Friday, May 31, 2013

Food & Fun - Texas Gulf Coast for June, 2013

In this edition for Food & Fun - Texas Gulf Coast, check out these events. Click on the event for more details.

June 3-9—HOUSTON: Houston Wine and Food Week Includes dozens of events with more than 500 wines, 50 restaurants, culinary personalities from around the globe, demonstrations, tastings, cooking competitions, craft beers, gourmet food purveyors, cookbook author events and live music. Various venues. 

June 8—EAST BERNARD: Czech Kolache Klobase Festival Enjoy music, dancing, entertainment, arts and crafts, food, raffles, a cake walk, children's games and plenty of kolaches for sale. Riverside Hall, 14643 Buls Road.

June 23—HOUSTON: Houston Culinary Tours: Tacos Ride along with The Pass and Provisions' chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan as they spotlight rolled-and-wrapped fare in Houston. Tickets required—tours often sell out in advance.

Food & Fun - Piney Woods, Texas for June, 2013

In this edition of Food & Fun - Piney Woods, check out the following events. Click on the event for more details.

June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29—LIBERTY: Liberty Opry Enjoy live, family-oriented musical entertainment with a different theme each week and a little comedy, too. Food and desserts available. At 1816 Sam Houston Ave.

June 8—JACKSONVILLE: Tomato Festival Enjoy motorcycle, tractor and antique car shows; sports tournaments; contests for salsa and tomato eating, peeling and mashing; a farmer's market; tomato shed tour; tomato shoot; live entertainment; history display; children's activities; and vendors offering arts, crafts and food. At 526 E. Commerce St.

June 8—NACOGDOCHES: Texas Blueberry Festival Texas' only blueberry festival transforms the downtown streets of the Oldest Town in Texas. At 200 E. Main St. 

Food & Fun - Texas Panhandle for June, 2013

In this edition of Food & Fun - Texas Panhandle, check out the following events.

June 1—ALBANY: Western Swing Concert The Old Jail Art Center.

June 1—SAN ANGELO: First Saturday at the Chicken Farm Art Center Monthly celebration of art, music and community features exhibits, vendors, a live music circle, food and clay for children to play with. At 2505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

June 1-2, 4-9, 11-16, 18-23, 25-30—CANYON: TEXAS Outdoor musical drama is performed with an optional steak dinner at 6 p.m. Curtain rises at 8:30 p.m. Pioneer Amphitheatre at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

June 7-8—AMARILLO: Cowboy Club Ranch Rodeo Includes rodeo action, washer pitching, Ribfest, a trade show and dance. Tri-State Fairgrounds.

June 8-9—LUBBOCK: Wine and Clay Festival Focuses on two "earth arts": winemaking and crafting pottery. Enjoy wine tasting, local art and live music. Llano Estacado Winery.

June 8-9—STANTON: Old Sorehead Trade Days Features vendors, live entertainment and food at this event jokingly named for the town's "few old soreheads." Downtown streets and Community Center Complex.

Food & Fun - Texas Hill Country - June, 2013

In this edition of Food & Fun - Texas Hill Country, check out these great events. If you are interested in the event, click on it for more information.

June 1-9—KERRVILLE: Kerrville Folk Festival Features more than 100 songwriters and their bands with concerts, a songwriting competition, seminars and workshops, arts and crafts, food and camping. Quiet Valley Ranch, 3876 Medina Highway.

June 1—JUNCTION: Hill Country Fair, Rodeo and Dance Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena. 

June 1, 29—FREDERICKSBURG: Roots Music Series Features a variety of musicians and themes, including Doo Wop Sock Hop night on June 1 and Texas Country night with Gary P. Nunn on June 29. Pioneer Museum.

June 6-8—BROWNWOOD: Brown County Rodeo This 50th-annual event features rodeo action, live music, a parade, barbecue cook-off and Saturday night dance featuring Reckless Kelly and The Remains. Brown County Fairgrounds and Brownwood Coliseum.

June 7-8—LLANO: Llano Open Pro Rodeo and Parade Parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, with a barbecue on the square afterward. Rodeo events are at Robinson Park Rodeo Arena. 

June 8—BOERNE: Second Saturday Art and Wine Enjoy a glass of wine and stroll through the art galleries.

June 8—SAN MARCOS: Art Unhitched Art Market Browse craft booths, enjoy live music and sample treats from the food trailers.

June 13-16—AUSTIN: Republic of Texas Biker Rally The state's largest motorcycle gathering attracts thousands of bikers for rides, parades and concerts. Travis County Exposition Center and Sixth Street.

June 14—UVALDE: Four Square Friday Enjoy music, shopping and food from 6–9 p.m. Downtown.

June 14-15—BURNET: Burnet County Fair and Rodeo Watch cowboys compete in rodeo events and enjoy live entertainment, barbecue, and an old-time country fair. Burnet County Fairgrounds, 1301 Houston Clinton Drive.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Big News for Arro's Wine Program - Austin, Texas

A Toast to Friendship
Two Master Sommeliers Partner for Arro Wine Program

There are currently 201 individuals worldwide who have achieved the designation of Master Sommelier. Of this elite group, 133 live in North America. Texas is home to seven of these experts, two of whom reside right here in Austin. And now this duo—Craig Collins and Devon Broglie—are partnering to develop and maintain the wine program at Arro, the upcoming casual French concept from ELM Restaurant Group (24 Diner, Easy Tiger).

At Arro’s helm will be ELM executive chef/partner, Andrew Curren, accompanied by his wife, pastry chef Mary Catherine Curren. The couple has dreamed of working alongside one another since they met at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. But Craig’s relationship with Drew goes back even further. The men became friends while enrolled in Texas A&M and roomed together during a semester abroad in Italy—a trip that solidified Craig’s already strong interest in wine and ignited Drew’s passion for cooking (originally he was interested in a career in animal sciences). “A collaboration is something that we have talked and dreamed about for 15 years,” says Craig. “Arro represents the fulfillment of those dreams and our hard work and achievements.”

While Drew’s post-collegiate journey took him on to the CIA, Craig worked for Domaines and Estates, the fine wine division of Glazers, before moving to Austin and managing Prestige Wine Cellars. He currently is Regional Sales Manager at Dalla Terra Winery Direct, as well as a leading educator and featured speaker at wine and food festivals around the country.

When Drew and MC decided to return to Austin, they called Craig from the road to assist them in their housing search. Craig was over at Devon’s home, and the condo next door had just become available. Four days later, the Currens moved in, and great friendships formed between them all.

Duke graduate Devon spent five years in the restaurant industry before following his passion for wine to Spain, where he worked the harvest season for Bodegas Costers del Siurana winery. Upon returning to the States in 2001, he began his career with Whole Foods Market and is currently Executive Coordinator of Purchasing for the Southwest Region. Devon won the Texas’ Best Sommelier Competition in 2006 and is an active member of the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, the Texas Sommelier Association and the annual TEXSOM wine conference.

“Our goal with Arro’s beverage list is to complement and honor what Drew is so adept at in the kitchen: the fresh interpretation of classic tradition,” says Devon. “We’re excited to build a program that is as thrilling for the wine curmudgeon as it is fun and accessible for the wine enthusiast.”


Olive & JuneFirst :: an SFC brunch - Austin, Texas

Saturday, June 1, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Austin, Texas

olive & june
3411 Glenview Avenue
Austin, TX 78703

Join us for Olive & JuneFirst :: Come by for a family-style brunch & party after the farmer’s markets!

