clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Much-Anticipated Houston Restaurant Loro Chooses an Executive Chef

Plus, the James Beard Awards will honor two Houston chefs and more dining intel

a nam sitting on a den on a leather chair with his arm draped across the back of the chair
Hai Hospitality has named longtime Houstonian Marcos Leal chef de cuisine of Loro.
Hai Hospitality

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

Trying to stay on top of Space City’s endlessly vibrant dining scene? Keep up with the hottest new openings, essential eateries, and more by subscribing to the Eater Houston newsletter, and following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Loro names chef de cuisine as Houston opening nears

Loro, the much-anticipated Asian smokehouse from pitmaster Aaron Franklin and Uchi chef Tyson Cole, is one step closed to opening. The restaurant has announced that is has hired longtime Houstonian Marcos Leal to serve as chef de cuisine. Leal, who was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and raised in Houston, has worked in the kitchens of the Hotel Galvez, Kent Rathbun’s Jasper’s, Topgolf, and FireCraft BBQ in Kingwood before joining Hai Hospitality, the company behind Loro and Uchi. The announcement means that Houton’s outpost of Loro, to be located at 1001 West 11th Street un the Heights, is one step closer to opening. The Dallas location of Loro opened last month.

James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony to honor two Houston chefs

The 2021 James Beard Foundation Awards will pay tribute to the resilience of independent restaurants, and will honor two Houston chefs who have spent the past year supporting marginalized communities in Houston.

The ceremony, which airs September 27 at 7 p.m., will include an intimate watch party at Museum District restaurant Lucille’s, hosted by chefs Chris Williams, Dawn Burrell, and the Houston First Foundation. It’s one of four such watch parties taking place in cities across the US, meant to honor the independent restaurant industry. Other watch parties are taking place in San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.

The ceremony will highlight stories of passion, community, innovation, resilience, and leadership under extreme hardships during the pandemic, according to a press release. Williams and Burrell were specifically chosen due to the role they’ve played in supporting communities in Houston, including serving more than 200,000 free meals to Houstonians in 2020 through the nonprofit Lucille’s 1913 organization. The event is also meant to highlight upcoming restaurants from the two, including Late August, set to open in winter of 2021, and Rado Cafe, a community coffee shop that will open in the Third Ward in Spring 2022.

Chef Hugo Ortega teams up with Van Leeuwen for limited edition ice cream flavor

Houston Chef Hugo Ortega is teaming up with beloved New York City scoop shop Van Leeuwen for a custom, limited edition flavor. The flavor, horchata dulce de leche swirl, will be available at Ortega’s restaurant Caracol, and at Van Leeuwen’s second Houston location in Uptown Park, which is opening later this month. Van Leeuwen’s limited edition ice cream partnerships are often highly sought after. One recent flavor, Kraft Mac and Cheese, has been perpetually sold out since its release in July.

Drew Brees-owned sports bar is headed to Katy

Walks Ons Bistreaux, a Baton Rouge-based sports bar, that’s co-owned by New Orleans Saints superstar Drew Brees, is expanding its Houston-area footprint. A new location will open in Katy later this month, at 23213 Grand Circle Boulevard. The restaurant, which opens August 9, joins location in Spring, Port Arthur, and North and Central Texas.

Walk Ons is known for its scratch-made Cajun cooking with dishes like duck gumbo, Voodoo shrimp and grits, and ribeye po’ boys; a massive to-go menu including tailgate spreads; and of course, Saints watch parties.