LOCAL Houston | The City Guide August 2016 - Page 16

DINE WRITE MORE SPACE AND CREATIVE FLAVOR PROFILES AT NEW 51FIFTEEN Artisanal Cheese Board IF YOU’VE READ THIS SPACE BEFORE, YOU KNOW I LIKE DISCOVERING FLAVORS AND DISHES THAT RECALL FOND FOOD MEMORIES OF MY YOUTH. IT’S JUST A SWEET LITTLE NOSTALGIC BONUS I ENJOY FROM TIME TO TIME IN THE COURSE OF MY DINING ADVENTURES. 16 Well, STEFON RISHEL, the new executive chef at 51fifteen, taps into his own memory bank of culinary experiences – cucumber sandwiches made from his grandparents’ garden and learning to cook from his father. His upbringing also taught him to “respect the food we harvest,” and influenced what he calls “globally minded, locally inspired cuisine.” Chef Stefon, formerly of Max’s Wine Dive in Fort Worth, among others, and an acclaimed and decorated culinary creator, treated me and a few more notable palates to a preview of the Reserve dinner program, launching this month (August) and offering guests 3-, 5- and 7-course prix fixe-style tasting menus with optional pairings. I recently had the opportunity to appreciate his philosophy upon visiting the new, more spacious and modern 51fifteen Cuisine & Cocktails housed within Saks Fifth Avenue in The Galleria. I got the full-on 7-course experience, which offered a splendid tour of Chef Stefon’s flavor profiles. These were paired with wonderful libations, showing off the impressive new beverage menu, which features handcrafted cocktails, local craft beers and a healthy, contemporary wine list. L O C A L | august 16