Partner with us as we raise funds for the Sustainable Food Center’s new home!

Saturday, June 1st
11 am -2 pm

3411 glenview avenue
austin, texas 78703
*complimentary valet

$25 per adult
$10 suggested donation for kids

brunch menu

piccoli piatti
smoked trout crostini
sweet corn arancini
eggplant involtini

polenta cakes, blackberries
fruit salad

tuscan homefries
greens salad
pork sausage, roasted peppers


passed appetizers & cocktail hour is from 11-12

seating for brunch begins at noon!

Prices include brunch, 2 cocktails for adults & gratuity!

La Condesa + Ocho Tequila Pairing Dinner - Austin, Texas

Join us on June 4th as we kick off our La Condesa Tequila Dinner Summer Series.

Tuesday, June 4th, 6:00PM

La Condesa Vault
400 West 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78701

$100 all inclusive

Featuring a 5 course menu created by Chef Rene Ortiz and paired with Ocho Tequila.  The dinner will be led by Chef de Cuisine Rick Lopez and tequila masters Nate Wales & Morgan Merriman.

amuse: gazpacho de atun con pan de hoja santa. Ocho Blanco.

nopalitos con huevo: salted and grilled cactus, pico de gallo, Munkebo farm duck eggs. Ocho Blanco.

molleja's en tonnato: veal sweetbreads, house-made bacon, mill king butter, boqueronnes, capers. Ocho Reposado.

cabrito frito: roasted goat-pork chicharron, Wateroak farm goat yogurt, Springdale farm tomato. Ocho Anejo.

Garza High School hoja santa semifreddo: Poteet blackberry and peach, Tea Embassy black tea tapioca, iced tea crumble. Ocho Anejo.

"Ocho is revolutionary. It demonstrates the centuries old concept of “terroir” by harvesting agaves from single estates at different altitudes in unique microclimates. It delivers its tequilas in vintages named for the estates from which the agaves were harvested. Each vintage bears a unique flavor and aroma imparted from the character of the soil in which its agaves were grown."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Food & Fun - Texas Hill Country, Texas for the Week of June 9, 2013

In this edition of Food & Fun - Texas Hill Country, Texas, click out the following event.

  • Live Music and Food!

Food & Fun - San Antonio, Texas for the Week of June 9, 2013

In this edition of Food & Fun - San Antonio, Texas, check out the following events.

  • Summer WineFest
  • Art in the Dark

Food & Fun - Houston, Texas for the Week of June 9, 2013

In this edition of Food and Fun - Houston, Texas, check out the following events.

  • The Texas Wine School Presents Wine Tasting Class: Fortified Wines
  • The Texas Wine School Presents Wine Tasting Class: Wines of Argentina & Chile
  • Noe Grill at the Omni Hotel Presents Locavores & Lone Stars
  • The Texas Wine School Presents Wine Tasting Class: Wines of Chateauneuf du Pape and Tavel
  • The Texas Wine School Presents Wine Foundation Course: Wines of Italy, 3 Class Series

Food & Fun - Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas for the Week of June 9, 2013

In this edition of Food and Fun - Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, check out the following events.

  • Charcuterie and Cheese

Food & Fun - Austin, Texas for the Week of June 9, 2013

In this edition of Food & Fun - Austin, Texas, check out the following

  • The Texas Wine School Wine Foundation Course: Introduction to Wine
  • Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 “Vino al Pastor”

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why Cleanse? Here's the Squeeze From Daily Juice

Why Cleanse? Here's the Squeeze From Daily Juice

Start fresh. A strong body is a valuable asset, and one of the best—and easiest—ways toward a path of healthy living is to rid the body of unwanted toxins. A Daily Juice cleanse—made from organic cold-pressed juices—not only purges pollutants from the body but also provides it with an infusion of energy and nutrients.

It takes fuel for the body to break down different kinds of food during the digestive process, and certain varieties, such as fatty and starchy foods, require more work than others. Fruits and raw vegetables, however, aren’t hard for the body to break down, so instead of spending energy on digestion, the body can use that fuel to do some much-needed house cleaning. Put those vegetables and fruits into juice form, and the boost to your body is almost instantaneous.

“The color of a fruit and a vegetable comes from the minerals and micro-nutrients that exist inside those fruits and vegetables,” says Robby Larkin, the COO of Daily Juice, an Austin-based company devoted to natural foods for the mind, body, and spirit. “So, what we try to do is provide a spectrum of as many colors as possible into the juice you are going to use to cleanse so that you are getting a broad array of micro-nutrients and minerals in your body—which is critical.” At Daily Juice it all starts with organic produce. The philosophy is to use nothing that has been chemically treated, processed, or genetically modified. Those organic fruits and vegetables are then put under high pressure in a hydraulic press to squeeze everything out of the pulp. “It is a more nutrient-rich juice with a better taste,” says Larkin. “It’s a win-win, which is why we use that cold press process.”

Daily Juice offers a variety of cleanses, from the 3-Day Sunshine Cleanse (from $210) to the 7-Day Fresh Start Cleanse (from $525) to the Love Cleanse, a product from Kim Love, a cleanse coach based in Austin. At the minimal level, the 3-day cleanse package offers a 24-page e-book to get you started and daily emails for guidance, inspiration, and information. The 7-day package includes the same plus and an e-book filled with 52 cleansing recipes. That extra level of support is provided to make it easy for people to succeed—and to be healthy. Naturally, both options feature a supply of cold-pressed juice, which is equivalent to drinking several grocery bags of organic produce—a delicious and efficient way to add nutrients and minerals.

A cleanse is a means to a new beginning, a new way of thinking about the body—and what goes into it. It’s an investment in you.

Daily Juice is open 7 days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is located at 205 W. 3rd, Austin, TX 78701. For more information call 512-243-6532 or go to

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Summer Cocktails at Liberty Tavern + DIY Recipes

Liberty Tavern is debuting 4 new drinks for the summer months on June 1st – a savory Beerworks Michelada, a fruit-infused Brandy Sangria, a refreshing Bergstrom, and a smooth and sweet Bike Lane. Escape the summer heat in the air-conditioned Liberty Tavern, sip on one of these new cocktails, and nibble on popular bar bites like fried green tomatoes, roasted jalapenos, and BBQ ribs. Liberty Tavern is located in downtown Austin at 500 East 4th Street, Austin, TX 78701 (between Red River and Neches St).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Food & Fun for the Week of June 2, 2013 - Houston, Texas

In this edition of Food and Fun - Houston, Texas for the week of June 2, 2013, check out these great events.

  • The Texas Wine School Presents Wine Tasting Class: Wines of Rioja
  • Summer Sommelier Series at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge
  • Wine & Food Week's H-E-B Wine Walk at Market Street
  • Molto Bene Wine Pairing Dinner
  • Wine & Food Week's Sips, Suds & Sliders
  • Wine & Food Week Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase

Food & Fun for the Week of June 2, 2013 - Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

In this edition of Fun & Fun - Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, check out the following events

  • Paint Like Picasso while Enjoying Quality Wine! - Two Corks and a Bottle - Dallas, Texas
  • Northwest Wine and Cheese - Scardello Artisan Cheese - Dallas, Texas
  • Classical Violin and Piano with Wine! - Two Corks and a Bottle - Dallas, Texas
  • Late Night - Scardello Artisan Cheese - Dallas, Texas

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer Specials At Finn & Porter: DIY sushi dinner, seasonal prix fixe menu

Lighten up with a seasonally-inspired prix fixe menu, make-your-own sushi dinner

Get a taste of land and sea this summer with Finn & Porter’s seasonal specials, starting June 1st. The downtown Austin restaurant will offer a nightly summer prix fixe menu, along with monthly Sushi 101 classes paired with a four-course dinner.

