Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ring in the New Year with J. BLACK'S Feel Good Kitchen & Lounge - Austin, Texas

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Make It a Classy New Year's at Finn & Porter - Austin, Texas

Ring in 2014 at Finn & Porter With An Elegant Dinner on
New Year’s Eve

When New Year’s Eve calls for great taste and a touch of elegance, an evening at Finn & Porter is the place to be in Austin on December 31st. Chef Peter Maffei of Finn & Porter, located in the Hilton Austin downtown, has created a special four-course menu filled with the finest selections from land and sea.

The menu begins with a Chef’s Amuse, provides guest’s choice over the first three courses and ends with a Dessert Sampler (a trio of delectable sweets). Maffei’s menu includes popular dishes such as the Hot Mama sashimi, the Beet Salad with Wateroaks Farm goat cheese and a seven-ounce sirloin filet. The special dinner includes a champagne toast for $85 plus tax and gratuity. Full menu below.  Doors open at 5pm. Reservations are highly recommended by going online at or by calling 512-682-2885.

Pre-Course Chef’s Amuse

First Course – choice of
Scallop Carpaccio with jalapeno, citrus, Yuzu vinaigrette

Hot Hama – Hamachi, Asian pears, Parmesan flake and shredded coconut with miso vinaigrette and habanero

Beef Cheek Ravioli with Little Neck clam ragout, root vegetable and arugula

Crab Cake with red pepper celery salad, Old Bay hollandaise

Second Course – choice of
Lobster Bisque of poached lobsters, sherry, crème fraiche

Beet Salad with Wateroak Farms goat cheese, pistachios, arugula, beet vinaigrette

Winter Green Salad – locally picked greens, dried cranberries, Shaft blue cheese smoked chestnut dressing

Third Course – choice of
Filet with spinach, chanterelle mushrooms, fingerling potato, foie gras and truffle demi

Glazed Richardson Farms Pork Belly with Asian pear and celery root puree, frisee, tatsoi salad pear vinaigrette

Hamachi with buttered soy broth, daikon, King Trumpet mushrooms, asparagus

Dewberry Farms Chicken with mushroom risotto, roasted heirloom carrots

Dessert Sampler: Peanut butter mousse, gingerbread crème brulee and hazelnut bread pudding

Chef’s Tastings & Daily Specials
Finn & Porter offers daily specials, and a sushi happy hour every Monday through Friday from 5 – 7 pm with special drink pricing and half off signature sushi and chef’s tastings. Half-priced bottles of wine on all bottles $100 or less is offered every Friday night.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Whisler's Brewers, Butchers & Bartenders Service Industry Night this Sunday

Whisler’s Hosts a Special Brewers, Butchers & Bartenders Industry Night Featuring Salt & Time Plus a Firkin of ESB from Independence Brewing Co.

Festivities Held the First Sunday of Every Month

Whisler’s, the acclaimed new bar in East Austin, will host a special Brewers, Butchers & Bartenders Service Industry Night this Sunday, December 15th starting at 6pm. Bar owner Scranton Twohey launched what is usually a first Sunday of the month celebration in November to welcome fellow members of Austin’s hospitality industry.  However, Service Industry Night welcomes all industry members’ friends and family to enjoy an evening that includes special drink pricing and guest hosts such as East Austin neighbors, Salt & Time. In addition to a hearty chili and cornbread served by Salt & Time, the Dec. 15th event features a firkin of ESB (Extra Special Bitter) from friends at Independence Brewing Co.

To add more holiday cheer to the December gathering, Austin’s Independence Brewing Co. will serve their seasonal ESB (Extra Special Bitter) for $5 a pint from a Firkin. ESB was formulated to be true to the traditional English style and served from a Firkin, a small wooden barrel or cask.  The term “firkin” is an old English unit of volume equal to around ¼ of a barrel. While the name suggests something very bitter, the beer has bready and toasty caramel malt flavors that balance earthy English hops. The beer will pair well with a hearty chili of wild boar, elk, goat, beef and pork prepared by Salt & Time Butcher Shop and Sulmeria. Chili and cornbread are $5 per bowl.

Whisler’s Service Industry happy hour menu regularly features eight classic cocktail drinks including an Old-Fashioned, Moscow Mule, Bee’s Knees and five other unique drinks for $6. The happy hour menu also includes Goose Island beer for $5 per bottle.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Introducing Kenichi Winter Dessert Menu by Chef Matlock - Austin, Texas

KENICHI Austin, an edgy interpretation on traditional Japanese cuisine, has unveiled its Winter Dessert Menu that will warm patrons' palates and brighten celebrations this holiday season.

Featured items include the Chocolate Fondant with Cinnamon Ice Cream (pictured above) and the Chai Panna Cotta.

Pastry chef, Josh Matlock has sparked new life into the pastry program over the past two years, adding sweet variety to the KENICHI experience. Before joining KENICHI, Chef Matlock worked at Le Saint Julien Restaurant in Singapore and alongside world-renowned Chef and Master Bread Baker Hidefumi Kubota making artisanal bread. In 2008 Josh helped reopen Austin's Paggi House before moving to KENICHI in 2011 as lead pastry chef.

419 Colorado St., Austin, TX 78701

Friday, November 22, 2013

JuiceLand to Open Sixth Location on December 1 In East Austin - Austin, Texas


Locally Owned Juice Bar Expands to the East Side
With Newest Location on Cesar Chavez

JuiceLand, Austin’s favorite, locally owned juice bar, announced today the opening of its sixth Austin location. This is the first JuiceLand to open in East Austin and is the closest location to downtown. Scheduled to open on December 1, the new JuiceLand location will offer double stamps on juice and smoothie purchases for all of December.

“Our team is elated to open this location, which is housed in the former Good Flow Juice factory,” said JuiceLand Founder Matt Shook. “Lots of us grew up drinking Good Flow and for us to be able to serve fresh juice to the community out of that space seems very serendipitous. Also, having lived on Holly Street for several years, I have always had a certain affection with the East Cesar Chavez neighborhood. Serving that eclectic community feels like a homecoming of sorts for me personally."

This East Side location will act not only as a walk-up juice bar, but also as the commissary for all locations of the chain. JuiceLand hopes this location will provide convenient access to its patrons downtown and on the East Side with plenty of street parking and a close proximity to the airport.

Guests at this location will enjoy the beloved JuiceLand menu, which is consistent through all locations. Sample menu items include favorites such as Moontower with banana, rice protein, cacao, date and almond milk; Peachy Green with spinach, kale, apple and peach; and Originator with fresh apply juice, banana, blueberry, cherry, peanut butter, rice protein, spirulina and flax oil.

JuiceLand also offers fresh vegetable and fruit juices, aguas frescas, smoothies, raw superfood cocktails and more. JuiceLand also offers three levels of juice cleanses to assist patrons in achieving their health goals. Voted as Best Healthy Lunch in 2013 by Austin A-List, JuiceLand also offers premade food items including Clean & Soba Noodle Bowl, Kale Salad, Double Rainbow Quinoa Salad and Quinoa Ranchero.

JuiceLand’s newest location is located at 2601 Cesar Chavez Road, Unit A, in Austin, Texas. For updates, go to and follow on Facebook @JuiceLandAustin and on Twitter @JuiceLandAustin.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gourdough’s Public House Announces New Thanksgiving Donut, The Gobbler - Austin, Texas

Gourdough’s Public House Announces New Thanksgiving Donut, The Gobbler

Gourdough’s Public House, Austin’s famed donut shop turned restaurant and bar is excited to announce the latest edition to their menu, The Gobbler.  Available now through the end of November, Gourdough’s will be serving up the Thanksgiving inspired, fully loaded donut dish to their turkey loving patrons.  Order this holiday special and you will receive the famous Gourdough’s donut covered in thick slices of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and their own special habanero cranberry jam.

Perfect for a pre or post Thanksgiving Day meal, The Gobbler is sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

2700 South Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas 78704

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

chavez: FÖDA, Michael Hsu and Chef Shawn Cirkiel Collaborate on Design of New Radisson Restaurant - Austin, Texas

FÖDA, Michael Hsu and Chef Shawn Cirkiel Collaborate on Design of
New Radisson Restaurant

Celebrated Austin restaurateur, Chef Shawn Cirkiel, has partnered with design shop FÖDA Studio and renowned architecture firm Michael Hsu Office of Architecture to collaborate on the unique design for chavez, Chef Cirkiel’s new contemporary Southwestern restaurant located in the Radisson Hotel & Suites in downtown Austin. Scheduled to open in January 2014, chavez is housed in the space overlooking Lady Bird Lake that was previously occupied by TGI Fridays.

