Austin Foodie Bits ~ Week of May 10, 2010

Cutting board with summer ingredients, cheese, and wineMay is flying by. Soon we’ll be gearing up to enjoy summer vacations and weekends at the lake. I spent some time this past weekend sprucing up my porch and cleaning my grill in anticipation of warm-weather entertaining and late evenings sipping wine under the stars. As we look forward to relaxing a bit under the summer sun, we can also look forward to a variety of food and wine related events around town. Dan Akroyd is in town to celebrate his new vodka, Max’s Wine Dive is celebrating their first birthday, and the Sustainable Food Center kicks off the summer farmers market season. And those are just a few of this week’s events. Later in May and June you can look forward to artisanal cheese tastings, wine dinners, cooking classes and more.

Passport to Argentina LogoBefore I get to this week’s event listing, I’d like to highlight the Central Market Passport to Argentina Celebration that starts mid-week and runs through May 25. The cultures of Texas and Argentina have many things in common, beginning (but certainly not limited to) our love of meat and cooking over fire. During this two week event, you can get to know the food and wine of Argentina from the chefs and wine makers that are at the forefront of their culinary culture. Internationally known Argentinean chef Francis Mallmann will be among those visiting Austin. Join him on the evening of May 21 to immerse yourself in fire-cooking techniques and paired wines. I’ll be there and I know it will be an amazing experience. Look for a post later this week with more detail on this fantastic celebration, but in the mean time, visit the Central Market site to explore the classes, tastings, and other activities associated with this event.

And now, on with the parade of events.

Be Spontaneous: This Week’s Events

  • [FREE] May 10: Dan Akroyd Crystal Head Vodka Tasting – Celebs are all into making their own spirits these days, and Dan Akroyd is getting into the game with a vodka bottled in cool crystal skull bottles. He’ll be here in Austin to sign bottles and tell you more about his new venture. So if you’re into vodka, celebrities, or even celebrity vodka, you’ll enjoy this event. 4:00 pm -6:00 pm. Twin Liquors Hancock Center.
  • [NEW] [FREE] May 11: Max’s Wine Dive 1st Birthday Celebration—Time flies when you’re having fun, and the folks at Max’s Wine Dive have certainly been having a great time. Help them celebrate their first anniversary here in Austin and look forward to another great year. This is a free-for-all bash, no RSVP required, so I’d get there early to enjoy the tasty nibbles and libations. 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Max’s Underground.
  • [NEW] May 13: Royal Fig Winemaker’s Dinner – The Vineyard at Florence and Inwood Estates Vineyard offer a unique opportunity to sample new wines from the two wineries paired with the culinary delights of Austin based Royal Fig Catering. Get to know the wine maker and learn more about Texas wine as you enjoy a four course dinner. $79/person. 6:30 pm. Reserve online.
  • [NEW] [Great Value] May 14: Lunch Express Fisherman’s Warf Cooking Class – Take a lunchtime trip to San Francisco via the Whole Foods Culinary Center. Enjoy the ubiquitous cioppino and enjoy a dessert featuring Ghirardelli chocolate. $18/person. 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Whole Foods Culinary Center. Reserve online.
  • [NEW] [FREE] May 15: Sumer Season Farmers Market Launch – As a tribute to the farmers and customers who have catapulted the farmers’ market scene of Austin into the limelight, the Sustainable Food Center will be celebrating with a Summer Season Launch. The event will feature chef’s demos, prize giveaways, kid’s activities, live music, and farmers’ product tastings at both the downtown and Sunset Valley locations. 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Downtown and Sunset Valley Farmers Markets.
  • [NEW] May 15: Eating Right for Cancer Survival – Discover how a plant-based diet can keep your body healthy and strong while preventing and surviving cancer. Based on the concepts in The Survivor’s Handbook Eating Right for Cancer Survival, this first in a series of classes will focus on Southwestern fare as you sample guacamole, fiesta salad, calabacitas with quinoa, and Mexican chocolate mousse. $45/person. 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Whole Foods Culinary Center. Reserve online.
  • [NEW] [FREE] May 15: Beerbusters II USA-Belgium Steel Cage Beer Match – If you’re a fan of Belgian-style ales or just curious about how the beers of Belgium stack up to their American cousins, this tasting is for you. You’ll be able to sample a variety of beers and find the ones you like best. Who knows what new beer you’ll discover? 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Twin Liquors Galleria.
  • [NEW] May 15: Parent and Child Cooking Class Fruit Filled Empanadas – Empanadas are a great treat that the whole family can help make. Introduce your kids to one of the iconic foods of Argentina while you spend some quality time together in the kitchen. $35/parent-child team. 10:00 am – 11:30 pm. Reserve online.
  • May 16: Fion Wine Pub Texas Wine & Wildflower Tour
    – Treat yourself to a wine country mini-vacation, complete with a limo coach bus for transportation, three wine tastings, and a gourmet meal at Becker Vineyards during the 12th Annual Lavender festival. $160/person. E-mail to learn more and reserve your spot.
  • May 16: Whole Red Deer Butchery Class – Ever wondered exactly what it takes to break down a whole deer? If so, this class is right up your alley. Chef Larry will demonstrate how to break down an entire deer, explain what the choice cuts are, and show you how best to utilize them for spring and summer recipes. The class will also focus on venison sausage making techniques and you’ll get to make your own sausage. A family style “knosh session” follows the class during which you can sample Kocurek charcuterie products with complimentary wine. $85/person. 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Call 512.291.4461 or e-mail for details; seating is limited.

Eat Well, Do Good

  • April 15 – May 26: Maggiano’s Make-A-Wish Foundation Fundraiser – A newcomer to the Austin food scene, Maggiano’s is making a commitment to our community by donating portion of proceeds from select menu to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & South Texas in the Austin regional office, for children with life-threatening diseases. When you enjoy dishes like their grilled steak bruschetta, baked tilapia with lobster, or star lemon cookies, you’ll not only be filling your stomach, you’ll be filling a need. Visit Maggiano’s in the Domain in the coming weeks to help make a difference.

Plan Ahead: Events in the Next 3 Weeks

1 Comment

  1. THANK YOU for the post on our upcoming Argentina celebration! Both CM locations will have events going on, and the best way to keep up with what’s going on at CM Westgate is to follow our Facebook page: We’ve got all the daily events posted under the events tab.

    CM Westgate will have a 40’x80′ tent in the parking lot — tango performances & lessons, soccer clinic, movie nights, and food galore cooked on our custom-made 5′ grill! Hope to see you all in South Austin!