20th Anniversary
Special Guests

Shelbi Nicole, Artist, Muralist, Designer

Meet Shelbi Nicole, a talented artist based in Houston, Texas! 🎨 Her vibrant murals, interactive spaces, and art products are a delightful blend of whimsy and creativity. 🌈✨

This Texas based artist, muralist, and designer, has had her fine art paintings both collected and exhibited worldwide. In addition to her namesake art product line “Shelbi Nicole,” she has collaborated with many major brands including the NFL Super Bowl, Kendra Scott, Alto Rideshare, Common Bond, Café Bustelo and many other brands. She also manages a creative design firm called Shelbi Nicole Designs that paints commercial spaces with murals, decorative finishes, and hand painted signage. She’s also worked on a number of notable public art projects over the years and The Houston Press even named her one of “Houston’s Top 10 Painters.” 

For more information on her visit www.shelbinicole.com or follow her on Instagram @TheShelbiNicole and @ShelbiNicoleDesigns.

We first worked with Shelbi Nicole on a community art project, and we are so happy to welcome her back as a special guest and artistic gem.  Shelbi’s part of a collaborative project with COACH and she’ll be at Get Frosted at Rose Way.  One lucky winner, (maybe it will be you) will receive a handbag painted on site with Shelbi’s trade whimsy.

Chef Ara Malekian, Harlem Road Texas BBQ

We’re happy to welcome back Chef Ara Malekian who has competed in several Wine & Food Week competitions over the years.  For the 20th Anniversary Chef Ara has donated a smokin’ hot culinary experience to be auctioned at the Get Frosted at Rose Way event.

Trained in Switzerland, Chef Ara spent his childhood cooking in the kitchen with his grandmother. After moving to the US in the late eighties, he began his culinary career and was eventually recruited by celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck. After spending years on the road in various restaurants, he developed an affinity and love for Texas BBQ and has created his own unique brand found exclusively at Harlem Road Texas BBQ.

A maker of many cuisines, chef Ara’s classic cooking and contribution to the local community continues to feed Houston’s soul. He sources his ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, artisans and purveyors and can regularly be found at the weekend farmer’s market selecting goods from friends to prepare his next feast. Chef Ara takes advantage of any opportunity to support those around him and give back. He is dedicated to supporting children as well as veterans, service members, law enforcement and emergency responders. He has opened 14 restaurants across the country, soon to be 15 upon Harlem Road BBQ’s debut in Richmond, TX.

Come say hello to Chef Ara June 6 at Rose Way and bid on his delicious 5-course dinner for six guests paired with wine and cooked in your home to benefit the Southern Smoke Foundation.

Chloe Dao, Fashion Entrepreneur

Fourteen years ago, we had the good fortune to work with Chloe Dao on Frosted during the 2010 Wine & Food Week.  It’s only fitting that we reunite with this Houston icon as a special anniversary guest.

Chloe Dao, a proud Vietnamese Asian-American, small business owner, and fashion entrepreneur was born in Laos as the sixth of eight girls. She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, with 8 years of experience in the New York luxury fashion scene. In 2000, she launched the LOT 8 boutique in Houston and in 2021 moved to M-K-T Heights. With more than 24 years in business, her goal has always remained the same—to make a woman feel beautiful with effortless and timeless designs.   

She was catapulted to international fame after winning Project Runway Season 2 in 2006. As a fashion designer, businesswoman and style expert, Chloe has been in Forbes, People, TIME, ELLE, and the Wall Street Journal and featured on CNN, The View, and Good Morning America. She was an ambassador for Barbie’s 60th Anniversary “You Can Be Anything” campaign and has collaborated on projects with the NFL and Dove. Chloe has been exhibited at the Smithsonian and is permanently archived in Google Arts & Culture in Houston Community College’s Fashion Archive.

Chloe has made a big impact in the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community in Houston and beyond. Most recently, in a collaboration with the Houston Public Library, Rice University and the Chao Center for Asian Studies, Chloe celebrated AAPI month with fellow Asian designers in a fashion show. She has also participated in a roundtable discussion led by MSNBC’s Katie Phang, for a screening of “The Culture Is: AAPI Women Thursday,” a four-part series highlighting diverse women. At SXSW in Austin, Chloe was on hand for the Asian American Artists and Entrepreneur Meetup.

