Thursday, December 23, 2010

Johns Family Christmas Dinner, 2010

Our Christmas Menu for 2010

Smoked Alaskan Salmon with a Creamy Dill Sauce
Shrimp Cocktail

Prime Rib
Baked Potato

Chocolate Cake

Needless to say, the meal will be a feast.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recipe: Green Tomato Salsa

Here's a great recipe from my friends at Green Gate Farms.

Green Tomato Salsa

- 4 cups chopped green tomatoes
- 2 cups chopped and seeded sweet peppers (banana, red bell)
- 1 cup chopped and seeded jalapenos, approximately 1/2 pound = 1 cup chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 3 cloves crushed garlic

Chop all ingredients and place in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour salsa in hot jars (pints). Seal and water bath for 30 minutes. This is for canning.

Makes about 5 pints.

If you prefer, reduce the amounts by half and store the salsa in the refigerator for 4 hours minimum to allow the flavors to blend together. You can store this wonderful salsa up to a couple of days.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

La Sombra Brings a Peruvian Twist to Tamales for the Holidays Available for Pre-Order

Austin’s sizzling South American restaurant, La Sombra Bar & Grill, is spicing things up this holiday season, adding a little heat and a whole lot of flavor to traditional yuletide fare. From December 14 through December 23, La Sombra will be serving up two scrumptious styles of Peruvian tamale, perfect for livening up any holiday meal.

Available warm or frozen and by the dozen ($16) or half-dozen ($9), these comforting South American tamales are made in-house using the finest yellow corn masa seasoned with Peruvian yellow peppers called aji amarillo, and wrapped in banana leaves. Flavors include the Chicken and Green Chile Tamale, cooked with poblano peppers and served with tangy tomatillo salsa; and the traditional Pibil Pork Tamale, featuring pork that has been braised in chicken stock with oranges, cloves, achiote and banana leaves, and served with a guajillo salsa made from toasted guajillo peppers and charred tomatoes. For customers’ convenience, tamale orders will be taken by phone before 3 p.m. each day, with orders available for pick up the following day after 3 p.m. A credit card number is required when ordering.

Additional La Sombra specialties available for pre-order and limited in-store purchase during this holiday season include traditional Alfajores, South American shortbread cookies layered with manjar blanco, a creamy caramel ($9/dozen); sweet and savory Port Meringue Cookies ($6/dozen); delectable Brigadeiros, traditional Brazilian chocolate truffles rolled in pistachios ($12/dozen); and rich La Sombra label house-blend coffee by Third Coast, a signature blend of organic, fair-trade Nicaraguan and Brazilian roasts ($12/one-pound bag).

La Sombra will also ring in 2011, South American-style, with a red-hot New Year’s Eve Bash benefiting Leadership Austin ($95/per person). On New Year’s Eve, from 8 p.m. to midnight, La Sombra will treat guests to Latin-inspired cocktails and dinner, as well as live music from Cienfuegos. La Sombra’s New Year’s Eve Bash fundraising event will be presented by Austin’s “Tribeza” magazine. For reservations, call (512) 458-1100.

La Sombra Bar & Grill is located at 4800 Burnet Road, Suite 200. For more information about La Sombra, the restaurant’s holiday offerings, or the New Year’s Eve Bash call (512) 458-1100, or visit 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Recipe: Melted Brie with Apricots

With the holidays fast approaching, your home will be filled with guests. I highly recommend this recipe when you want to impress them with a simple yet tasty appetizer.


1/2 cup apricot jam
1 tbsp. grated orange peel
1 tbsp. brandy or orange juice
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 lb. wedge Brie cheese
1 French Bread Baguette, thinly sliced

1.Mix jam, orange peel, brandy (or orange juice), lemon juice and cinnamon in a shallow microwave-safe serving dish just large enough to hold the Brie.

2.Cover apricot sauce and heat in a microwave oven at full power until sauce begins to bubble, about 1 to 1½ minutes.

3.Set Brie in apricot sauce. Return to microwave oven and cook, uncovered, until the cheese is hot and slightly melted, about 1 minute; check at 20-second intervals. Be sure to watch and not overcook the Brie.

4.Place baguette slices on a platter and serve.

Friday, November 12, 2010


In its December issue, available on newsstands next week, TEXAS MONTHLY will publish a definitive list of the 50 best Mexican restaurants in Texas, compiled by food editor Patricia Sharpe and her team of eaters. Today, to whet your appetite, editor Jake Silverstein released the names of the top 5 restaurants on his blog.

They are (in alphabetical order by city):

Fonda San Miguel, Austin
“The brilliant chile relleno San Miguel substitutes a dried ancho for the usual poblano and stuffs it with shredded chicken, green olives, capers, and almonds, a combination that is classic and avant-garde all at once.”

Cuquita’s, Dallas
“This unpretentious neighborhood joint may be a hub for political organizers, but when you’re here, it’s all about the food...The pozole sends us into a swoon, its lusty rust-hued broth filled with hominy and big chunks of pork, some still clinging to bone.”

Salsa Fuego, Fort Worth
“Salsa Fuego certainly looks like a dive, but when it comes to Mexican food, this piñata-hued hole-in-the-wall may just be Fort Worth’s crown jewel.”

Hugo’s, Houston
"Houston’s temple of interior Mexican cuisine boasts a menu not only mind-bogglingly vast but also based on authentic recipes from chef and co-owner Hugo Ortega’s homeland of Puebla...immersion in the menu’s breezy seafood selection turns up ultra-fresh huachinango a la veracruzana, a traditional dish from coastal Veracruz. Here it’s a whole snapper roasted to a perfect turn and surrounded by a chunky tomato sauce jazzed with olives, capers, and onions.”

SoLuna, San Antonio
“Chef-manager Gerardo Calvillo is in love with recipes from Mexico’s heartland. Thus you will also find specialties like chile en nogada, a poblano lusciously stuffed with cooked fruits and ground beef and pork.”

To read more about the story, check out this post on editor Jake Silverstein’s blog:

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mulberry Chef Trains in Esteemed Restaurant Kitchens: Diner & Gramercy Tavern

Mulberry Chef Trains in Esteemed Restaurant Kitchens: Diner & Gramercy Tavern
16-Day Trip Designed to Inspire and Further Develop Chef’s Expertise

(November 8, 2010) Austin, TX — Restaurateur Michael Polombo, owner of Mulberry, downtown Austin’s cozy New American-style restaurant and wine bar, has sent Mulberry Sous Chef Jacob Weaver to Brooklyn, New York, for extensive hands-on kitchen training in some of the borough’s most well-respected restaurants.

Chef Weaver is spending 16-days trailing the chefs at famed restaurants Diner, Marlow & Sons, Marlow & Daughters, and Gramercy Tavern. Known for their casually sophisticated menus changed and prepared daily by highly regarded Executive Chef Sean Rembold, Diner and Marlow & Sons will afford Chef Weaver the opportunity to learn every aspect involved with serving their finest modern-American cuisine. From learning how to operate as part of a kitchen team, how recipes are created and plated, and how prep work is completed, to understanding the process of costing food, Chef Weaver will receive complete kitchen training from Chef Rembold and his team. Chef Weaver will also spend a day at the Marlow & Daughters renowned traditional butcher shop, where he’ll learn the culinary art of curing fine meats. He’ll then trail the chefs at the acclaimed Danny Meyer-owned Gramercy Tavern, named by the Zagat Survey as New York City’s most popular restaurant.

