Food-o-File: Friday Lagniappe
A little extra Austin food news
By Virginia B. Wood,
4:20PM, Fri. Jun. 5, 2015
Sometimes there is too much Austin food news to squeeze into the print edition of the Chronicle. Rather than wait a week, we've decided to give our readers a little bite of something extra.
• The celebration of National Donut Day on June 5 dates back to the Great Depression when the Chicago chapter of the Salvation Army sold donuts to raise money for World War I veterans. All three locations of Gourdough's Public House are carrying on that delicious tradition with a special donut menu revealed only to their Facebook friends. Check out the secret menu and then drop by the trailer (1503 S. First) or either brick-and-mortar outlet (2700 S. Lamar, 209 W. Fifth) and enjoy one of their Sin-a-Bomb donuts for only $2 all day.
• Longtime Austin chef David Garrido is the new executive chef at the Radisson Hotel (111 E. Cesar Chavez) overlooking Lady Bird Lake in Downtown Austin. In this new position, Garrido will be responsible for all hotel food service – breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the recently remodeled ground floor restaurant space, in addition to room service and all in-house catering in the newly refurbished upstairs banquet facilities. Garrido describes the job as "the opportunity of a lifetime. These facilities offer the greatest canvas I could possibly wish for to present food to Austin diners and hotel guests as well as to be actively involved in community service."
Though Garrido began the hotel job in mid-April, hotel owners are still working to change the name and branding of the restaurant, which will be announced later in the summer. The chef's first order of business was to hire a staff, starting with chef de cuisine Mario Medina. "We have so many great things planned, starting with a Fourth of July pool party showcasing Texas shrimp and watermelons," Garrido told us. As a result of the career opportunity, Chef Garrido has decided not to pursue the development of an independent restaurant at Lamar Union.
• Austin's Provençal-inspired restaurant laV (1501 E. Seventh) recently announced the debut of their beautifully landscaped garden event space along with a full slate of summer events that include food from their relaunched Say laV food truck. That news was followed by this week's revelation that founding executive chef Allison Jenkins has left the company. Pastry chef Janina O'Leary will take over the reins in the kitchen during the search for Jenkins' replacement. O'Leary acknowledges she'll have her hands full with both jobs, but told us "The favorite part of my job has always been teaching, training, and investing in my team. I'm very happy we have such a cohesive group at this point. I'm excited and optimistic about the next steps." Don't forget the four-course, family-style Garden Party dinner scheduled for June 18th in the new Jardins de laV space. Tickets are $85 and reservations are necessary.
• Cornucopia (3211 Red River) is showing their support for Austin Pets Alive by offering limited edition Paw Print tins filled with one quart of your choice of one of their distinctive popcorn flavors for a suggested donation of only $10, as long as the tins last. The shop is open Mondays - Saturdays from 10am-8pm and Sundays from noon-6pm.
• Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster food truck began a permanent residency outside the Wonderland (1104 E. Sixth) on Wednesday evening. They'll be serving those delectable lobster rolls on Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 5pm until closing.
Here are some events you won't want to miss this week
• Friends of the House, a group of young Austin professionals, is hosting a summer backyard bash at PGi Studios (616 W. Fourth) to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas. The facilities provide a comfortable "home away from home" for families with hospitalized children. Friends of the House president Ben Morton says "We truly believe in their mission and we're happy to do what we can to help raise money for such a worthy organization." The party will include summer brews and cocktails, backyard games and entertainment, a silent auction, and food from Di Lux Catering, Cru Wine Bar, and Bribery Bakery. Tickets are $75 for members and $90 for the general public. Saturday, June 6, 7-10:30pm.
• Opal Divine's has recently gotten on the farm-to-table bandwagon by adding new ingredients and dishes at brunch, lunch, and dinner at all three locations. This weekend would be a good time to check out the new menu items because they're donating 10% of sales to the Red Cross Relief Fund for Wimberley and San Marcos and also accepting donations of cash and nonperishable food items. The benefit hours will be from 4-7pm on Saturday, June 6 at Davenport Ranch (3801 Capital of Texas Hwy #180; on Monday, June 8 at the Marina (12709 N. MoPac; and Tuesday, June 9 at Penn Field (3601 S. Congress Ave.)
• Learn how to make chocolate from professional chocolatier Bob Williamson of SRSLY Chocolate at Wheatsville Co-op South (4001 S. Lamar) for $35. Saturday, June 6, 1-3pm.
• Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile (3235 E. Cesar Chavez) is introducing a new weekly Blue Plate Special every Wednesday, using ingredients hand-picked from local farms paired with their own Jacoby brand beef. The seasonal specials will include a salad, a protein, and two sides. Prices will vary on Wednesdays this summer.
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Austin food news, Gourdough's Public House, National Donut Day, David Garrido, Radisson Hotel Downtown Austin, laV, Allison Jenkins, Janina O'Leary, Say laV food truck, Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster food truck, the Wonderland, Cornucopia, Austin Pets Alive, Friends of the House