Austin Foodie Bits ~ Food and Wine Events for the Week of June 7

Cutting board with summer ingredients, cheese, and wineHurray – it’s summer! If the calendar didn’t let us know that, the temperatures sure did. And as the weather has heated up, so have the food and wine events around town. This week is packed with tastings, dinners, classes, and more. Happily, many of them are inside activities so you can beat the heat while treating yourself to some foodie fun. Before I jump right to this week’s events, I’d like to let you know that there will be two special editions of Foodie Bits this month in addition to my regular Monday posts:

  • The Father’s Day Edition will be published on June 17 and will include information restaurant specials and dad-centric events happening around town that special weekend
  • The 4th of July Edition will be published on July 1 to help you find fun activities during the long weekend

And with that, let the event parade begin.

Be Spontaneous: This Week’s Events

  • [NEW] June 8: Cocktail Reception with the Liquid Chef at Fonda San Miguel – Austin has been selected as one of five American cities to host “Sabores Autenticos de Mexico,” a series of gala dinners celebrating Mexico’s Bicentennial. To announce and celebrate Austin being selected for this prestigious honor, Mexican Consul General in Austin Rosalba Ojeda and Monica Peraza, president of MexNet Alliance, will host a cocktail reception at Fonda San Miguel. This fun event will feature famed Mixologist Junior Merino, known as “The Liquid Chef,” who has crafted specialty cocktails to be served as the reception which will include appetizers from Fonda San Miguel. $40/person. 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Call 512.459.4121 to reserve.
  • [NEW] June 8: Tequila-Paired Dinner at Jack Allen’s Kitchen – Jack Allen is at it again, pairing his tasty food with fun beverages and teaching you a little something along the way. For his latest dinner he’ll pair menu items like pan seared scallops, shrimp flautas, fried green tomatoes, pork belly carnitas, and a peach parfait with artisan tequila from Texas Republic. $65/person. 7:00 pm. Call 512.852.8558 or e-mail to reserve.
  • [NEW] [FREE] June 9: Pedroncelli Winery Tasting – The Pedroncelli vineyard has been making wine in Sonoma since 1927, and this week at the Austin Wine Merchant you can taste five different offerings that range from a sauvignon blanc to a cabernet sauvignon. 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm. Austin Wine Merchant on 6th Street.
  • [NEW] [Great Value] June 9: Italian Wine Tasting Party at Vino Vino – If you want to learn more about Italian wine and the Italian wine tradition, connect with others who enjoy Italian wine, or just broaden your wine horizons, Vino Vino and their guest PhD expert Jeremy Parzen can help you do just that. You’ll also have a chance to taste specially paired nibbles from the chef at Vino Vino and cool off in their spacious bar. $15/person. No reservation necessary. Call (512) 465-9282 for more info.
  • [NEW] [FREE] June 9: Cheese Please at Whole Foods – Stop by the Wine kiosk at the Central Market Flagship Store to try featured cheeses along with paired beer and wine. You’ll also have the opportunity to speak with Whole Foods’ cheese experts to learn more about the cheeses you taste. 6:30 pm. No reservation required.
  • [NEW] [FREE] June 10: Indulge Yourself at Girls’ Nite Out with Manny’s and ULTA Beauty – Give the newly re-imagined Manny’s Uptown Kitchen a try this week and learn some beauty secrets from ULTA along the way. ULTA’s experts will share summer hair and makeup tips while you enjoy a glass of sangria. You may even want to stay for dinner when you’re done. 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Manny’s Uptown Kitchen.
  • [NEW] June 11: Veggies and Wine Class with Chef David Bull – Chef David Bull of Bolla in Dallas is serving up a collection of vegetarian small plates to be served with paired wines. If you’ve been looking for more ways to lighten up your menus and get some more veggies on the plate, Chef Bull will help you do so with style. $65/person. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Central Market North Lamar. Reserve online.
  • June 11-13: Blanco Lavender Festival – Take a drive out into the Texas Hill Country to enjoy the 6th annual Lavender festival and Lavender market. You’ll find unique arts and crafts and specialty products, and you’ll also have a chance to see lavender in the fields and talk with lavender farmers. Events like these always feature interesting food and wine, so your palette will have a fun time as well. Admission is free but bring cash for food and other purchases. Lavender Market hours are Friday 2 pm to 8 pm, Saturday 9 am to 6 pm, and Sunday 9 am to 4:30 pm.
  • [NEW] [Great Value] June 11: Friday Night Beer Social at Whole Foods – Visit Beer Alley at the Whole Foods Flagship Store each Friday to sample a different beer and learn more about it from the Whole Foods Experts. This week’s featured beer is be Dogfish Head Midas Touch, and for $5 you get a pint of beer plus a souvenir glass. Additional pints are $3. 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. No reservation required.
  • June 11: Blackbird Vineyards Wine Dinner at TRIO – Treat yourself to an indulgent evening of great food and wine in TRIO’s private dining room. Chef Todd will serve creations like crispy gulf snapper in Thai fish broth with Kaffir Lime, a cheese ravioli made of homemade cocoa pasta and Blanca Bianca cheese, a Texas lamb chop with hierloom squash confit, and crème caramel to be paired with select wines from Blackbird Vineyards. The TRIO wine dinners are nothing short of amazing, so if you are looking for a way to pamper your foodie soul, this is it. $95/person plus tax and gratuity. Call 512.685.8300 or e-mail to reserve.
  • [NEW] [FREE] June 11: Sunset Cinema Featuring Footloose at Whole Foods – Pack up the family and take them to the roof of the Whole Foods Flagship Store for a fun evening screening of Footloose. The movie is free and snacks, beer and wine will be available for purchase à la carte, including a special themed three-course meal for only $15! 7:30 pm. No reservation required but get there early for a good seat.
  • June 12: Sarah Moulton Cooking Demonstration and Book Signing – Sara Moulton in on tour to support her new cookbook, Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners, and she’s only making one stop in Texas to promote it. Luckily that stop is in the Austin area, specifically at Faraday’s Kitchen Store in Lakeway. You can attend a special cooking demonstration where you’ll meet Sara and have her sign your book, or you can buy a copy in advance for her to sign. The cooking demonstration is from 11-12 and the book signing is from 12-1. Copies of the book are $35, the demonstration is free.
  • [NEW] [FREE] June 12: Rebecca Rather at the Downtown Farmers Market – As part of their summer events series, the Downtown Farmers Market will feature cookbook author and Fredericksburg restaurant owner Rebecca Rather showing you how to make the most of this summer’s peach bounty. 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Downtown Farmers Market.
  • [NEW] [FREE] June 12: June Grand Tasting at Twin Liquors – The Twin Liquors folks are going all out for a fantastic tasting of wine, beer, and spirits at the Galleria Marketplace. Try one of two dozen summer-friendly wines, get to know the Balcones Baby Blue Whisky, and try the St Arnold’s Brewery Summer Pils. Sip while you shop and stock up for the summer. 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Twin Liquors Marketplace at the Galleria.
  • June 13: Back to the Future Trilogy Feast – Settle in for the day to enjoy all three Back to the Future movies along with a six course dinner and optional wine pairings. If you’re looking for a great way to beat the heat and take a trip down memory lane, this is it. $105/person without wine flights, $130/person with. 11:30 am. Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz. Buy tickets online.
  • June 13: Curing Meat Cooking Class – At the heart of charcuterie is cured meats, and in this hands-on class Chef Larry will teach participants about curing techniques, equipment, and salts. From quick recipe methods to long cures and all that it takes to make it happen, he’ll cover all the bases. Prepare classics like Duck prosciutto, Pastrami, and Guanciale, then enjoy a complimentary charcuterie buffet and wine after class. $75/person. 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Call 512-291-4461 or e-mail for more information
  • [NEW] June 13: Hudson’s on the Bend 25th Birthday Bash Cooking Class – Learn to cook from one of the region’s best chefs and have a great time while you’re at it. In this special class you’ll learn how to make Hudson’s famous Hot and Crunchy Shrimp, quail with a honey soy cilantro glaze, butter poached Main lobster, and summer berries flambé. 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. For pricing and to reserve call 512.689.0133 or e-mail

