Food-O-File

Everywhere you look these days, Austin chefs and restaurants are on TV. The last weekend in October, anchor people and camera crews from NBC cable network's new program Recipes of America shot definitive Austin footage (bats, armadillos, Town Lake, music venues, etc.) and then interviewed chef Scott Roberts of the Salt Lick and chef Charlotte Finch of the Iron Works BBQ about some of their cooking secrets. The cable show, sponsored by Wisconsin's Sargento Foods, will mainly air in East Coast markets. Also in late October, The Eyes of Texas, the popular travelogue from Houston's Channel 2, visited Lake Austin Spa Resort and interviewed chef Terry Conlan about his tasty, low-fat fare. Closer to home, Channel 7 news reporter Tony Lopez has begun a regular weekly feature during the station's "7 on Your Side" segment which will present the five lowest and highest Austin-Travis County Health Department Sanitation Inspection Report scores for Austin restaurant kitchens every week. The scores are a matter of public record but it has been several years since a television station put them on the air. It should be interesting to see just how long the feature lasts -- shades of Marvin Zindler's famous "Slime Report."

The Capital Area Food Bank's 10th Annual Hometown Harvest community-wide food drive will take place Nov. 12-19. The donated food will see the Food Bank through the holiday season, when they distribute food to 185 charitable organizations in Central Texas. Red collection barrels will be placed in all HEB, Randalls, Simon David, Albertson's, Whole Foods, Fiesta, Foodland, and Wheatsville. Pitch in all the canned goods you can spare.

Before long, you should be able to buy a bagel on every corner in Austin. To that end, Joe and Isabella Loiacano have opened locations number four and five of The Bagelry. Now you can nosh at 3663 W. Bee Caves Road in Westlake Court and at 5501-B Balcones Drive in Plaza Balcones... The Whole Foods Farmer's Market continues this month in front of the Sixth and Lamar store every Wednesday afternoon 2:30-5:30 pm with locally grown produce from 10 to 14 Central Texas farms. Chefs lined up to prepare sample dishes in November are Mustang Diner's Mark Oster (11-1), Tim Kartiganer from Mars (11-8), Rocky Packard of Coyote Cafe (11-15), Ancho's John Lucas (11-22) and Milieu's Lee Hankins (11-29). Use these guys as a resource of ideas for dishes to prepare with the great local produce... Bertram's General Manager Tom Hoopingarner announced last week that they have hired chef Peter O'Brien to replace Craig Sullivan at the historic downtown restaurant. Locals may remember CIA-grad O'Brien from his flamboyant stints at Granite Cafe, Bitter End, and Caffe Azzuro before he returned to Dallas' Riviera Hotel... Coming Events: The fall wine dinner calendar is looking good. On Monday, November 13, Sfuzzi continues their fall series with a tempting fall menu from chef Louis Halfant paired with Jordan wines. Call the restaurant at 476-8100 to make a reservation for the $55 per plate event. Shoreline Grill will present National Fine Wine Authority Mick Unti at an Artisan's and Estate Vintner's Dinner on Tuesday, November 14. Chef Dan Haverty will create a special menu to compliment the wines from Kendall-Jackson, Cambria, La Crema, and Stonestreet, including the debut of Kendall-Jackson's new sparkling wine, Krystone. Call 477-3300 to reserve a seat for $65.

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