Austin Foodie Bits ~ Food and Wine Events for July 16 – 31

I’ve noticed on some recent shopping trips that summer inventory is well on its way out and back to school/fall inventory is starting to make an appearance. I’m not exactly how to reconcile this with the fact that we’re still not to the hottest part of our Austin summer and there are still many fantastic BBQs, swims, and lake trips to be had in the coming weeks. Speaking of summer fun, Foodie Bits has been on a bit of a hiatus as I’ve enjoyed time with my family and navigated a really busy time at work. It’s back now with this single post to cover the rest of July and in August I’ll be working to get back to a weekly posting schedule.

Austin Restaurant Week LogoBefore I dive into the great events slated for the rest of this month, I’d like to suggest that reserve a few evenings during September 19 – 22 and September 26 – October 1 to enjoy the Fall 2010 edition of Austin Restaurant Week. These 8 days come twice a year and present what is easily the best and most budget-friendly opportunity to experience some of Austin’s best restaurants. The chefs use this time to showcase their talents so it’s a truly magical time on the Austin dining scene. The official website is still being updated with menus and offerings, but keep an eye out here and I’ll let you know when the details in all their glory are ready for your perusal.

Best of Austin 2010 logoAnd in a bit of shameless self promotion, I’d like to suggest that if you like the good work I’m doing here on the Austin Food Lovers’ Companion, you might consider voting for me in the 2010 Austin Chronicle Best of Austin awards. There are so many great food blogs here in town that it’s hard to imagine singling out just one, but if you think my blog is that one, please let the nice folks at the Chronicle know. Every little bit of promotion helps me get on the radar of more people in the Austin area who offer up great food events, making it easier for me to bring you useful information. Voting ends July 19.