Chloe embodies “If you can give back, you should give back.” Sharing her knowledge, time, and success, she enjoys helping others and being a part of their journey. In late 2020, Chloe and her team designed the HoUSton t-shirt, showcasing all races and identities, celebrating the city’s diversity, with a percentage of sales going to rotating charities. Her collaborations with Zeta Tau Alpha Think Pink, Ronald McDonald House Houston, Salvation Army, and MD Anderson Cancer Center are a testament to her commitment to philanthropy.

We’re excited to welcome Chloe back to present a fashion show during Get Frosted at Rosé Way.

Chef Austin Simmons, TRIS

Texas-born Chef Austin Simmons, a Le Cordon Bleu graduate, honed his skills at Dallas’s Mansion on Turtle Creek and John Tesar’s Modern Steak & Seafood. Now, at TRIS & The Kitchen in The Woodlands, he crafts unrivaled cuisine, blending global ingredients with finesse. Chef Simmons prioritizes his TRIS team as family, ensuring a special dining experience through upscale offerings and impeccable hospitality.

Adamant in wanting to tell a story through his cooking, Chef Simmons is very simplistic in his delivery with light, but flavorful ingredients that allow the natural flavors of the food to express themselves.

Chef Simmons has pushed the culinary envelope in The Woodlands.  In 2018, he was nominated by Eater Houston as “Chef of the Year,” recognized as one of CultureMap Houston’s top 10 chefs of the year, and placed in the top 25 in Houston Chronicle’s top 100 restaurants, curated by James Beard award-winning journalist Alison Cook. Simmons was declared the “Truffle Master” with his truffled grilled cheese in 2018 and also earned the ‘People’s Choice Award’ for his oyster and truffle potage in 2017 at the annual Truffle Masters competition.

Chef Simmons’ accolades continued in 2019 by being recognized in the top 10 of CultureMap Houston’s inaugural top 100 restaurants list, named “chef to watch” by Houstonia Magazine, and placed in the top 20 of Houston Chronicle’s top 100 restaurants, to name a few. Simmons was also selected to participate in the Butcher’s Ball Golden Cleaver competition where he took home third place against 20 other prestigious Texas chefs.

In January 2020, Houston Press named Chef Austin Simmons, ‘Best Chef’ in Houston. While 2020 was off to a successful start for Chef Simmons, it turned into an unconventional year for everybody in the world, and his invitation to cook at the world-renowned James Beard House in New York City in March 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic.

Chef Simmons is currently in charge of culinary for the Woodlands Hospitality Group, overseeing the Black Walnut Cafe concept with nine locations in Texas, and The Kitchen breakfast/lunch/dinner fast-casual concept in The Woodlands.

Chef Simmons is very active in his community and was named a ‘Community Champion’ by The Interfaith of The Woodlands in April 2023. In addition to cooking, Simmons’ passion is to develop younger chefs to discover their own talents in the same way that he was encouraged.

Meet him at Rosé Way where you can bid on his Smokin’ Hot Chef Culinary Experience – an all-inclusive six-course fine-dining tasting experience for four with wine in the comfort of your own home benefiting the Southern Smoke Foundation.  He’ll also be on the esteemed Judge’s Panel at the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase.

Kathy Womack, Artist

Kathy Womack, creator of the Women in Wine series is no stranger to Wine & Food Week.  Her colorful, cheery posters have graced many a Wine & Food Week program cover and collected by thousands of guests during the past 20 years.  Her brilliance as an artist shines through once again as she captures the 20th Anniversary theme “A Gem of a Celebration” for the official Wine & Food Week poster, transforming mere pigment and canvas into a tapestry of celebration.

Of her art Womack says: “As an artist and illustrator, my work often tells stories. I have a flair for the dramatic and I love a cautionary tale, often it’s a marriage of the two. Humor, snark and pop culture are my favorite genres that always give me plenty of inspiration ✨”

Welcome back to the effervescent Kathy Womack.  Wine & Food Week’s Official Poster Artist.  Meet her at Get Frosted at Rosé Way.

