Austin Foodie Bits ~ Food and Wine Events for the Week of January 3, 2011

Two Bloody Marys with garnish.Happy New Year! After a two week hiatus to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, Foodie Bits is back and I’m excited about all the possibilities that 2011 has to offer for Food Lovers in our fair city. With New Year’s Eve celebrations just winding down, and everyone resolving to eat better and reduce the excesses that accompany the holiday season, the food and drink events around town this week are a bit limited. But, as you look forward into mid-January, they start to pick up again with the Wine Ride, Citrus Fest, Sip and Savor Austin, and more. So take the next few days to detox and rest your palate, because before you know it the spring eating events will be well within our sites.

Speaking of the New Year, one of my priorities in 2011 is to continue to support local Austin producers and artisans as well as to keep spreading the good word about the array and diversity of food activities in Austin. What are you planning to do in 2011 to keep Austin’s food scene alive and well? Please share in the comments.

In the Spotlight

Rather than spotlight a single event this week, I’d like to share a great opportunity from Whole Foods that’s useful for anyone who wants to start or continue eating better. During January, guests of Whole Foods can join them in their 28 Day Challenge. In addition to providing participants with a collection of tools to make it easier to get on the path to eating better, Whole Foods will be hosting a series of classes, tours, and events in January to provide that all-important support you need to truly make a change. For more information e-mail or call 512.542.2333.

Be Spontaneous – This Week’s Events

  • January 6: King Cake Workshop – A King Cake is a ubiquitous part of any Mardi Gras celebration, but they traditionally were made to celebrate Epiphany. In this hands-on class you’ll learn how to make three different styles of the cake that are sure to wow your friends and family. $60/person. Central Market Cooking School. 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Reserve online.
  • January 8: Forks Over Knives with Rip Esselstyn – In advance of the local screening of Forks Over Knives, a documentary chronicling the benefits of a plant-based diet, you can visit the Whole Foods Flagship Store downtown to meet Rip Esselstyn, the author the Engine 2 Diet and the subject of the documentary. You can also talk with Whole Foods Healthy Eating Specialist Dan Marek, have tastes of Engine 2 inspired foods, and enter to win tickets to the movie screening and VIP event. Free. 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.
  • January 9: Whole Duck Class – If you’ve ever wanted to know how to butcher a whole duck and create tasty goodness with all of the pieces and parts, this hands-on class is for you. In an intimate 10-student setting you’ll learn how to break down a duck and make bacon, confit, stock, rendered fat, and rillettes. Chef Larry Kocurek of Kocurek Family Artisanal Charcuterie will share his knowledge and wisdom as he guides you through the process. $140/person. 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Purchase tickets online.

Plan Ahead – Events in the Next Three Weeks