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Food News: International Smoke Chef Named 'Prince of Pork'

Plus, Rhôtey Rotisserie has closed.

By Timothy Malcolm February 25, 2019

EJ Miller and his International Smoke team took home first prize at Cochon555.

Last Sunday, the Four Seasons Hotel hosted Cochon555, where more than 1,500 pounds of heritage breed pork was served up, and five chefs battled, showcasing more than 30 dishes featuring pig. Competing were Richard Knight of Atlas Diner, Jessica Timmons of Cherry Block, Quy Hoang of Blood Bros. BBQ, Marcos Navarro of Bayou & Bottle at the Four Seasons, and EJ Miller of International Smoke. Miller took home the trophy with a pork-skin pasta, pork butt bao, tacos with shaved pork loin, a chicharron dish with egg custard, and pork blood devils food cake. With his win, Miller was named "Prince of Pork."

In a bartender competition to make the best whole-bottle punch, Judith Piotrowski of Bayou & Bottle took home first prize with a tequila, rhubarb ginger liqueur, rhubarb orgeat, bitters, lemon, and cream soda drink. And in a sommelier competition to pair wine with the featured pork dishes, Lindsay Thomas of Pappas Steak House emerged victorious. Congratulations to the winners.

Want to see Luke Bryan, Old Dominion, or Chris Stapleton this year at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo? The Rustic is giving you the opportunity to win tickets through a contest in partnership with Miller Lite. Essentially go to The Rustic today (for Bryan tickets), Thursday (for Old Dominion tickets), or March 6 (for Stapleton tickets)—heck, go for all of them if you want. You'll fill out a contest form, and if your name is drawn, you win. That simple. Must be 21 or older and a legal U.S. resident of Texas.

Eater reports that Rhôtey Rotisserie, a sandwich shop out in Westside that made a damn good sandwich, has closed. The shop just didn't see enough customers. Owner Vincent Taylor, who was inspired to make roasted chicken sandwiches while living in Paris, said during a media blitz in October that he hoped people would take the chance at visiting his outer Loop shop.

“If someone’s actually going to take the time, especially in Houston, to come down and get a meal, I want it to be something that they enjoy and tastes good,” he said. “Not something where they get a product and ‘Here’s your 30-minute break.’”

Punk's Simple Southern Food has changed up its menu. The restaurant is now offering fried chicken by the piece, daily brunch service (chicken and waffles, breakfast tacos, avocado omelette), and more healthy options that include a beefed-up salad list. 

March 5 is National Pancake Day. Yes, get excited. To celebrate, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery is bringing back a bunch of old favorites, like King Cake (cinnamon, vanilla buttercream, maple bourbon sauce), Coffee n' Donuts (buttermilk with maple donut glaze, crushed pecans, side of espresso cream), Strawberry Fields, Blackberry Sublime, and more. All of the pancake proceeds from the day will go toward developing and nurturing a local garden in the community of each Snooze location. 

Maybe running a 5k isn't your idea of fun. But maybe chowing down on kolaches is. Imagine three sausage and cheese kolaches, for free, are waiting for you. All you have to is ... okay, the Kolache Factory Challenge 5K is coming up on March 9. Premise is this: Run half of it, eat the kolaches, run the other half of it. Then, at the end, more kolaches! Also Saint Arnold beer. The race supports Memorial Assistance Ministries, which helps families enduring crises. It's $39.75 to register; race starts at 8:30 a.m. Register here.

The relatively new Jack & Ginger's Irish Pub is hosting its first St. Patrick's Day party on, yes, March 17. The event includes bagpipers, an outdoor stage with DJs, and a lot of Guinness. Party starts at noon and ends 2 a.m. It's only for those 21 and older. 

Hotel Granduca's Ristorante Cavour is hosting a Marchesi Incisa Della Rocchetta wine dinner from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 1. The four-course meal (duo of beef short ribs, Gulf shrimp, beef ravioli al plin, etc.) includes pairings with bottles from the Piedmont winemakers, plus after-dinner drinks. It's $135 per person, $260 per couple. Call to reserve a spot.

Überrito is launching a new FlexMex menu that caters to specialty diets. The menu includes build-your-own paleo, gluten-free, ketogenic, low-calorie, high-protein, points-friendly, vegetarian, and vegan meals. Check it out here.

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