The kitchen training Chef Weaver receives will help prepare him for his new position as executive chef at Mulberry, as current Executive Chef Zach Northcutt transitions from Mulberry to Polombo’s new American tavern, Haddingtons.

“This trip is designed to help enrich Chef Weaver’s culinary expertise while giving him new inspiration and techniques for Mulberry menu items,” says Mulberry owner Polombo, who also operates several New York City eateries and annually sends at least one of his chefs for in-house kitchen training in a revered restaurant. Though Polombo is currently working to open Haddingtons in downtown Austin, he is determined to continue elevating the dining experience at Mulberry. “As a restaurant group, we’re focused on enriching our people, and we’re putting a strong emphasis on bettering Mulberry, even as we launch another restaurant concept.”

Mulberry is located at 360 Nueces St. on the street level of the 360 Condominium Tower in downtown Austin. For more information about Mulberry or Chef Jacob Weaver, call (512) 320-0297, or visit

Friday, October 29, 2010

Celebrate the 81st Birthday of THE RITZ with THE JAZZ SINGER!

Join the Alamo Drafthouse in celebrating this momentous event.

The Ritz theatre was one of the first cinemas in Austin to play sound films, and we're celebrating its 81st birthday with the film that started the talkie revolution, THE JAZZ SINGER! Join us Wednesday, November 3rd at The Ritz for this epic celebration! Tickets to this event are $40 and include your ticket, a three-course feast, and a champagne toast! You can get your tickets here!

By the middle 1920s, American Cinema was at a turning point. After decades of experimentation and failure, the technology for sound recording and amplification became a reality, jeopardizing the tradition of the silent film indefinitely. As much as silent film was the norm and the preferred medium for many of the most talented and popular filmmakers of the day, once sound technology was available it was only a matter of time before “talkies” were the dominant form of moving picture entertainment. As these experiments became more and more sophisticated, there needed to be a huge movie to bring talkies into the mainstream, to do what AVATAR did for 3D if you will. That “killer app” was 1927’s THE JAZZ SINGER.

Starring the inimitable Al Jolson, who was for decades known as the “World’s Greatest Entertainer,” this film brought talking movies to the public in a way no film did before it. THE JAZZ SINGER presents the story of a young man who shames his father by performing the disrespectful, wild music known as Jazz. Jolson shines with his renditions of Blue Skies, My Mammy, and Dirty Hands, Dirty Face, and his Toot, Toot, Tootsie is a veritable showstopper, quite possible the greatest single piece of performed music in motion picture history.

During the ‘20s, theatre owners were hesitant to switch to sound because of the great expense associated with wiring speakers into the halls and buying new projection equipment. THE JAZZ SINGER was responsible for more change-overs than any other movie, and it was the first sound film in more theatres than any other too. The Ritz theatre, opened in 1929, was one of the first theatres in Texas to be wired for sound, and we’re proud to bring THE JAZZ SINGER back to the theatre for its 81st birthday, as it was one of the first films ever to be projected in this building.

To accompany this delightful movie, renowned jazz artist Erik Hokkanen and his band will be presenting some music before the festivities, as was the tradition in movie houses of the era. Hokkanen is an expert of traditional jazz and his sound will take you back to the roaring '20s. The screening will also include a multi-course meal and champagne toast as part of the ticket price.

Behold, the menu!
1) Panzanella Salad with red wine vinaigrette
2) Braised Pork Roll with sausage, celery root, and potatoes
3) White Strawberry Mousse Cake
Plus, we'll top night off with a champagne birthday toast to the Ritz!

Get tickets now!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


French-themed series of four-course dinners and musical performances in refurbished East Austin church

(AUSTIN, Texas - October 26, 2010) Danika Boyle, proprietor of Petite Peche & Co., the Austin-based boutique culinary travel company and cooking studio, has announced the studio's first "Salon Style" dinner series at Church House Studios, 1161 Nickols Avenue. Inspired by 17th and 18th century French salons, the series will include an evening of dinner and music in the restored church that houses both the recording and cooking studios owned by Danika and her husband, musician and producer, David Boyle.

The Salons will be curated around the culinary extensions and influences of France and begin with the Indochine Period. The first Indochine-themed Salon takes place Saturday, November 20, from 7-10 pm. The evening includes a four-course meal prepared by Danika along with music curated by David along with possible surprise performances. With an impressive list of producing and performing credits with everyone from Alejandro Escovedo, Justin Timberlake, Blondie Chaplin, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Bob Schneider, Bebel Gilberto, Charlie Sexton, James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins, Stephen Barber, Tosca Sting Quartet and Gavin DeGraw to locals Dan Dyer and Amy Cook there's no telling who might drop by. "The Church is the creative work studio and home to me, David and our son Charlie, so it's a natural extension to combine our work and life passions and share with others," says Danika. "Of course, there's no better city in which to create these celebrations of great food and music than in Austin," she continued.

The salons are limited to 40 attendees at $70 per person. Guests are encouraged to bring their own wine or alcoholic beverage of choice. To register, visit Upcoming dates include December 11 and January 22.

About Petite Peche and Co.
Petite Peche and Co. is a culinary studio that offers boutique culinary tours in France and Italy as well as cooking classes from a home base in Austin, Texas. Danika Boyle created the company with a desire to share her passion for food and life through travel, cooking and edible adventures. In every destination, she works closely with local experts to provide behind-the-scenes access to the regions' best culinary destinations, events and people, as well as providing the opportunity to connect with the culture through its food, purveyors, and numerous markets. Petite Peche and Co. also offers private cookery classes and market tours in France and Italy for those who want a truly intimate experience.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Restaurant Week in Austin, TX!

Dine your way around Austin’s top restaurants for LESS while supporting the Sustainable Food Center during Austin Restaurant Week. This fall’s event brings over 60 A-list restaurants serving up stellar three-course dinners from $25 to $35 and some offering lunches for $10 to $15. Presented by RISE, Austin Restaurant Week will run from September 19th through the 22nd and September 26th through the 29th.

The original restaurant week, co-founded in 1992 by Tim Zagat of the Zagat guide, started in New York City to accommodate 15,000 reporters covering the Democratic National Convention. Austin Restaurant Week was founded by RARE Magazine and Taylor Perkins, the Executive Director of Austin Restaurant Week, to celebrate Austin’s unique and amazing culinary fare and strengthen the relationships between Austin restaurants and it’s local non-profits. Austin Restaurant Week is an exciting event for everyone in the city, offering budget-conscious foodies the opportunity to dine at lavish restaurants at discounted prices. Charities win by receiving a portion of the proceeds.

