The Austin Chronicle

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Eat. Drink. Empower. a Rousing Success

By Melanie Haupt, August 27, 2013, 2:45pm, On the Range

On Saturday night, Max's Wine Dive played host to Eat. Drink. Empower, a five-course dinner featuring a complement of Austin's female chefs. Max's Executive Chef Erica Beneke was the driving force behind the event, a fundraiser for SafePlace, from conception to execution.

The event featured a cocktail hour during which diners bid on silent auction items while enjoying passed hors d'oeuvres courtesy of Bridget Bishop and a signature cocktail mixed by Drink.Well's Jessica Sanders. After a few words from Max's co-owner Jonathan Horowitz and Julia Spann, director of SafePlace, the five-course meal began on a high note with Kenzie Allen's innovative crispy quinoa salad.

Each subsequent course featured a dish that showcased the chefs' modern techniques and fondness for dabbling with a broad array of components. (See photo gallery by clicking on the photo to the right of this story.) At the end of the evening, the diners lauded the chefs with a standing ovation before taking home swag bags featuring small bottles of Dripping Springs Vodka and a takeaway treat created by Jodi Elliott of Foreign & Domestic.

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