The design collaboration began more than a year ago with Cirkiel’s inspiration of Southwestern style, and flourished with the influence of FÖDA and Hsu into a modern yet inviting design featuring clean architectural lines, oversized windows with views of Lady Bird Lake, and a contemporary, warmly crafted design aesthetic highlighting innovative and one-of-a-kind details. Hsu’s office and FÖDA collaborated with Cirkiel and the Radisson on the architecture specifics, as well as the scope and vision for the interior design.

“From the beginning, we’ve been working with Michael’s office, which is such a privilege. And I’m a big fan of Shawn’s, so it’s been a great collaboration with him,” said Jett Butler, FÖDA founder and creative director. “We feel very fortunate to be a part of this project.”

Particularly striking are the artistic details throughout chavez, including the unique entryway, which includes a backlit foyer etched with a pattern using the letters from the restaurant’s name — a nod to Cesar Chavez Street, where the restaurant overlooks Lady Bird Lake, as well as a reference to the Southwestern-style menu Cirkiel is creating. The foyer includes each letter stacked in different ways and weights, making reference to Mesoamerican textiles and culture. This innovative style was carried over throughout the restaurant, including dining room lighting fixtures made to evoke the letter “C,” and in the locally built wine case that plays off the chevron pattern in the foyer. The dining room is subtly separated from the bar with vertical light flats, and rich materials and colors, creative light fixtures and upholstery design, and light wood elements can be found throughout chavez.

“One challenge involved figuring out how to make the restaurant space inside a hotel feel very local and unique. So we used a lot of different materials: wood, steel and rich tiles to separate chavez in a way that’s tactile, in a way you can sense and feel,” said Brien Strelau, project designer with Hsu Office of Architecture. “We also wanted to make the most of what is a premier site. It’s not often you get to design a space that overlooks Lady Bird Lake. So we did things like use lighter colored woods and opened it up with lots of glass. We wanted it to appeal to people nationally and internationally while making it a very Austin restaurant.”

Indeed, both FÖDA and Hsu’s team insisted on working with and utilizing locally sourced products and services—from the materials used, to the craftsmanship of each design element—a tenet that will also be reflected in Chef Cirkiel’s menu choices for chavez.

chavez, Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s latest culinary adventure, is a contemporary Southwestern restaurant located in the Radisson Hotel & Suites at 111 Cesar Chavez St. in downtown Austin. Scheduled to open in January 2014, chavez was designed in collaboration with Chef Cirkiel, the Radisson, design studio FÖDA and architecture firm Michael Hsu Office of Architecture.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Walton’s Fancy & Staple Boasts Extraordinary Holiday Treats - Austin, Texas

Walton’s Fancy & Staple Boasts Extraordinary Holiday Treats

At Walton’s Fancy & Staple, West Sixth Street’s popular spot for catering, baked goods, and dine in or take out meals, über pastry chef Karina Akhavan makes some of the city’s most amazing desserts. Her passion for producing high-quality pastries and breads inspires her to develop new ideas and play with flavors—and she’s been busy in the kitchen constructing extraordinary treats just in time for the holidays.

Akhavan is constantly pushing the bar, providing patrons with otherworldly desserts, from the cookies and cakes in the pastry case to catered parties and dinners. She has even put together the perfect fall and Thanksgiving holiday offerings, including Golden Eggs (with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon; $1.50 each), Ginger Cookies (crisp and chewy; $3 each), Bourbon Vanilla and Brown Sugar Apple Pie (Akhavan’s take on a classic; $22 for a 10-inch pie), Pumpkin Cupcakes with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting (moist spiced pumpkin cake with molasses-infused frosting; $2 each); Pecan Pie (a Southern staple with local pecans; $22 for a 10-inch pie), and Cayenne Cherry Chocolate Chews (a gluten-free chocolate brownie with some oomph; $1.50 each).

The Central Texas native enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin shortly after graduating from high school, and at 18, she landed a job working as a pastry cook at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. As a student by day and chef by night, Akhavan quickly honed her skills, learning how to run the line and master baking. At Walton’s, she splits her time between managing and training the team and creating desserts, from the baked goods menu featuring croissants and baguettes to the specialty items such as wedding cakes. Akhavan also bakes more than a dozen varieties of fresh bread daily for Walton’s and its sister restaurant, Bess, in addition to providing fresh breads every other day to Austin establishments such as Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Garrido’s, and Swift’s Attic.

Walton’s artfully-arranged space—a throwback to old general stores yet modernized with state-of-the-art appliances—boasts beautiful flowers and fancy gifts and is just right for a quick deli lunch or one where you can linger over a blue plate special and enjoy a cup of one of Walton’s own delicious coffee blends. Breakfast offerings and specialty breads start the morning off right too. With the holidays fast approaching, Walton’s is sure to be a bright spot on your list for everything from goodies for friends and family to pies and cakes for entertaining.

Walton’s Fancy & Staple is located at 609 W. Sixth Street, Austin, TX 78701. For hours, catering assistance, and more information, call 512-542-3380 or go to

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Happy Hour Launch at Arro Tonight - Austin, Texas

We are launching Happy Hour tonight at Arro! Entitled "Cinq à Sept," the specials run weekdays from 5 pm to 7 pm and feature $5 and $7 food & drinks.

601 W. Sixth St.
Open daily (Sun-Wed, 5 pm to midnight; Thurs-Sat, 5 pm to 2 am)

KENICHI Hires Retired Ballerina to Fuel Vision at Restaurant - Austin, Texas

New General Manager Reflects the Poise and Elegance of KENICHI Experience

Former prima ballerina, Nicole Braly on point for exquisite service, food and community

KENICHI, an edgy interpretation of traditional Japanese cuisine, celebrates the recent hire of Nicole Braly as the restaurant’s new general manager. With a strength and drive that comes from more than 20 years of rigorous physical output and mental commitment as a professional ballerina, Braly’s leadership is fueling growth and creativity at the restaurant.

With a degree in physical science from Cal State University and experience performing as a prima ballerina, Braly demonstrates a balanced passion for elegance, people, science and strength. Having performed with the New York City Ballet Company, London Ballet Company, San Francisco Ballet Company and the American Ballet Theatre, Braly now exercises her intense mental and physical capacities as a businesswoman immersed in the demanding lifestyle and long hours of the food service industry.

“I love the beauty of fine-dining and the joy of giving my guests a special restaurant experience,” said Braly, who began her fine-dining career when she was hired by Iron Chef winner, Chef Kent Rathbun, for a position at his Austin restaurant.

Braly previously served as the assistant general manager for Parkside Projects, which overlooks the restaurants Olive & June and The Backspace. She enjoyed promotions and held positions in bar management at Miyagi’s Los Angeles, Geoffrey’s Malibu and Jasper’s Austin, where she was trained to become the official wine buyer and a Level I Sommelier. Before joining KENICHI, Braly served as the restaurant, bar and live music manager at Sullivan's Steakhouse and Sully’s Sidebar.

"Nicole's vision for KENICHI is tantalizing," said one KENICHI partner, Mike Reynolds. "Her passion to focus on truly exceptional service, appreciation of Executive Chef Shane Stark and Executive Sushi Chef Richard Lee and commitment to hone the KENICHI experience of polished elegance, are already making a difference."

Anchored in the heart of downtown Austin, KENICHI packages an upscale fine-dining experience and tempting nightlife in a modern, relaxed setting. It also features the largest sake selection in the state of Texas.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mulberry Announces Post-Formula One Lamb Roast Event - Austin, Texas

Join us, Sunday, November 17th for an evening of food, wine, beer and great company.

Mulberry is excited to announce their next series of annual events, the Lamb Roast.  Perfectly timed with Austin’s Formula One Race, Mulberry will be hosting the must attend post-race party for locals and visitors alike.  From 4 – 10 pm, Chef Kristine Kitrell will be serving up whole roast lamb with sides including lemon roast potatoes, a tomato coriander yogurt sauce, and a charred green bean & feta salad, all from locally sourced farms via Austin’s own Farm to Table distributors.

Prepared by Chef Kristine Kittrell, the menu will include:

  • Whole Roast Lamb
  • Lemon Roast Potatoes
  • Tomato Coriander Yogurt Sauce
  • Charred Green Bean & Feta Salad
  • Meze

Drink Specials:
  • $3 Austin Beerworks Cans
  • $4 Pints of Firemans No. 4
  • $5 Glasses of Bodegas Fuentespina Rose
*our full selection of wine and beer will also be available for purchase at regular price

360 Nueces Street 
Austin, TX 78701

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Cooks in the Kitchen at Josephine House - Austin, Texas

New Cooks in the Kitchen at Josephine House 

Chef Jen Jackson has left the Josephine house and the chic Clarksville eatery's kitchen has been taken over by a collection of the talented cooks at Jeffrey's.