Patricia Sharpe, Texas Monthly

Patricia Sharpe

Executive editor Patricia Sharpe grew up in Austin and holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. After working as a teacher (in English and Spanish) and at the Texas Historical Commission (writing historical markers), she joined the staff of Texas Monthly in 1974. Initially, she edited the magazine’s cultural and restaurant listings and wrote a consumer feature called Touts. She eventually focused exclusively on food. Her humorous story “War Fare,” an account of living for 48 hours on military MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), was included in the anthology Best Food Writing 2002. Many of her stories appear in the 2008 UT Press collection Texas Monthly on Food. Her story about being a restaurant critic, titled “Confessions of a ‘Skinny Bitch,’ ” won a James Beard Foundation award for magazine food writing in 2006.

Sharpe has contributed to Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and the New York Times. She writes a regular restaurant column, Pat’s Pick, for Texas Monthly.

She was inducted into the Wine & Food Week Hall of Fame in 2023 and returns this year as a Culinary Judge. We’re happy to welcome this talented gem back for the 20th Anniversary.

Chef Masaru Fukuda, Pacha Nikkei

Back to defend his Chef of Chefs 2023 winning title is Chef Masaru Fukuda, the acclaimed and internationally trained culinary artist, and the driving force behind Pacha Nikkei, Houston’s first dedicated Nikkei restaurant. Nikkei cuisine is a captivating fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors.

Fukuda, a fourth-generation Nikkei Peruvian, brings a rich cultural heritage to his culinary creations. ” When I think of my home in Peru, I picture my mom making those delicious Peruvian dishes full of flavors and traditions, made from the fresh ingredients she bought from the market every day. I also remember my obachan (grandma) preparing the rice and veggies to make makis and onigiris, Japanese rice balls. Both Peruvian and Japanese cuisines are part of my history and my family, and they inspired my love of Nikkei food.”

Before launching Pacha Nikkei, Fukuda honed his skills at renowned establishments such as Kata Robata and Latin Bites. His passion for Nikkei cuisine was further kindled during his experience at Rice Village’s Politan Row Food Hall.

Another bright culinary gem…welcome back Chef Fukuda.

Katie Stone, The Cleverley Stone Foundation

We’re pleased to welcome back Katie Stone as a special guest and culinary judge. Katie serves as president of The Cleverley Stone Foundation, which produces Houston Restaurant Weeks and Eat Drink HTX. Founded by her late mother, philanthropist, and media personality Cleverley Stone in 2003 and now in its 20th year, Houston Restaurant Weeks is the largest annual fundraiser for the Houston Food Bank and to date has raised $20 Million.

Katie is also a food contributor for FOX26 and hosts a weekly live TV show, ‘Foodies & Friends’, which airs every Wednesday at 3 pm.

Katie grew up in Houston playing basketball and chess. She spent four years with the Houston Rockets as a ball kid during their championship years and went to UT Dallas as part of their internationally acclaimed chess program. While in college, Katie founded a company that organized summer chess camps for children in over 100 cities across the U.S.

Like many chess professionals, Katie turned to professional poker in the mid-2000s and became one of the most recognized and skilled female poker players and commentators in the world. In 2022, Poker Stars recognized Katie as one of the “Most Inspirational Women in Poker” at a presentation in Barcelona, Spain.

In memory of Cleverley Stone who was inducted into the Wine & Food Week Hall of Fame in 2022.

Harvey Dunn, PaintJam

Harvey Dunn traveled the world backstage with his famous speed painting father Dan Dunn, since he was 10 years old. Now the baton has been passed to Harvey and we are thrilled to welcome him back for a command performance headlining Sips, Suds &Savor during this year’s 20th anniversary celebration as one of our special guests.

With his theatrical approach, Harvey has amazed arenas and stadiums full of Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Tennessee Titans, and Minnesota Lynx fans. He wowed the digital audiences of Nickelodeon and Weird Al with amazing virtual events. He and his father delighted guests at last year’s Sips, Suds and Savor.

