Life + Arts

Experience global menu at HMNS

Take a journey into diverse cuisine and traditions at the first ever Big Bite Nite on Thursday at Houston Museum of Natural Science.’

In the past, the museum has hosted Houston Press’s ‘Menu of Menus,’ which also included cuisine sampling, but this year its throwing the party solo.

Promotions manager Jamie Glover said the Houston Press and the museum were in talks earlier this year and the decision to hold Menu of Menus at Discovery Green instead of the museum was amicable.

‘We did discuss holding it here earlier in the year,’ Glover said. ‘But we came to the conclusion that the Houston Press event is a high capacity event and they wanted to continue to expand and we were at capacity last year – Discovery Green offers them that venue.’

This year, a $35 ticket to Big Bite Nite is a passport to unlimited cuisine and beverage samplings from Ethiopia to Houston’s own backyard.

‘We have 47 restaurants and vendors serving food, wine, tequila and beer,’ Glover said.’ ‘There will also be performances during the night. We have chef Polo Becerra, owner of Polo Signature restaurant, doing cooking demonstrations.’

Since this year’s spotlight is China, the event will also include cultural performances from local Chinese dance groups.

‘ ‘We’ll have the demonstrations by the Houston Shaolin Kung Fu academy,’ Glover said. ‘Along with Lee’s Golden Dragon dance troops and two cultural performances, (there will be) Chinese flute performances and a folk dance performance as well.’

Glover said the event organizers specifically chose restaurants that would represent a cross-section of Houston’s culture, which has become a melting pot of different races and ethnicities.

‘We’ve made an effort to get ethnic restaurants involved,’ Glover said. ‘Houston has so much culinary talent and it would be a shame to not show it off. This is an opportunity to come in and experience a lot of the tastes of Houston. What sets Big Bite Nite apart is the opportunity to experience the tastes of world culture.”

This year the museum will also be offering cuisine that is typically not on the menu.

‘We will actually be cooking bugs and serving them to the pubic,’ Glover said. ‘In the majority of the world, people actually do consume insects.’ They’re full of protein and actually quite healthy. David Temple, a paleontologist at the museum, will be our chef.’

Aside from the restaurants, live animals will take over the museum.

‘We’ll also have a live roaming animal program,’ Glover said. ‘They will be supervised and held by an instructor, and far away from the food. But we’ll have some small reptiles, snakes and bunnies for the public to experience.’

To top everything off, there will be a disc jockey spinning live music to put Big Bite Nite goers in the party mood.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the museum and its expansion program.

‘The museum is in the middle of a capital campaign and we are building a wing that will greatly increase the size of the museum,’ Glover said. ‘We’re going to be breaking ground soon. Here at the museum, we’re in the middle of a ton of projects – there’s a great demand for the Museum of Natural Science and its resources, and we’re just trying to keep up.’

Big Bite Nite is already sold out, but students should be ready for next year’s event.

‘ ‘I can guarantee this event is worth shelling out for,’ Glover said.

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