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Food-O-File

A glimpse of SXSW 2014

By Virginia B. Wood, Fri., March 22, 2013

One piece of information that zipped right by me during the maelstrom of South by Southwest was that an online cookbook-creation site, CookBookCreate.com, will curate an official 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival Cookbook. Recipes will be collected from notable speakers who have "made major contributions to the development of the SXSW community and interactive technology." Plans call for the cookbook to include 100-200 recipes from previous speakers, enhanced by stories and anecdotes about how the interactive technology community has evolved at the Festival over the years. The published volume will be on sale at SXSW 2014. The growth of multiple food-related panels, in addition to the development of curated food truck courts and recipe collections, leads me to wonder if and when an entire, stand-alone food component might be added to the Festival. I'd love to see and be part of that.

You've still got the last nine days of March to make an important donation to the Charitable Care Program of the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin, simply by doing some shopping. The program ensures that donor human milk is available to babies with medical needs, regardless of their families' ability to pay. Jodi Elliott will donate 20% of the proceeds of the last two March bake sales at Foreign & Domestic (306 E. 53rd) to the Milk Bank program, and in.gredients (2610 Manor Rd.) will continue to donate 5 cents per container credit generated by customers who bring their own containers for shopping (they'll also sell $1 reusable Milk Bank shopping bags).

There is more interesting activity along the East 11th and Rosewood corridor just east of Downtown. The new Rosewood Community Market (1819 Rosewood) is open at the corner of Rosewood and Chicon, just between Nubian Queen Lola's Cajun Soul Food Cafe and the Rosewood Courts housing project. The little shop is a fresh-food hub, offering access to local organic produce, dairy, eggs, and bread. And changes are in the works for the longtime Quickie Pickie convenience store (1208 E. 11th), which is being transformed into an urban neighborhood grocery with a full line of fresh, prepared foods to eat in or take out, as well as beer and wine by the glass. Chef Martine Pelegrin, most recently of Whip In, will be running the kitchen and developing the menu items.

In tasty bites of restaurant news, Jacob Weaver has been named the new chef at Asti Trattoria (408-C E. 43rd), and Peter Maffei experienced trial by fire in taking over as the new executive chef at Finn & Porter in the Hilton Downtown, just before South by South­west... Z'Tejas Grill (multiple locations) began featuring a new spring menu this week... A group of California restaurateurs opened the Austin Ale House (301 W. Sixth) just in time for SXSW, in a space most recently occupied by Betsy's Bar. It's described as "an organic rockabilly gastropub" which will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night bar action, and will offer many craft brews on tap, plus some music and comedy programming. Sounds ambitious.

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