Local foodies who are traveling for food, and an update on the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival.
Will Travel for Food
Local culinary professionals are doing plenty of traveling for food these days. Culinary educators Ken Rubin of Foodworks and Glen Mack of the Culinary Academy of Austin and Foodworks set off in vastly different directions. Rubin returned to the Mexican Pacific coast village of Ylapa for two weeks to resume teaching Mexican cooking classes to visiting American foodies and chefs. Glen Mack and his young family depart for the balsamic vinegar-production area of Modena, Italy, next week, where he will use scholarship money provided by the International Association of Culinary Professionals to study Italian food ways. While in Italy, Glen will work in a family-owned restaurant in Modena and research handmade pastas and regional pasta dishes in Tuscany and Apulia. After two months of study in Italy, the Macks will move on to the Crimean coast, where the multilingual Glen will help to computerize the discoveries of a joint anthropological venture between the University of Texas and a Russian museum Three prominent members of the Austin food community created a storm of their own in New York City just before the big blizzard of '01. Cathy Cochran-Lewis, Jenny Stone, and Paula Biehler spent several days in the Big Apple dining out and meeting with most of the major food media outlets in an effort to promote Austin chefs and restaurants, the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, and the statewide expansion of the Central Market Cooking Schools. After her exceptional success bringing the flagship CM Cooking School to national prominence, Cochran-Lewis was recently given the job of overseeing the development of cooking schools in the new Central Market stores opening in Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas. She spent some time in New York booking teachers for the schools and convincing publishing houses to include a Texas circuit on their cookbook authors' future book promotion tours. THCWAFF Executive Director Jenny Stone met with editors of major food magazines and the TVFN, drumming up support for and interest in the annual Austin food and wine festival. Restaurant public relations maven Paula Biehler, owner of Biehler & Associates Public Relations, touted her stable of chef clients to the booking manager at the James Beard Foundation House. Biehler's clients include the Driskill Hotel's David Bull, Dave Hermann of the Range in Salado, Will Packwood of Emilia's, and Larry Perdido of Saba Blue Water Cafe.
Studying the brochure for this year's Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, I noticed several seminars of local interest. On Friday morning, April 6, guest celebrity chef Jose Andres will teach a class on Spanish Flavors at Central Market ($45) and that afternoon there will be a seminar on Spanish Sherry and Tapas ($35) taught by visiting authors John Mariani and Penelope Casas at Malaga. Also that afternoon, there will be a seminar on Kitchen Design ($50) at the Shoreline Grill featuring a panel of experts that includes Helen Thompson, author of Cooking Spaces, award-winning local restaurant architect Dick Clark, kitchen designer Keni Neff, and architect/interior designer Joe Prados of Laurie Smith Design. Notable events on Saturday, April 7 include a Spanish Wine seminar ($35) at the Four Seasons Hotel and a Spanish Regional Cheese & Wine Primer and booksigning at the Granite Cafe. The festival winds up on Sunday, April 8, with the ever-popular Sunday Fair ($40) at the Salt Lick Pavilion. Call 329-0770 to register.