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My beautiful friends at Culture Map had invited me out for one of the tastiest nights in Dallas. The Tastemaker Awards are Culture Map's version of the culinary Oscars. There are nominees for Chef of the Year, Best New Restaurant, Wine Program of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Bar of the Year, Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year, Best Place for Pizza and Rising Star Chef of the Year. It sounds like a lot but when you live in a city with the most restaurants per capita (National Restaurant Association), there's a lot of competition!

I started my evening with bites from Sauce, a nominee for Best Place for Pizza. Oddly enough, they did not bring their pizza but they did bring some killer lasagna, a caprese skewer and their classic cannoli's. My little three course mini-meal was so nummy that I admittedly went back for seconds.

Time for a cocktail! Woodford Reserve, Korbel, El Jimador and Sonoma-Cutrer were all sponsors for the event. The only questions was, 'Where to begin!' If you know me, you know I went for the classic old fashioned with Woodford Reserve.

So tasty! Now, where's the food?! Chef Dipensa from The French Room put together a three course tasting that including a delicate but delicious quail egg, Chef Davaillon of Bullion prepared a pea gazpacho that was to die for and Chef Freidline with Sevy's sliced the most tender protein topped with a creative ice cream Dijon.

Other amazing bites I was able to taste include pizza from Zoli's, tacos from Taco Y Vino, and shrimp & grits from Sheraton's Open Palette. Dessert included cookies & cream macaroon tart from Bisous Bisous, candies from Sugarfina, and sorbet from Baldo's ice cream.

And the drool worthy desserts...

The night was coming to a close as Tastemaker host, Dean Fearing, called out the winners. Congratulations to Restaurant of the Year, Bullion, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Eric Friedline with Sevy's, Pastry Chef of the Year, Andrea Meyer of Bisous Bisous and Best Place for Pizza, Zoli's!

For a complete list of all the winners visit Culture Map here.

Thank you to Culture Map for the invite and hosting this fun, delicious annual event. What a great way to showcase so much foodie and beverage talent in our great city. Cheers y'all!

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