Austin Foodie Bits: Week of April 5, 2010
Everywhere I turn, wildflowers are in bloom and my fellow Austin denizens are enjoying the lovely Spring weather. The outdoor food and wine possibilities, formal, impromptu, or otherwise, are virtually limitless. Whether you’re enjoying a picnic among the bluebonnets or a glass of wine on the patio of a favorite restaurant, food, wine, and nature are mixing freely for the best of all worlds. This week’s events are no exception. From paired dinners to fundraisers for the Sustainable Food Center and a spectacular Indiana Jones film and food event on Sunday, this week is packed with foodie fun.
The event list is one of the longest we’ve had since last fall and it’s a great warm up to the The Hill Country Wine and Food festival, the crown jewel of Austin food and wine events, which is happening April 14-18. And if you haven’t finalized your plans for the festival, you may find my guide to making the most of the festival a helpful tool. If you’re thinking of going to the festival but haven’t purchased tickets, I would do so sooner rather than later as events will sell out.
Introducing the Austin Foodie Bits Podcast
Last week I debuted a new podcast series. My first foray into podcasting was an audio version of my ham and lamb 101 post. As part of my series, I’ll be recording a companion podcast each week for Austin Foodie Bits. I’ll highlight the events I’m the most excited about and give you a different way to get your weekly run-down of food and wine events. I hope you enjoy this new offering.
Be Spontaneous: This Week’s Events
- April 6: Treaty Oak Rum Paired Dinner – Jack Allen’s Kitchen continues their monthly paired dinner series with a Spring salute to locally-made Treaty Oak Rum. The tasty menu features quail in all of its glory. You’ll have quail crusted in blue corn, grilled in achiote, braised in ropa viega, and smoked in pecan. David Alan of the mixology masters at Tipsy Texan will be pouring specially-paired cocktails. These dinners are held in Jack’s private dining room that features a lovely view of the green belt, and they are particularly great experiences to share with friends. $65/person. 7:00 pm. Call 512.852.8558 for reservations.
- April 6: The Icing on the Cupcake Book Signing and Cupcake Contest – Austin native Jennifer Ross has crafted a cupcake novel/cookbook and will be at Book People signing copies. The Icing on the Cupcake, is a multi-generational story about a young Texan woman named Ansley, who builds a new life for herself after a broken engagement by opening a cupcake shop in New York City. Enjoy complimentary Tito’s Vodka cocktails during the signing and if you’re in a cupcake baking mood, bring cupcakes to share. 7:00 pm. Book People downtown.
- April 8: MAX’s Wine Dive Legend’s Lunch with Sweet Leaf Tea CEO Clayton Christopher – MAX’s Wine Dive is launching a new series of quarterly business lunches that will feature local leaders, MAX’s food, and support for the speaker’s chosen charity. I’m excited about these lunches because they will be a great way to learn and network while enjoying better food than you’ll get at most business networking events. The inaugural luncheon features the CEO of Sweet Leaf Tea who is sure to have a great story to tell. $60/person. 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Call 512.904.0111 or e-mail Martha@maxswinedive.com for reservations.
- April 8: Winemaker Dinner Series, Pacific Rim Winery – As summer approaches, lighter wines like Riesling find their way to our tables and picnics. Get a head-start on your summer wine buying with this cooking class and wine tasting featuring offerings from Pacific Rim Winery in Washington’s Columbia Valley. You’ll learn all about the Riesling’s of Washington and enjoy a dinner of perfectly paired dishes including spring onion tart, lavender butter poached prawns, and seared duck breast. $50/person. 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Whole Foods Culinary Center. Reserve online.
- April 10: Springdale Farm Tour – Slow Food Austin’s farm tour series continues with a visit to an urban farm situated on 4.8 acres in the 78702 zip code. Owners Paula and Glenn Foore run one of the city’s newest CSAs from the farm and visitors will have receive a share of their spring vegetables and fresh herbs. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate ticket purchase.
- [DO GOOD] April 10: Stone Soup Party – As children, we all read the story of how a hungry village fed their stomachs and their hearts with a communal stone soup. Soup Peddler David Ansel and Mason Arnold of Greenling.com are teaming up to make the story come to life in support of the Sustainable Food Center. Bring a vegetarian ingredient and your family. David will make the soup, Mason will provide the beverages, and everyone will enjoy a reading of the story. $10 suggested donation to the SFC. 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. 2509 Thornton Rd. 78704.
