Food-O-File

If there is a more common or beloved pop-culture icon from late 20th-century America than Lucille Ball, I'd be hard pressed to name it. Who doesn't recall Lucy pitching Vita-Meta-Vegamin, dipping chocolates on a candy factory assembly line, or in the vineyard, stomping grapes? Wouldn't it be great to join Lucy in her grape-stomping? Fall Creek Vineyards, on the shores of Lake Buchanan in the Hill Country, is throwing a Grape Stomp Harvest Celebration on consecutive Saturdays, August 17 and 24, from 11am-5pm. While Lucy's Italian Movie video plays on a big screen, visitors will be invited to climb into a half-barrel of red grapes and stomp to their hearts' content. Afterwards, they can personalize a T-shirt with footprints. Games, prizes, tours and tastings, food and live music will provide family fun at no charge. For more information call 476-4477. Prefer to leave the plans and driving up to someone else? Whole Foods Market is organizing a Wine Tasting and Grape Stomp Tour on Saturday, August 17, departing from their Gateway location (Hwy360 & 183) at 9am. The tour will visit Hill Country Cellars, the Grape Stomp at Fall Creek Vineyards, and stop at Spicewood Vineyards to pick and press grapes. The $45 price includes continental breakfast, lunch, a wine glass, wine tasting and a WFM goodie bag. Reservations can be made at the Whole Foods Gateway Customer Service desk... The original (Sixth Annual) Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival takes place at Central Park, 38th and Lamar on Sunday, August 25. The stellar line-up of judges includes Jeffrey's chef David Garrido, Coyote Cafe chef Mark Miller (author of The Great Salsa Book), new Central Market executive chef Jay McCarthy (author of Traveling Jamaica with Knife, Fork & Spoon), former Chile Pepper magazine editor Dave DeWitt (author of The Whole Chile Pepper Book), award-winning food and travel writers Bill and Cheryl Jamison of Santa Fe (authors of the Border Cookbook) and Chronicle food writer Patrick Earvolino (author of Low-Fat Mexican Cooking). Entry forms and booth request forms are available from Elizabeth Derzco at 454-5766... Chef comings and goings around town have created the only traffic jam of the summer doldrums. Coyote Cafe's executive chef was in town for two weeks, tasting and tweaking the menu while chef Rocky Packard vacationed. John Lucas left the Omni Hotel for a resort/conference facility in Ann Arbor. Chef Larry Perdido recently exited Mustang Diner and is on tap for the chef position at the new Brio location. Longtime sous chef Mike Hall is no longer at Zoot. Young Irish chef Patrick Gannon is a new partner in the High Times Tea Bar. Pastry chef Tina Haverty has left Granite Cafe and Shannon Swindle, formerly of Star Canyon in Dallas now fills that position. Shoreline chef Dan Haverty took a short working vacation in late July in the kitchen at Star Canyon in Dallas. Jay McCarthy is on the job at Central Market, attracting some talented cooks to their kitchens... Check out the new HangTown Grill location at 9828 Great Hills Trail. A Westlake Village location is slated to open in October... Local bun runners will be happy to hear that Gene and Abby Atwell have opened a Chesapeake Bagel Bakery location at William Cannon and Brodie in Cannon Oaks Center. Since opening for business last year, the Atwells have donated thousands of bagels to Austin running events.

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