July Events

  • July 17: Kids’ Food Adventure – Spend time with your kids at Whole Foods to learn more about healthy and tasty foods. Featuring Chef Jehangir Mehta, the runner up on the most recent season of The Next Iron Chef, this class is sure to be fun for both parents and children. $40/parent and child team. 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Whole Foods Flagship Store. Call 512.542.2340 to reserve a spot.
  • July 18: Parkside Summer Nights Dinner – Join Chef Shawn Cirkeil and the folks from Independence Brewing for an evening of summer favorites paired with local brews. The menu features cod fritters, grilled striped bass, Berkshire pork, and Shawn’s most excellent doughnuts. At only $40/person this is a steal. 7:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.
  • July 18: Bar(r)n Raising Fundraiser – Local landmark Barr Mansion was struck by lightning this past spring and burned to the ground. Long a favorite of local brides and event hosts, and the nation’s only certified organic event facility, our city will be lesser if it isn’t rebuilt to its former glory. Farmhouse Delivery is hosting this evening of fun featuring the wares of local chefs and beverage purveyors, and for as little as $40 you can enjoy the event and contribute to this worth cause. Texas Disposal Systems Exotic Game Ranch. 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.
  • July 20: Vegan Wine Dinner – In the next of their monthly wine dinners, Whole Foods will feature five vegan courses, all prepared with no added oil, paired with 5 wines from around the globe. Enjoy dishes like wild mushroom and sprouts salad, Yukon gold gnocchi, and crème brulee, as well as an entertaining evening with the chef. $45/person. 6:30 pm. Whole Foods Flagship Store. 512.542.2340 to reserve a spot.
  • July 21: Mirabelle Folio Italian Wine Dinner with Partner Gina Della Delova; $50/person. Call all 512.346.7900 to reserve.
  • July 22: Date Night at the Alamo Featuring Chocolat – Take dinner and a movie to a whole new level when you enjoy the sensuous Chocolat along with a specially prepared meal featuring chocolate in every course. $50/person. Alamo South Lamar. 7:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.
  • July 22: Kocurek Supper Friends Dinner – Local charcuterie maker extraordinaire Larry Kocurek is hosting a special dinner at Swoop House. Explore the bounty of summer produce prepared with local meats and Kocurek charcuterie. The evening will begin with passed hors d’oeuvres and a special coctail prepared by the Tipsy Texan. Chef Larry will follow with a plated four course dinner. This is a BYOB event with bottle service offered. $75/person. Call 512.467.6600 to reserve.
  • July 24: Chef Du Cinema – Casablanca – Central Market is hosting its first ever cooking and movie event, featuring Ron Deutsch, writer and filmmaker. Enjoy a Moroccan feast designed especially to accompany the classic Casablanca. Ron will discuss the movie and food during preparation, and once dinner is served everyone can relax and watch the movie. $45/person. Reserve online.
  • July 27: Hudson’s on the Bend Red, White, and Blue Dinner – Chef Kelly Casey is putting together an all-American dinner to be paired with all-American wines for this latest Hudson’s on the Bend special dinner.     The menu includes mussels in chili white wine sauce, baby green salad with foie gras, smoked bison tenderloin, and ginger panna cotta. This is a great way to celebrate a special event or just to splurge a little. $85/person. Call 512.266.1369 for more information.
  • July 27: Sake 101 – If you’ve always wanted to know more about Sake but aren’t sure where to start, this class may be just the place. Liloa Papa, Saké Expert, will work with the Central Market Cooking School team to pair different Sakes with familiar foods. You’ll find out how Sake is made and how to select your favorites. 6:30 – 9:00 pm. $55/person. Reserve online.
  • July 28: Chandon Sparkling Wine Dinner – Join the Wine and Food Foundation of Texas and Finn and Porter for an evening celebrating Chandon. A reception will be followed by a 3-course dinner and dessert. If you’re a love of sparklers, then this event is for you. $65/person. 7:00 pm. Finn and Porter at the Hilton. Call 512.493.4900 for reservation information.
  • July 28: Tipsy Tech Japanese Cocktails – The Tipsy Texans are at it again, teaching the rest of us how to make great cocktail. In this class they’ll focus on Japanese flavors and help turn you into a mixologist just in time for your next part. $35/person. 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Twin Liquors Marketplace Hancock. Sign up online.
  • July 29: Macaroons Hands On – For many adventurous home cooks, the macaroon is right up there with gnocchi and home-made French bread on the list of “must learn to make” items. However, macaroons can be fickle and take time to master. Get a jump-start on this classic French cookie during this hands0on class at Whole Foods. $65/person. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Whole Foods Flagship store. Reserve online.

Eat Well, Do Good

  • July 21: Austin Symphony BATS Happy Hour and recruiting party – This year is the Austin Symphony’s 100th season so there’s no better time to sign up to “Be At The Symphony” (BATS). During this special event you can learn more about the benefits of being a member of the BATS, enjoy a specially prepared bat-tini, and taste wine and beer throughout the Twin Liquors Marketplace Hancock. 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Free.
  • July 26: Jack Allen’s Benefit for the Gulf – Jack is putting together a fantastic feast to benefit the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Louisiana and help with Gulf clean-up efforts. Enjoy a four-course dinner with a focus on Gulf seafood as well as live music on the patio. $40/person. The special prix fix menu will be served from 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Reservations are recommended. Call 512.852.8558 to reserve.
  • August 8: Parkside and The Alamo Present GHOSTBUSTERS — 6ixth Street Austin is a non-profit organization that strives to make the E. Sixth Street Historic District a source of pride to the Austin community by advocating for the preservation and enhancement of the district’s unique historic character. On this upcoming summer evening in August, The Alamo and Parkside are joining forces to support 6ixth Street Austin with a screening of the beloved movie Ghostbusters complete with food and beverages to make it even more fun. Chef Shawn Cirkeil of Parkside will provide a menu of upscale street food, cocktails and beer including Three Olives Vodka Grape Snowcones and Smores, as a tribute to the Ghostbuster character, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man whose demise caused molton marshmallow to rain all over the streets of New York City in the movie. Admission is free but a $5 donation is suggested, and really, I’d hope you could at least toss in $10 per person. It’s a great cause and a great event. Gates open at 7:30, the screening starts at 9:00.
  • 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. 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.