Tastemaker Awards 2016 Dallas
Fab Foodie Party

Dallas-Fort Worth food fanatics get their fill at best Tastemaker Awards yet

Dallas-Fort Worth food fanatics get their fill at best Tastemakers yet

Hundreds of hungry fans packed the Hall of State in Fair Park for the 2016 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, the grand finale of our annual program that honors the top talent in the Dallas-Fort Worth restaurant and bar communities. This year was better than ever: Eighteen restaurants — ranging from Americano to Uchi, Revolver Taco Lounge to Ellen's Southern Kitchen, Madrina to Mudhen Meat and Greens — served up small plates that showed off the best in local dining right now.

Upon entering, guests posed for pics that would end up on Instacookies, a tasty idea from Kellie's Baking Co. that frosts faces onto cookies. Near the massive cheese display from Whole Foods, there was another photo op, complete with zany props and costumes to up the fun factor. Speaking of fun, a pair of masked and bewigged typists manned the Truth Booth, offering up witty and charming assessments of each guest that paraded and posed for them.

Awaiting partiers in the Park Place Lounge were a bubbly bar and sweets station stocked by Haute Sweets Patisserie and Fluff Bake Bar. In addition to something sparkly, attendees could choose from Herradura margaritas, Chloe wines, Alaskan Brewing Co. beers, or Perrier. As they sipped, DJ JT Donaldson provided the soundtrack.

In the chic Herradura Tequila Lounge, Bartender of the Year nominees Danny Caffall, Kyle Hilla, and Zach Potts mixed up original cocktail samples for the Bartender's Showcase. Attendees could show their love by voting for their favorite libations with golden coins, and it was Caffall's Enlightener, a mix of Herradura Reposado, citrus mix, chipotle jalapeño agave, Angostura bitters, and mezcal "mist," that amassed the most treasure.

But this party wasn't only about the eating and drinking; we had some awards to present. Celebrity chef emcee Dean Fearing revealed this year's winners to an enthusiastic crowd, who were able to cheer on Fort Worth entrants for the first time. Special thanks to judges Tim Byers, Jimmy ContrerasFarah FleurimaSarah Chastain, Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder, Graham Dodds, Jay Jerrier, Jenny Kornblum, Malcolm Mayhew, Hans Peter Muller, June Naylor, Cody Neathery, and Randall Warder, who helped us determine which would take home the titles.

Spotted in the crowd were Tastemaker Award nominees Jack Perkins, Brooks Anderson, Bradley Anderson, Courtney and Brian Luscher, and Andrew Dilda, plus partiers Linda Snorina, Gina and Derek Lynn, Richard Graziano, Julian Leaver, and Cordey Lash.

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

Adrian Abeyta, Stephanie Cole
Adrian Abeyta, Stephanie Cole Photo by WJNPHOTO
Jacob Zachariah, Paige Rommel, Bethany Gentry, Trinity Slater
Jacob Zachariah, Paige Rommel, Bethany Gentry, Trinity Slater Photo by WJNPHOTO
Tastemaker Awards Dallas-Fort Worth 2016
More than 500 people attended this year's Tastemaker Awards. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Natalie Westbrook, Christie Douglas
Natalie Westbrook, Christie Douglas Photo by WJNPHOTO
Suki Otuski and team from Mudhen Meat and Greens
Mudhen Meat and Greens' Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee Suki Otuski and team.  Photo by WJNPHOTO
DJ Dilly, Gabby Mezarina
DJ Dilly, Gabby Mezarina Photo by WJNPHOTO
Revolver Taco Lounge accepting the Fort Worth Best Restaurant of the Year award
Revolver Taco Lounge accepting the Fort Worth Restaurant of the Year award, presented by Dean Fearing and Jennifer Chininis. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Jason Malone, Yacdan Panah
Jason Malone, Yacdan Panah Photo by WJNPHOTO
Graham Moore, Lacy Cook
Graham Moore, Lacy Cook Photo by WJNPHOTO
Laura Weisiger, Mallory Rosen, Kendyl Churchman
Laura Weisiger, Mallory Rosen, Kendyl Churchman Photo by WJNPHOTO
Peter Novotny, Rebecca Murry, Dan Murry, Meghan Meehan
Peter Novotny, Rebecca Murry, Dan Murry, Meghan Meehan Photo by WJNPHOTO
Amanda Guerra, Lacy Ball
Amanda Guerra, Lacy Ball Photo by WJNPHOTO
Maribel Morales, Mariah Cuellar
Maribel Morales, Mariah Cuellar Photo by WJNPHOTO
Neve Winspeare, Linda Snorina, Carmen Dunn
Neve Winspeare, Linda Snorina, Carmen Dunn Photo by WJNPHOTO
Alika Ray, Robert Tate, Kyle Leary
Alika Ray, Robert Tate, Kyle Leary Photo by WJNPHOTO
Shelley Ragan, Matt Ragan, Josh Arseneau, Emily Arseneau
Shelley Ragan, Matt Ragan, Josh Arseneau, Emily Arseneau Photo by WJNPHOTO
Paul Kim, Jack Parker
Paul Kim, Jack Parker Photo by WJNPHOTO
Haylie Jackson, Holly Thompson
Haylie Jackson, Holly Thompson Photo by WJNPHOTO
Chloe Bubbly Bar
Bubbly was in the mix of drinks available at the event. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Kellie's Instacookie station
Your face on a cookie? Why not. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Mansion Bar bartender Danny Caffall
Bartender Danny Caffall of Mansion Bar won people's choice for best cocktail. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Tequila Herradura
Tequila Herradura was on hand pouring samples.  Photo by WJNPHOTO
Park Place Jaguar
Attendees could check out the latest from Park Place Jaguar. Photo by WJNPHOTO
DJ JT Donaldson
DJ JT Donaldson Photo by WJNPHOTO
Whole Foods photo booth
Say cheese: Guests enjoyed playing around in the Whole Foods photo booth.  Photo by WJNPHOTO
Tres leches trifle from winner Front Room Tavern in Dallas
Tres leches trifle from Pastry Chef of the Year winner Alison Morse of Front Room Tavern in Dallas. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Salmon sashimi from Kenichi
Salmon sashimi from Kenichi Photo by WJNPHOTO
Truth Booth
The Truth Booth tells it like it is. Photo by WJNPHOTO
Adrian Abeyta, Stephanie Cole
Jacob Zachariah, Paige Rommel, Bethany Gentry, Trinity Slater
Tastemaker Awards Dallas-Fort Worth 2016
Natalie Westbrook, Christie Douglas
Suki Otuski and team from Mudhen Meat and Greens
DJ Dilly, Gabby Mezarina
Revolver Taco Lounge accepting the Fort Worth Best Restaurant of the Year award
Jason Malone, Yacdan Panah
Graham Moore, Lacy Cook
Laura Weisiger, Mallory Rosen, Kendyl Churchman
Peter Novotny, Rebecca Murry, Dan Murry, Meghan Meehan
Amanda Guerra, Lacy Ball
Maribel Morales, Mariah Cuellar
Neve Winspeare, Linda Snorina, Carmen Dunn
Alika Ray, Robert Tate, Kyle Leary
Shelley Ragan, Matt Ragan, Josh Arseneau, Emily Arseneau
Paul Kim, Jack Parker
Haylie Jackson, Holly Thompson
Chloe Bubbly Bar
Kellie's Instacookie station
Mansion Bar bartender Danny Caffall
Tequila Herradura
Park Place Jaguar
DJ JT Donaldson
Whole Foods photo booth
Tres leches trifle from winner Front Room Tavern in Dallas
Salmon sashimi from Kenichi
Truth Booth