Maybe you don't spend as much time on the webs as I do, in which case, you should be proud of yourself for making wise lifestyle choices. That doesn't mean you can't benefit from some of the information I've picked up along the way. Things are happening in the Austin food world. Important things. Things you need to know.
- Antonelli's Cheese Shop at 4206 Duval in Hyde Park opened earlier this month and is well on it's way to attracting a loyal following of local cheese lovers. The shop features cheese (including local varieties), charcuterie, beer, wine, chocolate and more. The owners and staff are friendly and knowledgeable, so you don't feel overwhelmed with all the choices. Check out this great write-up on Thrillist.
- That Takes The Cake! Austin cake show and competition will be held Sat. Feb. 27th from 10:30 to 6:00 and Sun. Feb. 28th from 9 to 5 at the Crockett Center, 10601 N. Lamar. Cost: $8/day or $14/weekend with $1 off for donation to the Capital Area Food Bank. Entries are brought from all over the country and are on display throughout the weekend. Entries include all skill levels from children to masters and all types of decorating techniques and themes. I'm hoping this show will inspire my daughter, Ally, that means you, to start using some of her extensive cake decorating supplies.
- Bad to the Bone Chef Smackdown, Sat. Feb. 27th 6-9:30 pm at Stubb's, admission $35. Celebrity chef challenge to benefit the Sustainable Food Center. Great food and live music.
- Austin Restaurant Week starts this Sunday, Feb. 28th! There are 60 restaurants participating, but some of the more popular ones fill up quickly, so make your reservations early. I've reserved spots at Hudson's on the Bend, Aquarelle and Green Pastures. You can view all the menus on the ARW site and I must say, they are drool-worthy. Rabbit Ravioli with walnut cream, or Chipotle Lobster Bisque? Puhleez! At $25 to $35 for a fabulous meal, who can resist?
- The prestigious James Beard Foundation recognizes Austin's culinary mojo with nominations in three categories. La Condesa was named a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant in the Southwest along with Uchi's Executive Chef, Tyson Cole as Best Chef and Philip Steer, also of Uchi as Outstanding Pastry Chef. Read about it on the Forklore blog.
- Learn more about the Slow Food movement in Austin by attending the Slow Food Austin session on Thursday, March 4th, 7-8:30 pm at Flatbed Press, 2830 E. MLK. The session will be moderated with a panel of three local food industry professionals: a farmer, a chef, and a buyer/forager. Bring your questions and, if you like, a dish to share.
- Happy Hour at Wink, March 18th, 5-7pm. A portion of the proceeds to benefit Slow Food Austin.
- Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival is coming April 15-18. Wine tastings and food pairings are scattered among venues all over the city and priced individually from $25 to $150 per event. But, if your discretionary funds are lacking, you can do like me and sign up to be a volunteer. There are a variety of volunteer duties available from taking tickets to pouring wine. I've never done this before, so I can't offer a qualified recommendation, but I will report back to let you know how it went.
- Sometimes my food journey takes me far from the real world. In the real world too many people are hungry. Sadly, hunger exists, not as a metaphor, but as a burning, day in and day out desperation. Here is Michael Ventura's poignant look at what many of our neighbors are experiencing right now. One way to help, volunteer for the 2010 Crop Hunger Walk, Mar. 6th & 7th.