Available six nights a week from June 1 through August 31, the summer prix fixe menu features  three-courses for $39. For the first course, guests can choose a Tango Mango Roll (Hamachi, apple slaw and tobiko topped with mango, coconut and black salt), Hydro Bibb Salad (shaved Texas radish, pine nuts, pickled ramp vinaigrette), or Cucumber Gazpacho with toasted almonds and crème fraiche. Second course options include Sliced Strube Ranch Wagyu Top Sirlion Steak with an heirloom tomato salad, Texas Bouilibasse (mussels, scallop, Gulf redfish, Gulf shrimp, jalapeno cornbread, chipotle aioli), or Wateroak Farms Goat Cheese Ravioli with chervil pesto and grilled vegetable hash. The dessert course offers a choice of Chocolate Crumble Cake Sundae with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel, or a Key Lime Panna Cotta with graham cracker crumble. Executive chef Peter Maffei will substitute new dishes from time to time to take advantage of the latest summer offerings.

During the Sushi 101 dinners, Sushi Chef Triet Huynh will provide hands-on sushi demos, and guests can make their own California and Vegimaki rolls. After the demonstration, all enjoy a four-course dinner of Spicy Tako Sunomono, steamed octopus, cucumber salad, crunchy parsnip, spicy Southeast Asian dressing; followed by Tuna Foie Gras, featuring tuna-wrapped goat cheese, kalamata olives and capers over fennel slaw topped with seared foie gras and balsamic teriyaki. The third course is a sampling of fresh sushi & sashimi. Dinner is finished with a dessert of Tobiko Ice Cream. Three Sushi 101 dinners are scheduled for June 21st, July 19th and Aug 23rd. Reservations are required.

Finn & Porter is a fine dining destination in Austin, serving modern American cuisine focused on fresh and local ingredients. The restaurant has been recognized for its award-winning steaks and wine list, in addition to serving creative seafood and sushi. Finn & Porter's Loft Bar serves innovative cocktails and select wines, plus delicious twists to its classic bar food menu. Located in the Hilton Austin downtown at 500 East 4th St (in between Red River and Neches St), the restaurant is open Monday - Thursday from 5:00pm - 10:00pm, and Friday – Saturday from 5:00pm - 11:00pm. Finn & Porter accepts reservations for parties of two or more through their website, and offers private rooms for special events upon availability and request. For more information, visit or call (512) 493-4900.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

olive & june to host olive & junefirst Benefit Brunch for Sustainable Food Center

olive & june to host olive & junefirst Benefit Brunch for Sustainable Food Center 

olive & june, the neighborhood Southern Italian eatery by chef and restaurateur Shawn Cirkiel, will be hosting olive & junefirst, a one-time brunch benefiting the Sustainable Food Center on Sunday, June 1 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Guests will nosh on seasonally inspired passed appetizers before being seated for a family-style brunch similar in format to the restaurant’s wildly popular Sunday Dinners, a recurring olive & june feature. A founding chef of the Sustainable Food Center’s Market Downtown, Cirkiel is hosting olive & junefirst to benefit the center’s Sustainable Growth campaign raising funds for a new, permanent center.

olive & june’s concept intertwines the Italian premise of eating what grows well around you with inspired culinary vision utilizing fresh components, like pasta freshly made in-house daily, and quality ingredients sourced close to home. Accordingly, olive & junefirst is an apropos extension of Cirkiel’s commitment to locally sourced, sustainable food and partnership with the Sustainable Food Center. Tickets are $25 per person (suggested donation of $10 for kids) and proceeds will enable the center to expand educational programs, construct a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, cultivate a 2.3 acre community garden and continue to break down barriers to fresh, nutritious and affordable food by supporting local family farms in Austin.

olive & junefirst tickets are available at

olive & june is located at 3411 Glenview Ave. in Central Austin. Serving Southern Italian-style cuisine handmade by renowned Chef Shawn Cirkiel, olive & june is open seven days a week for dinner service. For more information about the daily happy hour and the new Sunday night family-style dinners, or to make a reservation, please call (512) 467-9898, or visit

Follow olive & june on social media:

Instagram: @oliveandjuneatx

El Monumento's El Bar: Only Bar in Georgetown Serving Craft Cocktails

El Monumento’s El Bar Takes Cocktails to New Heights 
With Mixology Wednesdays

Every Wednesday evening from 6 until closing, the mixologists at El Bar are pushing their creativity to higher levels and pouring three specialty cocktails for $14. The tasting menu will change each week and take advantage of the fresh produce, fine ingredients, and new methodologies that are integral to El Bar’s philosophy. “Our cocktail list is all about hand-crafted classics made to exacting standards unique to El Bar,” said Jeremy Corn, beverage director of the Monument.

El Bar has taken the margarita to new heights. For the frozen margarita, El Bar uses a Japanese shaved-ice machine to create a snow cone infused with 100 percent blue agave blanco tequila, all-natural Triple Sec, and freshly-squeezed lime juice. The 8-Hour Margarita is more intensive - over the eight-hour process, Don Julio tequila and Cointreau diffuse through a hopper filled with lime and orange supremes, lime and orange zest, lemongrass, and sugar. The result is bottled in a glass vial and is served in frozen martini glasses rimmed with salt crystals.

All cocktails are made by hand at El Bar, and the attention to detail, from the house-made syrups—grenadine, strawberry, and mint—to the fresh hand-squeezed juices is unmatched. New processes, such cold smoking drinks and nitrogen cavitation to create instant infusions like jalapeño vodka, are used to produce unique drinks. Favorites include Jasper’s Planters Punch—dark Jamaican rum, Jasper’s secret mix, hand-shaved ice, and fresh mint ($8); the Old-Fashioned—rye whiskey, Angostura bitters, and sugar ($8); the Daiquiri—Panamanian rum, fresh lime juice, and sugar ($8), and the Mojito—rum, fresh lime juice, and mint. A carefully curated selection of wines and locally-made craft brews, including Pedernales Classic IPA and Real Ale Fireman’s 4, round out the offerings.

El Bar is part of El Monumento, a lively farm-to-table interior Mexican and south Texas  restaurant that overlooks the San Gabriel River in Georgetown, and features a spacious wrap-around mesquite bar surrounded by handsome leather stools seating up to 24 people.

El Bar at El Monumento is located at 205 W. 2nd and is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to10pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm. Happy hour is Monday through Friday afternoons from 4 to 6. For more information, call 512-591-7866 or see
Follow El Monumento on social media:



Monday, May 13, 2013

Tex-Mex and Margaritas, Benji's Cantina Opens May 24 - Austin, Texas

Tex-Mex and Margaritas 
Benji’s Cantina Opens on West 6th Street

Soon to be Austin’s It spot for exceptional Tex-Mex and classic margaritas, Benji’s Cantina opens May 24th, just in time for margarita season, and boasts west Sixth Street’s only rooftop dining space. The venture is the latest endeavor from the group behind Kung Fu Saloon and the Brew Exchange and operating partner Geoff Freeman.

