In this week's edition of Food-o-file, Austin Chronicle Food editor Virginia B. Wood tells readers about several upcoming charity events that involve food (the best kind!) and mentions a Home Winemaker Conference that readers can attend.
Women Will Be Cookin'
Several local female vocalists and chefs are turning out this weekend in support of the Austin Girl's Choir. Marcia Ball, Rebecca Rather, Toni Price, Brigid Abdenour, Barbara K., Betsy Johnson, and a host of other musical and culinary talents are donating their skills to the "Women Who Cook" fundraiser. The big party will feature a tasting of foods provided by local restaurants, bakeries, and caterers, a raffle and silent auction, plus performances by female artists and the Choir. Bydee-man Brian Joseph created the artwork for signed, limited-edition posters and unsigned commemorative T-shirts. The event is Sunday, February 27, from noon until 6pm at La Zona Rosa (612 West Fourth). The $15 cover and other proceeds will fund choir activities this year, including a performing trip to Europe. Tickets on sale at the door.
Community Minded Chef
The cookbook committee of the Junior League of Austin wants to recognize Austin's "Community Minded Chefs," and they need your help. Nominees should be chefs or other food service professionals who used their culinary talents and resources to improve the greater Austin community in 1999. If you know someone who has given their food, expertise, facilities, and/or time to help others, the JLA wants to know about them, too. Send a one-page letter of recommendation describing the nominees' contributions to: CMCA, JLA Cookbook Committee, 5416 Parkcrest, Austin TX, 78731 by March 31, 2000. Anyone who submits a nomination will receive a coupon worth $25 off on a copy of either of the League's two cookbooks, Necessities & Temptations and The Collection. The Community Minded Chef will be chosen by a panel of League members and recognized at an event in May. Enthusiastic community response could make this an annual award. Considering the generosity of our local chefs and restaurateurs, I can think of at least 10 worthy candidates right off the top of my head. I'll be curious to see if the community at large recognizes them as well.
Wine & Chocolate
The Texas Wine & Grape Grower's Association holds its annual Home Winemaker Conference Saturday, February 26, 8am-4:30pm, at Hill Country Cellars (Hwy 183 in Cedar Park). The conference is one of the few educational opportunities for amateur winemakers and offers the opportunity to learn about different grape varietals and the wines they make, chemical analysis, the use of winemaking kits, and sensory evaluation as a winemaking tool. The $25 fee covers the cost of seminars, lunch, and a wine tasting. Call 817/424-0570 for reservations... Indulge yourself at A Chocolate Fantasy & Fine Art Auction Saturday, February 26, from 8:30pm until midnight at the Texas Federation of Women's Club (24th & San Gabriel). The gala benefits the Waterloo Counseling Center (1524 S. I-35, 444-9922) and features desserts from the Bitter End, Brio Vista, Cafe Josie, Castle Hill Cafe, Mirabelle, Mars, and Jean-Luc's French Bistro, plus champagne, dessert wines, and specialty coffee drinks. Silent auction items ranging from original oils, limited prints, unique fountains, and pottery to travel packages will be available for bidding. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.