Eat Well, Do Good

  • Roaring Fork’s Cocktails for a Cause – The Roaring Fork at Stonelake Blvd is teaming up with KGSR-FM for this special summer promotion designed to raise awareness and funds for three local charities: Capitol Area Food Bank in June, Lone Star Paralysis Foundation in July and Breast Cancer Resource Center in August. Each month Roaring Fork will feature a signature cocktail and everyone who enjoys said cocktail will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for a grand prize given away at the end of each month. June’s cocktail is Hot Summer Nights – tequila, lime juice, raspberries, and red chile pepper. July features Ginger Melon Fresca – vodka, lime juice, watermelon, raspberries, and ginger ale. And the August cocktail is a Guava Strawberry Margarita – tequila, jumex guava nectar, lime juice, and strawberries. Cocktail prices are $8 and $6 during the nightly 4-7 pm happy hour. The donation is part of the purchase and entitles recipients to one raffle entry. The grand prizes include A VIP pass to Blues on the Green, concert tickets and a Roaring Fork gift card.
  • [NEW] [Value] June 14: Benefit Dinner at El Sol y La Luna – El Maiz es Nuestra Vida / Maize is Our Life is a traveling contemporary art exhibition of women who are concerned about Mexico’s native maize seeds. Through their artwork, the artists narrate the history of maize throughout the Americas, demonstrating its fundamental role in providing nourishment to innumerable societies. The exhibit is wrapping up its current exhibition at the Mexican American Cultural Center and their visit to our city will end with this benefit dinner featuring chef Pilar Cabrera from Oaxaca City, with proceeds benefiting MAMAZ outreach programs. $35/person. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Buy tickets at El Sol y La Luna at 600 E 6th St. or call 512.444.7770.
  • June 26: Texas Artisan Showcase – Presented by Slow Food Austin, this special event will feature “good, clean, and fair” artisan foods from around the state. This family-friendly event will feature live music, a marketplace, silent auction, educational producer demos and a live auction finale by Dai Due Butcher Shop’s Jesse Griffiths. For $60 ($55 for Slow Food members), you’ll get to enjoy 12 tasting stations, plus 6 more chances to revisit your favorites! Each station will serve a small “flight” of samples. Budget-conscious Slow Foodies have the option of a 12-punch ticket for $40 ($35 for Slow Food members). 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Space 12. Buy tickets online.

Plan Ahead: Events in the Next 3 Weeks

Just about everything on this list is [NEW] so I’ll spare you a slew of tags.

Father’s Day Preview