At this popular spot in Clarksville, chef Rebecca Meeker, restaurateur-chef Larry McGuire, and pastry chef Alexandra Manley work with Libbey Goldberg, the new forager for both venues, to produce delicious simple cooking & baking based on the availability of the best local and national products. Goldberg, formerly of Berkeley's Chez Panisse & Oakland's Camino, sources from both local producers and the best small farms, mills and ranches around the country, for the culinary team to incorporate into the daily lunch, brunch and snack menus.

These eclectic menus feature everything from an Alsatian tart (potato, lardoons, rosemary, and Parmesan with a green salad) and a faro and porcini mushroom salad (arugula, gouda, marjoram, and balsamic) to carefully procured charcuterie and cheeses on the beautiful veined marble counter, which also features brunch pastries, wood oven baked breads, and desserts created by Manley.  The cottage's tiny kitchen turns out a wilted kale salad with Texas pears, chèvre, and pecans tossed with sherry vinaigrette; sweet potato beignets with Serrano and honey glaze; a manchego grilled cheese with red onion jam, blistered shishitos on toasted sourdough; curried Gulf red snapper with charred eggplant and okra, couscous, and pickled raisin; and a Josephine House burger with cheddar, tomato aioli, and roasted onions on a house-baked bun.

On Monday nights the small house hosts a raucous steak night featuring a classic steak frites menu, vinyl records and free flowing carafes of wine. Lunch: Mon- Friday 11-3pm., Brunch: Sat-Sunday 11-3pm., Snacks, Desserts, Coffee & Bar: Daily 3pm-Late. Happy Hour Mon-Friday 4:30-6:30.

McGuire and business partner Thomas Moorman are the driving force of McGuire Moorman Hospitality, the group behind Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, Elizabeth Street Café, Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, and Clark’s Oyster Bar.

For more information on Josephine House, visit or call 512.477.5584.

Cozy Up at Bess Bistro for Fall Offerings and F1 Toast - Austin, Texas

Cozy Up at Bess Bistro for Fall Offerings and F1 Toast

Bess Bistro, one of Austin’s beloved neighborhood spots along West Sixth Street, is getting cozier for the cool months ahead, with new libations, seasonally inspired menu offerings and a Formula One celebratory cocktail.

Patrons can cozy up to the über-sexy, custom-made pewter bar from France and sip on new cocktails such as the Bess Toddy (Knob Creek Whiskey, fresh lemon and orange peels, hot water, raw simple syrup, and a cinnamon stick; $9), the Walton (Ketel One Citroen Vodka, hibiscus liqueur, lemon juice, and an edible flower; $8), Atwood’s Vice (Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka, Benedictine, Campari, and an orange twist; $9), and the Constable (Jameson Whiskey, Yellow Chartreuse, Calvados apple brandy, lemon juice, and fresh thyme; $13) along with local favorites like the Champagne Cocktail and the Moscow Mule. Stop by this week, Thursday through Sunday, for a Formula One special cocktail, the "McLaren" (chilled Ciroc Vodka, Blood Orange, topped off with G.H.Mumm).

New menu items to try at the bar range from appetizers such as Fried Green Tomatoes (topped with crab-and-caper salad, arugula, preserved Meyer lemon aïoli, and crispy prosciutto; $13) and Endive and Watercress Salad (with thyme-roasted candied beets, horseradish vinaigrette, and Dijon dressed in Roquefort; $9) to entrées such as Pan-Seared Creekstone Filet (served over toasted challah bread with spicy kale chips, port gelée and a blood orange syrup; $19) and Roasted Quail (oven-roasted Lockhart quail served over organic quinoa and wild rice pilaf with cumin and cayenne-scented rainbow carrots, preserved quince, and a white port reduction; $24).

Bess is a seamless mix of French bistro and Louisianan flair, from the innovative offerings to the playful speakeasy feel. Inside this historic spot, which was originally completed in 1918 and boasts brick columns and arches, new Simon Pearce hand-blown glass chandeliers add a touch of luxe. The rooftop patio bar—the area’s most intimate—now boasts lush landscaping and a private bar upstairs that is also available for private parties.

Special drink and dinner offerings include Monday all-night happy hour in the bar, bistro, and terrace; Tuesday $20 bottle wine night; and Wednesday Date Night featuring a $49 three-course meal for two. Happy hour is available Monday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the bar, bistro, and terrace areas only with half off all specialty cocktails and appetizers as well as $4 well liquors.

Bess, which turns seven this year, is one of the city’s most inviting spaces in the heart of West Sixth Street.

Bess Bistro is located at 500 W. 6th St., Austin, TX 78701. For more information and hours, call 512- 477-2377 or go to  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finn & Porter Open For Thanksgiving Dinner - Austin, Texas

Finn & Porter Preparing a Traditional Three-Course
 Thanksgiving Dinner With Flair
Enjoy a stress-free holiday dinner with a touch of class and side of Nutella Bread Pudding

Finn & Porter, located in the Hilton at 500 East 4th Street between Red River and Neches Streets, has planned a special Thanksgiving menu for those looking to enjoy a hassle-free holiday on Thursday, November 28th. In lieu of dealing with grocery store crowds and slaving over a hot stove, guests can relax and enjoy the company of friends and family while indulging in a traditional, stylish spread at Finn& Porter.

Chef Peter Maffei’s three-course menu will be available from noon to 8pm (bar opens at 2pm) - $45 for adults and $20 for kids. The first course will feature an option of Butternut Squash Soup or a Texas Winter Green Salad with cranberries, goat cheese, and pistachios, served with a smoked pecan vinaigrette.  The Thanksgiving Plate - the main course - will feature all of the traditional favorites with a Finn & Porter twist -- slow roasted turkey, green bean casserole, sausage-apple stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes and cranberry relish.  Of course, guests must save room for desert with an option of a Bourbon Pumpkin Pecan Pie or Nutella Bread Pudding served with a house-made brown butter ice cream and hazelnut ganache. Definitely not your grandmother’s bread pudding!  Wine pairings for each course are available upon request.

For more information and reservations, visit or call 512-493-4900.

"Let's Get Trashed" Sat, Nov 9 with Kung Fu Saloon: Town Lake Clean Up - Austin, Texas

“Let’s Get Trashed”!
Kung Fu Saloon to Host Town Lake Clean Up

The proprietors of Austin’s premiere vintage arcade and martial arts-inspired watering hole, Kung Fu Saloon, are hosting Let’s Get Trashed, a one-time Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Clean Up event benefitting Town Lake Trail. After the havoc wreaked by recent rains, Kung Fu invites lovers of the lake to join them on Saturday, November 9, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., to get ‘trashed’ and serve up a stout glass of tender loving care by SUP’ing to clean the beloved downtown oasis.

The event will kick off at the shores of the Capitol Cruises Dock located at 208 Barton Springs Road (just east of Auditorium Shores) at 1:00 p.m. ‘Trashed’ participants will SUP the debris away from the waters and shores of Town Lake on complimentary paddle boards provided by Austin Paddle Sports. Kung Fu Pro SUP rider Chris Tietz will provide demos. The SUP segment of the event will last until 3:00 p.m. when the party heads to  Kung Fu Saloon for a sponsored after party until 5:00 p.m., complete with a free beer and skeeball for all trashed participants.

Kung Fu Saloon is located at 501 Rio Grande in Austin, Texas. With a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, Kung Fu has a theme that’s part vintage arcade, part sports bar and part late-night dance party. Kung Fu features a full bar with 24 beers on tap, a specialty sake bomb menu, an arcade with 14 vintage games, Foosball, Skee Ball, Giant Jenga, Giant Connect Four and board games galore. For more information about Kung Fu Saloon and the Let’s Get Trashed event visit Kung Fu on Facebook at and on Twitter at @KungFuSaloon, call (512) 469-0901 or visit

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Scoop on Dolce Neve: Coming to South Austin in Early December - Austin, Texas

The Scoop on Dolce Neve:
A Taste of Italy Coming to South Austin, Opening Early December

Austinites will get a little taste of Italy when Dolce Neve—a new traditional Italian gelato shop—opens its doors in early December. Using original recipes from their homeland and machinery from their native region, three Italians who now call the Capital City home make delicious, pure gelato fresh onsite daily. At Dolce Neve, what you see is what you get—locally-sourced seasonal ingredients, organic fresh milk from a local dairy, and absolutely no artificial flavorings, preservatives, or thickeners. It’s all about how true Italian gelato should look, feel, and taste.

