L’Oca d’Oro Reopens, ACC Bristol-Joseph Scholarships Activate, Chocolate In General FTW, and Small Mercies Everywhere …

All the news that’s fit to get your taste buds quivering

Here’s some of what’s happening in Austin’s culinary scene in the last week of April, as wrangled from numerous PR releases, official posts, words on the digital street, and even the occasional (verified) IRL eavesdroppings …

Mmmm, that most golden of geese is open for delicious business again.

Award-winning chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph (of Emmer & Rye and Hestia fame, among other exemplary endeavors) and the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce have partnered with Austin Community College to launch the Bristol-Joseph Scholarship Foundation, offering culinary scholarships (including financial support, guidance, and mentorship) to ACC students. "The greatest accomplishment that I feel like I achieved is being able to help students that are looking for guidance, looking for a little bit of advice, mentorship, all the things I wish I had in culinary school …" says Bristol-Joseph. "I am ready to take these students and move forward in the best way we can and change our community and change our industry for the better." Note: Applications are now being accepted. The Foundation will provide $12,000 for two scholarships. Recipients will receive financial guidance and a mentorship program where they’ll work side-by-side with the acclaimed chef.

Buongiorno! L’Oca d’Oro, chef Fiore Tedesco’s refined Italian restaurant in the Mueller neighborhood, will be re-opening on Thu., May 6, for outdoor dining. Featuring a new, plant-filled, umbrella-shaded deck in front of the restaurant, abetted by seating along Aldrich Alley in their former patio and more, the flavor-savvy team will be serving up what’s freshest and tastiest from local farms like Steelbow and Farmshare, heirloom grains from Barton Springs Mills, and Oro Bianco gelato from chef Tedesco’s new organic Buffalo dairy in Blanco(!) With tables spaced six feet apart, the restaurant is now an intimate 50 seats. (Reservations are highly recommended, though walk-ins are welcome and might get you seated, idk.) Note: L’Oca d’Oro will be open Thu.-Sat., 5:30-10pm and Sun., 5:30-9pm.

Oh, hey: With such an impressive gem as that Golden Goose (what did you think L’Oca d’Oro means?) re-opening, we’re reminded that Mother’s Day is coming up fast – which is why we’ve gathered a plethora of recos to help guide you when looking for dining options for that dear mom of yours … And, speaking of mothers, you know how Austin’s popular chocolate bar company, Madhu Chocolate, is named after the mother of one of the co-founders? Well, now that seemingly indefatigible Madhu couple’s products have been named among the best chocolates in America – by no less than the Food & Wine media empire. Yeah, we knew it first (we told you all about the bright new company right here) but those F&W tastemakers don’t waste any time learning what’s up, do they?

Delysia offers a sweet sixteen for your mother.

Speaking of mothers and chocolate, Nicole Patel’s excellent Delysia Chocolatiers have released a box of their chocolate truffles specifically for Mother’s Day – and, oh! What a beautifully presented array of delicacies are in each “Love You, Mom” box! Featuring 16 pieces of sweet perfection in flavors of rose orange blossom, lemon curd apricot, raspberry rose petal, and spiced lemon earl grey, this is sure to put a smile on a maternal face, alright. But, hurry, the $55 boxes are a limited edition: Only 50 of them are available.

Salty Cargo x Celis makes us 1) smile and 2) maybe drool a little, too, tbh.

What’s putting a smile on all faces, lately, is the new proliferation of food trucks – so let’s note how the Hawaiian/Asian-inflected Salty Cargo just opened a new food trailer at Celis Brewery (1001 Metric), and they’ll be dishing out the poke, tori katsu sandos, heihei moa wings, pork ribs, Shanghai lumpia, and more: Tue.-Sun., noon-10pm. And Southside Flying Pizza has a new truck, too, serving their popular slices, snacks and bevvies to folks alongside the volleyball courts at Zilker Park, Thu.-Sun., noon-7pm.

Meanwhile, in the bricks-and-mortar sector, even as Sonya Cote’s new Storehouse in Bastrop continues to earn raves among the eating populace, her Hillside Farmacy’s got a brand new kitchen maestro: Tony Henderson, who honed his prodigious skills in New Orleans’ Cochon and Calcasieu and Bacchanal and more, is the executive chef set to elevate this popular farm-to-table venue toward even further culinary glory.

After this long April, old Tommy Eliot’s cruellest month, comes May. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and so NAMI Central Texas will once again be sponsoring the Depressed Cake Shop program, in which bakeries and restaurants across Central Texas will offer Depressed Cake Shop goodies to spur healthwise conversation, also displaying NAMI materials so patrons can learn how to talk about mental health and get help if they need it. Who’s participating? Among the helpful pastry-forward crowd: Confituras, Crema Bakery & Cafe, Cupprimo, Dream Bakery, Fluff Meringues, Humble Pie Desserts, and that vegan powerhouse called Zucchini Kill.

Know also that the hopsy honchos of Karbach Brewing Company have officially launched a Restoring the Ranch Program to support farmers and ranchers affected by the pandemic and recent Texas snowpocalypse. Until June 1, you can nominate the farmer or rancher in your life (or, hell, you can self-nominate) for a chance to win one of two $10,000 grants to replenish their land. Submissions can be made either via social media or through the Restoring the Ranch website. Get it? Got it? Goodness.

Now, ah, y’all be safe out there, citizen! Eat as well and tip as big as you can, and remember it's science that brings us those vaccines …

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