After high school Harvey entered the workforce in blue-collar jobs, realizing his place in the world was to be covered in paint, on a stage, entertaining audiences. So, he was thrilled to join his dad who was looking for someone to partner with in the industry. Now…he is the star of the show.

The crowds love him, and you will too! Mark your calendar for June 7 to see Harvey Dunn live in PaintJam.

Monique Studak, Wine Educator

Effervescent wine educator Monique Studak joins Wine & Food Week for the second year as the moderator of the Ladies of the Vine Tasting, Panel & Luncheon.We are thrilled to welcome her back as one of our culinary and wine industry gems.

Monique explains that after 25 years in the alcohol beverage industry Thirst for Knowledge was born as an opportunity to bring together her passions for Wine and the Art of Selling. “Helping people discover wine for the first time, dig deeper into their appreciation or gain confidence in their ability to sell tableside, or business to business, creates within me great satisfaction. Wine, people, travel, and adventure are all active ingredients in my life,” she explained.

Much of Monique’s career was spent focused on restaurants, hotels, bottle shops and national accounts. She developed wine and training programs for the trade and educating the public. She began her career in the Texas Wine Industry at Messina Hof, before spending 16 years with the E&J Gallo Family of Wines and 7 years with Pernod Ricard.

Recent projects include teaching a refresher class on hand selling to HEB Wine Stewards. And, working with Customer Account Managers from Pernod Ricard on actively selling wine to restaurants in the post COVID world. She is also the President of the Board of Directors of Women and Wine Charities.

An active speaker on a local and national level, from small groups to professional organizations, always with an eye on creating ‘ah ha’ moments, Monique is a connector of people, a generator of ideas and a creative problem solver. Her personal mantra is that life is about celebrating both the big and small successes along the way.

Cheers to that!

Guy Noel Stout, Stout Family Vineyards

Wine icon and founder of Stout Family Vineyards, Guy Stout attended the first Wine & Food Week in 2005 and has served as Wine Wizard Master of Ceremonies across multiple years, welcoming other wine industry greats to the fold. He has been an invaluable supporter of Wine & Food Week, and we welcome him back in 2024 as a special guest.

Guy was inducted into the Court of Master Sommeliers (MS) in 2005 when there were only 215 in the world. He is also a Certified Wine Educator (CWE), Certified Spirits Specialist (CSS) and previous President of the Society of Wine Educators. Guy has also served on the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommelier and has been recognized as a Houston Icon for his contribution to the Wine and Food Industry of Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Houston Hilton School and has appeared on countless radio and television shows covering wine and food.

In 1999 he and his wife Kimberly, founded Stout Vineyards in the Texas Hill Country AVA, producing Syrah and Tempranillo grapes later partnering with winemaker, Tom Rinaldi, a top winemaker with deep roots and experience in Napa Valley of well-known labels such as Duckhorn, Hewitt and Provenance. They have been making Stout Family wines since the 2011 vintage.

Guy is an active wine judge for a variety of national and international wine competitions; including the TexSomm International Wine Awards, California State Fair, Jefferson Cup, Missouri Grape Growers, Indiana State Wine Competition, and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo International Wine Competition.

Cheers to this wine icon!

Carlos Ramos, Latin Bites

Winner of the Chef of Chefs Award in 2016 for a Yellowfin Ahi Tuna Tiradito in a Passion Fruit Leche de Tigre with quinoa and purple potato chips, Chef Carlos Ramos returns in 2024 as a Culinary Judge.

Carlos Ramos was born and raised in Peru and has worked in restaurants since he was 15 years old. That passion and love of food led him to open Latin Bites and Latin Bites Catering in 2010. With a Master of Arts in Teaching, Carlos also shares his passion with others as a Culinary Educator.