At this tiny new spot nestled along ultra-cool bustling S. 1st Street, gelato is made from scratch using a mixing and freezing technique called “mantecazione verticale” rather than an industrial method. It takes a little longer, but the vertical batch freezer (this particular one was invented in the 1930’s) incorporates air in a natural way, which creates a creamier consistency. Every morning seasonal fruit, water, and sugar are combined, and every afternoon, those mixtures are put in the batch freezer to make extremely fresh gelato.

This trio’s love for gelato is how it all got started. Francesca and her brother Marco spent a great deal of time during their formative years at their farmhouse in the Marche region of Central Italy, where they learned from their parents and grandparents about food—harvesting crops, cooking dinner, shopping at the farmers’ market, and making wine. They cultivated an understanding for rich traditions and processes and a palette for fresh products. While living in America, they discovered they couldn’t find real Italian gelato—the kind they grew up craving and savoring—and decided to fill that void. They reached out to Francesca’s boyfriend, Leo, who was working in Milan at the time, and he wholeheartedly joined in. Francesca trained at Carpigiani Gelato University; refined her skills at Pisa’s Gelateria De’ Coltelli, one of the most famous gelato shops in Italy; and placed sixth in the Sherbeth Festival, a competition among the top 40 gelato masters in the world. The trio set their sights on Austin, where they felt their drive to produce a healthy, all-natural gelato would flourish and be appreciated.

Every day Dolce Neve features about 20 different flavors—from the traditional Italian favorites such as hazelnut, pistachio, chocolate, and stracciatella to the creative combinations made from seasonal local products. The trio works with John Lash of Farm to Table to find the freshest ingredients, and Mill-King Market & Creamery in McGregor provides the milk. Many of the gelato offerings are vegan and made with rice milk instead of soy milk. In addition to gelato on cones and in cups, there’s a smattering of gelato sandwiches, granitas, frozen Italian desserts, and gelato on a stick treats. Superior coffee and espresso beans are sourced from artisan roasters, and the end products boast a superior flavor.

Patrons can appreciate the simplicity of it all—from the all-natural gelato itself (“Dolce Neve” means “sweet snow” and refers to the original treat made from snow, honey, and fruit) to the Italian farmhouse–style space designed by Dick Clark and made with upcycled flooring and furniture. Dolce Neve is the real deal, right here in Austin.

Dolce Neve, located at 1713 S. 1st Street, Austin, TX, 78704, will be open Mon through Fri 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sat & Sun 11 a.m. to midnight. For more information, call 512-804-5568 or go to

Lamb Chop Craze: KENICHI Unveils New Fall Menu - Austin, Texas

KENICHI Austin, an edgy interpretation of traditional Japanese cuisine, has unveiled new fall menus that will warm patrons' palates with mouthwatering steaks and seafood paired with the season’s finest flavors.

Highlights include the return of the Kenichi Specialty Lamb Chops; Sake Kasu Sea Bass with grapefruit truffle miso, ginger and baby bok choy; Shishito Peppers with sea salt and lemon; Beau Soleil Oysters with orange wasabi mignonette, tobiko and shiso; and Akaushi Beef Tartare with black truffle, lemon, quail egg and brown butter powder.

For ultra-special occasions, go Omakase Style, with our chef’s exceptional tasting menu offering the full KENICHI experience.

The new fall menu features local and regional meats, produce and ingredients that creatively blend Texas’ bounty with Japanese flavor.

419 Colorado St.
Austin, TX 78701

Sun.-Wed. 4:30–10:00PM
Thurs.-Fri. 4:30PM–1:00AM
Sat. 5:30–11:00PM

Tacodeli Opens Two New Locations in 2014 - Austin, Texas

Tacodeli to Open Two New Locations in First Quarter of 2014:
New Restaurants Opening in Crestview Neighborhood and Village at Westlake

Tacodeli, Austin’s best little authentic taqueria boasting a menu of more than 40 made-from-scratch tacos, is expanding, with two new bricks-and-mortar locations. Located in the Crestview neighborhood at 7301 Burnet Road, and in the Village at Westlake shopping center at 701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., the new Tacodeli locations are scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2014.

Representing Tacodeli’s foray into Austin neighborhoods where many of the taqueria’s loyal patrons live and work, the new restaurant locations will be between 2,200 and 2,400 square feet, include plenty of patio seating, feature Tacodeli’s award-winning breakfast, lunch and daily specials menu, and embody the welcoming, lively surroundings the Tacodeli brand is known for while also reflecting the sensibility of each neighborhood. Tacodeli owners Roberto Espinosa and Eric Wilkerson are working with acclaimed interior designer Joel Mozersky to modernize the style of the new locations. Each location will be staffed by at least 30 employees, many of whom will be promoted from the company’s three other bricks-and-mortar locations.

The well-loved, iconic restaurant concept that got its beginning in 1999, when the first location opened on Spyglass Drive, and Tacodeli is now ripe for growth. Inspired by delicious food memories from his childhood in Mexico City, Espinosa opened Tacodeli 14 years ago, with Wilkerson coming on board soon after. But Tacodeli has come a long way since the days when Wilkerson and Espinosa towed a trailer by bicycle advertising Tacodeli tacos next to MoPac Expressway during morning rush hour. Indeed, for the past year and a half, Wilkerson, Espinosa and their dedicated team of Tacodeli decision-makers have been on the hunt for the ideal Tacodeli locations, and have been building up the business’ back-office capabilities, adding training systems and restaurant-management systems to help ensure that the company’s infrastructure is scalable and can support more rapid growth.

“We would like to continue to grow the Tacodeli brand in Austin and perhaps in other cities, and this is a great opportunity for us to make sure we can handle that kind of growth,” Tacodeli Co-owner Wilkerson says. “We’re excited to be able to grow the brand. We’re excited about all the opportunities for our team members. And we’re excited about being able to grow relationships with our guests and customers, and to cultivate relationships in neighborhoods we don’t currently have a strong presence in. It’s always a positive to be near other locally owned restaurants, and we love our neighbors!”

With the opening of the new Crestview and Village at Westlake locations, Tacodeli will continue to offer catering services and feature its tacos at a variety of coffeehouses throughout Austin. With the addition of always evolving daily specials, Tacodeli will continue to feature a chef-driven menu of popular breakfast tacos, savory taco lunch favorites, vegetarian and seafood tacos, authentic soups, salads and sides — all made from scratch with fresh ingredients, many of which are organic and locally sourced.

Tacodeli has been cooking up the best tacos in Austin since 1999. In addition to the new locations at 7301 Burnet Road and 701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., Tacodeli has three other locations: 12001 Burnet Road in North Austin, 4200 N. Lamar in Central Austin, and the original location at 1500 Spyglass Dr. in South Austin. For more information about the new Tacodeli locations, call (512) 732-0303, email or visit  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

First-Ever Austin Meatball Festival Features Meaty Competition on November 23 - Austin, Texas

First-Ever Austin Meatball Festival Features
Meaty Competition Between Top Austin Restaurants:
Event to Benefit Local Charities Fresh Chefs Society and Citizen Generation

Austin’s latest food competition is a whole new ball game. The inaugural Austin Meatball Festival, featuring a variety of scrumptious meatballs from as many as 15 of Austin’s favorite restaurants, will take place Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the parking area and outdoor area at classic Italian eatery Winflo Osteria, located at 1315 W. Sixth St. Hosted by Winflo, the Austin Meatball Festival will benefit nonprofits Fresh Chefs Society and Citizen Generation.

The Austin Meatball Festival will include a competition in which restaurants prepare their finest meatball concoctions, from traditional and non-traditional, to meatball sandwiches and sliders. Competing restaurants include Winflo Osteria, Benji’s Cantina, Mulberry, Max’s Wine Dive, Lucky’s Puccias, Umami Mia Pizzeria, Cipollina, Cru Wine Bar, Freedmen's and Andiamo Ristorante, among others.

This savory meatball competition will be judged by a Critics’ Choice Panel of foodies and meatball aficionados, including illustrious food writer Pat Sharpe of Texas Monthly magazine, food and wine writer Jessica Dupuy of CultureMap Austin, Farm to Table’s John Lash and food and lifestyle photographer Jody Horton. In addition to the Critics’ Choice, Austin Meatball Festival guests will be able to pick their own favorites in the People’s Choice vote.

In addition to plates of meaty treats, live music will get the ball rolling in The Listening Room, Winflo’s intimate and exclusive music venue downstairs from the restaurant. Hour-long shows include performances from indie rock band The Rocketboys at 11:30 a.m., singer-songwriter Dan Dyer at 1 p.m. and alternative rockers Nelo at 2:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the Austin Meatball Festival will be donated to Fresh Chefs Society, a local nonprofit that empowers youth in foster care to enrich their lives by learning the culinary arts from community chefs and restaurants; and to Citizen Generation, which works to cultivate and promote philanthropy in Austin by engaging people in community involvement and philanthropic experiences.

