This year, the biggest party of the Dallas and Fort Worth food and beverage scenes came right to your living room. CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards — Virtual Edition brought all the delicious and innovative ideas from our cities' best chefs and bartenders straight to you, courtesy of Tasting Totes that were brimming with goodies.
If you purchased a ticket to the online awards show, hosted by hip-hop legend Bun B, then you also got to indulge in generous samples from nominees. Missed out this year? When you see what you could have enjoyed, you'll be first in line to purchase in 2021, whether the party is virtual or in-person.
VIP ticket-holders had their Tasting Totes delivered right to their door via swanky ride service Alto, while general admission attendees swung by the West Village to pick up their swag bags.
Once home, a feast awaited, complete with a bottle of Grandes Vinos Monasteria Reserva or Old Vine Garnacha (read more about their history here), a six-pack of Topo Chico, and cans of Dallas Blonde and Blind Lemon hard seltzer from Deep Ellum Brewing Co (plus a can of Easy Peasy IPA for VIP attendees).
The next best thing to having 2019 Bartender of the Year winner Chris Unruh make you a drink in person is to have him show you how to do it yourself, step by step onscreen. Equipped with two great Texas spirits, Dripping Springs Vodka and Desert Door Texas Sotol, along with Topo Chico, lime juice, and a to-die-for lavender lemonade mix, guests learned how to mix two signature cocktails to get the party started.
Guests could also shake things up with the first edition of the Tastemakers Cocktail Book, filled with exclusive recipes by Bartender of the Year nominees from across the state.
As for delicious bites from the nominees, VIP guests could dig into a noodle salad from Asian Mint, cacio e pepe pasta from The Charles, smoked salmon from Hugo's Invitados, a shrimp cocktail and concha pastry from Casa Jacaranda, and vegan barbacoa bowls from Toluca.
A salted hazelnut spice mix from chef Toby Archibald and chili condiments and house furikake from Salaryman will surely come in handy during future cooking adventures.
For dessert, you could take your pick from Texas Dugout Pie from Gold Ribbon Confections, bonbons from Kate Weiser Chocolate, spiced dark chocolate from Gemelle, sweets from Better Than Sex, and "baby trops" from La Tarte Tropézienne.
GA diners certainly weren't left out in the cold. Chips and queso from Meso Maya and chili Parmesan potato chips from Love Shack kicked things off, with Archibald's spice mix and a whole bottle of Norma's Cafe ketchup earning spots of honor in pantries all around DFW.
The Charles' pasta made another appearance, this time accompanied by Toluca's vegan elotes, Casa Jacaranda's shrimp empanada, and an assortment of savory nibbles from Little Lilly Sushi. Dessert here included a double-stuffed Oreo bread pudding from Better Than Sex, mini banana pudding from Lucky's Hot Chicken, and Micah cookies from Gold Ribbon Confections.