The Sustainable Food Center is Austin’s beneficiary, a local organization that builds a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.

Taylor Perkins, Executive Director of Austin Restaurant Week and Publisher of RARE Magazine, has been a driving force behind Austin Restaurant Week. “The restaurant scene is such a large, vibrant part of Austin. Restaurant week spotlights them, recognizes local chefs, and offers everyone an opportunity to get out and visit some amazing spots in the city.” said Perkins. “Whether you’re re-visiting an old favorite or getting out to sample one of the exciting newcomers there is something for everyone’s palate this fall.”

Austin Restaurant Week has quickly grown into a dazzling bi-annual culinary showcase with beloved favorites and new additions, a cross-section of Austin’s vibrant restaurant scene. Fresh faces on the fall lineup include Uchiko, Chef Tyson Cole’s long anticipated project featuring a pan-Asian menu with composed dish­es and sushi.

Neighborhood picks include the addition of Rosedale’s wildly popular La Sombra Bar & Grill offering a variety of Latin American dishes; and East Austin’s recently opened Zandunga Mexican Bistro.

Austin Restaurant Week past favorites include the historic Paggi House, noted as having one of Austin’s best patios, boasting a stunning view of the downtown skyline paired with an equally enticing menu.

Noteworthy chefs like Shawn Circkiel of downtown’s parkside, crowned one of the “Hot 10 New American Taverns” by Bon Appétit, and Josh Watkins of The Carillon, which recently prompted a four-star rating from the Austin American-Statesman, come back on board with menus that invite and delight every urban diner.

Each restaurant will feature three-course fixed price dinners from $25 to $35 and some will offer three-course lunches for $10 to $15. Select locations will offer gluten-free and vegetarian options, as well as wine pairings. For reservations, a complete list of restaurants and the chance to win gift certificates on Facebook and Twitter, visit

About RISE, the Presenting Sponsor:
RISE is a free conference for entrepreneurs of all types, providing a forum where you can connect and exchange ideas that inspire the entrepreneurial spirit. Since its inception, RISE has enjoyed rapid annual growth, fueled by the incredible energy of Austin’s entrepreneurs. In 2009, 1,600 entrepreneurs attended 122 RISE sessions. Venues ranged from Jo’s Coffee and FINO, to the boardrooms of Enspire Learning and GSD&M Idea City, to the classrooms of the Acton School and community spaces like Leadership Austin, Tech Ranch, the Mexican American Cultural Center and Austin’s greenest boardroom at the Lance Armstrong Foundation. RISE serves as a proud symbol of Austin’s collaborative culture and its national reputation for being the entrepreneur’s capital. RISE is a non-profit program of the MPOWER Foundation. It is free and open to the public and is made possible through the generous support of partners and sponsors.

About the Sustainable Food Center:
The Sustainable Food Center cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. SFC envisions a food-secure community where all children and adults grow share and prepare healthy, local food. From seed to table, SFC creates opportunities for individuals to make healthy food choices and to participate in a vibrant local food system. Through organic food gardening, relationships with area farmers, interactive cooking classes and nutrition education, children and adults have increased access to locally grown food and are empowered to improve the long-term health of Central Texans and our environment.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wendy's Upgrading Its Salads

Wendy's upgrading salads, but it will cost you

I am finding more and more restaurants upgrading their menus to offer healthier choices. I'm glad to see that. However, we all need to remember that eating healthier can be more expensive especially when you eat at a restaurant.

I carry my lunch to work often and enjoy a health sandwich, fresh vegetables and fruit. I control what goes into my lunch and I find it a lot cheaper.

Friday, July 2, 2010

4th of July Austin at Seaholm

Its going to an amazing long weekend of endless fun!! Wanted to reach out and let you know about The Electric Company's first event on the 4th!

TBird and the Breaks! The Bright Light Social Hour! Anthropos Arts! Til We're Blue or Destroy!

The Electric Company is pleased to announce its inaugural event: A 4th of July Celebration that is free to the public which will benefit local nonprofit Anthropos Arts. Set downtown at the Historic Seaholm Power Plant, this will be the most ideal location to view the fireworks while taking in a lineup of some of Austin's most exciting up and coming musicians all while enjoying ice cold beer, libations, BBQ, Tex Mex, and more from some of Austin's favorites. Onsite valet parking is available & the show is all ages and family friendly.

Event Details:
July 4, 2010
The Electric Company presents 4th of July Austin
at the Seaholm Power Plant
Benefiting Anthropos Arts
4pm – 10pm

Featuring the fabulous sounds of:
T Bird and the Breaks
Anthropos Arts is a nonprofit that aims to enhance music education outside the classroom by matching local musicians with students from schools in East Austin.
'Til We're Blue or Destroy

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Legendary Tequila Ambhar® Launches in Austin

Tequila Ambhar, a hand crafted, single barrel, small batch tequila, is now available in Austin. Created by Austin-based Santo Spirits, Inc. Ambhar is produced by hand at an artisanal distillery outside of Arandas, Capilla de Guadalupe, Mexico, and imported in Platinum, Reposado, and Añejo bottling. Winner of numerous national and international awards, Ambhar is a return to the art of tequila, offering an authentic experience of one of the world’s oldest distilled spirits.

The name Ambhar was derived from Mexican mythology, and honors the story of a beloved goddess who was recreated on earth as the blue agave. The iconic bottle is reminiscent of a vintage decanter, and is filled by hand, individually labeled and numbered. A dragonfly medallion, a symbol of the storied goddess and rebirth, accompanies each bottle.

The top grade blue agave harvested for Ambhar is sourced in both highland and lowland regions, creating its unique smoothness and flavor characteristics. Unique to the brand, Ambhar’s agave is selected based on sugar content, a higher gradient factor than simply age alone. Its recipe calls for a sugar content in a specific range, which is proprietary to the company. The entire process of creating Ambhar is completed by hand, using careful distillation and artisanal processes to develop Ambhar’s smooth yet distinctive and versatile flavor. Ambhar is often served neat for sipping but also features superbly in cocktails and as a flavorful counterpoint to vodka.

First launched in 2009 in Nevada, Ambhar is now available in Austin and statewide at area retailers and is featured at popular restaurants, bars and clubs. Ambhar has won the following national and international awards and distinctions:

2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

GD USA Package Design (Graphic Design USA)

Ultimate Spirits Challenge

International Spirits Challenge 2010

WSWA Tasting Competition

For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Angela Fulcher

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Umiya is Secret Gem in Cedar Park, TX

I was out driving and decided to eat lunch. I thought about having something different. After some thought, I decided to a try a place I kept driving by, but hadn't tried. It was a little Japanese sushi place called Umiya. I decided to try it. After eating there, I wished I had tried it sooner.

I was greeted by the friendly wait staff and seated immediately. The decor is very simple and the restaurant is small. What it lacked in size, it made up for in selection. The menu is quite extensive, but I decided to go with a lunch special. They had a sushi and sashimi combination for $15. So, I tried it. It came with a soup, miso, and a salad with a delicious dressing. The miso soup was excellent and full of tofu and very hearty.