Tickets to the inaugural Austin Meatball Festival are limited. Entry into the festival is $15 per person in advance or $20 per person at the door. Entry into the festival and The Listening Room is $35 per person in advance or $40 at the door. Special VIP access ($300) includes a table for four, complimentary wine and an appetizer, four swag bags and access to The Listening Room all day long. All tickets are available for purchase at or Restaurants interested in participating in the Austin Meatball Festival may also sign up at

The Austin Meatball Festival will take place Nov. 23, and is hosted by Winflo Osteria, 1315 W. Sixth St., in Austin. For more information about the festival, visit, or email

Chef Shawn Cirkiel Partners with Forestar Group: Radisson Hotel in Downtown Austin Announces New Restaurant to Open January 2014

Chef Shawn Cirkiel Partners with Forestar Group
Radisson Hotel in Downtown Austin Announces
New Restaurant to Open January 2014

Chef Shawn Cirkiel, acclaimed restaurateur, has partnered with Forestar Group, owner of the full-service Radisson Hotel and Suites in downtown Austin, to open a new restaurant in the hotel. Scheduled to open in January 2014, the new Cirkiel restaurant will feature contemporary southwestern cuisine. Housed in the space previously occupied by a TGI Fridays, the restaurant is being completely transformed by local restaurant designer and architect Michael Hsu.

For restaurateur Shawn Cirkiel, one of the city’s most coveted chefs and the talent behind parkside, Austin’s first gastropub, it’s all about what he likes to eat. So when he created the menu for his new restaurant at the recently renovated downtown Radisson, he went back to his roots. “Growing up in Texas and driving all throughout Mexico, from Mazatlán to Monterrey, it kind of created its own culture,” said Cirkiel. “When you eat and cook and think here, it becomes Southwestern or Tejano or whatever those things mean. And for us, that’s what this is.”

The menu will be built around shareable plates and sides, from homemade tamales and folded enchiladas to grilled cowboy steak and roasted hen. Cirkiel will be sourcing meats, fish, and produce from local farms and ranches and combining them with the flavors he grew up with to create true Texas fare, from fresh fish simply finished to homemade tortillas and biscuits made to order with a little bit of bone marrow, whipped butter, and sea salt.

The restaurant will be serving breakfast (everything from classic migas and huevos rancheros to steak and eggs grilled over an oak fire), lunch (featuring five to six kinds of tortas, from hamburger to black bean and avocado), and dinner (everything from a raw bar with ceviche to fried oyster gorditos and lamb en mole) and desserts, which are made in-house by Cirkiel’s talented pastry team.

Cirkiel will also be providing food service for the hotel, including room service, banquets, and events. “We get to play with a lot of different things,” said Cirkiel.

The restaurant, which will be overlooking Lady Bird Lake, is scheduled to open in January. “For us, it is a great opportunity to create the food we like to cook and eat in a unique environment,” said Cirkiel.

The new restaurant highlights Hsu’s signature contemporary style, with clean architectural lines, oversized windows with views of Lady Bird Lake and a modern, warmly crafted design aesthetic.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chef Shawn Cirkiel to Showcase Culinary Skills at Prevention Magazine’s Inaugural R3 Summit: Oct 26 - Austin, Texas

Chef Shawn Cirkiel to Showcase Culinary Skills at
Prevention Magazine’s Inaugural R3 Summit 

Chef Shawn Cirkiel of renowned parkside, the backspace and olive & june will appear at the first-ever Prevention R3 Summit in Austin, TX on Saturday, October 26th from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside Drive.

Says Prevention, “Our first-ever Prevention R3 Summit will bring the pages of the magazine to life through an immersive and engaging series of events. We’re bringing together the leading minds in health & wellness who will share what’s new and noteworthy through the lens of six pillars: The Healthy Epicurean, Health, Beauty, Peak Performance, Mind-Body, and Happiness.”

Cirkiel will perform two cooking demos at The Healthy Epicurean Cooking Stage: “Austin’s Own Hot Dog Toppings & Healthy Grilling” demo from 11 to 11:30 am and “The Healthy Grilling Demo” from 1 to 1:30 PM. Using primarily locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, these interactive sessions will showcase Cirkiel’s signature style while teaching attendees how to cook delicious, healthy and easy meals of their own.

Cirkiel’s devotion to his community and nutrition is evident by his involvement in many projects, including an initiative at Austin’s Highland Park Elementary, where he has helped develop healthy-eating, exercise and gardening programs. Cirkiel is also a founding chef of the Sustainable Food Center’s Farmers Market in downtown Austin, an SFC Breadwinner and a board member and secretary for the Sixth Street Austin Association, which has been fundamental in raising funds to restore the legendary district.

For more information on Cirkiel and his participation in the Prevention R3 Summit visit

To purchase tickets to the Prevention R3 Summit, visit

5th Annual Pepe Z Tequila Party on the Patio - Austin, Texas

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 5PM
Austin, Texas

Jack Allen's Kitchen
7720 Highway 71 West
Austin, Texas

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Second-Annual Austin Oyster Festival Treats Guests to Ocean of Seafood Delicacies - Austin, Texas

Second-Annual Austin Oyster Festival Treats Guests
to an Ocean of Seafood Delicacies:
Revamped Event Includes Expanded Food-and-Drink Offerings, Live Music, 
VIP Happy Hour and Local Artists’ Market

The second-annual Austin Oyster Festival returns for another year of delectable dining experiences, food-and-beverage pairings, live music, local artists’ market and entertainment — all for a good cause. Hosted at the contemporary Shoal Crossing Event Center, 8611 N. MoPac Expressway on Sunday, Nov. 3, a portion of the proceeds from this year’s Austin Oyster Festival will benefit the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. General admission is from 1 to 6 p.m., following a special VIP Happy Hour sponsored by Kinky Friedman’s Man in Black Tequila from noon to 1 p.m.  VIP ticketholders receive free mimosas and Bloody Marias and promotional giveaways from noon to 1 p.m., reserved seating, and VIP parking.

The afternoon’s tempting menu will honor the pearl of the sea, the oyster, by presenting the tasty bi-valve in a variety of delectable forms. The Raw Bar will include a selection of premium East Coast oysters from locales such as Maine, Canada, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as colossal, juicy Gulf oysters by the dozens, oyster shooters and buckets of peel-and-eat shrimp. The Grill Bar will feature grilled oysters au gratin and Oysters Rockefeller, and the Fry Bar will include savory fried oyster and fried shrimp po’boys, as well as pommes frites and old fashioned fried doughnuts.

A new addition to the festival this year, the Bloody Mary Bar will feature the debut of the Bloody Royale, an outrageous, must-try Bloody Mary topped with a briny oyster on the half shell, jumbo shrimp and pickled green beans, as well as the Hot & Spicy Kinky Maria featuring Man in Black’s premium Plata Tequila. A variety of specialty cocktails and local craft beers at the Topo Chico Beverage Bar will offer guests plenty of drink-pairing choices for their favorite festival dishes.  

DJ Chino Casino will keep the beat from noon to 3 p.m. with blues, jazz and zydeco tunes, and Austin’s own Topaz & Mudphonic takes the stage from 3 to 6 p.m to deliver their homegrown soulful backwoods Texas grooves. The on-site artists’ market will include an eclectic mix of local vendors retailing a variety of handmade wares and goods.    

VIP tickets ($75 per person) to the Austin Oyster Festival include early entry and access to the special VIP Happy Hour, live entertainment, five food and beverage vouchers, VIP parking and reserved seating.

General admission ($50 per person) to the Austin Oyster Festival includes entry, live entertainment and five food-and-beverage vouchers redeemable at any food station (Raw, Grill, Fry, Bloody Mary and Beverage Bar). Additional vouchers may be purchased inside the festival.

Tickets should be purchased in advance for the Austin Oyster Festival at  Additional tickets may be available at the door on the day of the event.

The second-annual Austin Oyster Festival is a production of food-centric events producer Seventy7Degrees LLC. The event will feature a variety of live entertainment, food-and-beverage pairings and an artists’ market, and will benefit the nonprofit Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. For more information about the Austin Oyster Festival, visit

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

3rd Annual Wine & Swine Pig Roast - Austin, Texas

3rd Annual Wine & Swine Pig Roast
Austin Food & Wine Alliance

Sunday, November 10, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (CST)
Austin, Texas

Ceres Park Ranch
13005 Fitzhugh Rd
Austin, Texas 78736

3rd Annual Wine & Swine is set to take place in the pristine Texas hill country at Ceres Park Ranch, just 16 miles southwest of downtown Austin. More than 20 chefs will be preparing their best sweet and savory dishes with many preparing whole Berkshire pigs in their own unique culinary styles for the outdoor event that includes live music by Ghosts Along the Brazos; premium wine tastings, spirited cocktails, craft brews and plenty o’ pork tastings.

