Do You Smell What I Smell?

The tantalizing aroma emanating from various locations around town is the seductive perfume of New Mexico green Sandia chiles roasting in traditional butane fire drums. Experience this aromatic fall ritual at Central Market (4001 N. Lamar, 206-1000) this weekend and at all local Chuy's locations (1728 Barton Springs Rd., 474-4452; 10520 N. Lamar, 836-3218; 11680 Research, 342-0011; 3826 Lake Austin Blvd., 476-4852) from now until the end of their annual Green Chile Festival on September 26. As a feature of this year's celebration, Chuy's is sponsoring a Green Chile Recipe Contest, so test your favorite green chile concoction on the family and enter it for fun and prizes. Recipes must be turned in by September 26, and once submitted, they become the property of Chuy's to do with as they wish. Chat with the manager at your favorite Chuy's for more information.

Regular Feature

It now appears that a listing of accomplished women in the Austin food business will becomea semi-regular feature. This week, the spotlight falls on Erica Vonbort, deli chef at Whole Foods-Gateway; Laura Dossett, executive chef at Canyon Cafe; Angele Stavron, chef/owner of Hot Damn Tamales; Jill Lewis, co-owner of Austin Slow Burn; and Gail Calder, chef/owner of Hell of a Relish.

Travel Advisory

Boggy Creek Farm's Larry Butler and Carol Sayle spent a week in August on the road, visiting organic farms in the Texas panhandle and northern New Mexico. In Santa Fe, new friend and award-winning cookbook author Deborah Madison took them to that capital city's vibrant farmer's market and introduced them to several of the small farmers and food producers in the area. At Madison's home, they had the opportunity to share some Boggy Creek Farm Smoke Dried Tomatoes and Pure Luck Organic's Queso del Cielo with Gourmet magazine's very receptive food editor, Zanne Stewart. They also ran into former Austin chef Mike Dyer, who now operates Cafe O'Keeffe (217 Johnson St., 505/820-2228) next door to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. Dyer reports that much of the cafe's menu is influenced by whatever is fresh and seasonal at the local farmer's market and that some of the recipes were inspired by the book A Painter's Kitchen (Red Crane Books, $18.95 paper), written by the renowned artist's former assistant.

Culinary Jeopardy

I swore that I wasn't going to write about the Television Food Network (TVFN) until it was actually showing in my house, but this item is just too good to pass up. TVFN is seeking contestants for its new half-hour food trivia game show, Pressure Cooker. The show, which begins taping in New York in October, will feature contestants competing in "spoon-to-spoon combat by answering culinary questions and even taking a physical challenge." Gastronomic gurus can contact TVFN at 212/398-8836 and ask for the Pressure Cooker hotline.


Former Amandine Bakery owner Alain Braux has ceased production of Amandine French Sorbets because production costs were too high to make the product at a competitive price. The master pastry chef has been invited to teach pastry arts in Houston but has elected to stay in Austin to be a full-time dad... Russell Millner of Russell's Bakery & Coffee Shop signed a lease last week to relocate his expanded business to a small shopping center at the corner of Hancock and Balcones Drive. It should make a great addition to the food scene in that near northwest neighborhood.

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