While I was waiting, the sushi chef sent over a sample of one of his creation. It was a very delicious roll. I was very pleased and couldn't wait for my meal. The fish was extremely fresh and the portion size were large. I have seen portion sizes that were just shavings from fish. I was very pleased.

I will be trying a couple of their rolls later. If they keep up the quality, I don't think I will need to drive outside of Cedar Park to get great sushi. Also, the menu includes Korean food. So, I will be going back to try those dishes out.

My only issue is the music. It was a little too loud for me. Aside from that, the prices were very fair for the quality and quantity of fish. The wait staff did an excellent job and took very good care of me.

1540 Cypress Creek
Suite 106
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 257-0888

Kung Fu Buffet in Cedar Park, TX now open

There is a new Chinese buffet, Kung Fu Buffet, in Cedar Park, TX. I haven't tried it out yet, but will probably drop by later this week to check it out and evaluate it.

For those who are interested in going there first, here's the address.

401 E. Whitestone Blvd #C106
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 259-8588

Saturday, March 27, 2010



Filled with Mouth Watering Recipes for Unique Cupcake Creations


Author Jennifer Ross spent well over a year testing cupcake recipes, interviewing bakery owners and collaborating with a professional baker to create her own confection, debut novel: THE ICING ON THE CUPCAKE.

This charming novel tells the story of a young woman’s decision to leave everything she knows behind and start a new and delicious life for herself, after being jilted by her fiancé who was deemed the most eligible bachelor in Dallas. Before long she opens a gorgeous bakery called The Icing on the Cupcake and realizes that finding herself first is much sweeter than finding a man.

Complete with decadent cupcake recipes, THE ICING ON THE CUPCAKE is a fun summer read about a young woman experimenting with innovative ingredients—and with a life beyond her wildest dreams.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Jennifer Ross is a former Wall Street Journal reporter. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she bakes almost daily for her three children and friends.


Venerable Austin institution is reopened — and reinvigorated

AUSTIN (March 26, 2010) — A waterfront Austin dining institution is back, and better than ever.

Ski Shores Café, owned by the Fowler family since 1954, announced it will reopen April 2 under new management — serving the same great fare and now much more, in a vastly expanded, open-air facility now approximately double the previous capacity.

New Ski Shores Café amenities — spacious, indoor-outdoor dining and a full bar, table service and a full wait staff, an expansive deck, additional boat slips and even call-in, dockside delivery — abound in the longtime local favorite, which will now open seven days a week and operate year-round.

Long noted for classic American food in a lakeside setting, the café has added new menu offerings to the mix. However, Ski Shores’ loyal following will be pleased to learn that all of the iconic Austin eatery’s longtime, signature menu items remain, including the legendary Border and Scooter burgers, the popular pizzas, catfish sandwiches, famous fries, fried okra, and much more.

Led by Restaurant Freedom co-founders Rick Engel and Mark Turner, the Ski Shores Café management team brings years of entrepreneurial expertise and restaurant industry experience to this local waterfront icon.

“We are delighted to revive and update an Austin institution, keeping the great feel of Ski Shores intact, as a great place for families, boaters and our Lake Austin neighbors,” says Rick Engel, Restaurant Freedom CEO and co-founder. “This has always been a special place, and now it adds faster service and expanded attractions.”

“Ski Shores has always been about spending a day with friends on the water and stopping here — It’s one of the things that ‘makes Austin Austin,’” said Turner. “For fifty-plus years, people have come here to enjoy the unique waterfront setting. There’s something for everyone here and we have painstakingly preserved that legacy, while improving the experience.”


For more than 50 years, boaters (and jet skiers) have pulled right up to the dock to grab some refreshment and take in the relaxing views at Ski Shores Café, located just a short boat ride west of the 360 bridge (and by car, off 2222 near the end of long and winding City Park Road).

With the new additions and amenities of Ski Shores Café, today a visitor can:
Boat in, “tying down” at one of several new cleated boat slips
Disembark and walk across the expansive deck or hang outside at the new palapa bar
Be seated by wait staff – no more standing in line, or long waits
Order any original Ski Shores menu item, or choose from a variety of all-new menu offerings
Relax and enjoy scenic views, live music several days a week, or catch the game on several flatscreen TVs
Bring a laptop and jump online using the venue’s free wireless wifi
Grab basic boating amenities, such as ice, or sunblock
Order dockside delivery direct to your boat
Bring your dog!

Kids (and parents) can enjoy a gated playscape area, and everyone can go in the game room, or play washers or shuffleboard. Visitors also may order carry out, or if located in designated nearby neighborhoods, may take advantage of in-area, full-menu delivery.

Local business partners Rick Engel and Mark Turner have reinvigorated the eatery. The pair have a successful, long history of developing, operating, reviving and restoring Austin institutions. Engel and Turner are owners in, and operators of Austin restaurant concepts Little Woodrow’s, Austin Java, Uncle Billy’s Brew & Que and the Austin-area Texadelphia restaurants.

All of these, including Ski Shores, are supported by Restaurant Freedom, which offers a complete array of professional management services — including operations management, strategic marketing (including complete campaigns and social media), accounting, payroll, human resources, IT/POS support and more, for restaurateurs.
Ski Shores Cafe
2905 Pearce Road
Austin, TX 78730
(512) 804-0326
For more information, please visit

Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting Ready for the Summer Grilling Season

Although I grill all of the time, I tend to be a little lacks in cleaning my grill during the fall and winter seasons. So, I will be sending my time during the next couple of weeks cleaning and doing some work on my Weber grill.

Part of my cleaning will be to replace any worn or damaged components in order to make sure that my grill is performing perfectly. The last thing you want is a failure during a backyard cookout.

My cleaning and maintaining your grill there is no reason why it can't last you for a long, long time. I spend a lot of time working on and cleaning my grill. It is worth it just to see the smiles and hear the wonderful compliments.

I will be discussing over the next couple of weeks what steps you need to take to clean and maintain your grill.

Holy Cacao Celebrates First Anniversary with FREE Cake Balls

AUSTIN, TX – 3/21/10 – HOLY CACAO has created a Birthday Ball to give away for customers on Sunday, March 21st, 2010 (limit one per person, no purchase required).

The dessert shop, which specializes in several sweet treats, such as Cake Shakes, Frozen Hot Chocolate, S’mores (with marshmallows made from scratch) and a Hot Chocolate that is akin to a European Drinking Chocolate, has become well recognized for its Cake Balls.

A Cake Ball, like a chocolate truffle, is a handmade labor of love. First a cake is baked from scratch. After it cools, it is crumbled and mixed with frosting to bind it together and give it a truffle-like consistency. Finally, it is coated with chocolate. At HOLY CACAO, it is even placed on a Popsicle Stick to make it a bit more fun (and easy to eat).

The Birthday Ball is a traditional yellow cake, mixed with a butter cream frosting. It will be coated in dark chocolate and topped with festive sprinkles. No purchase is necessary on Sunday, March 21st, though the FREE Cake Ball will be limited to one per customer.

