Nearly 20 Houston-area restaurants, chefs and caterers will be serving samples of their creations at UTHealth School of Dentistry’s “Texas Taste Teaser,” an evening of fun, good food and friendly rivalry in support of a good cause:  oral health care for underserved children, veterans and the elderly.

The event is set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17 at The Cooley Center, 7440 Cambridge St. in Houston.

Celebrity judges include NFL referee and school alum Walt Anderson, DDS ’78; Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña; Chef Michael Cordúa and Ashandra Batiste-Cumby, DDS, star of Bravo’s “Married to Medicine Houston.” Emcees will be “Texas Tooth Lady” and alum Terry Alani, DDS '81, and Chef David Cordúa of Cordúa Restaurants. Co-chairs are UTHealth Community Outreach Director Margo Melchor, RDH '06, EdD; and Clinical Assistant Professor Afshan Kaviani-Anderson, DDS '93, wife of celebrity judge Walt Anderson. 

How it works

Participating chefs, restaurants and caterers will prepare and present appetizer-sized samples of their favorite creations. Ticket-holders and the celebrity judges will then go from table to table tasting the samples, with the celebrity judges choosing winners in a variety of categories, including Most Creative, Most Delicious, Most Outrageous and Best Executive Chef. The People's Choice Award winner will be selected by ticket-holders.

The event includes a Silent Auction, and chefs are also encouraged to donate an item for a silent auction, and the chef raising the most money will win the "Executive Professional Chef" award.

Reservations are $60 per person and may be made at, which is also the site to sign up to compete or to get more information. Attire for the event is “Texas chic,” so it’s an opportunity to show off your denim, boots and western bling, but to have fun above all.

Participating restaurants and chefs (so far): 

This year, the Texas Taste Teaser will honor the UTHealth Houston students, residents, faculty and staff who rushed to provide emergency oral health care for evacuees in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.