Brown Gravy Baby!

17 Chefs Will Go Head-To-Head at Third Ward's Oxtail Mashup

The competition will be held at Project Row Houses next month.

By Shelby Stewart

Team Culture at Oxtail Mashup. 

Image: Oxtail Mashup

Oxtails have long been a staple in cuisines across the globe. The gelatin-rich meat, located quite literally around a cow’s tailbone, is a delicacy for multiple cultures. Jamaican chefs have developed oxtail stew over generations, and here in the South, we’ve braised and smoked oxtails to juicy perfection

No matter how you like your oxtails, you'll get a taste of worldwide flavors at the fourth annual Oxtail MashUp in Third Ward on November 6. Founded in 2018 by Chef Shakti Baum (Chef, Food & Beverage, and Hospitality Consultant) in partnership with Warren Luckett (Branwar Wines), the event brings together dozens of chefs to create their unique oxtail-inspired dishes to benefit Houston's Feed the Soul Foundation. Black Restaurant Week started the nonprofit organization to aid marginalized entrepreneurs in the culinary industry with business development resources.

"I created Oxtail MashUp after witnessing a lack of diversity at Texas mainstream culinary events," Baum said in a statement. "Our mission is two-fold, and while it is refreshing to see a change in the landscape of talent, I wanted to develop an event that highlights high-level chefs that often are overlooked within the industry."

This year will bring together chefs hailing from Houston, New York, Philadelphia, and St. Croix at Third Ward's Project Row Houses. The event will create an evening of artistic creativity across different mediums. Art will be displayed throughout the seven curated art houses, accompanied by the sounds from a live DJ. 

The Oxtail MashUp will host 17 chefs this year, including Houston mainstays Pitmaster Cory Burns (Burns BBQ), Joseph Boudreaux (Boo's Burger and The Tipping Point), and Chef Ryan Savoie (Saint Arnold Brewing). Yesteryear's winners will participate, including Chef Reginald Scott of Best Damn Catering and Chef Ruben Vela of Lucille's 1913. However, be on the lookout for newcomers like Philadelphia native and activist Chef Kurt Evans and Chef Osei 'Picky' Blackett of Ariapita in Brooklyn. 

Oxtails will be the event's star, but crafted cocktails will be a part of the party. While the chefs create their best oxtail dishes, Houston-based bartenders will provide the evening libations and vie for the cash prizes and the prestigious People's Choice and Judge's Choice awards. Mixologists participating include Black Restaurant Week Champion Ed Warner (The Ed Experience), Ryan Wendell Perry (Julep), Jennifer Guerrero (Miss Carousel), Bevin Biggers (OH Bevin!), and Megan Cunningham (Grand Prize Bar). An Agave Spirits Tasting Table will accompany the cocktails and serve as a display that explains the characteristics of anejos, cristalinos, mezcals, and reposados.

The Oxtail Mashup will be held Sunday, November 6. Tickets for the Oxtail MashUp are on sale now and start at $95. Visit the official website for more information and tickets!

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