Galveston College has teamed up with a quintet of Galveston Island’s finest chefs to host the 2023 Five Fabulous Chefs culinary celebration event.


The culinary celebration, to be held on Nov. 14 and 15, from 6-8 p.m., at the Galveston College main campus atrium, features five of Galveston’s top chefs, including Chef Megan Walker from the Saltwater Grill, Chef Edgardo “Rico” Caminos from Riondo’s, Chef Phil Bouza from the Galveston Country Club, Chef Alena Pyles from EATcetera and Chefs P.J. and Tara Head from Koop’s BBQ Kitchen and Catering.


“It’s exciting, and flattering as well, to be invited back for the second year in a row,” said Chef Walker. “Growing up, I didn’t really have too many options to go to school because we didn’t have a lot of money, and some sort of scholarship for something I really love, like cooking, would have been amazing, but it wasn’t something available to me where I grew up.”


Chef Walker developed her love for cooking by helping and learning alongside her mother and grandmother in New England. With 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, she excels at creating new and exciting flavor combinations which are a delight to the palate and have earned Chef Walker several accolades. She is a two-time "Best of the Island" awards recipient for Best Restaurant Chef, a two-time Galveston Daily News awards recipient for Best Restaurant Chef and a Texas Restaurant Association awards recipient for Restaurateur of the Year for Galveston County.


Joining Chef Walker in the distinguished culinary lineup for the Five Fabulous Chefs event is Chef Caminos, who is the Executive Chef at Riondo’s Ristorante. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and son of an Italian mother and Spanish father, the former soccer player turned chef moved to Galveston with his wife, Susanna, in the 1980s and brought his “farm to fork” and “sea to table” values to the island culinary scene.


“I’m very happy to be able to participate with other island chefs and do this for Galveston College,” said Chef Caminos. “This is important for students and we can create something for the college.”


The third member of the Five Fabulous Chefs team is Long Island, New York native, Chef Bouza, from the Galveston Country Club. A graduate of the Culinary Institute, he has more than 36 years of culinary experience.


“I’m excited to work with the college students, and showcase some nice food,” said Chef Bouza. “This is huge and I’m happy to participate this year.”


Chef Alena Pyles, who also owns EATcetera, which she took over and reopened in 2018, brings both small café and four-star restaurant experience to the Five Fabulous Chefs table. Prior to moving to Galveston, she worked as an executive chef in several four-star restaurants in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Houston.


“It’s nice to have the recognition (and be part of Five Fabulous Chefs),” said Pyles. “My brother and I have been involved with helping college students since 1984 and it means a lot to be able to do this.”


Finally, rounding out the Five Fabulous Chefs lineup is husband and wife duo, P.J. and Tara Head, owners of Koop’s BBQ Kitchen and Catering. Beginning their culinary journey with a food truck on Broadway, the couple opened Koop’s, a bricks and mortar barbeque restaurant in May 2022, where they serve up traditional Texas BBQ with an island twist and delicious homemade sides and desserts.


“We like to support events like these for the community and since we are a young restaurant starting out, it puts us out in front of the community,” said P.J. Head. “Anything we can do to help people have the opportunity to go to school or for future learning, we’re happy to do it.”


The Five Fabulous Chefs event returned to Galveston College last year after a brief hiatus due to the pandemic.


Proceeds from the Five Fabulous Chefs will benefit Galveston College’s Building Tomorrow capital campaign for the new three-story Health Sciences Education Center under construction at the college’s main campus.


Reserved seating is limited and the event is business attire. For ticket and sponsorship information, call 409-944-1306.



Galveston College was founded in 1967 and is a comprehensive community college providing the residents of Galveston Island and the surrounding region with academic, workforce development, continuing education and community service programs.


The Galveston College Foundation exists to support and enhance the ability of Galveston College to achieve its mission of advancing people’s lives through lifelong learning.