- April 10: The Flavors of Fresh Herbs – Fresh herbs are a healthy and easy ingredient for kicking up the flavor of any dish. In this class Virginia Willis, author of Bon Appetit, Y’all will share techniques she learned from her mother and grandmother, her time in cooking school, and her years of experience and experimenting. The menu includes tasty dishes like a fresh Herb de Provence crusted ham, bay roasted new potatoes, and lemon verbena buttermilk panna cotta. $65/person. 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Central Market Cooking School. Reserve online.
- [NEW] April 10: Johnson’s Backyard Garden Spring Potluck – Local CSA Johnson’s Backyard Garden is hosting their annual Spring potluck and it promises to be fun for the entire family. Besides the great food, there will be tractor rides around the farm, live music, and fun activities. 4pm – dark. 9515 Hergotz Lane. 78742.
- April 10 and 17: Wine and Wildflowers Luncheon – The entire Fall Creek Vineyard experience, from the lovely drive out to the beautiful grounds, exceptional food, and local wines, is one every Austinite should have at least once. With the wildflowers in bloom, April is the perfect opportunity. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the vineyard grounds paired with Fall Creek Wines. $22.50/person. 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. Fall Creek Vineyard. Call 325.379.5361 to reserve.
- April 10: Louisiana Swamp Thing and Crawfish Festival – What happens when you combine 5,000 pounds of crawfish with music, dancers, and beads? A rip-roarin’ good time. If you’ve been itchin’ for a mudbug (or two or twenty), this community crawfish boil may be right up your alley. Bring the family, lawn chairs, blankets, and your appetite. $15/person (kids under 8 free with an adult) plus additional costs for food and beverages besides the crawfish. 10:00 am – 11:30 pm. 4th and Guadalupe. Purchase tickets online or at the gate.
- April 11: Kocurek Family Pork Charcuterie class – The Kocurek’s are not only serving up locally-made charcuterie, they are teaching us to make our own. Learn all about pork charcuterie as Chef Larry guides you through making Morcilla sausage, English bacon and American bacon. $75/person. 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. call 512.291.4461 or e-mail email@example.com to reserve.
- April 11: Indiana Jones Complete Trilogy Feast – I’m hard-pressed to think of a better way to spend a Sunday than watching all 400 minutes of the three Indiana Jones movies along with a full men of themed dishes, and that’s exactly what’s happening at the Alamo Ritz downtown. Their description of the event says it all: “Join us for an all-day triumph of ark-findin’, heart-stealin’, grail-gettin’ and Nazi-meltin’ along with a delicious meal from each country Indy rampages through on his way to the the climax of the THIRD and FINAL film! This once-in-a-lifetime experience will truly be an event to remember, to be enjoyed (and digested) by the most powerful fans of big screen adventure, all proud to live in a LaBeouf-free universe!!” $96/person or $121/person with wine flights. 1:00 pm. Buy tickets online.
- [DO GOOD] April 11: Sustainable Food Center Chef Series: Spring Bounty – La Condesa is bringing together some of the area’s best chefs in a multi-course tasting dinner to benefit the Sustainable Food Center. Enjoy the creative efforts of Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki of La Condessa, Tyson Cole of Uchi, Shawn Cirkiel of Parkside, Todd Duplechan of TRIO, Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due, and James Holmes of Olivia. Rarely will all of these culinary talents come together to present a full tasting opportunity, so take advantage of it while you can. $100/person. 6:00 pm. La Condessa. Buy tickets online.
Plan Ahead: Events in the Next 3 Weeks
- April 12: Bites from the Sea (Cooking Class)
- April 14: Fino Cruzan Rum Dinner
- April 15: Slow Food Austin Happy Hour at Olivia
- April 15-18: 25th Annual Hill Country Food & Wine Festival
- [Great Value] April 16: Friday Night Tasting – French Wines and Cheeses
- April 18: Kocurek Family French Charcuterie class – call 512.291.4461 for more information
- April 18: Dai Due Boggy Creek Farm Picnic
- [NEW] April 20: Dinner with Jezebel (Cooking Class)
- [NEW] April 22: Amazing Artichokes (Cooking Class)
- [NEW] April 24 and 25: Art City Austin Bistro
- [NEW] April 26: California Grilling (Cooking Class)
- [NEW] April 28: Kitchen Fundamentals – The Mother Sauces (Cooking Class)
- [NEW] May 1: Breakfast in Paris (Cooking Class)
- [NEW] May 1: Baking with Dr. Kraker (Cooking Class)