Each week, our My Top 5 series highlights a Houstonian who is shaping the culture of the city and making an out-sized impact on its character. In turn, each shares their own favorite things to do in Houston when not hard at work. This week, we’re very pleased to feature Rob Willett, Executive Chef and National Culinary Director at Lucky Strike, the premium boutique bowling destination located in the heart of Downtown at GreenStreet.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Chef Rob Willett
- Sam Houston Race Park – When my wife first suggested we go to the horse track, I wasn’t overly excited, but once she got me there, I realized that it is a fun place to hang out on a beautiful spring evening. They have a family night which we are big fans of and they also have great concerts. The kids love being right up close to the horses and the atmosphere is friendly all around.
- Local Barbecue – Growing up in Georgia I ate a lot of pulled pork, barbecue chicken, and Brunswick stew. When I relocated to Houston in 2009, I discovered the wonderfully delicious brisket. When done right, it is amazing. I have been working on mine and have done a pretty good job, but the real masters are the local guys doing it for a living such as Brooks Place BBQ, Carl’s BBQ, and the Tejas Chocolate Craftory.
- Growing as a Gardener – Since I moved to Texas, growing things in my yard has become a passion of mine. My family and I spend a lot of time at Houston Garden Center, Buds and Blossoms, and Plants for All Seasons. This year’s goal is to have an area devoted to just herbs like Sage, Basil, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, pretty much you name it, we are trying it.
- Houston Sports – Being a huge sports fan, Houston is a great town. I work in Downtown next to the Toyota Center and Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Rockets and Astros respectively, and I try and take advantage of that as much as possible. Houston has so much going on when it comes to sports, from high school to professional sports, that any given weekend you can find something worth checking out.
- Exploring the City – What I enjoy doing the most is exploring new things in and around Houston. I have lived here seven years and feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface of this city. My wife finds new and fun things for us all the time. Some of my favorites have been the Townlake Car Show, Tomball German Heritage Festival, Bridgeland Chili Cook Off Festival, Houston Art Car Parade, the Farmers Market at Bridgeland, and picking our own fruit and berries at the Matt Family Orchard.
About Chef Rob Willett
Originally from Georgia, Chef Rob Willett moved to Houston with his family 7 years ago. He has been the Executive Chef at Lucky Strike since 2012 and recently assumed the additional responsibilities as National Culinary Director where he oversees menu development and bringing gastro comfort food to guests at the companies’ 19 locations throughout the United States.