San Antonio Tastemakers 2018
Foodie's Best Fest

San Antonio's culinary all-stars and local luminaries pack festive Tastemaker Awards affair

San Antonio's culinary all-stars and luminaries pack Tastemaker party

CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market
Guests packed into Fair Market for the 2018 Tastemaker Awards. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Emcee Taylor Ellison We Are Austin
Emcee for the night Taylor Ellison, host of Austin After Hours and We Are Austin on CBS Austin. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Cured Smoked Duck Ham
Smoked duck ham charcuterie bites with a housemade mustard & pickled vegetables by Cured. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Colleen's Kitchen Smoked Redfish Spread
Smoked Redfish Spread by Colleen's Kitchen. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Le Politique Lemon Lavendar Danish Praline Croissant
Lemon Lavendar Danishes and Praliné Croissants by Le Politique Patisserie. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Woodford Reserve Virtual Reality Jess Prescott Taylor Pass
Taylor Pass and Jess Prescott trying out Woodford Reserve's VR experience. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Caer Ferguson The Roosevelt Room
Bartender of the Year Nominee Caer Ferguson of The Roosevelt Room. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery South Texas Antelope Tartare
South Texas Antelope Tartare by Southerleigh. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Hall of Fame Sophia's Cold Smoked Beef Sirloin Tartare
At the Tastemakers Hall of Fame, guests could try out Cold Smoked Beef Sirloin Tartare by 2017 Best New Restaurant Winner, Sophia's. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market DJ Amy Edwards
DJ Amy Edwards plays tunes for guests. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market YYZ Jayson Black Garage
The YYZ by Jayson Black of Garage was made with Woodford Reserve, Fernet, Grade A Maple Syrup, Angostura and salt. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Paperboy Cinnamon Sugar Streusal
Cinnamon sugar streusel with mascarpone and coffee caramel by Paperboy. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Photo Booth Melissa Mabasa Cheryl O'Connor
Melissa Mabasa and Cheryl O'Connor have fun in the photo booth. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Garbo's Lobster Roll
Lobster roll by Garbo's. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market
Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Ankur Sansanwal Christine Le
Ankur Sansanwal and Christine Lee. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Amy Johnson Macy Jackson
Amy Johnson and Macy Jackson. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Chelsea Martin Kayla Chance
Chelsea Martin and Kayla Chance. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Miriah Maestas Connect Four
Miriah Maestas enjoys a game of Connect Four on the lawn. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Austin Bar of the Year Nickel City
Austin Bar of the Year winner, Nickel City. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Bartender of the Year Erin Ashford Olamaie
Bartender of the Year winner, Erin Ashford of Olamaie. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Favorite Food Truck of the Year Veracruz All Natural
Favorite Food Truck of the Year winners, Veracruz All Natural. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market San Antonio Chef of the Year Pieter Sypesteyn
San Antonio Chef of the Year winner, Pieter Sypesteyn. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Austin Chef of the Year Kevin Fink
Austin Chef of the Year winner, Kevin Fink. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market San Antonio Best New Restaurant Batallion
San Antonio Best New Restaurant winner, Battalion. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Amilyn Strayer Hilary Neblett
Amilyn Strayer and Hilary Neblett. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Robert Rodriguez Coco Butter Andrea Wilson
Robert Rodriguez, Lesley Taylor, and Andrea Wilson. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Mic Vredenburgh Courtney Hull
Mic Vredenburgh and Courtney Hull. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Caress Houston Avery Scott
Caress Houston and Avery Scott. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Halle Beeler
Halle Beeler and Shannon McKinley. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Zahra Durrani Tashmeem Khan
Zahra Durrani and Tashmeem Khan. Photo by Shelley Neuman
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Emcee Taylor Ellison We Are Austin
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Cured Smoked Duck Ham
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Colleen's Kitchen Smoked Redfish Spread
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Le Politique Lemon Lavendar Danish Praline Croissant
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Woodford Reserve Virtual Reality Jess Prescott Taylor Pass
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Caer Ferguson The Roosevelt Room
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery South Texas Antelope Tartare
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Hall of Fame Sophia's Cold Smoked Beef Sirloin Tartare
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market DJ Amy Edwards
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market YYZ Jayson Black Garage
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Paperboy Cinnamon Sugar Streusal
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Photo Booth Melissa Mabasa Cheryl O'Connor
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Garbo's Lobster Roll
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Ankur Sansanwal Christine Le
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Amy Johnson Macy Jackson
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Chelsea Martin Kayla Chance
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Miriah Maestas Connect Four
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Austin Bar of the Year Nickel City
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Bartender of the Year Erin Ashford Olamaie
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Favorite Food Truck of the Year Veracruz All Natural
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market San Antonio Chef of the Year Pieter Sypesteyn
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Austin Chef of the Year Kevin Fink
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market San Antonio Best New Restaurant Batallion
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Amilyn Strayer Hilary Neblett
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Robert Rodriguez Coco Butter Andrea Wilson
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Mic Vredenburgh Courtney Hull
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Caress Houston Avery Scott
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Halle Beeler
CultureMap Austin 2018 Tastemaker Awards at Fair Market Zahra Durrani Tashmeem Khan