Our Chef Line-up:
Tatsu Aikawa of Ramen Tatsu-ya
Alma Alcocer - Thomas of El Alma Cafe y Catina
John Bates of Noble Pig Sandwiches
Erica Beneke of Max's Wine Dive 
Mat Clouser of Swift's Attic
Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurants 
Michael Fojtasek & Grae Nonas of Olamaie 
Aaron Franklin of Franklin's BBQ 
Jack Gilmore of Jack Allen's Kitchen
Kristine Kittrell of Mulberry & Weather Up
Larry Kocurek of TRACE
Eric Lucus of Whole Foods Market
Alexandra Manley of Jeffrey's
Sarah McIntosh of Epicerie Cafe & Grocery 
Janina O'Leary
Rene Ortiz & Laura Sawicki
Jesse Perez of Arcade Midtown Kitchen 
Anthony Sobotik & Chad Palmatier of Lick Ice Cream 
Erica Waksmunski of Congress 
Josh Watkins of The Carillon
Andrew Wiseheart of Contigo

The Alliance has community support with Whole Foods Market®, Austin Food & Wine Festival, Texas Pork Producers Association, ABC Bank, Republic National Distributing Company, Glazer’s, FreshPoint, Becker Vineyards, Giant Noise, AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, Greenling, Texas Monthly, Twin Liquors, CultureMap, Premiere Tents & Events, Butler Wood, Max Photography, Texas Tea and Field Branding & Design.

Tickets are $75 in advance, $95 at the gate. Park & Ride is $25 & must be purchased by Nov 3, 2013.
No infants or strollers. No refunds or exchanges. Rain or shine.
AFWA employs photographers to help record our many events. By purchasing a ticket, your image may be taken and used in future promotions of our events.

AFWA urges all adults to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly.

Now Casting Food Network Star Season 10 - San Antonio, Texas

Food Network is currently casting for season 10 of Food Network Star and is holding an open casting call in San Antonio, Texas.

They are looking for those with a captivating personality who believe they are at the top of the culinary game and want to inspire a Food Network audience through their passion for food and cooking!

San Antonio
Date: 10/14/13
Time: 10am-2pm
Location: Hyatt Regency
123 Losoya Street
San Antonio, TX 78205  

For more information, click here.

Uno, Dos, Tres: Benji's Cantina to Host Pairing Dinner Series - Austin, Texas

Benji’s Cantina to Host Pairing Dinner Event Series:
Uno, Dos, Tres Dinner Series Includes Multi-Course Feasts
Paired With Beer, Wine or Tequila    

 Benji’s Cantina, downtown Austin’s “it” spot for inspired Tex-Mex and West Sixth Street’s only rooftop dining space, is hosting a unique dinner pairing series titled Uno, Dos, Tres that will highlight fresh, farm-to-table dishes paired with a variety of local beers, wine and spirits. The series begins with the Uno dinner event on Oct. 15, featuring Executive Chef Blake Keely’s four-course Tex-Mex meal paired with beers from Austin’s Thirsty Planet Brewery, presented by Brewmaster Brian Smittle.

The Uno dinner will begin with a selection of appetizers. Choices include Shrimp Diablo, Gulf shrimp stuffed with goat cheese and chiles, wrapped in pecan-smoked bacon and served with a poblano vinaigrette, which will be paired with Thirsty Planet’s Buckethead IPA, an aggressively hopped India Pale Ale; or Benji’s Guacamole, made with fresh avocados and mixed tableside with traditional accompaniments, and paired with Thirsty Planet’s Yellow Armadillo Wheat, an American-style wheat ale. The salad course will include Chef Keely’s Spinach and Watercress, a light salad of leafy greens, corn, queso fresco and toasted pepitas tossed with a honey-chipotle vinaigrette, paired with Thirsty Planet’s Yellow Armadillo Wheat. The Uno dinner entrée will be Chef Keely’s Chile en Nogada, a poblano chile stuffed with picadillo, almonds, apples and green olives, served in pecan crema sauce, and paired with Thirsty Planet’s Thirsty Goat Ale, a medium-bodied amber beer with a sweet, malty taste. The final course features a dessert of decadent Cheesecake Sopapillas.  ($60.00 per person)

Benji’s Dos pairing dinner event will take place Nov. 5, and feature four courses of Chef Keely’s time-honored Tex-Mex dishes with a modern twist, paired with a selection of wines. The meal begins with an indulgent Lobster Sope with sweet corn crema and wild mushrooms, followed by savory Green Chili and Butternut Squash Soup served with duck carnitas and bunuelos. The main course includes Chef Keely’s Blackberry Mole-Braised Beef Short Ribs with crisp sweet potatoes and sesame shallots. The dinner event will conclude with a mouth-watering Chocolate Tres Leches cake.

Benji’s Tres pairing event, featuring Chef Keely’s four-course Tex-Mex dinner paired with a selection of elite tequilas, will take place Nov. 19. The first course includes a delicate Scallop Ceviche served with blood orange, mint and serranos, followed by a dish of Seared Panela Cheese with Local Greens served with avocado and toasted pepitas. The main course includes Jalapeño-Basil Shrimp with Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas served with mango butter, arbol glaze and tequila sour cream. Chef Keely completes the meal with the perfect Key Lime Pie.

Each Uno, Dos, Tres pairing dinner event ($50–$85 per person) is limited to 30 guests, and attendees are encouraged to RSVP for the dinners at

Benji’s Cantina is located at 716 W. Sixth St., in downtown Austin. Benji’s is open for dinner service from 4 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and from 4 to 10 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about Benji’s Cantina and the Uno, Dos, Tres pairing dinner series, visit

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Women Culinary Professionals Come Together with "Dames Across Texas" - Austin, Texas

Austin Dames Poised to Host International Conference of Women Culinary Professionals with a Spirited “Dames Across Texas” Shindig – Tickets On Sale Today to Support Local Scholarships

Local Chapter Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary & National Food Day

The Austin Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier has plenty of reasons to kick up their heels. The chapter is poised to host the Les Dames d’ Escoffier International (LDEI) Conference, October 24-27, a goal that was set five years ago by the local chapter. For the last year, its members have been working to create a welcoming environment of creativity, exploration and food fun in their hometown.  And now they’re ready to party.

The annual conference is expected to attract more than 400 women culinary professionals worldwide and kicks off Thursday, October 24, with “Dames Across Texas,” a spirited Texas wine and dine experience featuring more than 30 Central Texas chefs, women-owned restaurants, wineries and artisanal products (along with music by popular local songwriter Nathan Hamilton) at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center. Open to the public, tickets for the event go on sale today for $55 and can be purchased at: All proceeds support scholarships for women seeking culinary careers.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Austin chapter of Les Dames, which represents more than 50 of Austin’s top women culinary professionals. In the last decade, the chapter has contributed more than $25,000 in scholarships to local women.

“We’re so thrilled that Austin’s dynamic Dames chapter has so quickly become one of the organization’s largest chapters and we’re so excited to host so many of the world’s prominent women culinary pros in our town to experience Austin’s amazing food culture,” said Gina Burchenal, host co-chair of the international organization and past president of the Austin chapter.

Thursday, October 24 also coincides with National Food Day, a nationwide celebration
 and movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. To mark the occasion, the chapter will team up with Austin’s Sustainable Food Center to offer opportunities for the conference visitors to learn about Austin’s efforts to support the affordable fresh food initiative.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chef Peter Releases Finn & Porter's Fall Menu - Austin, Texas

Finn & Porter Introduces New Fall Menu

Inspired new dishes feature range of flavors from Lockhart Quail and Beets to a Tuna and Chocolate Sushi

Chef Peter Maffei of Finn & Porter, located in the Hilton Austin downtown, will debut the restaurant’s new fall menu on October 7th. Taking full advantage of the region’s best seasonal offerings combined with a healthy dose of originality, Maffei has created a range of new items to surprise and delight.

New to the Signature Sushi menu is “Tuna & Chocolate,” an unexpected combination of flavors developed in collaboration with sushi chef Triet Huynh. The dish delivers not only sweet and savory, but also a hint of spice via chili oil. Other elements include honeydew melon, goat cheese, coconut flakes and chocolate sauce.