HOLY CACAO will also have additional Birthday Balls available for sale. They will sell for $2 each, 3 for $5.00 or a Baker’s Dozen for $20.00, as are HOLY CACAO’s regular six flavors. Check out the full menu and find out more at

Additionally, HOLY CACAO will be shooting an episode for the Food Network on Sunday, March 28th. Though the air date has yet to be announced, HOLY CACAO is excited that such attention continues to be placed on the Austin food scene and the timing of this shooting along with the One Year Anniversary provides a noteworthy coincidence.

HOLY CACAO will close early Monday, March 22nd to celebrate the anniversary and plan for the upcoming year with its entire kitchen and retail team. Sunday, March 21st HOLY CACAO will be open from 12-8. Monday, March 22nd, the hours will be 12-5.

Orders may be purchased directly at the trailer, phoned into 512-851-CAKE (2253), or emailed to As always, with advance notice, delivery is available in town for $5.00. Shipping can be arranged to other cities for the cost of 2 Day UPS shipping and a nominal handling charge.

Ellen Kinsey
512-851-CAKE (2253)
Holy Cacao
South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery1311 S. 1st Street
Austin, TX 78704

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Over inundated with SXSW?

Let me tell you about one more clutch scene. FREEB!RDS World Burrito is making SXSW proud, unofficially.

Please take a look at the lineup that’s playing at the FREEB!RDS stage at the St. Vincent de Paul Vintage Boutique & Thrift Store on South Congress. The four-day event will feature some of the best in American roots music produced by the folks at Sin City Social Club. Featured also will be local artisans, thrift store couture, a flamingo petting zoo, cold beer/refreshments and awesome grub from what else, FREEB!RDS!

A suggested $5 donation or the equivalent of a non-perishable canned goods/clothing gets you in the door.WHAT: FREEB!RDS Stage at St. Vincent de Paul Vintage Boutique & Thrift Store
WHEN: Mar 17 – 20th from 5pm – 8pm
WHY: Tis the season for music and burritos
WHERE: St. Vincent de Paul Vintage Boutique & Thrift Store, 1327 S. Congress Ave.Wednesday, 3/17Ruby JamesLynda KayAustin Collins and The RainbirdsThursday, 3/18ShurmanTim EastonThrift Store Cowboys Friday, 3/19Uncle Lucius Dave Insely & The Careless Smokers Leslie & The Badgers Saturday, 3/20The Deep Vibration T Bird & The BreaksOrgone

For more details please go to FREEB!RDS Facebook page at or feel free call or email me with any questions.

Hope to see you at the FREEB!RDS stage!



BBPR South
1600-A Virginia Ave
Austin, TX 78704
c - 501-350-3422
o - 512-382-7295

Monday, March 15, 2010

Majority of Vendors at Farmers Market in Sunset Valley Remain

Majority of Vendors at Farmers Market in Sunset Valley Remain; Now Called SFC Farmers' Market at Sunset Valley

Austin, TX - Sustainable Food Center (SFC), a local non-profit, has answered the call from the farming and small local business community to keep a farmers' market at Sunset Valley. SFC will begin operating a Saturday farmers' market next week under a temporary permit, March 20, pending approval by the Sunset Valley city council. A majority of the vendors from the previous Sunset Valley Farmers Market will be continuing to sell in the Toney Burger Center area and adjacent Pillow Street. Some farmers who have only been at SFC's Austin Farmers' Market downtown will now be at both locations. Now called the SFC Farmers' Market at Sunset Valley, the market will feature about 50 vendors to start, with a majority of them farmers. There will also be quality ready-to-eat and value added vendors, as well as a small group of artisans.

Customers are welcome to use the same ample parking that they are accustomed to, and are invited to stop by the Information Booth to learn about the change and how to continue support of the farmers. After an interim temporary period of operation, the market is up for review of an annual permit at the City of Sunset Valley April 6th council meeting.

The market hours remain the same, from 9 am to 1 pm, and the location of the market will move slightly to the east within the area. SFC's application with the City of Sunset Valley expresses an intent to run the market weekly, rain or shine, year-round. Farmers who have already expressed their commitment to remaining at the Sunset Valley location under SFC's management include Hairston Creek Farm, Johnson's Backyard Garden, and Swede Farm Dairy, among many others.

SFC is prepared to carry out our mission of cultivating a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. We institute a number of educational and accessible programs at the markets we operate, including the SNAP Lone Star program, Farmers' Market Nutrition Program coupons for fruits and vegetables during the summertime, farmers' product tasting tent, chef's demos, gardening workshops, etc. We are a local 501 (c)(3) non-profit and have been involved in the community of growing food for more than 35 years.

Find out more about SFC's family of farmers' markets and programs at and

The Austin Farmers' Market is the largest certified growers-only farmers market in the state of Texas. The certification from the Texas Certified Farmers Market Association requires that 51% or more of the vendor base consists of farmers. In 2009, the Saturday market generated estimated sales of $1.2 million, and had more than 104,000 visits. The Wednesday market in 2009 had more than 30,000 visits, with over $360,000 in gross sales. A spin-off effect of more than $1 million was generated by the two markets at surrounding businesses.

Austin Farmers' Market runs year-round on Saturdays at Republic Square Park, 4th and Guadalupe from 9 am - 1pm year-round. Also, Wednesdays at Triangle Park, 4600 Guadalupe at 46th and Lamar from 3 pm - 7 pm (Oct. - March) and 4 pm - 8 pm (April - Sept.). Free parking is available in covered garages and along the streets at both locations immediately adjacent to the market.

Note to media: SFC staff, farmers, and the City of Sunset Valley staff or members of the council are available for interviews. Please contact Clay Collins, the City Administrator at 892-1384, to coordinate interviews with Mayor, council or other City of Sunset Valley staff.

Susan Leibrock
Community Relations Director
Sustainable Food Center
512.236.0074 ext. 111

Ronda Rutledge
Executive Director

Suzanne Santos
Austin Farmers' Market Director

Saturday, February 27, 2010

ACT NOW! Support Farm to School Improvements Act!


We need your help to gain Congressional support for mandatory funding for Farm to School! THIS WEEK Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) will be introducing the "Farm to School Improvements Act of 2010", legislation which will provide $50 million in mandatory funding over the next five years to fund Farm to School Programs as part of the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization. Gaining additional co-sponsors for this bill is critical to ensuring that it is included in the Child Nutrition Act. Please call or fax your Representative's office and ask them to co-sponsor.

It's easy to call. You can get your Representative's name and direct number by going to and typing in your zip code. You can also call the Capitol Switchboard, provide your Representative's name and be directly connected to their office: (202) 225-3121. Once connected to your Representative's office ask to speak to the aide that works on child nutrition.

The message is simple. "I am a constituent of ________ and I am calling to ask him/her to co-sponsor Representative Rush Holt's "Farm to School Improvements Act" which will provide $50 million in mandatory funding for the Farm to School Programs as part of the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization."

