Toast the Tastemakers
Our inaugural San Antonio Tastemakers event debuted with much fanfare this week. Every year, we celebrate the restaurants and bars that define San Antonio's culinary scene, but this year, for the first time, we brought the party to Alamo City — and the festivities did not disappoint.
On April 26, The Espee hosted the 2022 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, where industry leaders and San Antonians sipped, savored, and celebrated the best offerings from the city’s culinary stars.
During an exclusive VIP hour, guests toasted the nominees and our nonprofit beneficiary, the San Antonio Food Bank, while sipping delicious beverages such as the Black Diamond Margarita from Maestro Dobel Tequila and a Fireside Old Fashioned featuring Stranahan’s Rocky Mountain Blue Peak Whiskey, plus a delicious strawberry mocktail. Craft brews came from all over Texas, thanks to Dallas-based Deep Ellum Brewing Company and Ellum Ranch Patio Water, plus Houston-based 11-Below and Hill Country favorite Real Ale Brewing.
As the event officially opened, locals filled The Espee’s beautiful Banking Hall to honor top talent from Alamo City’s restaurants and bars and to sample some of their best bites, of course.
Prior to the awards ceremony, a high degree of anticipation wafted in the air, mixed with the savory aromas of dishes like pork carnitas crepes from Chef of the Year nominee Ceasar Zepeda and Sangria on the Burg; huitlacoche cake from Best New Restaurant nominee Naco 210; and pork, duck, pistachio, and blueberry pate from Restaurant of the Year nominee Maverick. All these delicious morsels made us grateful for the steady flow of refreshing bubbles from Topo Chico. San Antonio's homegrown grocer H-E-B generously donated gift cards to this year's participating nominees.
Local news personality Sarah Foragney was the perfect emcee for the event, revealing all the deserving winners. Chef Jason Dady of Jardín was named Chef of the Year, while 2M Smokehouse took home the coveted Restaurant of the Year award. Dashi Sichuan Kitchen & Bar nabbed the title for Best New Restaurant, chosen by our readers, while Bar 1919 and Dorćol Distilling & Brewing Co. were named Bar of the Year and Best Brewery, respectively.
It was a celebratory evening filled with unmatched culinary talent, memorable toasts, and an atmosphere of camaraderie that only the restaurant and bar industries can provide. Cheers to all of our attendees — we can’t wait to toast you again at next year’s CultureMap Tastemaker Awards.