Freeman ran the downtown Eddie V’s Prime Seafood for ten years. “I’m really excited to bring my longtime diners another unique dining experience,” says Freeman. After being mentored by Tom Farace (formerly the general manager of Eddie V’s) and Larry Foles (a former co-owner of Eddie V’s), Freeman applies exceptional standards to the Benji’s menu offerings. “It all starts with finding the best product available.”

Freeman and executive chef Blake Keely, formerly of the Roaring Fork and the UT Club, have combined their vision and culinary prowess to create a farm-to-table menu that feature perfectly grilled Beef Tenderloin or Chicken Fajitas sold by the pound ($35-$40 lb). Keely uses pasture-raised chickens from Vital Farms and all-natural certified Angus beef—a high acidic marinade breaks down the tissue making the beef extremely tender—and dredges the meat in a house-made rub before charring on a mesquite-infused grill. The fajitas, which are accompanied by a grilled jalapeño and a traditional bell-pepper-and-onion medley, arrive tableside in a cast-iron skillet that rests in a handmade anafre, which stores coals to ensure the meat stays hot the entire meal. The duo has placed an emphasis on fresh high-quality products and incorporates fine ingredients such as Rancho Gordo beans out of Napa and sources local goods from Johnson’s Backyard Garden and John Lash’s Farm To Table to produce time-honored dishes with a modern twist. An ingenious mix of seafood and Mexican influences dominates the menu, from appetizers such as Chicken Tortilla Soup, presented with rich pasilla-chile broth poured around traditional ingredients ($8); and Cocktel de Camarones, a deconstructed dish of Gulf shrimp, avocado, and tomato relish ($12); to entrées such as Chile en Nogada, a poblano chile stuffed with Chihuahua and asadero cheese ($16); and Snapper a la Mexicana, lightly floured fish sautéed crisp with a citrus-Mezcal-butter sauce ($mkt).

Creativity extends to the drink menu as well. Diners can expect an impressive selection of specialty margaritas, mexican beers, tequilas and mescals, including the “con gusano” (“with the worm”) variety. Fresh juices, simple syrups, and fresh ingredients are stocked for all the beverages.

Design firm Chioco Design, the visionary behind myriad local projects including Lavaca Teppan, Winflo Osteria, and Perla’s, created the space—a fusion of clean lines, urban funk, and natural elements. From the flowering vine bedecked exterior, to refurbishing parts of the existing structure, Chioco designed the ultra-stylish space, which juxtaposes vintage pieces such as the “Checker Front Store” sign with a ceiling of exposed pipes and incorporates textures, shapes, and natural light to bring the great outdoors inside.

Once indoors, a smallish lounge plays host to another bar, community tables that encourage mingling, and expansive glass doors that let in just the right amount of city-life action. The adjacent main dining room—a seamless mixture of exposed brick, subway-tiled nooks, and wood-paneled walls—seats approximately 300 and emanates a slightly more serene feel. A tortilla station, where attendants roll and press dough, provides that touch of old Mexico. Upstairs, the breezy rooftop patio has been converted into Austin’s premier al fresco dining space, featuring a water fountain as the centerpiece. The view is unrivaled and the vibe is decidedly energized—and urban. Stadium-style seating near the bar provides even more occasions for socializing under the stars and taking in the downtown skyline.

Benji’s Cantina is located in the lively West 6th street district of Downtown Austin, on the NE corner of 6th & West Avenue – at 716 W. 6th St. The restaurant will open for dinner service Sun-Weds, 4pm-11pm, Thurs-Sat, 4pm-12am, with lunch & brunch coming soon. Valet parking available. For more information visit

Follow Benji’s Cantina on Social Media:


Twitter: @BenjisCantina

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Food & Fun Events - Central Texas

Food & Fun Events - Central Texas
Week of May 26, 2013

  • Memorial Day Farmers Market - Dancing Bee Winery - Rogers, Texas
  • Happy Hour - Big Pours, Little Plates - The Vineyard at Florence - Florence, Texas

Food & Fun Events - San Antonio, Texas

Food & Fun Events - San Antonio, Texas
Week of May 26, 2013

  • Wines of Navarra

Food & Fun Events - Houston, Texas

Food & Fun Events - Houston, Texas
Week Starting May 26, 2013

  • The Texas Wine School Presents Wine Tasting Class: Blind Tasting
  • The Texas Wine School Presents Wine Tasting Class: Wines of Australia
  • Retreat Hill Winery Tasting

Food & Fun Events - Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Food & Fun Events - Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Week of May 26, 2013

  • Austin Wine & Music Festival Presents A Sunday Affair
  • 3rd Annual Dallas Margarita Meltdown
  • Sake and Cheese
  • Jazz & Wine... a perfect evening!

Food & Fun Events - Austin, Texas

In this edition of Food & Fun - Austin, Texas
Week of May 26, 2013

  • Texas vs. The World | Featuring Spicewood Vineyards (Roussanne)
  • First Saturday Wine Dinner

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Live Music!-Lord and Lady on our patio for 2 days on our intimate patio - Fredericksburg, Texas

Saturday, May 25, 2013 - Sunday, May 26, 2013 from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg-Rancho Ponte Vineyard
315 Ranch Road 1376
Fredericksburg, Texas 78746
830 990-8555

Cost: No cover charge. $10 tasting fee and we offer gourmet cheese plates for$12.

Lord and Lady will play on our intimate from 1 to 4 pm Sat. and Sun. for Labor Day Weekend. Grab a glass and a cheese plate and stay awhile!

Food and Fun for Saturday, May 25, 2013 - Houston, Texas

In this edition of upcoming Food and Fun events for Saturday, May 25th, 2013, check out the following.

  • Wine Tasting Dinner Cruise - Kemah, Texas
  • Spend an Afternoon with Mark Keathley - Artist - Spring, Texas

Delaney Vintage Car Show - Grapevine, Texas

Saturday, May 25, 2013 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Grapevine, Texas

Delaney Vineyards
2000 Champagne Blvd.
Grapevine, Texas 76051

Cost: Free to public, $20 for participants

The Spring 2013 Delaney Vintage Car Show will be May 25th from 10:00 – 2:00 pm!  Benefiting Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE), we invite you to come and see some truly amazing cars and trucks, enjoy our wonderful wines, and help us raise money for this essential community service in the Grapevine area.  For more information, visit our web site ( or the site for Memory Lane Car Shows (!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Seats Still Available for Lerin Wine Dinner May 14th - Austin, Texas

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Austin, Texas

Jack Allen's Kitchen
7720 W Hwy 71
Austin, TX 78735

Cost: $95 per person all inclusive

There are still seats available for this wonderful wine dinner. For more information, contact them via email at or visit their website at

Food & Fun Events for Friday, May 24, 2013 - Napa County, California

In this edition of Food & Fun - Napa County, California, we are featuring the following events:

  • Cooking Class and St. Helena Farmers Market Tour
  • Pinot Party at Back Room Wines

Austin Food & Wine Alliance Hosts Culinary Arts Career Day on May 14

More than 500 culinary arts students from 14 area high schools will sharpen their knives and their job skills for the first-ever Culinary Arts Career Conference hosted by the Austin Food and Wine Alliance on Tuesday, May 14 at Palmer Events Center.

Dozens of local entrepreneurs, businesses, chefs, artisan producers, food writers and other culinary professionals will participate in the day-long conference that includes interactive competitions, prominent keynote speakers, panel discussions, a food truck lunch and a culinary expo ­ all offering the high school students a snapshot of the diversity of culinary careers open to them in Central Texas and offering insight into how to pursue those careers.

