Dallas Tastemakers 2018
Tastemaker Awards 2018

Dallas-Fort Worth food fans toast to local culinary stars at Tastemaker Awards

DFW food fans toast to local culinary stars at Tastemaker Awards

It was wall-to-wall food and drink at the 2018 Tastemaker Awards, CultureMap's celebration of the top restaurants, bars, and culinary masters, held at Dallas event space Sixty Five Hundred on April 19.

More than 30 bars and restaurants dished out their best in a hedonistic feast, serving spectacular tastes ranging from meatball sliders to hamachi crudo to Texas quail. The fifth year of the annual event, presented by Woodford Reserve and benefiting Bonton Farms, it drew a sold-out crowd of more than 750 attendees and proved to be the most assured and polished yet.

Lines formed quickly for small plates and samples from some of Dallas-Fort Worth's most popular and influential eateries. Buzzy dishes included warm and spicy elote-style corn at Trompo; tenderloin slider at Bob's Steak & Chop House topped with a witty pickled carrot; red snapper ceviche at Cedars Social; Texas quail at Tillman's Roadhouse; fava bean veloute from The French Room; mini-biscuits with sausage gravy from Norma's Cafe; pulled pork on a Hawaiian roll from Ferris Wheelers; and the massively popular breakfast-at-dinner cinnamon-pecan bread pudding French toast from Crossroads Diner.

A bartenders showcase sponsored by Woodford Reserve featured Bartender of the Year nominees Trevor Landry, Jonathan Garcia, and Austin Millspaugh, mixing up signature Woodford cocktails.

Landry's drink, called the Second Wind, combined Woodford Reserve with cacao-infused Flor de Cana rum, Braulio amaro, Disaronno Amaretto, and mole bitters. Garcia's "3:10 to Iwo Jima" combined Woodford Reserve with strawberry shoshito, lemon juice, and ginger beer. Millspaugh's "In the Summer of '62" featured Woodford Reserve with Chartreuse and Averna liqueurs, golden syrup, and chocolate bitters, topped with a head of whipped cream. This one contained a decadent surprise: a chocolate mousse cake ball with a crunchy coating floating inside.

At the Tastemaker Hall of Fame corner, Charlie "Pap" Papaceno, 2017 Bartender of the Year, created a jalaeño-topped "Barbed Wire Fence" cocktail alongside a dish of braised pork and cabbage from Josh Sutcliff, 2017 Rising Star Chef of the Year winner.

The Woodford Reserve main bar poured potent Old Fashioneds, TexaTucky Tea, margaritas, and more. Korbel offered garnished bubbly at the Bubbly Bar; wines by Sonoma-Cutrer and beers from Deep Ellum Brewing, Alaskan Brewing, and Community Beer Co. were served; and guests paced themselves at the Topo Chico Hydration Station.

Desserts got their very own dedicated Compass Sweet Suite, where pastry chef nominees Eric Cobb, Katrina Kent, Keith Cedotal, and Erika Lucio turned out an array of gorgeous sweets such as Orelys "blond chocolate" panna cotta with banana and passion fruit, and a toasted marshmallow and chocolate layered verrine with chocolate-chip cookie butter and chocolate "crack."

But this party wasn't just a feeding frenzy; we had some awards to present. CultureMap senior editor Teresa Gubbins welcomed the crowd and introduced celebrity emcee Jane McGarry​, who announced the winners from restaurants and bars across Dallas-Fort Worth. They were selected by judges Charlie Papaceno, Dan Murry, Jeffery Hobbs, Jesus Garcia, John McCaa, Josh Sutcliff, Kevin Martinez, Malcolm Mayhew, Nancy Nichols, Nico Sanchez, Rich Hicks, Rodney Haas, Sandra Bussey, Sarah Green, Stephen Rogers, and Gubbins.

One of the biggest awards of the night was for Best New Restaurant, voted on by the CultureMap readers and sponsored by Whole Foods Market. The winners were Ferris Wheelers in Dallas and B&B Butchers in Fort Worth. They were greeted with some of the loudest applause and cheers of the night.

Winners went home with major bragging rights, a trophy, and a gift from Seasoned, one of the event's generous sponsors.

Between feasting and celebrating, guests stopped to snap Insta-worthy photos at the SmileBooth and bought raffle tickets benefiting Bonton Farms, an urban farm in South Dallas. DJ Blake Ward kept the music lively all night.

