Every year, some of Austin's top female chefs join a group of talented local chanteuses to raise money for their favorite girl singers, the Austin Girl's Choir. This year's stellar lineup includes such vocal and culinary notables as Shelley King, Susanna Sharpe, the Texana Dames, the Beat Divas, the Therapy Sisters, and the young choirgirls themselves, plus tantalizing tastes from Asti, Accommodating Chef, Bitter End Bistro, Cafe Mundi, Dolce Vita, the Culinary Academy of Austin, Mozart's, Prairie Rock Catering, Wakichef, Zoot, and more! Come join the festivities at Women Who Cook this Sunday, February 24, from 1-6pm at La Zona Rosa (612 W. Fourth). Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and are available from choir members or the choir office at 453-0884.
Local gourmand Forrest Preece turned me on to the hottest new takeout place in West Austin this week and now I have a refrigerator full of delicious comestibles from Cooper's Meat Market (1601 W. 38th, #12, 467-6700, www.coopersmeatmarket.com). No, this place has no connection whatsoever to the Coopers of the Central Texas barbecue dynasty, but it is a family operation. Brother and sister Cooper Boddy and Lee Boddy Morrison have a two-store butcher shop/takeout franchise that started in the Alamo Heights neighborhood of San Antonio four years ago. When Lee Morrison retired from politics (she was a Bush campaign staffer who opted not to go to Washington) last year, she decided to follow her older brother into the food business. She opened her own branch of Cooper's in the toney Jefferson Square shopping center in West Austin. Morrison's steaks, seafood, game, chicken, pork, lamb, veal, and delightful assortment of prepared foods are the talk of the neighborhood. When I stopped in, she and her staff were in the process of preparing 50 dinners to go for Valentine's Day and helping a newlywed pick out the right wine to go with his Chilean Sea Bass. Cooper's offers deli sandwiches, prepared entrées, soups, casseroles, side dishes, and a limited selection of wines. Check them out. Another new takeout option is at the seafood counter in the Whole Foods Markets (601 N. Lamar, 476-1206; 9607 Research, 345-5003). Every day, they're featuring delectable seafood soups such as Fish Chowder with corn and bacon, bouillabaisse, and Cioppino by the cup ($3.49), the pint ($4.49), or the quart ($7.99). That makes it possible to grab a fresh roll from the bakery and a cup of soup if you're on the run, or to get salad from the deli and a quart of good soup for the family for dinner.
South-Tex Wine Distributors head honcho Steve Struvey brings his huge personal traveling barbecue rig to the parking lot of The Cellar (3520 Bee Caves Road, 328-6464) this Saturday, February 23rd from 11am-5pm for an event he and Cellar owners Rob Moshein and Todd Mathis are calling Zin Fest. Pit boss/wine rep Struvey will serve his signature barbecue with tastings of nine of California's best small production Zinfandels in three flights of three wines each at intervals throughout the day. This shindig is free and all Zinfandels are also on sale, so come early and stay late!
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