The Austin Food & Wine Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas culinary community through grants, educational programming and events, will welcome students from Pflugerville's Connally High School; Travis High School and The Clifton Center, Austin; Round Rock High School and Cedar Ridge High School, Round Rock; Del Valle High School; Taylor High School, Taylor; Thrall High School, Thrall; Navarro High School, Navarro; College Station High School, College Station; San Marcos High School, San Marcos; Lockhart High School, Lockhart; Northside High School, San Antonio; and Clemens High School, Schertz-Cibolo.

"As part of the education mission of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, we want to extend our reach to area high school students who are already passionate about a culinary career," said Mariam Parker, Alliance executive director. "Our goal is to provide an opportunity to learn about and gain inspiration from the diversity in career paths in the culinary world, as exemplified by Austin's culinary professionals."

Lending inspiration and guidance will be keynote speakers Clayton Christopher, founder and former CEO of Sweet Leaf Tea Company, which was sold to Nestle after Christopher started the company with $10,000 in savings and is one of the fastest growing beverage companies in the US with over $60 million in sales; Kari Underly, a third-generation butcher introduced to the trade by her father and now one of the nation¹s most prominent women butchers and an award-winning author; Chef Rene Ortiz, finalist for 2013 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest, and executive chef at Sway and La Condesa; and Hoover Alexander, owner and chef of Hoover¹s Cooking restaurants and Hoover¹s Soular Food Trailer & Garden, renowned for his commitment to give back to the Austin community and support youth initiatives.

Culinary pros and entrepreneurs will offer six panels to provide valuable insight to the students on career choices. Topics include Taking Charge: Success Stories of Women in Food, Landing The Job: Do¹s & Don¹ts in the Professional World, Will Write for Food: The World of Food Media, Making Big Ideas Happen: Entrepreneurs Speak Out, Starting a Food Business: Artisans & Innovators and Grub on the Go: Exploring the Food Truck Business.

Because of strong support from Austin¹s food community, the Culinary Arts Career Conference is free to the students and school districts. The Alliance hosts events throughout the year with proceeds supporting educational initiatives and a culinary grant program.

"We're so thrilled by the amazing support we've received from the local community," said Linda Bebee Vice-President of Domestic Marketing for Texas Beef Council and Austin Food & Wine Alliance board member who is chairing the Culinary Arts Career Conference. "This is such an incredible opportunity for these students and we¹re excited to provide a day devoted to inspiring them and sharing the expertise of Austin¹s top culinary professionals."

In addition to the participation of individual members of the local food community, the conference has attracted sponsorship support from Whole Foods Market, Texas Beef Council, Greenling, FreshPoint, Giant Noise Marketing & Public Relations, Texas Tea, Max Photography, Field Branding + Design, Freeman Audio Visual, US Foods, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Austin, August Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Poached Jobs, KIND Snacks, Con' Olio Oils & Vinegars and Shweiki Media.
Additional exhibitors include Ace Restaurant Mart, , Austin Community College, Culinary Institute of America, Cuvée Coffee, Les Dames d¹Escoffier Austin Chapter, Natural Epicurean Academy, New England Culinary Institute, Sysco, Quality Seafood, Salud de Paloma, Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, Texas State Technical College Waco, The Food Lab at UT and Urban Roots.

Four of Austin's top food trucks including Mmmpanadas, Chi'Lantro BBQ, The Peached Tortilla and Whole Foods Market will be onsite to not only demonstrate their skills but also to support the event by providing lunch free to the students.

The Alliance has worked in tandem with culinary arts teachers to present the conference. They include Chef Mike Erickson of Connally High School, Pflugerville ISD; Chef Rob McDonald of Travis High School, Austin; Thelma Hall & Ram Vella, The Clifton Center, Austin ISD; Frank Perkins and Janice Reed, Round Rock High School, Round Rock ISD; Reid Johnson and Jenna Myers, Cedar Ridge High School, Round Rock ISD; Gail Calder and Chef Mark Bradley, Del Valle High School, Del Valle ISD; Candice Martin, Taylor High School, Taylor ISD; Beth Almquist, Thrall High School, Thrall ISD; Beth Gerhardt, Navarro High School, Navarro ISD; Catherine Parsi, College Station High School, College Station ISD; Denise Maupin, San Marcos High School, San Marcos ISD; Traci Brodbeck, Lockhart High School, Lockhart ISD; B.J. Salter, Northside High School, San Antonio ISD; and Amanda Tharpe, Clemens High School, Schertz-Cibolo UC ISD.

Student culinary competitions were sponsored by Hospitality Educators Association of Texas ­Central Chapter under the direction of Chef Mike Erickson, HEAT president, and Pflugerville Independent School
District Career & Technical Education.

The Austin Food & Wine Alliance annually hosts some of Austin's most celebrated food events including Live Fire! each spring as the kickoff event to the Austin Food & Wine Festival, the Wine & Swine Pig Roast each fall, and a series of Chef Wine and Dine dinners.

For more information about the AFWA, visit, call 512.348.6847 or email Stay up to date with Austin Food & Wine Alliance happenings on Facebook and Twitter

Food & Fun Events for Friday, May 24, 2013 - Denver, Colorado

In this edition of Food and Fun Events - Denver, Colorado for Friday, May 24, 2013, check out these events to start your weekend off right.

  • Craft Beer Tour - Prost Brewing
  • Craft Beer Tour - Ale House
  • Denver Savor the Flavors Walking Tour - Red Star Deli

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Happy Hour Menu, Times at Finn & Porter - Austin, Texas

Finn & Porter in downtown Austin recently added a number of new dishes to its weekly Happy Hour offering, as well as extending the program to Saturday evenings. Now running Monday through Saturday from 5 – 7pm, specials include half off Finn & Porter’s bestselling signature sushi rolls, Chef’s tasting plates and select wines by the glass.

A variety of dishes – ranging from fresh sushi made with traditional and modern ingredients to creative small plates – satisfy a range of palettes. Sushi rolls available during Happy Hour include Lobsteryaki, a roll made with vanilla butter poached lobster tail, cucumber and dried cranberry rolled in saffron rice and topped with seared foie gras and truffle balsamic teriyaki; the always-popular Fire Roll, made with shrimp tempura and avocado, topped with spicy assorted fish, tempura flakes, tobiko, green onion, and spicy mayo; Sea Dragon, a roll made with tuna, macadamia nut, Serrano, tobiko and topped with green apple and shiso pesto; and Nangoku, a spicy salmon and avocado roll wrapped in soybean paper that is fried tempura-style.

A variety of small plates, listed as Chef’s Tastings, include Grilled artichoke paired with parmesan panna cotta and upland cress; Grilled asparagus with truffle poached egg, chorizo and arugula; Pan-seared scallops with shaved Brussel sprouts and warm bacon dressing; Thai-spiced jumbo lump crab cake paired with jicama and red pepper slaw and mango coulis; Gulf shrimp on a bed of creamy orzo, chive, corn and chervil; Soy-glazed pork belly with Asian pear and celery salad and balsamic teriyaki sauce; Lockhart quail with heirloom tomatoes two ways, pistachio and eggplant purée; and goat cheese ravioli with hen of the woods mushroom ragout.

