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

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