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Southern Smoke Announces Outstanding Chef Lineup for October

Plus, more Space City dining intel

Southern Smoke/Facebook

Welcome to AM Intel, a (mostly) daily round-up of Houston’s hottest bits of dining intel.

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Southern Smoke announces this year’s standout chefs

Chef Chris Shepherd’s wildly popular Southern Smoke charity event is back for its fifth year on Sunday, October 6, and details have just been released on the illustrious chefs and pitmasters who will descend on Houston for this one-day barbecue extravaganza, amounting to over 25 names total. Hometown standouts include Jonny Rhodes of Indigo (which was just named one of the country’s best new restaurants); Hugo Ortega of Xochi and Hugo’s; Jason Vaughn of Nancy’s Hustle (Eater Houston’s Best Restaurant of 2018); and Justin Yu of Theodore Rex, to name just a few.

Proceeds will continue to benefit the National MS Society and Southern Smoke’s Emergency Relief Fund for those in the service industry who are impacted by personal hardship, natural disasters, and other emergency situations. To date, the organization has donated $1.3 million.

The Union Kitchen opens another Space City outpost in Cypress

TUK is on track to take over Space City — its sixth location just debuted in a waterfront space at The Boardwalk Towne Lake in Cypress. The new restaurant boasts an open kitchen with a wood-burning grill in the indoor dining room, plus a giant patio facing the water. Expect more seafood and steaks like a flame-grilled fish brushed with citrus butter; lobster pot stickers; grilled chimichurri hanger steak; and wood-smoked goat cheese. Frozen cocktails also appear on the menu for the first time. Stay tuned for more TUKs on the horizon, a seventh is slated to open in Katy this fall.

Houston imports a new celebrity-endorsed seafood spot from Atlanta

The Juicy Crab recently debuted a rather large Houston-area location at 17278 Tomball Parkway near Willowbrook Mall, according to Chron, and counts among its fans actor-comedian Tyler Perry, NBA star Dwight Howard, and rapper Yung Joc. Diners can expect fried baskets of seafood like catfish and oysters, plus boiled bags of seafood spiced with Cajun flavors including crab, crawfish, and other bounty of the sea. Worth noting: this spot serves a full bar’s worth of boozy drinks.