Spotted in the crowd were Dallas dining VIPs and influencers including Monica Greene, Brad Woy, Tim McIneny, Jose Meza, David Denney, Victor Rojas, David Gow, Sander Wolf, Jon AlexisLeAnn BerryPhil Schanbaum, Brian McCullough, Christian Armando, Brandon Baker, Rachel Pinn, Susie Oszustowicz, Junior Borges, Tammany SternJaLisa E. Vaughn, and Alyssa Harker.

Now go read about all the winners, and we'll see you next year.

Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Korbel Bubbly Bar
Nicole Craven, Jane Rozelle, Vodi Cook, and Laura Ailshire toast at the Korbel Bubbly Bar. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Crossroads Diner, Best Biscuits
Crossroads Diner wins for Best Biscuits. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Piattello, Best Restaurant Fort Worth
The team from Piattello accepts the award for Fort Worth Restaurant of the Year. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Julia Monter, Kortni Robinson, Catherine Festa
Julia Monter, Kortni Robinson, Catherine Festa Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Anastacia Quinones, Rising Star Chef
 Anastacia Quinones of The Cedars Social accepts the award for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Ferris Wheelers, Best New Restaurant Dallas
The team from Ferris Wheelers accepts the award for Best New Restaurant in Dallas. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, BBButchers, Best New Restaurant Fort Worth
The team from B&B Butchers accepts the award for Best New Restaurant in Fort Worth. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Proper Bar, FW Bar of Year
Phil Adams says a few words after Proper wins Fort Worth Bar of the Year. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Omar Flores, Best Chef
Omar Flores from Whistle Britches wins Chef of the Year. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Audrey Pena, Nicola Meldrum, Hannah Wiedenhoefer
Audrey Pena, Nicola Meldrum, Hannah Wiedenhoefer Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Samantha Matthews, Brooke Williamson, Daniel Jensen
Samantha Matthews, Brooke Williamson, Daniel Jensen Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Chris Patrick, Graham Dodds
Chris Patrick, Graham Dodds Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Tastemaker Hall of Fame corner, Charlie "Pap" Papaceno
Charlie "Pap" Papaceno serves his "Barbed Wire Fence" cocktail.  Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, SmileBooth
Guests enjoy the SmileBooth photo booth. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Dean Fearing, Eric Dreyer
Dean Fearing, Eric Dreyer Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, desserts
Desserts got their own designated Sweet Suite. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Trevor Landry, Bartender of Year
Trevor Landry of Jalisco Norte is named Bartender of the Year. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, drinks
Woodford Reserve was used in creative new ways. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Bartenders Showcase
Bartenders showcased their skills. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Brooke Kenney, Madisen Reid
Brooke Kenney, Madisen Reid Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Crab Cake, Ocean Prime
Crab cakes from Ocean Prime Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Bonton Farms
Bonton Farms was this year's beneficiary. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, TopoChico Hydration Station
Guests paced themselves with help from the TopoChico Hydration Station. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Tillman's Roadhouse
Tillman's Roadhouse serves a Texas quail dish. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, El Vecino
El Vecino serves flautas. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, tacos
Pretty tacos from Trompo. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Junior Borges, Matthew Wilbur
Junior Borges, Matthew Wilbur Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Rob Morley, Heather Lawhon, Julie Campbell, Brian McCullough
Rob Morley, Heather Lawhon, Julie Campbell, Brian McCullough Photo by WJNPHOTO
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Korbel Bubbly Bar
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Crossroads Diner, Best Biscuits
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Piattello, Best Restaurant Fort Worth
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Julia Monter, Kortni Robinson, Catherine Festa
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Anastacia Quinones, Rising Star Chef
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Ferris Wheelers, Best New Restaurant Dallas
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, BBButchers, Best New Restaurant Fort Worth
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Proper Bar, FW Bar of Year
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Omar Flores, Best Chef
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Audrey Pena, Nicola Meldrum, Hannah Wiedenhoefer
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Samantha Matthews, Brooke Williamson, Daniel Jensen
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Chris Patrick, Graham Dodds
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Tastemaker Hall of Fame corner, Charlie "Pap" Papaceno
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, SmileBooth
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Dean Fearing, Eric Dreyer
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, desserts
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Trevor Landry, Bartender of Year
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, drinks
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Bartenders Showcase
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Brooke Kenney, Madisen Reid
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Crab Cake, Ocean Prime
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Bonton Farms
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, TopoChico Hydration Station
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Tillman's Roadhouse
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, El Vecino
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, tacos
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Junior Borges, Matthew Wilbur
Dallas Tastemaker Awards 2018, Rob Morley, Heather Lawhon, Julie Campbell, Brian McCullough