Bookstop Central Park
Saturday, October 7, 12-2pm
Here's your chance to discuss the anthropological importance of corn smut (huitlacoche) in Southwestern cuisine with an expert. Coyote Cafe owner chef Mark Miller will take time out from hosting investors and out-of-town VIPs at his downtown Austin location this weekend to share several varieties of hot sauce and sign copies of his newest book, Mark Miller's Indian Market Cookbook. The Bookstop folks will have an ample supply of chef Miller's entire cookbook catalogue including The Great Salsa Book, The Great Chile Book, Coyote's Pantry, and Coyote Cafe on hand, as well.
FROM GROUND TO TABLE
Whole Foods Market Fall Farm Tour
Saturday, October 14, 9am-6pm, $40 per person
Quality-conscious consumers are invited to tour some of Central Texas' small family farms on an all-day bus ride sponsored by Whole Foods Market. Breakfast and a catered lunch will be provided. Participants will meet Kerby Lane Cafe's contract farmer Cora Lamar at Lamar Farms, visit the dairy goats, and sample Texas goat cheese at White Egret Farms, as well as check out the organic vegetables grown by the Lufer family at Dreamfield Farms, and pick pears at Dan Wolf's farm outside McDade. Last year's fall farm tour sold out early and was a great experience for two busloads of folks, so make your reservations soon. Call Pamela Boyar at Whole Foods Market, 477-5566, Ext 183.
BACK IN BUSINESS
801 S. Lamar
11am-11pm daily, bar open 'til midnight
Longtime Austin restaurateurs John Thorsen and John Wooley are back in business at this charming South Austin location, just up the hill from "Restaurant Row." The permit and inspection delays that caused the opening to be rescheduled several times are all behind them now; the restaurant opened quietly the last week of September. Skyline Grill features a menu of Texas regional cuisine, with an emphasis on herb-flavored or marinated items that have been smoked in a special gourmet grill/smoker developed by Wooley, using various fruit woods for fuel.
LOOK WHO'S COOKING
Blanco River Cooking School
Breed & Co. Cooking School
3663 Bee Caves Rd., 328-3960
Two area cooking schools have lined up very impressive lists of instructors for your fall dining pleasure. The first schedule from the new Breed & Co. Cooking School features several classes geared toward upcoming holiday entertaining, with instructors such as Word of Mouth Catering owner Rebecca Wallace, cookie whiz Penny McConnell, chef Jean-Louis DeHoux of the very romantic Belgian Restaurant, game cooking expert chef Jeff Blank from Hudson's on the Bend, caterer Greg Petrosewicz, and Belgian cooking teacher and consultant Marie-Claire Quittelier. Call the store to get on the mailing list for upcoming class schedules.
In addition to bringing some of the best chefs in the country to Central Texas, Blanco River Cooking School owner Leslie McGrath is adding a new dimension to her business. The rock ranch house on her property is now available to rent for cooking school weekends. The four bedroom house sleeps six to eight and will cost $400 per weekend (two nights). Put together a group of food lovers for a weekend with New Orleans chef Susan Spicer of Bayona (Oct.7 & 8) or Santa Fe-based vegetarian chef and cookbook author Deborah Madison (Oct. 28 & 29). If you'd prefer food to football in November, spend two glorious fall days learning about cooking organic foods from John Ash, culinary director of the Valley Oaks Food and Wine Center at Fetzer Vineyards in California. Call Leslie McGrath to reserve class space or rent the ranch house for yourself and your food-loving friends. - V.B.W.