Latin Bites is a Latin American restaurant with an extraordinarily strong focus on Peruvian cuisine. As a family owned and operated business it takes pride in offering the most authentic Peruvian ingredients to produce some traditional dishes from Peru like “Ceviche” – fresh raw fish lightly marinated in chili peppers, and a ginger-garlic lime juice sauce called “Leche de tigre” or the “Lomo Saltado”, a Peruvian-Chinese dish of wok sautéed beef tenderloin pieces in a red wine, garlic, oyster and soy sauce; or the Peruvian street food staple “Anticuchos” Grilled skewers of beef heart marinated in a mix of specialty peppers and spices from Peru.

Carlos explains that what sets Latin Bites apart is its ability to offer a variety of food that is unique in flavor and technique. “In that sense, we don’t do Asian fusion because it is trendy, we do it because it’s in Peruvian cuisine’s DNA. Or we don’t just cook Quinoa because everyone is doing it, but because that is what we eat in Peru.”

The result of this natural fusion of flavors has landed Latin Bites in Top 100 restaurant list by Houston Chronicle for 8 years, as the 2016 Chef of Chefs Award Winner at Wine & Food Week and as a Top 10 Finalist twice in the NASA Culinary Competition on behalf of Chef Ramos’ culinary class.

Welcome back, Chef Carlos.

Michael Cordua

Michael and his son David will take part in the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase on June 8, 2024.

In 2013, the Chef of Chefs Hall of Fame was created at Wine & Food Week.To honor individuals with a lifetime of culinary achievements.Michael Cordua was the first recipient of that award, having just been recognized as Food & Wine Magazine’s Top 10 Chefs of America, and for his innovative restaurants, years of charitable work and for making a huge mark on the Houston restaurant scene.We are pleased to welcome Michael Cordua back as one of our culinary gems and a 20th Anniversary Special Guest.

Michael is a pioneer of the Latin-American culinary movement in the United States and created award-winning Houston-area restaurants including Américas in River Oaks and The Woodlands; Churrascos in River Oaks, Westchase, Sugar Land, Memorial City and Champions; Amazón Grill; and Artista.

Cordúa’s career has met with national critical acclaim. The original Churrascos was named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine in 1989. Américas was named “Restaurant of the Year” by Esquire in 1993. Texas Monthly magazine named Artista “Best New Texas Restaurant” in 2004. Esquire named Churrascos one of the “20 Best Steaks in America” in 2008 and, Travel + Leisure magazine named Churrascos one “The Best Steakhouses in the U.S.” in March of 2013.

Born in Managua, Nicaragua, Cordúa moved to the United States in 1976 to study at Texas A&M University, graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Finance. Here he began to hone his cooking skills by preparing meals for his friends that reminded him of food from home. He also worked in the Sbisa Dining Hall at Texas A&M and got his first restaurant experience as a pot washer at Pepe Taco, a fast-food establishment.

Cordúa planned to return home to Nicaragua and work in banking after college but stayed in Houston due to the 1979 Nicaraguan Sandinista Revolution. His stint in maritime shipping took him around the globe exposing him to fine cuisine unheard of in his home country.This lit a fire under him, and he decided to open his first restaurant, Churrascos, hoping to elevate Latin-American cuisine beyond Mexican food for a mainstream American audience. His menu centered on the Churrasco steak, which has roots in Argentina and Nicaragua, and blended the excitement of American ingredients with the discipline of European techniques of cooking. The rest they say is history.

Within a year of Churrasco’s opening, Cordúa opened a second location in River Oaks followed soon after the first Américas restaurant. Today, Cordúa works in tandem with his son, David Cordua–a self-taught chef with no formal training, who opened The Lymbar in the Ion.

Michael Cordua was the only Texas chef to be included in the prestigious Food & Wine magazine “Best New Chefs” Hall of Fame in 2008. He was named one of America’s “Top Ten Chefs” by Food & Wine Magazine in and received the Robert Mondavi Award for Culinary Excellence in 1994. He has been a James Beard Award semifinalist three times. In 2013, he was one of 25 chefs selected for the Food & Wine: Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook, in which Food & Wine selected one chef per year from its annual crop of 10 “Best New Chefs.” The only Texas chef in the book, Cordúa is featured alongside American culinary royalty such as Thomas Keller, Nobu Matsuhisa, Tom Colicchio, John Besh, and David Chang.