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Austin’s Meatiest Food News and Events

18 April 2013 16,482 views No Comment

It’s rare that I do an events/newsy post, I usually post information about upcoming events I think are cool in my Facebook group, but there is so much cool stuff happening over the next few weeks that I felt it was time for a roundup.

Apologies in advance to any vegans or vegetarians in the group, for some reason, there’s lots of flesh-eating events coming up over the next few weeks.

Without further ado, here’s what’s on my radar for Austin food lovers:

Sunday, April 21 at 1 pm: VACA y VINO

Image provided by Vaca y Vino

Image Credit: Vaca y Vino

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue presents the 2nd Annual VACA y VINO at The Bridges Ranch at Wimberley, an Argentine-inspired celebration of beef, wine, music, and the outdoors. For $120, you can join the fun that will include transportation from downdown Austin, dining on part of a 1,200 lb steer that will be roasted on-premises, sipping Argentine wines and locally crafted beers, and enjoying live music in the Texas Hill Country. All proceeds will be donated to the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, a national organization that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers.

Monday, April 22: Give 5% to Mother Earth

Give5Graphic

Image Credit: Austin Give 5 Day

Before you leave your house on Monday morning, make a plan to spend your dollars at these businesses, all of whom have pledged five percent of their gross sales to Central Texas non-profits that include Hill Country Conservancy, Texas Land Conservancy, Austin Parks Foundation,Tree Folks, Friends of Barton Springs Pool, Urban Roots, and Clean Water Fund.

Wednesday, April 24 at 10 am: Round Three of #Citywide86d

Round 1: Contestants from Swift's Attic, Cafe Jose, Congress, and Olive & June

Round 1: Contestants from Swift's Attic, Cafe Jose, Congress, and Olive & June

The public is invited to check out the third round of Uchi’s #Citywide86d, which will be taking place between 10 and 1 at Uchiko. Based on Food Network’s “Chopped,” Uchi invited select Austin restaurant staff (that did not include sous chef level or above) to compete in three elimination cooking rounds until they are “86′d.”  I was one of the judges in the first round of the competition, and it was really fun, and I was amazed at what these talented people were able to put together in such a short time, and under extreme pressure. The winners from the first two competitions were from Congress and Foreign & Domestic, respectively. This round’s participants are from Sway, La Condesa, Parkside and Swift’s Attic.

Wednesday, April 24 at 3 pm: Recipe Demo: The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook

Photo Credit: Local Savour

Photo Credit: Local Savour

Stop by the SFC Farmer’s Market at The Triangle at 3 p.m., where AFBA member Elizabeth Van Huffel of Local Savour will present a demonstration of how to make her strawberry daiquiri recipe from the cookbook. The market is open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and AFBA will have copies of their just-released cookbook available for sale. One of the coolest things about this book, which is the most professionally-done community cookbook I’ve ever seen, is that all of the recipes went through rigorous editing and testing before going to publication, and not all of the recipes submitted were even accepted.  While I was involved with contributing a short vignette to the book, I didn’t contribute a recipe, but I can’t wait to try out many of them out.

Wednesday, April 24 at 5 or 6 pm: Central Market Celebrates Passport to Brazil

Image Credit: Central Market

Image Credit: Central Market

Stop by Central Market Westgate at 5, or Central Market North Lamar at 6, for the opening party of this two-week festival of Brazilian food and drink. The festivities will include Bossa Nova music, dance, and authentic Brazilian cuisine.

Thursday, April 25 at 6:30 pm: Live Fire!

Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue to Serve World-Famous Brisket

Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue to Serve World-Famous Brisket

The Austin Food & Wine Alliance will hold their popular, annual celebration of beef cooked over an open flame at the Salt Lick Bar-B-Que Pavilion in the Texas Hill Country. Tickets are $75, and go towards raising funds for culinary grants; the event has sold out each year. With live music from Redd Volkaert, fire dancers, food from the best chefs in Austin, free-flowing wine, beer, and liquor, and a giant marshmallow roast, this event is sure to be a great time.

The Austin Food & Wine Alliance is dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and wine community through grants, educational programming and events.

