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Food-o-File

Austin's Weekly Food News

By Virginia B. Wood, Fri., June 8, 2012

Like so many self-employed people who pursue creative endeavors, artist and pie maker Colleen Sommers has no health insurance. When her fellow vendors from the HOPE Farmers Market and friends in the Austin artisan food community heard about Colleen's breast cancer diagnosis, they began putting together a benefit on the grounds of Springdale Farm (755 Spring­dale). Pies & Pigs features an absolutely stellar lineup of food and entertainment, drinks from area brewers, and a silent auction featuring art and pies baked by local celebrities on Thursday, June 14, from 6-9pm. Tickets are $25 at www.springdale.ticketbud.com/piespigs.

Here's a lightning round of restaurant news: Narrie Anderson of Sweden, and Russian-born Varda Sulkey met playing college basketball and now the two former Lady Hoyas have relocated to Austin to fulfill their dream of opening a Russian restaurant. They hope the authentic foods at Russian House of Austin (307 E. Fifth) will help make the restaurant a cultural center for Austin's Russian immigrant community, while also attracting curious American diners. Russian House will be opening later this month for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, with a full bar... The quick casual service model for Indian cuisine has proved so successful that the owners of Tarka have opened a third location in the Northcross Shopping Center at 2525 W. Ander­son. In fact, Anderson Lane between Burnet Road and MoPac is the busiest new restaurant row in the city these days... The folks at Zhi Tea (4607 Bolm) have added a tea room, offering freshly brewed hot or iced teas with small plates of local fruits, cheeses, nuts, spreads, pastries, and chocolates... The newest summer attraction at the Oasis, Texas village is a Sunday gospel brunch on the rooftop deck at Uncle Billy's Brew & Cue (6550 Coman­che Trail). Look for an all-you-can-eat buffet ($18.95 adults; $8.95 kids), special brunch cocktails, and an award-winning lineup of handcrafted brews, Sundays from 11am-2pm... Chef Andrew MacArthur has taken over the kitchen at Fino Patio Restau­rant & Bar (2905 San Gabriel) and Francisco Terrazas is now in charge of the popular bar, known for innovative cocktails made with fresh juices, house-made bitters, and syrups. Enjoy food and drink specials during happy hour, 4-6pm weekdays, on Fino's newly redecorated patio, plus special recipes and prices on Tuesday paella nights... Speaking of chef changes, Ben Hightower is the new chef de cuisine at Trace at the W (200 Lavaca) and is implementing a new menu in conjunction with forager Valerie Broussard and pastry chef Janina O'Leary... Chef Justin Rupp is now chef de cuisine at Olive & June (3411 Glenview), creating new menus for their Sunday family dinners each week, and Jeffrey Rhodes is the new chef de cuisine at parkside (301 E. Sixth).

See complete details about the Pies & Pigs event, plus reviews of both The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook by Angela Shelf Medearis, and Adam Perry Lang's Charred & Scruffed: Bold New Techniques for Explosive Flavor On and Off the Grill, on our On the Range blog this week.

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