 4 styles of wines that include sparkling, white, red, and dessert. In each session we will pair 4 wines with 4 gourmet food tastings from Houston’s finest chefs.

Check out our agenda and get all of details for the day. We have amazing chefs and wine experts educating you in each session.

And here is the best part, the early bird tickets are now on sale for just $65. That’s 4 sessions for $65! After October 11th, they will be on sale for full price of $95.

So what are you waiting for? Reserve your spot today for $65 and tell all your friends! Honestly it’s a day full of goodness that you don’t want to miss out on.

So. Just to recap again:
4 styles of wines, 4 sessions with 4 tastings & 4 gourmet food pairings from Houston’s finest chefs in each session for only $65 = pure goodness!

Happy October!

The Wine Conference Team