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Houston City Scope March 2017

(L-R): Event chairs and co-chairs Shelley Iglesias, Melanie Ringold, Lindsay Stout, Sarah Ray, Leisa Dillon, Kristi Oldham, Kate Bialas and Jodie Corson. (Photo – Chinh Phan)


More than 300 guests were treated to delectable delights from Houston’s top chefs at the second annual Cooking up a Cure event on Jan. 19 benefiting the Food Allergy Program at Texas Children’s Hospital. The program provides cutting edge research, education and patient care to children suffering from food allergies.

When revelers arrived at The Astorian, they were given a sticker representing a particular food allergy which they were to follow when sampling food throughout the evening. At each chef’s station, a chalkboard signified which allergens were absent from their dish.

The memorable evening, which raised $170,000, featured food prepared by chefs and restaurants including: Uchi Houston, Robert Del Grande of Café Annie, Graham Laborde of Bernadine’s, Bobby Matos of State of Grace, Carmelo Mauro of Carmelo’s,

Jose Hernandez of Radio Milano, Kiran Verma of Kiran’s, JB Royer of Royers Round Top Café, Alberto Gutierrez of Anejo, Mark Cox, and Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar.

Leisa and Andy Dillon, Kristi and Mike Oldham, Sarah and Robert Ray, and Lindsay and Trent Stout served as chairs of the event. Kate and Eddie Bialas, Jodie and Randy Corson, Shelley and Billy Iglesias, and Melanie and Daniel Ringold served as co-chairs. Each of these families has children affected by food allergies.


Houston Symphony Associate Conductor Robert Franz leads the orchestra in a free concert as part of the Houston Theater District’s annual Open House events.


The Houston Symphony and Occidental Petroleum have announced a partnership to further the Houston Symphony’s year-long high school residency program that reaches thousands of students in Greater Houston. The announcement was made at Houston Baptist University where the Symphony held two student concerts, which are now an official component of the high school residency program.

In its second year, the intensive residency reaches thousands of band and orchestra students annually in eight select high schools across Greater Houston. Students enrolled in these band and orchestra programs have the unique opportunity to meet regularly with Houston Symphony musicians and learn everything from audition and live performance tips, to composition and practice techniques.

Members of the Houston Symphony’s education department work closely with ensemble and fine arts directors to customize each program based on the particular group’s goals and available resources. Each group then has the opportunity to attend open rehearsals and concerts, work with musicians on mock auditions and related activities throughout the academic year as well as engage in post-rehearsal discussions and sectional coaching activities. Additionally, the students participate in projects with the Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence as well as clinics and live performance workshops with Houston Symphony Associate Director Robert Franz.

In the 2015-16 academic year, the Houston Symphony high school residency program reached a total of 1,000 students, many of whom stepped into a music hall for the first time. According to Standford Lewis, director of band at Chavez High School, the experience furthered their learning and musical goals. “The students are now able to think critically about a performance they hear or engage in and speak to the higher-level aspects of the music. They have moved beyond expressing ideas about the notes, rhythms or chords to talking about the emotions that the music evokes,” said Standford.

This year, the program is on pace to reach more than 1,100 students in part thanks to the support of Occidental Petroleum.

This is the fourth year that the Houston Symphony holds a student concert at Houston Baptist University and the first year this concert becomes a formal component of the high school residency. Franz led the orchestra in Wagner’s Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin, Wagner’s Overture toTannheuser and Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis. While many of the students in attendance have performed the pieces featured on the program, Franz challenged the students to develop their own interpretations of the music and connect with the composers’ intentions for the piece.


Chef Tim Love will open his newest restaurant in Houston’s Levy Park next year.


The Levy Park Conservancy has announced that the flagship restaurant Woodshed, planned for Levy Park, will be led by nationally acclaimed Texas-based chef, Tim Love. In addition to the restaurant, tentatively scheduled to open in mid-2018, Love and his team will also operate concessions for the Park’s food kiosk and a double decker bus, modified for beverage service and planned for the Park’s beer garden, both currently scheduled to open later this year. The Woodshed will showcase Love’s signature urban western cuisine that has won him both popular and critical accolades.

“The Levy Park Conservancy is ecstatic to have a chef of the caliber of Tim Love be a part of the reinvention of Levy Park, an amazing urban green space in the heart of Houston,” says Doug Overman, Park Director. “Tim’s restaurant will be a huge draw for Houstonians as well as our out-of-town visitors. We envision Levy Park as a great neighborhood park, but also a destination for the people of Greater Houston and beyond. The Woodshed and Tim’s team will bring something very special to the Park and to our vision of a relaxed, social, and inspirational environment for all people.”

“Houston is such a dynamic city with great restaurants and culture, and I’m thrilled to partner with Levy Park as we create a fun, vibrant food and beverage experience for the neighborhood,” says Love. “The renovation of the Park marks an exciting time of growth for Houston, and I look forward to serving the community and celebrating this special city with my fellow Texans.”

Chef Love is best known for his flagship Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in the historic stockyards area of Fort Worth. With restaurants spanning the nation from Seattle to Knoxville, Love’s roots remain in Texas, where he is chef and owner of several other notable restaurants, including, Woodshed Smokehouse; Queenie’s Steakhouse; Love Shack; the White Elephant Saloon; and a second location of Love’s Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Austin. Love most recently expanded beyond the Lone Star State to his alma mater city
of Knoxville, Tennessee with both his Lonesome Dove and Love Shack concepts.

Earlier this year, Love also debuted Back Dough at several of his restaurants, a late-night pop-up serving sweet and savory doughnuts out of his restaurants’ back kitchen doors on the weekends. Love’s investment in Seattle’s Kraken Congee was the first generated as a result of his role as host of CNBC’s Restaurant Startup. After being featured on the show in 2014, Kraken Congee opened in April 2015 to immediate popular and critical praise.

The Levy Park Conservancy is an affiliate of the Upper Kirby District Foun­dation, a private nonprofit organization. The Conservancy manages Levy Park, a six-acre City of Houston park in the Upper Kirby District. For more information visit levyparkhouston.org.



Crime Stoppers of Houston (CSOH) officially cut the ribbon on Jan. 27 and opened the doors of the first Crime Stoppers’ headquarters anywhere in the world. After 36 years of exemplary service, this historical building will also become Crime Stoppers’ first permanent home. Approximately 150 of the state’s most prominent individuals including community partners,foundations and corporations gathered at 3001 Main Street to celebrate The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers of Houston. The facility was named in honor of Guinness World Record holder Dave Ward for his significant contributions to the organization.

Occupying an entire square block in Midtown, the new Crime Stoppers facility is also the City of Houston’s first Public Safety and Crime Prevention block and will serve as a hub for crime prevention – housing centralized Crime Stoppers operations, staff, volunteers, law enforcement, safe community/safe school programming and media outreach teams in a single three-story 28,000-square-foot building.

Each facet of the new Crime Stoppers headquarters will work to expand the organization’s community programming and serve its vital mission to solve and prevent crime. The organization recognizes that community members can play an active role in keeping themselves safe; therefore, the entire first floor of the building was designed specifically to service the community at no charge.

Additionally, law enforcement partners assigned to the Crime Stoppers Tip Line Program (713-222-TIPS) will have a dedicated, highly secure space to answer the tip line and manage day-to-day operations.

Outside the facility, a 12,800-square-foot Harris County Sheriff’s Officers Memorial Garden will be built to pay tribute to heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.

For information about Crime Stoppers of Houston or to donate to the building campaign, visit crime-stoppers.org.

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