Our My Top 5 series showcases Houstonians who are creating the city’s culture and community and asks them to share their own local favorites. This week we’re delighted to feature Constance McDerby, founder and co-producer of Wine & Food Week. Celebrating their 15th Anniversary, you can take part in the Wine & Food Week festivities at one of their many events taking place between Monday, June 3 through Sunday, June 9, 2019. Click here for more information.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Constance McDerby
- Food – I Love Houston. I find it to be the most amazing and diverse city. Our small neighborhood is only 50 houses and 14 nationalities are represented. We appreciate all cultures and regularly seek out a variety of food and flavors. It’s no surprise that one of our local favorites is Nirvana Indian Restaurant in West Houston. Kiran’s is a big favorite, too. Our family is big on shared flavors, so this fits our style. Nirvana has a buffet on Monday and Tuesday night and it’s a great way to explore dishes. Lamb chops are even on the buffet. We’re so glad to see Houston finally get the national spotlight for its culinary talent.
- Wine – Obviously, I’m passionate about wine and you’ll see me at wine tastings every chance I get. For over 20 years I’ve had a passion for the stories behind wineries, winemakers, and the wine growers. I love finding new varietals and those are more my favorites. I am awed by the wines, the history, and the process. The Texas Wine School has great tastings and classes for people like me who just love to learn and taste. You’ll see me there every chance I get.
- Art – When we’re not organizing wine events, we love exploring the museums and art galleries. We love, love, love art and wish we had more wall space on which to place our eccentric collection. My husband, Clifton, and I have different tastes in art, so we make a point to mix up our tastes in our home. It’s exciting to see the many artists who create original art that are shown at events, festivals, and galleries. That’s a favorite pastime. Archway Gallery is a great place to discover local artists. The Menil Collection is a favorite, and it’s free Wednesday through Sunday. I can get lost for hours at Summer Street Studios galleries where Denise Liebl has a studio. I’m fortunate to have one of her original pieces gracing my fireplace mantle.
- Giving back – Houston is a gracious and giving city. Every event we produce has a charity benefactor. If you’re looking for a way to give back or get involved consider Second Chances which builds orphanages, widow’s colonies, schools, water wells and more in India. 100% of funds raised go directly to the effort and it is very rewarding. Our son, Chance, is adopted so we clearly have a soft spot for assisting with orphan children.
- Gardening – Early morning is my favorite time of day. I love gardening and get giddy when I grow heirloom plants. We filled our yard with plants from our 100-year old home in New Orleans that we brought when we moved back in 2000. My neighbors can attest to me tending to the garden while still in my robe with a coffee cup in hand. On weekends you’ll find us at farmer’s markets and Houston nurseries like Nelson Water Gardens & Nursery, Houston Bamboo Nursery, Cornelius Nursery, and Wabash Feed & Garden. I’ve made a promise to myself that I won’t buy more than I can plant that very day. There are veggies and herb plants blended in every available piece of dirt in my yard and I get great pleasure watching them flourish.
About Constance McDerby
Constance McDerby is the Founder and Co-Producer of Wine & Food Week. She and her husband Clifton McDerby are founders of Food & Vine Time Productions, a consumer lifestyle event production company which produces events including, Wine & Food Week, Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival, Wine Fair Cy- Fair, Katy Sip ‘n Stroll, Tomball Freight Train Food Truck Festival, Houston Culinary Stars and more. A mom, practicing yogi, member of Unity Church, and executive committee member of Women Driving Business with the Houston West Chamber of Commerce, McDerby is passionate about all things wine and food and thrives on continuing her wine education journey. Celebrating their 15th Anniversary, you can take part in the Wine & Food Week festivities at one of their many events taking place between Monday, June 3 through Sunday, June 9, 2019. Click here for more information.