The Farm to School Collaborative, a cross-sector alliance of school, nutrition, rural, and sustainable agriculture groups and farmers, has been leading the campaign for mandatory funding for Farm to School programs in the upcoming Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR). Members of the Farm to School Collaborative include the Community Food Security Coalition, National Farm to School Network, School Food FOCUS, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Wallace Center at Winrock International. Sustainable Food Center is a founding member of the Community Food Security Coalition. We thank you for your support!

About Sustainable Food Center
With roots dating back more than 30 years, SFC is involved in every step of the local food system from seed to table. Our mission is to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.

Susan Leibrock
Community Relations Director
Sustainable Food Center
512-236-0074 ext. 111

Austin Restaurant Week Starts this Sunday

Celebrate Dining in Austin
Feb 28-Mar 3 and Mar 7-10, 2010

The Spring 2010 installment of Austin Restaurant Week will run from February 28th - March 3rd and March 7th - 10th, and is hosted by Rare Media. The event will allow participants to dine at the finest establishments throughout the city for fixed prices, ranging from $10 - $15 for lunch and $25 - $35 for dinner. Peruse this site to find the stellar list of restaurants, and start making your plans for Austin Restaurant Week today!

For more details, click here.

5 Course Paired Wine Dinner with Ironstone Vineyards and Brazos Valley Cheese

5 Course Paired Wine Dinner with Ironstone Vineyards and Brazos Valley Cheese
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
7:00 pm
$65.00 per person/all inclusive

Join Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Brazos Valley Cheese, and the great grapes of Ironstone Vineyards for a terrific wine, cheese, and food pairing dinner in our private dining room overlooking the greenbelt.

Ironstone Vineyards, fourth generation growers and one of the ten largest family owned and operated wineries in the US, features the Christine Andrew, Leaping Horse, Sonoma Creek, and Ironstone Vineyards labels. Included in the evening’s presentation are five current releases that display Ironstone’s rich fruit flavors, balance, and grace.

Oh, yeah, and then there’s Jack’s food – making magic happen with incredibly fresh local produce, fresh Gulf caught seafood, and delightful cheeses from Brazos Valley Cheese.

Jack will share background on each flight and course, including a discussion of Ironstone’s Sustainable Viticulture practices - their time-honored and environmentally respectful approach to vineyard management. (Translated: they take great care of their piece of earth, which is really cool.)

Call 512.852.8558 or visit our website for reservations.

About us: Jack Allen’s Kitchen is located at 7720 Highway 71 West, ¾ of a mile west of the “Y” in Oak Hill. Regular hours are 11a to 10p, Sunday through Thursday, 11a to 11p, Friday and Saturday. Happy hour, featuring half-priced appetizers and drink specials, is offered every day, Monday-Friday 3p -7p, Saturday and Sunday 3p-6p. Entrée prices range from $6.99 to $17.99. The restaurant features an elegantly casual design, rich with reclaimed wood, earth tones, natural light, high ceilings, and a separate lounge & bar area, and is wheelchair accessible. Private dining rooms are also available.

For information, please visit, call 512.852.8338, or text “CHAIR” to 74700.

Facebook: Jack Allen’s Kitchen
Twitter @jackallens

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bacon Takedown at Emo's in Austin, TX

The Bacon Takedown streaks across the Texas Sky, landing first at Emo’s in Austin, March 14th, 5PM! Last year’s Bacon Takedown was a blast - and we intend to show the rest of the world just what that means… The smartest and finest bacon ideas: Bacon ice cream? Bacon Bread Pudding? Bacon empinadas? No recipe too awesome…
Gladiators: Enter to compete!!! Consider any bacon-based recipe- we’ll give you the bacon to do it! Hormel sponsors, and they’ve got more than enough Hormel Black Label Bacon to make anything you create take center stage!!! We’ve got limited spots, so sign up now!!!
Attendees: For $10, anyone can come on down and fill their stomachs- just so long as they try every recipe and vote on the best Texas exemplar of bacon brilliance!!! Your judging guidelines: innovation, craftsmanship, yumminess. Now eat! Eat! Eat!

603 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 474-5370

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olivia opens for lunch to give a delicious start to the weekend

Olivia opens for lunch to give a delicious start to the weekend

Olivia, the revered South Austin bastion of sustainable, local eating, will be opening its doors for lunch on Fridays & Saturdays. Chef James Holmes and newly-appointed Chef de Cuisine, Andrew Francisco will be collaborating each week on a menu that will offer a seasonal selection of sandwiches, salads and other Olivia favorites such as steak frites and seasonal pasta and fish dishes.

Fridays & Saturdays, starting February 1911:00 am – 2:00 pm

2043 South Lamar
Austin, TX 78704

After opening its doors in 2008, Olivia has gained countless praise for its innovative take on Mediterranean cuisine with a seasonal, Southern spin. Chef Holmes is a fervent locavore who changes his menu at Olivia every day ensuring that it captures the absolute best the market has to offer. A follower of seasons and an avid supporter of local ranchers, farmers and artisans, the majority of the menu items, from the tiniest herb to the chunkiest cut of lamb, come from Texas. This dedication resulted in Bon Appétit magazine naming Olivia among the “Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America” in 2009 and an invitation to cook at the James Beard House in 2010. The restaurant is open for dinner Monday-Thursday from 5:30-10:00; Friday and Saturday from 5:30-11:00; Sunday brunch from 10:30-2:30 and Sunday dinner from 5:30-9:00. The restaurant is located at 2043 S. Lamar Blvd, Austin TX, 78704 and reservations can be made by calling 512.804.2700.


Bread & Butter Public Relations
Meredith Vachon

Ali Slutsky

Sunday, February 7, 2010

FREEBIRDS opens in Round Rock locale while benefiting Central Texas C.O.P.S.

FREEBIRDS opens in Round Rock locale while benefiting Central Texas C.O.P.S.

Round Rock, TX (February, 2010) —FREEBIRDS World Burrito’s 2010 mantra "expanding with meaning" is continuing efforts with the opening of its Round Rock location on February 18 with a new charity that is near and dear to the citizens of Central Texas. The charitable arm of FREEBIRDS, FREEBIRDS World Works, is proud to announce the 2010 Round Rock charity partner as the Central Texas Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors or C.O.P.S. To honor C.O.P.S., over 400 FREEBIRD Fanatics will be given the opportunity on February 16 to purchase a “badge of honor” which will be displayed in the restaurant. In exchange for the $1 purchase Fanatics will receive a complimentary burrito. The money earned from the badges will go directly to help the families supported by C.O.P.S.

FREEBIRDS and FREEBIRDS World Works open each location with a local 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with the goal to instill a sense of charity not only within their customer base, but within their employees as well. The Round Rock locale is employing nearly 75 people, most between the ages of 16 -24, and is giving them all the opportunity to further the World Works' mission by encouraging their crew members to become involved in community organizations by giving back beyond monetary means. C.O.P.S. was chartered in May 2007 with the purpose of supporting families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 31 Central Texas counties. Members of Central Texas C.O.P.S. are the family members or co-workers to officers’ lost in the line of duty while protecting the citizens of Central Texas. C.O.P.S. provides programs that sustain the mental health of survivors such as scholarships, peer-support, “C.O.P.S. Kids” counseling reimbursement, “C.O.P.S. Kids” Summer Camp and special retreats for the fallen officers’ loved ones. Additionally, C.O.P.S. will finance the surviving families’ trip to the annual National Police Week in Washington D.C. where the fallen officer will be memorialized.