Friday, April 26 through Sunday, April 28: Austin FOOD & WINE Festival

The Austin FOOD & WINE Festival is a collaboration between C3 Presents, chefs Tim Love, Tyson Cole, and Jesse Herman, and FOOD & WINE Magazine. A portion of the Festival’s proceeds will benefit The Austin Food & Wine Alliance. I covered the Festival last year, and had a blast at Tim Love’s barbecue demo.

Tim Love BBQ Demo in 2012

Tim Love BBQ Demo in 2012

General admission for the Festival is $250 and include access to over 40 demos, seminars and tastings.  Add-on tickets for Friday night’s Taste of Texas event ($150) and/or Saturday night’s Rock Your Taco event ($200) are also available.  VIP access is $850, and includes priority access to all demos, tastings and hands-on experiences, private Grand Tastings on Saturday & Sunday, access to a VIP lounge with a bar and additional tastings, and entry for both the Taste of Texas and Rock Your Taco evening events.

Sunday, April 28 at 1 pm: Austin Food for Life Crawfish Boil

Austin Food for Life, a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to helping food and beverage industry professionals, including farmers and artisans, access affordable healthcare solutions,  is partnering with Lenoir to host a Crawfish Boil fundraiser on Sunday, April 28 from 1-6 pm at Lenoir.

The backyard at Lenoir

The backyard at Lenoir

One of Lenoir’s former employees, Power Heard, has a 15-month old daughter, Alice, who was diagnosed with Desmoid Fibramatosis, a rare type of benign bone cancer, that has already led to aggressive surgery and physical therapy. Proceeds from this event will go to the Heard family to offset some of the costs of Alice’s medical treatment. Tickets are $25 for admission and crawfish.

Saturday, May 11 at 4 pm: The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook Talk and Signing at Book People

Photo Credit: AFBA

Photo Credit: AFBA

Cookbook editor Addie Broyles will chat with AFBA past president Natanya Anderson, member Chris Perez and cookbook volunteers Melissa Skorpil and Megan Myers about the process of putting together the book.

Online “Events”

Austin CityGram: Kickstarter Deadline is Wednesday, May 1

Image Credit: CityGram

Image Credit: CityGram

A group of extremely talented and accomplished local bloggers has joined together to launch Austin CityGram, a digital lifestyle magazine spearheaded by Chris Perez, a talented writer and photographer whose credits include Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn. Chris showed me the first issue of his magazine the other night, and it is beautiful, interactive, and totally Austin. The project will only be funded if at least $10,000 is pledged by Thursday, May 2 at 7:58 am CT. For those new to Kickstarter (like me), you may like to know that if the kickstarter doesn’t reach its goal, it doesn’t get funded and you keep your pledge. Chris is working on some ad sales opportunities that he believes will get him close to his goal, but is looking to friends, family, and supporters of the blogging community to help as well.

Tacosaurus Meat Share: Join Now to Enjoy a Share of Beef and/or Pork Late Summer

Photo Credit: Tacosaurus Meat Share

Photo Credit: Tacosaurus Meat Share

Thanks to Lewis Weil of Nerd Nite-Austin for telling me about the Tacosaurus Meat Share, which helps connect local ranchers with Austin-area consumers to crowdsource the raising, slaughtering, and butchering of local animals for food. According to an email from the share, “we will use underutilized land and pay the landowner up front for the use of his land. This way, the rancher gets more money than he would selling at auction and the consumer gets high quality meat at a great price. its a win-win situation. Because we are paying the farmer directly, we can demand high animal welfare standards.” They estimate the cost to be equal to that of HEB, but with Whole Foods quality standards. For more information, contact tacosauruscoopfarm at gmail or like Tacosaurus on Facebook.

I’m going to be missing a lot of these events, because we are going to Washington, DC, this weekend, and then next Friday, are leaving for a trip to Brazil and Argentina. If I have to miss all of these Brazil and Argentina-themed events, at least I have the solace that I’m missing them for the real thing!

Have you ever, or are you planning on participating in any of these upcoming events?

Also, if you have any recommendations for Rio, Iguazu Falls, or Buenos Aires, we’re collecting!

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