May brings good things, and at CultureMap, it brings the return of our annual Tastemaker Awards, in which we celebrate the top talent in the Dallas food and drink community.
We know we're not the only ones who love great restaurants and bars and the people behind them. But we feel a special affinity; we count this realm as one of our specialties, whether it's letting you know about the newest hot spot or tipping you off to the coolest things to do.
More than that, the Tastemaker Awards let us pay tribute to places and people who are doing exceptional work, from the best neighborhood restaurants to the most promising young chefs.
In January, we compiled a list of nominees and submitted them to our panel of experts, who chose winners in eight categories; the ninth will be determined by you, our readers. We'll do a big reveal at our grand tasting event on May 14, 6:30-9:30 pm, at the Empire Room in the Design District.
This year, in addition to staple categories such as Chef of the Year, we added a couple of fields that witnessed brisk action, including that perennial favorite, Best Burger. We'll roll out stories over the next few weeks, revealing the nominees in each category, with details on who made our list and why.
And just as we did last year, we've created a contest for Best New Restaurant, wherein you get to decide who will take home the prize by voting in a tournament we'll soon unfurl. The champion will be announced during our party, along with the rest of the Tastemaker Award winners.
Speaking of the party, 11 of the top restaurants in Dallas — including Small Brewpub, Luscher's Red Hots, Henry's Majestic and BB Bop — will be providing signature items. Herradura will host a face-off between our Bartender of the Year nominees, who will create cocktails and provide demonstrations on how to craft the cocktails onsite in the Herradura Lounge.
New this year: A VIP section with a tasting table sponsored by Celebrity Cruises. Four restaurants will host tables of 10, where they'll serve a progressive, four-course meal. Ticket buyers — only 50 are available — get a secure spot all night, and they are served by staff exclusive to this section. They'll also get access to their own private bar.
The first reveal, nominees for Bartender of the Year, is coming April 16. We hope you'll join us for our ride through what's best in Dallas eats and drinks.
Buy tickets now to the Tastemaker Awards on May 14.