New to the Salad and Soup section, Maffei created a Trio of Beet Salad featuring red, golden and candy cane beets, Wateroak Farms goat cheese, pistachios, arugula and beet vinaigrette. This farm fresh dish is artfully presented, showcasing the rich hues of the three beets. A must try item, the Grilled Broccoli Salad presents a new twist to everyday broccoli as the open flame imparts a smokiness to the broccoli. It’s mixed with pickled shallots, golden raisins and sourdough toast. The Small Plates section features Lockhart Quail with celery root, golden beet, leek, carrot and natural jus.  Another fall addition is the Braised Local Lamb Shank with roasted carrot, mushroom, tarragon and served with a freshly baked rosemary popover

Entree additions put the best of fall at the forefront such as a new presentation for Halibut accompanied by roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, raisins and verjus. For the heartier appetite, the 16oz Strube Ranch New York Strip, served with house-made bacon and potato terrine with grilled broccolini is heaven on a plate. Always a favorite in cooler months, Finn & Porter has added Duck Breast complemented by faro, heirloom carrots two ways and raisin puree.

“As a chef, fall is my favorite time of year. It brings a change in the landscape and to the food we eat.  Richly braised meats and the earthiness of fall vegetables create intense flavors, which spurred my love of cooking. Our fall menu is comprised of dishes that put my passion before our guests with each and every bite. The new lamb shank dish is one that I enjoy preparing and sharing with family and friends,” Maffei said.

Chef’s Tastings & Daily Specials

Finn & Porter offers daily specials, and a sushi happy hour every Monday through Friday from 5 – 7 pm with special drink pricing and half off signature sushi and chef’s tastings. Half-priced bottles of wine on all bottles $100 or less is offered every Friday night.

Introducing Cocktail & Cookout Classes at Georgetown's El Monumento & Monument Market - Georgetown, Texas

El Monumento and Monument Market Introduce
Mixologist-Led Cocktail and Cookout Classes:
Events Include Grilling and Entertaining Tips &
Special Cocktail, Wine and Seasonal Menu Tastings

El Monumento, Georgetown’s home-style Mexican restaurant run by the owners of much-loved Monument Café, is hosting its first-ever bar class for connoisseurs of the restaurant’s handcrafted cocktails. The first monthly class, Bar 101 with Jeremy, featuring instruction from Beverage Director Jeremy Corn, will take place Saturday, Oct. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. at El Monumento.

The exclusive Bar 101 with Jeremy class ($65 per person) will begin with a lunch of seasonal, made-from-scratch Mexican fare at the restaurant’s expansive counter, with views of the kitchen. Next, the class will adjourn to the Tiki Bar in El Monumento’s lush courtyard, where guests will sample a wide array of spirits, from universal favorites to some remarkable and unexpected liqueurs. Beverage Director Corn will regale guests with a bit of history about each sampled spirit, answer questions and suggest intriguing mixology concoctions. Additionally, Corn will teach attendees how to make a variety of classic cocktails to his exacting standards.

In addition to El Monumento’s Bar 101 with Jeremy class, Monument Market, which features locally sourced, organic produce, meats and dairy products, will host the first monthly Cookout with Jeremy class on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. Part social gathering, part educational event, the exclusive Cookout with Jeremy class ($50 per person) will give attendees the opportunity to learn detailed tips on cooking and grilling, wine and beer, and entertaining. Additionally, Corn will provide some guidance about how to best pair wine and beer with specific meals. Attendees will be able to sample a variety of wines, beers and local, seasonal grilled delicacies.  

And on Oct. 22, El Monumento will also host a cocktail and food pairing dinner ($65 per person), featuring Beverage Director Corn’s characteristic cocktails paired with a seasonal four-course menu devised specifically for the event.

Both classes and the cocktail and food pairing dinner are limited in size. Guests are encouraged to register in advance. Email to reserve a spot in the Bar 101 with Jeremy class. Email to reserve a spot for the Cookout with Jeremy class.

In addition to the classes and pairing dinner event, El Monumento is celebrating the return of its Charity Night events. The first Charity Night of the season, titled Trick-or-Treat for Main Street, will be hosted in the El Bar and surrounding courtyard on Oct. 16, from 5 p.m. to close. The event is a fundraiser for the Georgetown Main Street Program, which works to enhance the vibrancy and historic preservation of downtown Georgetown. Trick-or-Treat for Main Street will feature Beverage Director Corn’s special spiced pumpkin cocktail, proceeds from which will be donated to the Georgetown Main Street Program. Representatives from the Georgetown Main Street Program will also be on hand to answer questions and help promote the mission of the organization.

Other upcoming Charity Night events at El Monumento include the November Charity Night, benefiting the Georgetown Arts and Cultural Center.

El Monumento is located at 205 W. Second St., in Georgetown. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information about El Monumento, the monthly Bar 101 with Jeremy class, the cocktail and food pairing dinner, or the upcoming Charity Night events, call (512) 591-7866, or visit    

Monument Market is located at 500 S. Austin Ave., next to Monument Café in Georgetown. The market features a variety of locally sourced, organic produce, meats and dairy products. For more information about Monument Market and the monthly Cookout with Jeremy class, call (512) 240-4715, or visit

Monday, September 30, 2013

Gateway Guesthouse Offers Holiday Cooking Classes & New Year’s Delight - Austin, Texas

Gateway Guesthouse Offers Holiday Cooking Classes & New Year’s Delight

Celebrate the Holidays Hassle-Free with Chef Bess

Nestled in a historic neighborhood just south of the lake, Gateway Guesthouse, Austin’s über-cool-ultra-relaxing bed and breakfast, is offering a new Classic Tuscan cooking class and two Fearless Feast Cook and Carry courses to make the upcoming holidays a little less stressful.

Inn keepers Blaise Bahara and Bess Giannakakis have made food an integral part of Gateway Guesthouse and it begins with Chef Bess, who for more than twenty years worked in some of the best restaurants in Minneapolis; founded the Colossal Cafe, which was featured on the Food Network; and is now entrenched in the explosive culinary scene in Austin.

The Fearless Feast series provides patrons with an opportunity to learn from a master how to prepare a traditional holiday feast without all the hassle. On November 27, Chef Bess will be in the kitchen showing the class how to make a turkey (rubbed with a Tex-Mex flair), cornbread and sausage stuffing, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and more—including pumpkin pie with homemade crust—for a stress-free Thanksgiving to enjoy. On December 23 & 24, Bess teaches the group how to prepare a standing rib beef roast with horseradish cream gravy, sides, an arugula and roasted beet salad, homemade bread buns, and bourbon pecan tart with whipped cream. Christmas dinner has never been so easy. The Fearless Feast meals are made in-house with Bess, and patrons take everything home to cook on that special day. A hotline number is available for emergency questions.

Bess and Blaise are always eating at new restaurants and trying new things, and a recent trip to Italy inspired them to create a new cooking class: Classic Tuscan. Two sessions are scheduled for January 11— Making Pasta: Bolognese and Risotto: Carbonara or Minestrone. Other course offerings include everything from sharpening knives and de-boning a chicken to making a béchamel sauce and baking biscuits. Additional hands-on classes—no televisions and mirrors—will be scheduled for the last week of January as needed. Courses, which run about 2 hours, are $65 per person.

The inn keepers take it up a level for those who really want to get a taste of the robust food scene in Austin and feature a Shop, Cook, Dine event on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Patrons caravan to nearby farms, seafood markets and Whole Foods to purchase ingredients for a meal they prepare alongside Bess and then savor poolside after a hard day in the kitchen. For those who want to let Bess do the shopping, the Cook and Dine series takes about half the time and is offered almost any day of the week.

With food comes entertaining, and Gateway Guesthouse is putting on one of the city’s most coveted New Year’s Eve parties. After cocktails at 6 p.m., Greek dancing and songs commence while Bess and Blaise serve a five- to six-course Greek spread with wine pairings. Champagne finishes off the meal at 10 p.m. Overnight guests ring in 2014 with a midnight toast.

Gateway Guesthouse is located at 1001 E. Riverside Drive, Austin TX 78704. To purchase gift cards (perfect for the holidays) or for room rates, cooking class schedules, and more information, call 512-326-2646 or go to

ive the Sweet Life at the 24th Annual La Dolce Vita Food & Wine Festival - Austin, Texas


Sip and savor with Central Texas’ top chefs and wineries

The Contemporary Austin is pleased to announce the full lineup for the 24th Annual La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival, presented by Merrill Lynch, which is returning this fall with a dynamic lineup of award-winning chefs, select Austin restaurants and prized wineries from across Central Texas.  Held along the beautiful shores of Laguna Gloria, La Dolce Vita provides guests with an opportunity to sip and savor special culinary presentations on Thursday, October 24th from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

The 2013 Honorary Chef for the event is Executive Chef David Bull of Congress, Bar Congress and Second Bar + Kitchen. At the helm of these restaurants, Bull was named “Chef of the Year 2012” by Austin Monthly, and Congress, among its many accolades, was acknowledged as the “Best New Restaurant in Austin.”