The full Spring menu can be viewed at

Food & Wine Events for Thursday, May 23, 2013 - Dallas/Fort Worth

In this edition of Food & Wine Events for Dallas/Fort Worth and surrounding areas,

  • Out of This World Cheese Pairings
  • Celebrate National Chardonnay Day

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Summer Sommelier Series at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge - Houston, Texas

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Houston, Texas

Philippe Restaurant + Lounge
1800 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, Texas 77056

Cost: $40 per person-includes wines and cheese board

Phil’s Wine Lounge is happy to announce the return of their popular sommelier series on May 22nd. With their successful run with guest sommeliers that showcased the talents , Phil's sommelier Vanessa Trevino Boyd is now gearing up for summer with four new dates. Beginning May 22nd, Phil’s Wine Lounge will host a series of intimate tastings every other Wednesday from 6-7:30 that will encompass a variety of subjects pertaining to our favorite libation. With an array of wines being featured at each tasting, there will be something to appease every palate. Space will be limited, for reservations please contact

May 22nd: Everything’s Coming Up Rose: A Wine for the Times. ‘Tis the season for pink!

Last year we couldn't have been more successful in our  offering of 15 Rose wines by the glass. Come celebrate again with us in our exploration of the refreshing world of dry Rose.

A Night of Reds - Wine Tasting! - Dallas, Texas

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 from 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Dallas, Texas

Two Corks and a Bottle
2800 Routh St., Ste. 140
Dallas, Texas 75201

Cost: 25.00

Join us for a Fun Friday and a special wine tasting!

This event will feature discussion on wine tasting in general, discussions on the specific wines you’ll be tasting, and of course, the wines!  There will be 4 different wines we’ll be featuring, each having 3 or 4 tastes of different variations.  You’ll be able to rate each wine on the various attributes and eventually come up with your favorite!  And, of course, you’ll get to have a good time!

Wines featured:

·         Pinot Noir (3 varieties)
·         Malbec (4 varieties)
·         Cabernet Sauvignon (3 varieties)
·         Tempranillo (3 varieties)

Limited to 20 spaces. RSVP in advance to make sure you get a space!!!

Spoil Mom This Year with Brunch at The Carillon - Austin, Texas

Sunday, May 12th, 2013
Austin, Texas

The Carillon Restaurant
1900 University Ave.
Austin, Texas 78705

Are you looking for a very special way to tell Mom that she is special? Well, you are in luck. The Carillon Restaurant on University Avenue has just the thing, a brunch in honor of mothers.

Features for the buffet include a complimentary Champagne Bar, Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict, Veal Tenderloin, Easy Coast Oysters and so much more.

Call 512-404-3655 or email for reservations.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Food & Wine Events for Tuesday, May 21, 2013 for Houston, Texas and Surrounding Areas

In the Houston, Texas edition of Food & Wine Events for Tuesday, May 21, 2013,

  • Tom Eddy Winemaker Dinner at Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
  • Barr Estates Dinner with Owner, Greg Barr at Fleming's Steakhouse
  • Enkidu Wine Tasting
  • The Texas Wine School Presents Wine Tasting Class: Wines of Tuscany

Food & Wine Events for Tuesday, May 21, 2013 for Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and Surrounding Areas

In this edition of Food & Wine Events for Tuesday, May 21, 2013 for Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and Surrounding Areas:

  • Austin Briggs Wine Dinner
  • Caelum Winery and Bottled Poetry Imports at Vino100
  • Alpha Omega Wine Tasting

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mother's Day at Sobani Restaurant - Austin, Texas

Sunday, May 12, 2013
Austin, Texas

Sobani Restaurant & Wine Bar
1700 Ranch Road 620 N
Suite 110 Lakeway, Texas 78734

Cost: $39 per person for four courses (tax and gratuity not included)

Your favorite Neighborhood Restaurant is open for Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12th, 2013.  Sobani Chef Clayton Smith has created an amazing Four Course lunch/brunch for you and yours.  We are currently taking reservations, so don't wait and call us soon at Sobani!

Mother's Day Menu
Sunday May 12th, 2013

First Course
choice of 
Mussels Fra Diavolo
sautéed in spicy tomato broth

Shrimp Creole
blackened and served with Cajun beurre blanc

Truffled Eggs
truffled deviled eggs

"Pancakes and Sausage"
Chef Clayton's twist on the breakfast classic as an appetizer

Second Course
choice of 
Chilled Gazpacho
chilled fresh vegetable soup with avocado fan

Spring Pea Soup
with coriander cream & crispy bacon bits

House Salad or Caesar Salad

Main Course
choice of 
Shrimp and Grits
blackened tiger shrimp & sweet corn grits topped with a poached egg & sautéed spinach

Macadamia Crusted Drum
baked, topped with mango pico de gallo, and served with coconut rice & grilled veg

"Bacon and Eggs"
funnel cake with housemade bacon gravy & maple dust

Petite Filet of Beef
topped with local goat cheese & balsamic glaze, with roasted potatoes & sautéed veg

Crab Cake Benedict
with sautéed spinach

Dessert Course
choice of 
White Chocolate Tulip
filled with dark chocolate mousse and sprinkled with strawberry dust

Blood Orange Panna Cotta
with candied lime zest & kiwi pearls

Challah French Toast
with fresh berries & maple syrup

Spicy Ginger Cake
with dulce de leche sauce, vanilla ice cream, candied orange zest, and housemade brittle

All mothers receive a complimentary sparkling drink of their choice
$39 per person for four courses
(tax and gratuity not included)

Wines of Tuscany at Twisted Vines - Arlington, Virginia

Monday, May 20, 2013 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Arlington, Virginia

Twisted Vines Bottleshop and Bistro
2803 Columbia Pike
Arlington, Virginia 22204

Cost: $45

For a long time, if Americans knew about the Italian wine region of Tuscany, it was for the light, simple Chiantis that came in bottles wrapped in straw. These days, not only do we have a wide selection of top-quality Chiantis to enjoy, we also have Brunellos and Rosso di Montalcinos, as well as so-called Super Tuscans. Join Paul Jameson of the Jameson Wine Experience as we learn about the variety of wine experiences that Tuscany has to offer.

Contact Twisted Vines in Arlington (2803 Columbia Pike) by email or phone  571-482-8581 to make reservations.

Wines and Cheese of Northern & Central Italy on Yacht Manhattan - May 20th - New York City, New York

Monday, May 20, 2013 from 7:15 PM - 9:15 PM
New York City, New York

Classic Harbor Line - Chelsea Piers - Pier 62
Across from West 23th Street and the Hudson River (Pier 62)
New York City, New York 10011

Cost: $84.00

Join us on the Yacht Manhattan for this wonderful wine tasting cruise!  This cruise/class is focused on the Wines and Cheese of Northern and Central Italy. Discover the grapes, styles, laws, quality standards of the wines and cheeses of Italy. Discover hidden treasures and what new trends and ancient traditions are keeping these regions on the top of the list year after year.

Yacht Manhattan is a 1920's style motor yacht that will elegantly bring you around NYC as you taste these wonderful wines!  Don't forget, each week we will focus on a different region exploring the grapes, styles, soils, viticulture, and tasting techniques that will help you enjoy your wine!  These interactive tastings will be conducted by our wine professional Wendy Crispell in a fun, relaxed atmosphere aboard this beautiful yacht.

