Eating for a cause? I’m in. #MenWhoCook2018

Let’s get housekeeping out the way first! I signed up as a social media influencer to  promote #MenWhoCook2018.  I am part of their pre-event, at event, and post-event influencer team. I was remunerated in the form of a VIP ticket for the event. Whilst this blog post is part of my influencer task-list, the opinions and perspective of this blog post is solely mine. Capiche? Okay, then read on my friend. 


The Phenomenal Pearls Educational & Charitable Foundation (PPECF) and the 100 Black Men of Metropolitan Houston Inc formed a perfect partnership in delivering the 3rd Annual #MenWhoCook2018 fundraising event.

This year the festive and gastronomically amazing event was held on the campus of Texas Southern University.  {Confession:  I have been in the Houston Metropolitan Area for 12 years and this was my FIRST time visiting Texas Southern University. In fact – double confession – this is only the 4th HBCU I’ve ever been to in my lifetime. As a Black American, yeah — I’m baffled too! Don’t judge me, though.}

Upon entering, I was greeted by the ladies of PPECF and they were very amicable.  The PPECF team that put this together were definitely team players, working efficiently in tandem, and welcoming to all their patrons. It is always great to walk into an event and be positively greeted by host(s).  It sets the tone for enjoying the event and feeling a part of the synergy in the room.


As I sauntered down in the great hall, there was an array of raffle baskets for the auction. When I say “impressive” – please know that it is not easy to impress me. I was really “wow’ed” by the thought and organization of the raffle baskets.


One of the most impressive raffle prizes was the “test drive” from Porsche West Houston. Oh my word, I was totally besotted with the mere daydream of me – in a Porsche – pulling up to HEB to get my Curbside like the fabulous SuperMom that I am.  This was a killer prize and it was great to see such a wonderful luxury brand donate to the fundraiser.  Kudos to the fundraising team.

Now let’s get to the good part… the food! Oh the beautiful, wonderful food!!!!


Above you can see my first sample round which consisted of (1) Chicken and Asiago cheese potatoes, (2) Red beans and rice with lots of green onions, and (3) Louisiana jambalaya.


I started with the red beans and rice first because it was from one of my favorite young chefs, Chef Ronald of Curated Communion, LLC. I found his rice and beans to have “kick”. It wasn’t subdued at all. I had it without hot sauce because I really want to savor the beans and the sauce. The green onions were a great flavor enhancer. I mean who among us doesn’t love green onions. … if there is one, they are a culinary monster!!! Should you need a chef for a private event and catering, do look up Chef Ronald he is defining Southern cuisine.



The next “heavyweight” on a plate was Chef Edwin Henderson. Oh my word… please, if you ever get a chance to go to an event by this chef — do. Do not collect $200 – just GO. He had me when I looked at his collard greens, then he put feta cheese on the greens. Yes, I typed FETA CHEESE on collard greens. Guess what… IT WAS AMAZE BALLS.  Oh my whole goodness, it was very easy on the palette. Great flavor combination and I was sat there wondering why I hadn’t discovered this myself. Where have I been? How have I been living my whole entire life without feta cheese on my greens? My whole life has changed.  Then I had the salmon offering paired with plantains and this very light but sweet sauce, oh my word. Again, Chef Henderson had me puzzled at first with the flavor offering but then my palette and tummy were so pleased.  I’ve never had plantains with salmon. I was sat there guffawing at my own culinary existence. There was this whole new world of Caribbean soul cuisine and gastronomically, I haven’t been living my best life. The things we learn at 45 years of age. Chef Henderson’s food was healthy, tasty and exquisite on the palette.


Another favorite of mine was the offerings of Chef Et’Chane Towers.  His booth was very creative. It was a friendly, welcoming booth and his mini-me(s) were helping Chef Dad serve the patrons. I loved the cuisine offered because there was a very real “Southern Charm” to it. His food didn’t try to be exotic or “put on airs” it was simple, down home, southern offering with a lot of flavor.  I had the deviled eggs and sausage. Now look, I don’t eat everyone deviled eggs. You just cannot. It’s a Chicago thing I guess. We Chicagoans are not just going to be eating deviled eggs all “willy nilly”. Yet, Chef Et’Chane’s deviled eggs were surprisingly festive and they were jam packed with flavor. This was no ordinary church-lady-who-was-raised-Baptist-and-considered-being Episcopalian-deviled egg.  This deviled egg was a thing of beauty. I so enjoyed it.  Now the sausage, well it was perfect – hands down. I mean it was full bodied, cooked perfectly and I loved the fact he split the sausage in half! My Mother used to do that for me and she is soooooooooooooo from the South. I want to give a great kudos to Chef Et’Chane for nailing “Southern Charm” perfectly on my taste buds.

Honestly, I enjoyed every moment of this event. From the time I walked in the door – it was just a kind, festive and inviting mood. I had soooooooooooooooooo much food. Thank goodness I didn’t have on spanx or my spleen would have been compromised. Nobody wants an erupting spleen at a public event. I think at one point, I needed a defibrillator, I was so overcome with all the wonderful food.  The vendors were lovely and it was so good to see people supporting the vendors as well as the chefs.  This was truly a community gathering – patrons were being supportive of the talented chefs, the organizations raising funds for these amazing deserving kids received a lot of support from their friends & family, and the amazing vendors with their services / products were definitely aces to give their time to such a worthy cause.

My best advice to you is mark your calendars, set a Google reminder – place a mark on your sundial even; but do not  miss this event again.  It’s all about food, folks and feeling festive while raising funds for Houston scholars with big goals and dreams.

Enjoy more of my snapshots – yes!

Make sure you go online, view and like all the posts under the hashtag #MenWhoCook2018 on Instagram.



#menwhocook2018 #htxeats #htxevents #100BlackMenHOU #BlackAmericanChefs #SouthernCharm #SouthernCuisine #CheesecakeBites #Jambalaya #Gumbo #RedBeansAndRice #TexasSouthernUniversity #Houston #Fundraising #HoustonScholars #Scholarships #FundraisingWithFood