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Restaurant & Chef Lineup Announced for the College Football Playoff’s Taste of the Championship

AT A GLANCE:

Taste of the Championship is a premium dining experience and fundraising event benefiting the CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers initiative

  • More than three dozen of Houston’s best restaurants spanning a range of cuisines will serve their signature dishes at the event

  • James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd curated restaurant lineup

  • Held at Union Station at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, tickets for Taste of the Championship are on sale now for $350 per person with VIP early access for $500

Calling all Houston-area foodies! The culinary event of 2024 will take place just a week into the new year, as Taste of the Championship will bring together over three dozen of the city’s top restaurants for a good cause the night before the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship. Featuring a restaurant lineup curated by James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd, Taste of the Championship will take place inside Union Station at Minute Maid Park from 5-8 p.m. CT on Sunday, January 7. Tickets for the event are $350 per person, which will include all food and beverages served on site. VIP tickets are available for $500, which will provide early access to the event beginning at 4 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit CollegeFootballPlayoff.com/Taste. The lineup of restaurants features a “Who’s Who” of Houston’s top chefs and dining spots, spanning the diverse array of cuisines that make the city’s food scene so unique. From classic staples such as barbecue and burgers to new-school favorites like banh mi and brisket fried rice, Taste of the Championship will take diners from the Gulf Coast to the West Coast, from French to Frenchy’s, from oysters to turtle soup and from high-end to down home. Music from the popular Gulf Coast party band The Phunky Monkeys will keep the energy high and the vibes great all night long. All proceeds from the event benefit the Houston Loves Teachers campaign and Extra Yard for Teachers, the College Football Playoff Foundation's primary platform that elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering quality teachers.

"It's so cool to bring all of our restaurant friends together for this great event," said Shepherd. "It's the first time that Houston will host the national championship game, so let's show up and show off our hometown. Our city is special because our community always bands together for great causes, and we're all thrilled to support teachers and education. My advice: come early and come hungry!"

Restaurants currently slated to participate in Taste of the Championship include (in alphabetical order): 93-Til, Blood Bros. BBQ, Brennan’s of Houston, Burger Bodega, Cali Sandwich & Pho, ChòpnBlok, Coltivare, Craft Pita, Crawfish & Noodles, Fluff Bake Bar, Frenchy’s Chicken, Fung’s Kitchen, Gatlin’s BBQ, Goodnight Hospitality, Josephine’s Gulf Coast Kitchen, Leaf & Grain, Little’s Oyster Bar, Maximo, Navy Blue, Phat Eatery, Pondicheri, Riel, Saigon Pagolac, State of Grace, Street 2 Kitchen, The Original Ninfa’s, The Toasted Coconut, The Waffle Bus, Truth BBQ and Winnie’s. More restaurants are expected to be added to the list in the coming days and weeks.

In addition to the mouth-watering lineup of professional chefs, Taste of the Championship guests will also get to savor dishes prepared by Houston’s next generation of culinary stars. In partnership with the Texas Restaurant Association and ProStart, this year’s event will feature four Houston-area high school culinary teams who will be serving their own dishes alongside their future peers.

The four local high schools were selected on Tuesday evening at the Taste of ProStart competition and will have the opportunity to cook on college football’s biggest stage alongside Houston's best chefs. Every participating school will have the opportunity for students to assist chefs and restaurants during Taste of the Championship, thus providing real world experience to those about to embark on careers in the culinary arts.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Zac Emmons, Director of Communications & Marketing

Lester Gretsch, Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Community Engagement

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