This season's tastings will feature a number of different artisan & farmstead cheeses selected each week to complement the wines of the day.  In addition, a selection of dried fruit, nuts and breads will be served to highlight each pairing.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Culinaria's Festival Week: Burgers, BBQ & Beer - San Antonio, Texas

Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
San Antonio, Texas

The Pearl Amphithater
200 E Grayson St
San Antonio, Texas 78215

Cost: $35 ($50 at the door), Under 21 - $10, 5 & Under - free

Texas is known for its burgers, barbecue and beer. Lucky for you, we decided to put all of these signature Texas features together in one event! San Antonio’s finest dining establishments offering their best interpretation of the Texas culture we have all come to know and love. Bring your family and friends for all the beverages you can think of and enough food to feed the Lone Star State. This backyard fare will be a perfect end to the festival and the weekend.

2nd Annual Curry Crawl Competition - Houston, Texas

Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Houston, Texas

STRAITS Asian Bistro
800 Sorella Court
Houston, Texas 77024

Cost: $55-includes ample food and cocktail samplings

Top Houston chefs will heat up CITYCENTRE once again as the Curry Crawl culinary competition returns on Sunday, May 19th.  Hosted by Chef John Sikhattana of STRAITS Asian Bistro & Lounge, the Curry Crawl will feature a diverse mix of top toques battling it out to win the title of “Best Curry”, while showcasing and sampling their competing creations for judges and attendees.  Judges will award first and second place prizes, and a “People’s Choice” honor will be determined by guest votes. Event proceeds will benefit PULSE, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System’s newest young professionals group.

The fiery lineup of up-and-coming and established chefs from around the city includes Rik Patel of Ambrosia, Roberto Castre of Latin Bites, Neera Patidar of Nosh Bistro, Manish Chawla of Rasoi, Tony Le from RA Sushi, German Mosquera of Restaurant CINQ, Mark Gabriel Medina of Soma Sushi, Monica Pope of Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, John Sikhattana of STRAITS, Raymond Vandergaag of The Tasting Room, and Oziel Reyes of The West End. Cool off with cocktails from Bombay Sapphire and No Label Brewery.

To purchase tickets, visit

Wine Profiling w/ The Winemaker - Marble Falls, Texas

Sunday, May 19, 2013 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Marble Falls, Texas

Flat Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery
24912 Singleton Bend East
Marble Falls, Texas 78654

Cost: $45/Person : $40/Estate Club Member

Featuring Wines from Becker Vineyards, Flat Creek Estate, Pedernales Cellars

Join us to celebrate the recent successes of the Texas Wine Industry in the Lyon International Wine Competition held in France last month.  You'll be treated to a sampling of the Grand Gold Medal Winning Pedernales Cellars 2012 Viognier, the Silver Medal Winning Becker Vineyards 2012 Viognier, and the Bronze Medal Winning Flat Creek Estate 2012 Viognier.  Winemaker Tim Drake will be on-hand to discuss the wines and answer all your questions about this unique Rhone varietal that has recently found a new home in the Texas Hill Country.

During class you will also be introduced to The Wine Profilers Online Wine Profiling system.  This online tasting tool is "a unique experience where the wine expert".  You'll analyze each of the presented wines based on visual, olfactory and gustatory examinations.  Your analysis will be "scored" against "the experts" on a 100 point scale.  A score of 95+ points gives you bragging rights at your next wine gathering!
Purchase tickets to this one-of-a-kind class today! -

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Christmas City Wine Festival - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Sun Inn Courtyard
564 Main Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018

Cost: $15 Door - $10 Advance - $5 Designated Driver

Our event is to be held at the Historic Sun Inn in downtown Bethlehem, Pa. We feature Pa. wines, local restaurants, a marketplace and entertainment. This is a rain or shine event, advance tickets can be purchased at the Historic Bethlehem Visitors Center, 505 Main Street, Bethlehem, Pa. 18018. Advance ticket sales will begin the first week of April. Proceeds from this event benefit the Star of Bethlehem Festival, a non-profit organization located in Bethlehem, Pa. Must be 21 to enter site, no strollers please. Visit our website at:

Summer Sizzlers Series - Cookout on the Patio w/ Live Local Music - Columbus, Ohio

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Columbus, Ohio

Wyandotte Winery
4640 Wyandotte Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43230

Cost: $35

Come join us for a hands-on experience at Wyandotte Winery, where you are grill chef! Our winery cookout is only $35 per person and includes appetizers, your choice of rib eye steak, center cut Alaskan salmon or butterflied chicken breast as an entrée, scrumptious summer sides, and decadent desserts including fresh berries and Valerie's famous gourmet wine cakes, of course! Wine is served ala carte by the glass or by the bottle. You will enjoy local live entertainment while feasting on our fabulous fare. Whether you're a veteran BBQ-er or new to the grill, you're sure to have a wine-tastic time!! Online reservations required at

Pope Valley BBQ Annual May BBQ - Pope Valley, California

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Pope Valley, California

Pope Valley Winery
6613 Pope Valley Road
Pope Valley, California

Cost: $40

Pope Valley Winery is set to host its annual May BBQ on Saturday, May 18 at the historic winery located at 6613 Pope Valley Road in the northeastern region on Napa Valley.  The event begins at 2 p.m. and continues until sundown.  Admission is $40 per person ($30 for Wine Club Members) and $15 for children 12 and under.

“At this year’s BBQ event we will be pouring several specialty tastings, providing tours of the property, hosting a bocce ball tournament and enjoying live music,” said David Eakle, winemaker and proprietor of the winery along with Diana Eakle Hawkins.  “We will also be pouring select Pope Valley wines with a complimentary glass for each guest.”

In addition to numerous appetizers, the menu includes barbeque tri-tip and chicken, amazing side dishes and dessert. Food service begins at 3:30 p.m. The tasting room will also be open for purchases of other varietals as well as library wines.

Nice pets are welcome to the BBQ but leashes are required.  For additional information, call the winery at (707) 965-1246 or  The winery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pope Valley Winery was founded in 1897 by Ed Haus. His original farm house still graces the property, as well as a blacksmith shop, complete with the tools of the trade. The winery itself is housed in an historic building that was designed to utilize the slope of a hill to move the grapes through the process of becoming fine wine, long before electricity was brought to the site.

Now operated by the Eakle family, Pope Valley Winery produces 5,000 cases of some of the finest wines in the Napa Valley, all of which are from estate grown fruit, with some from vines that are nearly 70 years old.

Culinaria's Festival Week: The Grand Tasting Presented by Ambhar Tequila - San Antonio, Texas

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
San Antonio, Texas

The Grotto at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
200 E Market Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Cost: $100 ($125 at the door)

This night of elegance for you and your friends will be the talk of the town this year. A complete makeover of this demanded event will be breath-taking from the moment you walk in the door. San Antonio’s Riverwalk sets the stage for a night on the town. Chefs provide the classics with a new spin that complements the trend oriented fare to perfection. Everything your heart desires for a flawless evening will be all in one place.

Bernhardt Winery Strawberry Chocolate & Wine Festival - Plantersville, Texas

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Plantersville, Texas

Bernhardt Winery
9043 County Rd. 204
Plantersville, Texas 773663

Cost: $12

We are joining with A New Beginning Strawberry Farm in Plantersville to host our 1st annual Strawberry Chocolate and Wine Festival. Come and enjoy chocolate demonstrations, wine and chocolate pairings, guided tours through the vines, hayrides, local craft vendors and continuous music all day! We will also have a shuttle bus to the strawberry farm to go and pick your own strawberries! Fun for the whole family! Cost is $12/adult $6/children.

