Best of Big Taste 2019 + Audi Raffle Winner!

Uchi + Franklin Barbeque fusion smokehouse, Loro, wins Best of Big Taste

 HOUSTON, April 10th, 2019 – Around 400 guests, participants, and volunteers filled the Audi Central Houston dealership Sunday afternoon for the much-anticipated 7th Annual Big Taste of Houston, benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). Co-chairs Drs. Crystal & Randall Wright led the food and beverage extravaganza which featured over 20 of Houston’s most diverse restaurants, talented chefs, and mixologists all showcasing tastes of their finest dishes and cocktails.

DJ Mr. Rogers with 93.7 The Beat (KQBT) filled the room with entertainment and great music as guests circulated tasting stations, sampling little bites of sweet and savory treats and sips of incredible beverages. Celebrity judges KRIV-Fox 26’s CoCo Dominguez, KPRC Channel 2’s Sports Reporter Laine Fritz, freelance photographer and taco journalist Marco Torres, Kam Franklin of the band The Suffers, and Houston Astros Player Lance McCullers and his wife Kara all lent their time and tasting pallets to help choose the Judge’s Choice and mingle with the crowd. The McCullers also received the Community Honoree award for their dedication and support to the Big Brothers Big Sisters mission. KPRC Channel 2’s Khambrel Marshall and Christine Noël, who served as co-emcees, encouraged guests to help choose their favorite by voting at each participant’s station. Loro, an Austin-based Asian smokehouse and fusion partnership between Franklin Barbecue and Uchi, took home the coveted “Best of BIG Taste” award. Loro’s Pitmaster, Bramwell Tripp, previously won the award in 2017 while he was at The Pit Room. Tripp shared that Loro plans to expand to Houston in the near future and is already building a strong base of fans and supporters. This year’s award recipients include:


Best Beverage: Jack Daniel’s

Judge’s Choice: Loro

Best Dessert: Cake. Fine Pastry

People’s Choice: Loro

Best of Big Taste: Loro

Right before the awards were announced, Virgil Brown and Beth Curran shared a testimonial about their volunteer experience with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Big Couple. The pair were first matched with their Little Brother, Kelvin, in November 2018. In the past six months, the couple and 8-year-old Kevlin have explored the Houston Zoo and the Downtown Aquarium, played in the park, went bowling, and enjoyed getting to know each other while eating dinner. The Big Couple recently took Kelvin on a tour of the Houston PD Station to encourage his dream of becoming a police officer when he grows up.

The event concluded with the much anticipated raffle drawing for a brand new 2019 Audi A3 or Q3. Raffle tickets had been sold all year long leading up to the event and thanks to Audi Central Houston’s donation of the vehicle at no cost, 100% of the proceeds from raffle sales were donated back to the nonprofit. When Ms. Patsy Trapolino’s name was called, her great granddaughter Alexia rushed to the stage to share that the lucky winner had recently left the event. In a phone call with the microphone pressed against it for guests to hear, Alexia alerted Trapolino of her new grand prize to which she replied “what, are you serious?” in surprised disbelief.

In addition to the $75,000 raised from the Audi Raffle, the silent auction was a huge hit of the event raising over $28,000, contributing to the overall $172,000 raised at the 7th annual Big Taste of Houston. With the support and generosity of those who attended or sponsored the event, purchased an Audi raffle ticket, or donated a silent auction item, Big Brothers Big Sisters will be able to pair hundreds of the 900 children currently waiting to be matched with a positive and caring volunteer mentor within the Greater Houston community.

Sponsors: Audi Central Houston, BB&T, BMC Software, H-E-B, Albemarle Foundation, BKD, Comcast, Ernst & Young, KPRC, Merrill Lynch – The Dennison Group, Jackson Walker, John P. McGovern Foundation,  Cadence Bank, Silver Eagle Distributors, Raising Cane’s, Ann & Peter Fluor, Randa & KC Weiner, Chloe & Jordan Guidry, Drs. Crystal & Randall Wright

Participants: Restaurants: The Capital Grille, Mastro’s, Dish Society, KUU, Indigo, Loro, Pizza Motus, Indianola, The Pit Room, a la carte Events & Catering, Uchi, Bellagreen, Something Sweet Desserts, Cake. Fine Pastry, Dawn Foods, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Yauatcha Mixologists & Beverages: BcK, Bacardi D’Usse, Dripping Springs, Bloody Revolution, Highway Vodka, Bud Light/Silver Eagle Distributors