The new Round Rock employees will be given the chance to band together and give back to Round Rock in a volunteer effort that reaches out to better the local community. While giving back to the community is a major priority of FREEBIRDS World Burrito, it shouldn't be forgotten that feeding the belly is as satisfying as feeding the soul. At FREEBIRDS they use only the freshest ingredients—the chicken is fire-grilled, pork is slow-roasted and the beef is always grass-fed. Veggies are cut fresh and guacamole milled daily. Burritos are offered in four sizes ranging from the small, but substantial Hybird all the way to a Super Monster. Signature tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads or burrito bowls are equally as satisfying. Complete every FREEBIRDS meal with one of the many sides including fresh made chips and guacamole, salsa or queso, or Baja Chicken Enchilada soup. For those with a sweet tooth, try a “pot brownie” or a delicious monster size cookie. Wash it down with a beverage, which for members of the 21-and-over club that might mean a cold beer. Whatever the choice at FREEBIRDS, the options are endless.

The new FREEBIRDS World Burrito Round Rock location is at 200 University Blvd. Suite 200, Round Rock, TX 78665. Hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 11am-9pm.

FREEBIRDS offers full service catering, for more information call 888.392.2287. For more information or to place an online order, visit or call 512.904.0070

FREEBIRDS exists to feed the belly and the soul, serving a customized experience for its burritos, quesadillas, tacos and salads in a free spirited rock n’ roll atmosphere. Be it the backwards “F” logo, the music lyrics scrawled across the walls, the iconic music soundtrack, or the Statue of Liberty – “Libby” – holding up a foil burrito, FREEBIRDS has a unique 60’s rock n’ roll hipster vibe like nothing else. FREEBIRDS prides itself on its unique approach to the business, characterized by the tag line “It’s not normal!” FREEBIRDS WORLD BURRITO operates locations throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Expansion plans include doubling the number of FREEBIRDS in 2010. For further information, visit

FREEBIRDS World Works was created to educate and inspire existing and new staff members about giving charitable gifts beyond the value of a dollar. Every FREEBIRDS World Burrito location is partnered with a local, charity to help create awareness, offer assistance and volunteer when needed. FREEBIRDS’ staffs are trained to become ambassadors from their location to their specific partners to share their story, meet the organization’s needs and to inspire each individual the importance of giving back.

ABOUT C.O.P.S.The Central Texas Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors or C.O.P.S. is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization that provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of surviving families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty as determined by Federal criteria. Furthermore, C.O.P.S. provides training to law enforcement agencies on survivor victimization issues and educates the public of the need to support the law enforcement profession and its survivors. For further information, visit

Ali Slutsky

Meredith Vachon

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Chefs at Eddie Vs & Roaring Fork


Austin, Texas (January 26, 2010)…Management at Eddie V’s Edgewater Grille and the Roaring Fork in Austin recently announced new leadership in the kitchens of their award-winning restaurants.

At the Roaring Fork on Stonelake Blvd, Frank Johnson was promoted from sous chef to executive chef. Johnson helped opened Austin’s second Roaring Fork in early 2009. The North Carolina native is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University’s culinary program with prior positions at the renowned Hank’s Seafood in Charleston, South Carolina and the Baltimore Country Club in Maryland before relocating to Austin.

Eddie V’s flagship location on W. 5th Street welcomes Executive Chef Chris Bauer who has more than 20 years experience in fine restaurants throughout the country including Brennan’s in New Orleans. A graduate of Hyde Park’s Culinary Institute of America, Bauer has also overseen the kitchens at some of Austin’s top restaurants including Finn and Porter and the dining room at the Barton Creek Country Club.

Both chefs have been deeply influenced by the cooking traditions of the south and bring a passion for creating bold American cuisine utilizing the freshest, often locally sourced, ingredients.

About Eddie V’s and Roaring Fork
Founded in Austin in 2001 by Larry Foles and Guy Villavaso, the award-winning Eddie V’s Edgewater Grille serves the freshest prime seafood, USDA prime aged steaks as well as offering an extensive raw bar. There are two locations in Austin -- the original at 301 E. 5th Street also features the V Lounge featuring live music nightly; the second restaurant is at 9400 B Arboretum Blvd. Both have become local fine dining institutions with sister locations in Scottsdale, Fort Worth and Houston.

Foles and Villavaso opened Austin’s first Roaring Fork at 7th and Congress in 1998. The rustic yet refined restaurants specialize in bold American flavors using wood-fired cooking techniques. The second location at 10850 Stonelake Blvd. along Quarry Lake in Northwest Austin, opened in April of 2009. For more information on both Eddie V’s and Roaring Forks including hours and reservations, visit

# # #
Lisa O'Neill
Newton O’Neill Communications
O: 512.494.6178
M: 512.963.7944

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Korean Beef Barbecue

Here's a great beef recipe that I enjoy serving. Add some rice and may be some kim-chee and you have a wonderful authentic Korean meal.

1 Asian pear (baseball size), peeled, cored, and roughly chopped*
3 scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped
6 large garlic cloves
2 cups water
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar

*Considering the price of Asian pears and the scarce nature of them, you can substitute another pear (Bartlett, Anjou or Red).

12 flanken-style beef ribs, about 4 pounds total and 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed

1. In the bowl of a food processor, finely chop the pear, scallions, and garlic. Add the remaining marinade ingredients. Process until well combined.

2. Put the ribs in a large bowl and pour in the marinade. Mix well to coat the ribs evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat.

4. Brush the cooking grates clean. One at time, lift the ribs and let the liquid and solid bits fall back into the bowl. Discard the marinade. Grill the ribs over direct high heat, with the lid open, until they are nicely charred on both sides and cooked to a medium or medium-rare doneness, 3 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Direct high heat is 450° to 550°F. You can use one of those fancy non-contact infrared thermometers or you can hold your hand over the cooking surface just above the cooking grate. DO NOT TOUCH THE GRATE! Remember, it is very hot. If you count 2 seconds before you remove your hand, the temperature is correct.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bad to the Bone Chef Smackdown Rescheduled!

Due to the rain, Bad to the Bone has been rescheduled for February 27th, from 6 to 9:30PM at Stubb's Bar-B-Q.

Three of Texas' youngest and most acclaimed chefs - David Bull, Shawn Cirkiel, and Paul Petersen will go head to head in a high-energy, fun event with great food, live music and a competition that's interactive and exciting. DJ, el john Selector will spin bad-to-the-bone soul, funk and world beats to keep the tempo going until final votes for the chefs have been cast. Once the winner is announced, the evening melds into a rockin' live concert with Charanga Cakewalk, a seven-piece Latin band.

