Each week we highlight creative and entrepreneurial Houstonians who are shaping the city’s character and culture in “My Top 5.” They share their own favorite things to do in Houston when they’re not hard at work. This week we’re happy to showcase Annie Rupani, luxury chocolatier and owner of Cacao & Cardamom at the Centre at Post Oak in Uptown.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Annie Rupani
- Miller Outdoor Theater at Hermann Park – I love musicals, dance, theater–almost anything performance related–but there’s something special about bringing a blanket and having a picnic while watching the performance under the stars.
- Six Ping Bakery in Chinatown – Ever since my trip to China, I’ve been obsessed with Asian baked goods. Six Ping has never disappointed me, and the variety keeps me coming back. I love the use of taro, red bean and lotus. And since I’m already in Chinatown, it would also be necessary to stop at one of the many Asian grocery stores to awe at their unique offerings from hard-to-find international fruits, including durian, jackfruit and dragonfruit, along with interesting noodles, fish and offals!
- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo – Even in college I made sure to fly back to Houston to attend the Rodeo. I’m a health freak, but I usually let go a little at the rodeo so I can try the most latest fried dessert. Not to mention the concerts… I still remember that I experienced my first concert ever at the Rodeo with Destiny’s Child.
- Museum Hopping – We have all kinds of museums in Houston for any kind of lover, whether it’s art, culture or health. I don’t necessarily have a favorite, but I really enjoy the after hours events at the Museum of Natural Science.
- Public Art Installations – These seem to be popping up everywhere. I love walking through Discovery Green for the newest art installations, driving down Montrose Boulevard for its long colorful tunnel, and Allen Parkway for the kneeling metal figures (especially at night when they’re lit up).
About Annie Rupani
Annie Rupani is the owner of Cacao & Cardamom, a luxury chocolate boutique located across from the Galleria at Westheimer and Post Oak in Uptown. Born and raised in Houston, Rupani discovered her love for culinary creations and chocolate while studying, working and traveling in Boston and abroad in the United Kingdom, Jordan, Pakistan, Malaysia and elsewhere. While she earned a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Religon from Boston University, she spent her precious free time engrossed in Food Network shows and researching recipes to prepare for a weekly gourmet cooking session. After school, she traveled to Pakistan to work on Early Childhood Development projects with the Rupani Foundation for six months, but chocolate remained a growing passion. During the program, She took time off to attend a week of chocolatiering courses at a Malaysian pastry school in Kuala Lumpur. Returning to Houston, she opened Cacao & Cardamom. The exotic chocolate boutique pulls from the rich culture surrounding cacao and chocolate and melds it with new ideas and modern techniques to present fresh and traditional treats and sweets.