Arizona chef takes top honors at Woodlands Wine & Food Week Chef Showcase

Foodie friends, celebrity chefs and winemakers from across the United States raised a glass to chef Daisuke Igataki during Saturday night’s Wine & Food Week The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase in The Woodlands.

Igataki, from Shimogamo in Chandler, Arizona, took home top honors including a $5,000 cash prize as well as the Waterford Crystal Trophy presented by GOYA Foods by winning the Goya Foods National Chef’s Award judged by a esteemed chef and a trained culinary media panel.

Saturday evening capped off a week full of wine and food events at The Woodlands marking the return of Wine & Food Week in its full format. The large-scale event did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic in its full format, but individual events did take place in 2021.

“After a two-year hiatus, our 18th year has been an opportunity for us to reunite with so many talented people who have made a huge impact on the world of wine and food while recognizing the new faces who are also making their mark. “said Wine & Constance McDerby, founder of Food Week. “We hope Wine & Food Week 2022 guests enjoyed all the glorious sips and flavors as much as we enjoyed reuniting with the many people who have helped this event grow to the magnitude it has for 18 years. We are delighted to be back in full force. »

Wine & Food Week, produced by Food & Vine Time Productions, is the premier multi-day, multi-faceted, comprehensive food and wine event in metro Houston. Owners Clifton and Constance McDerby are dedicated to showcasing the culinary talent of Metro Houston while welcoming top chefs from around the world who share their passion for flavor. They are also committed to extending their love of wine by showcasing the flavors of winemakers, viticulturists and producers who bring a centuries-old tradition of flavors from the vine.

The week’s events celebrated wine from around the world, rosé wines, winemakers, Texas wines, a wine-themed game night and more.

On the Saturday night of the event, The Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase was the ultimate adult night where guests sipped hundreds of wines and sampled dishes like red wine braised lamb, truffle upma , with coriander gremolata and foie gras tart with salmon roe, granny smith apple compote, ramps and whipped boursin.

These decadent bites were created by 32 chefs competing for the Goya Foods National Chef’s Award, judged by an esteemed chef and a panel of trained food media.

Igataki offered A5 Miyazaki Japanese Wagyu Shoulder simmered reconstructed Japanese sukiyaki in sukiyaki style with soybeans, sake and mirin. The eggshell bottom was the sukiyaki wagyu filled with dashi, egg foam topped with charcoal chips, shiso leaf, shiso flower, and salty ikura.

Born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Itagaki developed a passion for quality ingredients and cooking early on, which led him to the Tsuji Culinary Institute in Osaka, Japan. After graduating in 2001 with a major in French and Italian cuisine, Itagaki moved to Tokyo where he spent 7 years at Milial Resort hotels, refining the gastronomic techniques of French and Californian cuisine.

In an effort to expand his culinary expertise, he traveled to the United States and it was there that he discovered his love for the culinary scenes in a vibrant and diverse culture. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his family.

The first runner up was Chef Urvin Croes with Infini Aruba for his tuna tartare. A seaweed tart, served with tuna tartare, orange cream, ponzu gel and furikake.

The second runner-up was chef David Skinner of Eculent for his 44 Farms sirloin served with duck fat confit potato, grilled morels and morel cream sauce with foie gras cognac.

One of the highlights of the evening was the induction of Cleverley Stone, the ‘dining diva’, into the Wine & Food Week Hall of Fame. Katie Stone, Cleverley’s daughter, who now oversees the Cleverley Stone Foundation and Houston Restaurant Weeks, which her mother founded in 2003, accepted the award.

“The impact of Cleverley’s work in the food industry will be felt forever,” McDerby said. “Cleverley was a great friend of Wine & Food Week as a culinary judge for many years, and it was an honor for us to present this well-deserved award in her honour.”

Wine & Food Week supports charities such as New Danville and the Woodlands Waterway Arts Council. Food & Vine Time Productions has raised over $2 million through various channels for local charities over the years.

Plan to attend the Platinum Wine Vault on August 17 at Bayway Cadillac and the HEB Wine Walk at Market Street on October 6. Visit for more.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.