Before the trail rides and the livestock show, the bar-b-que cook-off and the calf scramble, the one event that marks the official start of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo season in Houston is the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition at NRG Center. The annual food and wine event sells out every year and raises significant dollars for student scholarships. 
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More than 85 restaurants and bakeries brought out their very best bite-sized creations that paired deliciously with wines from around the world. Ellie and the Francisco+Co team nibbled their way through the competitors stopping at favorite spots like Eddie V’s, Royers Round Top Café and Cru Wine Bar. From truffled beef carpaccio to pimento and bacon mac and cheese, there was something for everyone. Special kudos to Royers Round Top Café for winning the Grand Champion People’s Choice Award. For a complete list of the Best Bites winners, visit the HLSR.
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The rodeo excitement is just starting, and Ellie and the Francisco+Co team will be part of the World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest Thursday, Feb. 25 for Sponsor Night, the Wine Auction Dinner Sunday, Feb. 28 and then, the fun really begins, with the start of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Tuesday, March 1. The livestock show is another aspect of the HLSR Ellie and the Francisco+Co supports and will attend the Junior Market auctions including the Lamb and Goat Auction Saturday, March 12 and the Steer Auction Saturday, March 19.
Ellie’s volunteer involvement with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo reaches 15 years and includes her participation as a founding member of the Wine Committee, which was established in 2004, a member of the International Committee since 2004 and a member of the Trailblazer Committee since 2014. The Trailblazers are committed to promoting literacy through Rodeo ROPES (Reading Opens the Path to Education Success), by collecting and distributing books to low-income, elementary school-aged children.
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We value our participation in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the funds they raise supporting education for deserving youth of Texas.