This event is benefiting the Sustainable Food Center. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to or call 512-480-8341. Stubb's Bar-B-Q is located at 801 Red River, Austin, Texas.

Click here for full details.

Southwest Salsa Chicken with Fresh Greens

Southwest Salsa Chicken with Fresh Greens

This is a fantastic dish and doesn't take a lot of time to prepare. I serve this dish with Spanish Rice.

1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into strips
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup water
1 bag (about 7 ounces) mixed salad greens

Stir the chili powder and cumin in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

Heat the oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's blackened and cooked through, stirring often. Remove the chicken from the skillet.

Stir the salsa and water in the skillet and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Divide the greens among 6 plates. Top with the chicken and salsa mixture.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Olivia adds new Talent to the Kitchen

Olivia adds new talent to the kitchen

AUSTIN, TX—Austin's favorite locavore, Chef James Holmes of Olivia, has kicked off the new decade with the exciting decision to hire two new talented chefs—Chef de Cuisine Andrew Francisco and Pastry Chef Taff Mayberry. The chefs bring impressive skills and experiences that blend harmoniously with Olivia's mission to stay local, seasonal and fresh.

This decision comes as a result of Morgan Dishman's recent departure from the Chef de Cuisine position to focus on family endeavors. Chef Holmes says, "Morgan is a friend and was my partner in the kitchen since Olivia opened so I'm sad to see her leave, but I'm also excited about the new creativity that will come from this talented new team." Holmes made the decision to not only replace the Chef de Cuisine, but expand his staff to include a Pastry Chef and says, "I want to take the Olivia experience to the next level and ensure that our diners are satisfied from the first bite to the last."

Francisco, a C.I.A graduate, best known for his work as Executive Chef of Word of Mouth Catering and most recently as Chef de Cuisine of Lambert's, brings an authentic "farm-to-table" sensibility that is an ideal match to Chef Holmes's approach. In addition to his recent experience, Chef Francisco served as Sous Chef at Vespaio, and Cook at Asti, Mars and Emilia's after completing a coveted internship at the renowned French Laundry. Despite his impressive resume, Francisco keeps a quiet confidence and says, "When I die I will still have so much more to learn about food so I maintain a sense of humility and patience about my profession that is not always seen in chefs."

Mayberry, a Georgia native, is a self-taught pastry whiz with innate talents honed as Executive Pastry Chef at Jennings Mill Country Club in Athens, GA, Pastry Cook at the Four Seasons in Austin and most recently, as the Executive Pastry Chef of the Shoreline Grill in Austin. Despite earning a full scholarship to the University of Georgia on academic merit, Mayberry elected to pursue his professional training on the job working his way up in front- and back-of-the-house positions in bakeries, hotels, restaurants, country clubs, catering and more. Mayberry brings a keen eye for presentation and a penchant for fresh, interesting flavor profiles and says, "Dessert is the last thing a customer sees and tastes so it has to leave a lasting, delicious, impression."

After opening its doors in 2008, Olivia has gained countless praise for its innovative take on Mediterranean cuisine with a seasonal, Southern spin. Chef Holmes is a fervent locavore who changes his menu at Olivia every day ensuring that it captures the absolute best the market has to offer. A follower of seasons and an avid supporter of local ranchers, farmers and artisans, the majority of the menu items, from the tiniest herb to the chunkiest cut of lamb, come from Texas. This dedication resulted in Bon Appétit magazine naming Olivia among the “Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America” in 2009. The restaurant is open for dinner Monday-Thursday from 5:30-10:00; Friday and Saturday from 5:30-11:00; Sunday brunch from 10:30-2:30 and Sunday dinner from 5:30-9:00. The restaurant is located at 2043 S. Lamar Blvd, Austin TX, 78704 and reservations can be made by calling 512.804.2700.


Media Contact
Bread & Butter Public Relations
Meredith Vachon
Ali Slutsky

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stubb's Bar-B-Q Rocks Austin as Celeb Chefs Take the Stage for 'Bad to the Bone' Competition

American Idol-Style Challenge, Rockin' Night of Music & Secret Ingredients Add Up to Benefit Sustainable Food Center
Acclaimed live music venue and legendary barbecue restaurant Stubbs Bar-B-Q will launch a dynamic event series benefiting SFC called Bad to the Bone on Friday, January 15, 6 - 9:30 pm, taking culinary competitions to a higher level by combining star chefs, audience text voting and live music.

Stubb's outdoor stage in downtown Austin is host to some of the nation's hottest bands and will turn into a kitchen arena where three of the state's highest profile chefs will battle it out, each choosing a preferred ingredient to stump their competitors' culinary prowess. The chefs will create a dish that includes all three of the chef-picked ingredients which could range from diverse edibles such as grapefruit to cauliflower to oysters.

Audience participants and a panel of noted culinary experts will sample the dishes and use live text voting to determine the winning chef. The DJ, el john Selector, will be spinning bad-to-the-bone soul, funk and world beats to keep the tempo pumping until final votes have been cast.

Once the winner is announced, the evening melds into a rockin' live concert with Charanga Cakewalk, a seven-piece Latin band featuring master multi-instrumentalist Michael Ramos and known for pan-Latin tunes that dive into deep, urban grooves.

"We wanted to take culinary competitions to the next level," said Margaret Vera, Creative Director at Stubb's. "We're combining all of the elements that Stubb's is known for to create a high-energy, fun event with great food, live music and a competition that's interactive and exciting."

On tap for the chef throwdown are three of Texas' youngest and most acclaimed chefs - David Bull, named as one of Food & Wine magazine's Top Ten Best New Chefs in 2003 and who is now Bolla's executive chef at the Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas; Shawn Cirkiel, executive chef of Austin's Parkside Restaurant, recently named by Bon Appetit magazine as one of the "Hot 10 New American Taverns"; and Paul Petersen, star of TLC's BBQ Pitmasters and author of Keeper of the Flame Interactive Cookbook. Petersen was also former executive chef of Café Cenzio at the Gage Hotel.

"This event is a unique blend of talent and technology in one of Austin's most incredible venues," said Bull, Author of Bull's Eye on Food Interactive Cookbook and former executive chef at The Driskill Grill in Austin. "I am most excited about the audience interaction and the challenge of the event while cooking and competing with two great chef friends."

A live video feed will project all of the kitchen stage action onto Stubb's stage canopy so the audience can see close-ups of the food preparation as well as the live feed for the text voting results.

Bad to the Bone tickets are $35 and available at Ticket sales will benefit the Sustainable Food Center which helps more than 35,000 Central Texans access healthy, affordable and locally grown food annually.

"We're thrilled to partner with the Sustainable Food Center," said Vera. "Our goal is to increase the awareness of SFC, support local farmers and raise funds so they can continue to help the Austin community."
Stubb's Bar-B-Q is located at 801 Red River, Austin, Texas. For more information on upcoming events, go to or call 512-480-8341.
About Sustainable Food Center
With roots dating back more than 30 years, SFC is involved in every step of the local food system from seed to table. Our mission is to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food.