"I am very excited to be this year's Honorary Chef,” said Chef Bull. “I love that this event combines the culinary community and the art community.  La Dolce Vita is a one of a kind evening that exemplifies what can be achieved when you pull these two communities together. No question, this is one of the best parties of the year with a great venue, great food and a great cause. I am honored to be a part of this and look forward to contributing what I can to support La Dolce Vita."

During La Dolce Vita, tastemakers will dance to the Flying Turns, a 5-piece ensemble spinning the most eclectic of vinyl.  Renowned restaurants with the likes of celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey’s Searsucker Restaurant and hotspot Ramen Tatsu-Ya, bring a sophisticated bite to tantalize guests palates along with Austin’s favorite Ranch 616, helmed by the colorful Kevin Williamson, while Kome offers Japanese chic to La Dolce Vita. The highly anticipated laV, set to open later this fall, will preview its cuisine for those who have not yet visited the new establishment’s temporary food truck located behind Las Vegas Lounge.

Libations will be equally as satiating with a handcrafted cocktail lounge by Tipsy Texan, David Alan, featuring Midnight Cowboy, Drink.Well., soon to be opened Halfstep and San Antonio’s Bohanans. Recognizable wineries from Pedernales Cellars to long-time favorites such as Becker Vineyards and McPherson Cellars bring their multi-award winning wines to elevate guests’ senses at this vibrant event.  Newcomer 4.0 Cellars from Fredericksburg will also add to the lengthy list of reputable wines at La Dolce Vita. Multiple wine sampling booths with national and international flare are carefully curated by Twin Liquors.

La Dolce Vita will take guests through a festive evening while enjoying “the sweet life”, as they experience and taste the creations of over 50 bright culinary teams and wineries, each presenting an evocative taste of their establishment. Tickets for the festival are available for $200 per person for access to the exclusive cocktail lounge and $150 per person for general admission. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at

Laguna Gloria is located a 3809 West 35th Street. Stay up to date with La Dolce Vita happenings and updates on Facebook @LaDolceVitaATX and Twitter @LaDolceVitaATX, and join the conversation using the hashtag #ladolcevita2013.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fun Fun Fun Fest Announces Food Lineup w/ Taco Cannon Ammo By Tamale House - Austin, Texas

FFF Food Curator & BBQ Legend John Mueller And Team
Have Chosen A Delicious Variety of Austin Food Stops and Culinary Top Spots

FUN FUN FUN FEST (FFF Fest) is excited to announce the full lineup of food vendors on location at the festival Nov 8-10 in Austin. Through a delicate selection process, festival food curator and BBQ legend John Mueller of John Mueller Meat Co. worked with the FFF team to hand-select this year's festival food offerings.

The chosen food purveyors represent a variety of the city's best eats, including guilty pleasures and healthy alternatives. Perfect for a festival offering punk, hip-hop, indie rock, electronic and much more, the food lineup also brings a delicious mixture of flavors, including artesian sausages, crepes, fresh juice, homemade tamales, and of course BBQ.

Those who purchase the USP (Ultimate Smooth Pass) will also have access to La Condesa's new taco truck, El Cubico, as well as Beetnik Foods. These additional food options are included in the many perks for USP pass holders, which also include craft drink options, shorter lines, comfy leisure zones, premium sight lines at every stage, an old-school arcade lounge, and more.

The food vendor lineup includes:
Austin Daily Press
Austin's Pizza
Black Sheep Lodge + Haymaker
Blue Ribbon BBQ
Boomerang's Pies
Crepe Crazy
The Grilled Cheese Truck
Hey Cupcake
Tiff's Treats
Flat Track Coffee
Austin Land and Cattle Co.
Lard Have Mercy
Yeti Frozen Custard
Tamale House

USP Area Food Vendors:
El Cubico (La Condesa's taco truck)
Beetnik Foods

This year's music lineup includes M.I.A., Slayer, MGMT, Jurassic 5, Snoop Dogg, Descendents, Ice-T, Television, FLAG (Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Dez Cadena, Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton), and many more. Among the 2013 comedians are Tenacious D, Patton Oswalt, Craig Robinson, and Doug Benson. The new FFF Nites lineup has also just been released. For a complete list of FFF Fest performers, visit

This year's athletes participating in the growing skateboarding and BMX portion of the weekend include BMX vert ramp pioneer Mat Hoffman, legendary skater Christian Hosoi and many more. The Fest is also introducing for the first time an impressive vert ramp for bigger air and exciting new demos.

All festival passes and tickets, including weekend passes, single day tickets, USP passes and student discount tickets are available at For those purchasing the student discount tickets, they will be claimed at will call and will require a valid student ID to be redeemed.

Fun Fun Fun Fest would like to thank all of the 2013 partners and sponsors who help make the festival possible, including Shiner, Absolut, Red Bull Sound Select, smart, and Seagate.

Follow the fest at and on Twitter @funfunfunfest for updates and special promotions.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Freshest Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the World Arrives at Con’ Olio - Austin, Texas

Freshest Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the World Arrives at Con’ Olio, 
Just in Time for Con Olio’s New Store Opening

The purveyors of Con’ Olio Oils & Vinegars—the first premium olive oil tasting bar in Austin—know the absolute importance of freshness. That’s why they bring in only the freshest extra virgin olive oils from around the world, and print the harvest date on every bottle. This season, Con’ Olio is highlighting 12 unique and freshly pressed extra virgin olive oils from the Southern hemisphere, which has an opposite growing season to the traditional Fall harvest of the Northern Hemisphere, all pressed within the past few months. The arrival of the new oils coincides with the opening of Con’ Olio’s third location this October at 12918 Shops Parkway in the Shops at the Galleria.

Some extra virgin olive oils coming to Con’ Olio later this season include those from Chile and South Africa. Currently available in store and online are three extra virgin olive oils from Australia, and three from Peru, all of varying flavor and intensity. The Ultra Premium Picual EVOO from Australia, which won the coveted Best of Class award at the 2013 International New York Olive Oil Competition, features green tomato and tomato leaf flavors and grassy, herbal notes that contribute to its complexity. Also from Australia is the Ultra Premium Hojiblanca EVOO, a mild and aromatic early harvest oil with notes of green banana, apple and stone fruit mingled with green floral and grassy flavors. The Ultra Premium Manzanillo EVOO from Australia has a medium intensity, with green strawberry, green apple, melon and jam notes, and a peppery finish.

Con’ Olio’s Ultra Premium Organic Barnea EVOO from Peru has a robust intensity, and won the gold medal at the 2013 International New York Olive Oil Competition. This early harvest oil features a strong herbaceous aroma and flavor, with notes of crushed parsley and fennel, and an incredibly peppery finish. The new Ultra Premium Organic Coratina EVOO from Peru also features a robust intensity, but a remarkable balance, with aromas of green grass and green herbal notes, green almond and apple flavors. The robustly intense Ultra Premium Organic Picual EVOO from Peru is an early harvest oil highlighting aromatic notes of parsley and unripe stone fruit, with a lingering pepper finish. All of Con’ Olio’s new Southern hemisphere extra virgin olive oils are ideal for cooking or finishing any meal.
Con’ Olio is located at 215 Lavaca St. in the Second Street District, and at 10000 Research Blvd., Suite 130, in the Arboretum. For more information about Con’ Olio’s oil and vinegar products, please call (512) 495 – 1559 for the Second Street District location, or (512) 342-2344 for the Arboretum location, or visit

Friday, September 20, 2013

La Condesa Debuts New Taco Truck - Austin, Texas



La Condesa is excited to announce the debut of their new taco truck, El Cubico. El Cubico will make its official preview at the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) opening party on Tuesday, September 24 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm.

The taco truck will be on the festival circuit for the rest of the fall season and guests will be able to catch it at Fun Fun Fun Fest and the Formula 1 US Grand Prix this year. El Cubico will provide menu items such as their famous Mexican street corn and carnitas tacos.

“La Condesa is now mobile and can come to your home, office, tailgate or private event space.  El Cubico will have the capacity to cater events from 25 to 500 guests and will feature made-to-order tacos and other La Condesa classics,” says Director of Marketing and Events Alexis Lanman.

El Cubico is now available to rent for private events, with pricing starting at $1,000. To book the taco truck for your next private event, email

La Condesa is located at 400 W. 2nd Street. For updates and more information about La Condesa and the taco truck, please visit Follow La Condesa on Facebook @lacondesaaustin and on Twitter @lacondesaaustin.