On April 12, San Antonio foodies and glamorous glitterati descended on Fair Market in Austin for CultureMap's marquee event, the Tastemaker Awards. Presented by Woodford Reserve and benefiting the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, the evening showcased the very best in Austin's bar and restaurant community.

The perfect weather outdoors echoed what would be a perfect evening indoors, complete with sips and snacks stationed throughout the lofty event space, which took on a cozy garden party vibe for the occasion thanks to the work of sponsors like Catalyxe Experiential and Miller Digital Imaging & Design Solutions.

More than 750 attendees sampled bites from San Antonio restaurants and Tastemaker nominees, including Dee DeeCured, and Restaurant Gwendolyn. Also serving bites were Austin's Aviary Wine + Kitchen, Eldorado Cafe ATX, El Chipirón, Yuyo, Foreign & Domestic, Garbo's Lobster TruckDistrict Kitchen + Bar, Intero, Juniper, Le Politique, LeRoy and Lewis, Nightcap, Paperboy, Olive & June, Puli-RaColleen's Kitchen, and Phoebe's Diner.

Meanwhile, three 2018 Bartender of the Year nominees, Caer Ferguson of The Roosevelt Room, Jayson Black of Garage, and Brett Esler of Whisler's, were stirring up their own creative cocktails which guests sipped and sampled throughout the event. (Erin Ashford of Olamaie ended up taking home the crown.)

And not to be upstaged were boozy premade cocktails like Woodford Reserve Old Fashioneds and tasty margaritas. Those looking to add a little sparkle to their night were treated to flutes of Korbel or brews from Deep Ellum Brewing Co. and Alaskan Brewing Co

With champagne in hand, guests gathered to watch Central Texas TV personality Taylor Ellison emcee the evening's capstone event — the Tastemaker Awards ceremony. San Antonio's Pieter Sypesteyn was awarded Chef of the Year; Battalion took home Restaurant of the Year. "[An award like this] means all the work and all the bullshit has paid off, and somehow you're the best. If I had given up, I wouldn't be here right now — and I really appreciate it," said chef Stefon Bowers of Battalion.

Austin's big winners included Restaurant of the Year L'Oco d'Oro and Chef of the Year Kevin Fink of Henbit and Emmer & Rye. (In addition to being named Best Pastry Chef, fellow Emmer & Rye-er Tavel Bristol-Joseph took home the unofficial award for best entrance when he bypassed the stairs and instead climbed up the side of the stage.)

Clenching his own award for Rising Star Chef and looking out over the packed house, chef Zach Hunter of the soon-to-open Brewer's Table mused about the star-studded success of Austin's culinary scene. "We have a bunch of cooks just cooking their hearts out in Austin right now," said Hunter. "We can't wait for Brewer's Table to be a part of that."

The evening's ceremony also concluded the anticipated Best New Restaurant contest, sponsored by Whole Foods Market. The award, which was voted on by the public, went to Tenko Ramen in San Antonio and Be More Pacific in Austin.

Throughout the evening, guests floated around Fair Market's garden area, playing lawn games, listening to live music, and enjoying the perfect spring weather. Among the notables in attendance were Xavier Schipani, Kathy Blackwell, Tim Taliaferro, Lesley Taylor, Alicynn Fink, Mariam Parker, David Gow, Veronica Meewes, Better Half's Matthew BollickHayden Walker, Ankur Sansanwal, Christine LeeSofia Sokolove, Ashley Baker, Kate Williams, Mary Daniels, and Kristen Kistler.