Melting Pot Luck

In a new cookbook, a top chef finds that the city’s sprawling assortment of global influences adds up to something quite singular: the regional cuisine of Houston. Plus, three of his best recipes!

Julie Soefer

Editors Note: During the COVID crisis, cooks across the nation are finding themselves significantly less busy, or even out of work. But Houston’s most famous chef, the James Beard Award-winning Chris Shepherd, is working harder than ever. His nonprofit, Southern Smoke, which supports hospitality professionals in times of need through emergency grants, is fielding thousands of applications every week. In March, $220,000 was distributed to 123 individuals, and big players — like Tito’s Vodka and the Houston Texans — are making game-changing donations to ensure that Southern Smoke’s great efforts can continue.

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You Don’t Know Jack

Jack-o’-lantern, that is. Three top Houston cooks put a fresh new spin on the quintessential ingredient of October: pumpkin.

Kirsten Gilliam

Packing a Punch

Cocktail connoisseur and resident mixologist at Downtown’s Reserve 101, Leslie Ross combines the spicy flavors of the fall season with dark, rich spirits in her version of a Tom & Jerry punch, aptly called Sleepy Hollow. “It’s warm and buttery and a really fun mix of a lot of different cocktails,” says the seasoned bartender. Layered with decadent ingredients, the adult beverage is complex in flavor and makes a festive addition to fall gatherings as Ross recommends using a hollowed out pumpkin as a punch bowl!    

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