White Out Party - Dallas, Texas

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Dallas, Texas

Dallas Contemporary
161 Glass St.
Dallas, Texas 75207

Cost: Advance tickets are $35 (general admission) and $70 (VIP early admission, including valet parking). Tickets at the door will be $55 and $90.

Presented by CBS RADIO Dallas-Fort Worth and Sigel’s Fine Wines and Great Spirits, White Out Party will feature samplings of some of the finest clear spirits such as vodka, gin, tequila and white rum, as well as white wines, champagne and sake.  In addition, patrons will enjoy epicurean bites from area restaurants including Eddie V’s, Dragonfly, Sambuca and The Mason Bar.

Entertainment will include live music and performance art in three rooms, each exhibiting a unique theme, such as Mount Olympus (home of the Greek gods, including Dionysus, the god of wine) and Midsummer Night’s Dream meets the Garden of Eden.

The Vineyard at Florence & Inwood Estates- Boutique Wine Festival - Florence, Texas

Saturday, May 18, 2013 from 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Florence, Texas

The Vineyard at Florence
8711 W. FM 487
Florence, Texas 76527

Cost: $35 Per Person

The Vineyard at Florence and
                             Inwood Estates Presents.......

                      Boutique Wine Festival

                                    Saturday May 18th

Two great Texas wineries.......
                 plus other boutique wineries from around the world!

                                           ~Over 40 wines to choose.

                                           ~ Wood fired pizzas and burgers on the grill.

                              $35 Per Person

                                             Tickets Include:

A 19 oz Bordeaux Wine Glass
A 6 Bottle Wine Tote*
12 Wine Sample Tickets
Great Music
Free Parking
                                                 * Limited to first 500 ticket holders.

                For tickets and more information go

Friday, May 3, 2013

Trailer Truck-off Competition Tomorrow at Historic Scoot Inn - Austin, Texas


Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Austin, Texas

Historic Scoot Inn
1308 E 4th Street
Austin, Texas.

ATX Brands is holding the first annual Trailer Truck-off, a brand new food trailer challenge where three prospective chefs will compete for a chance to run their own food truck in the Historic Scoot Inn’s backyard, tomorrow, May 4 from 2:00-5:00pm.

The final three contestants were chosen from over 20 applicants, and will compete and prepare one signature dish based on their concept live at the Trailer Truck-Off. ATX Brands CEO Doug Guller and his panel of judges, consisting of some of Austin’s finest foodies, will choose the winner based on concept, taste and presentation. The winner of the challenge will be determined day-of and will be awarded a six-month contract to operate the Zorro Food trailer.

The afternoon will feature live music by the Bluebird Specials, as well as drink specials at the bar and sample bites prepared by the three contestants. More information on The Bluebird Specials can be found at

Food and Wine Events for Friday, May 17, 2013 - Denver, Colorado

In this edition of Food and Wine Events for Denver, Colorado and surrounding areas.

  • Craft Beer Tour
  • Quintessential Family Wineries Road Trip
  • Denver Savor the Flavors Walking Tour

Food and Wine Events for Friday, May 17, 2013 - San Antonio, Texas

In this edition of Food and Wine Events for San Antonio, Texas and surrounding areas.

  • Culinaria's Festival Week: The Becker Vineyards Luncheon
  • Culinaria's Festival Week: Best of Mexico

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Food and Wine Events for Thursday, May 16, 2013 for New York City, New York and Surrounding Areas

In this edition of Food and Wine Events for New York City, New York and Surrounding Areas:

  • Wine 200 Class: Port, Sherry & Madeira
  • Sacred Gin Distillate Tasting & Blending

Food Events for Thursday, May 16, 2013 - Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

In this edition of Food and Wine Events for the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas Area:

  • Cheese 101- Winner of D Magazine's Best of Big D!
  • Terlato Wine Portfolio Tasting – A Special Event

Garza High School and Farm to Table Host Student-Led Garden Tour on June 1

Garza High School Offers Unique Take on Education
With Initiatives That Empower Students:
Upcoming Student-Led Garden Tour to Help Raise Awareness of Garza’s Gardens

Gonzalo Garza Independence High School is taking an uncommon and progressive approach to teaching — an approach that’s leading to growth and success for many students who might otherwise face difficulty on their path to graduation. Founded in 1997 to foster a community of empowered learners by challenging each individual student to succeed now and in their future, Garza provides a learning environment steeped in mutual respect, trust, optimism and ambition.

Garza’s solution-focused approach enables students to be in control of their own destiny and turn their personal struggles and life problems into strengths. The administrators, as well as every teacher, social worker and staff member, inspire hope in the students and teach that the small steps students take can lead to big changes in their lives. Thanks to the dedication of the staff, and a variety of unique learning initiatives, at-risk students attend culturally and academically enriching classes, graduate from high school and successfully transition to college life and careers.

The horticulture program is one of the school’s many successful initiatives. This program is aimed at giving students a better understanding of and appreciation for nutrition, environmental issues, sustainable food production and the economy. Students plant and raise vegetables that are then given to the school cafeteria in onsite vegetable beds, alongside garden beds where teachers grow their own plants, much like a community garden. Garza will also soon launch an aquaponics system so the program can become sustainable in terms of planting material and water use.

Garza’s Gardens, a market-garden business run by the school’s horticulture students, gives students the opportunity to raise herbs such as rosemary, lavender, thyme, marjoram, oregano, mint, Mexican mint, marigold, hoja santa and sage. As part of the program, students grow, pick and package the herbs for sale to Farm to Table, which distributes locally grown farm products to area restaurants and chefs, commercial kitchens, cafeterias and independent grocery stores.

“It used to be a bunch here and a bunch there, but now it's a pound here and a pound there," says Farm to Table owner John Lash, whose herb purchases from Garza’s Gardens have increased over the years.

By distributing the herbs, Farm to Table will contribute to the implementation of the aquaponics system so Garza’s horticulture students can grow certain crops year-round.

“With my facilitation and help from the Texas State University Enactus Program, the students are in charge of the production, marketing and sales of the herbs,” says Garza Horticulture facilitator Martha Cason. “Garza’s Gardens is a vehicle by which students learn the principles of business and economics in a very hands-on, experiential way.”

In an effort to raise community awareness about Garza’s garden initiatives and help educate the public about freshly grown herbs, the school will host a free garden tour and educational event on Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students will lead personalized garden tours, and some homemade baked goods will be provided. Additionally, Austin pastry chefs Steven Cak of parkside, Alexandra Manley of Josephine House and Jeffrey’s, and Laura Sawicki of La Condesa, who are customers of Garza’s Gardens, will be on hand to share with community visitors how they cook with Garza farm products in unexpected ways, and may even provide visitors with recipe cards and samples.                      

Gonzalo Garza Independence High School is a public school in the Austin Independent School District and is located at 1600 Chicon St. in East Austin. For more information about the school, its unique initiatives and the garden tour and educational event, call (512) 414-8600 or visit

For more information about Farm to Table and the area farmers and customers the business works with, call (512) 568-2071 or visit

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lerin Wines Paired Dinner at Jack Allen's Kitchen - Austin, Texas

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Austin, Texas

Jack Allen's Kitchen
7720 W Hwy 71
Austin, TX 78735

Cost: $95 per person all inclusive

Food and Flame Events for Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 - New York City, New York

Showcase of Events

  • DIY Home Bar: A Hands-On Cocktail Workshop
  • CRU Beaujolais Wine Tasting
  • Wine and Cheese of Italy