With so much history throughout the 3rd ward community in Houston, TX, chef Vicky V’s “Brunch on the Block" vision came to life Sunday, July 1st at The Compound on Wheeler St. in the heart of the 3rd ward as a way for the community to come out and embrace the culture, enjoy some great food, hear great music, network and have fun.
“I wanted to do something for the culture,” chef Vicky V said. “As a chef, food means a lot to me and l like to pair it with an experience. So I said, with everything going on in society right now I wanted to pay homage to Black culture and do something positive. I wanted you to come out and eat chicken and watermelon and feel ok about it. I wanted it to be ok to be Black. Sometimes we don’t have those types of spaces. This was for us to take a moment to appreciate our culture. I wanted to create a space where Black people are loving each other, eating chicken and watermelon, playing spades getting back to the things we love without being ashamed, and it be ok.”
Born and raised on the southwest side of Houston, but beginning her culinary journey on the east coast, chef Vicky realized when she returned to Houston after culinary school that the city was fairly new to the brunch scene. She had been doing brunch for years, and wanted to capitalize on that by elevating the brunch experience.
“I went to Hempstead to find some really great watermelon, and to give people an experience that they might not have had before,” she explained, speaking on the decision to go with yellow watermelon instead of the common red variety. “It has a more sweet, deeper taste. There is some great soil out in Hempstead and it is the perfect combination for the yellow watermelon.”
To help bring this event to life, chef Vicky teamed up with Let’s Do It Houston, an event planning company hosts many theme-based bike rides throughout the city, including their upcoming Super Soaker Water Battle on July 14.
“So one day, I took a ride with them when they were having a ride around 3rd ward and the various different landmarks and from that I learned so much,” she said. “So when it was time for me to partner with someone, I knew I wanted to host the event in 3rd ward and so it just made sense. You have the opportunity to learn about the history of this area during your “Brunch on the Block” experience.”
Brunch on the Block allowed dozens of vendors to come out and showcase their products, network, make money and have fun with the community. There was handmade jewelry from Harambee Art/Style, beautiful fragrant soaps from Cayenne & Thyme and cheesecake bites from Masterpiece Deserts just to name a few. Chef Vicky hopes to continue this event in the future either annually or biannually with a variety of themes to continue to engage and entertain the Houston community.
Victoria Randle is a detailed, fact-checking journalist that loves nothing more than to research and write. She prides herself on being a social media guru and staying up with current events pertaining to the culture and music. She has been a huge fan of hip hop since a young age. Victoria is a native Houstonian with a degree in broadcast journalism from Texas Southern University. She currently resides in Houston with her daughter Riley.