Conferences for the cuisine-minded
There's never a dull moment for Alamo Drafthouse corporate chef John Bullington and beverage director Bill Norris. Last Saturday, the busy duo presented a preview of some of the custom cocktails and Interior Mexican street food items from the menu of 400 Rabbits, the tequila bar that will be part of the new Alamo Drafthouse set to open on Slaughter Lane on March 22. Between now and then, Bullington and Norris are collaborating on the menu for a whiskey bar concept that will be part of an Alamo theatre slated for Denver, and they'll also cater an Oscar night party in Los Angeles in honor of Bullhead, the Oscar-nominated documentary distributed by Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League's Drafthouse Films.
The 2012 Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association conference will be held in Mesquite Feb. 17-19. Conference offerings include workshops, organic farm tours, a bookstore, trade show, and an organic banquet featuring keynote speaker and food policy expert Mark Winne. For a complete conference schedule, ticket prices, and registration, go to www.tofga.org.
Another upcoming conference of interest to Austin foodies: the 2012 Foodways Texas Symposium to be held at various locations around Austin March 23-25. This year's theme is Texas Preserved; sessions will focus on how we preserve Texas food and food culture in our pastures and kitchens, as well as around our dinner tables. Chronicle contributor MM Pack will present a seminar on the Texas sugar industry, and award-winning Confituras owner Stephanie McClenny will do a canning demo and discuss the history of preserving fruits and vegetables that are unique to Texas. One highlight of the weekend: a dinner prepared by chef Sonia Coté at Boggy Creek Farm to commemorate an 1840s visit to the historic property by Republic of Texas President Sam Houston (see "This Old House," Dec. 23, 2011). Tickets for the entire symposium are $225 for members, $250 for the public, or $85 for panel discussion passes (excluding food). For details and to register, see www.foodwaystexas.com.