Great food and creative fundraising go hand in hand here in Austin for the next few weeks.


Eventful Days

Great food and creative fundraising go hand in hand here in Austin for the next few weeks. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mexic-Arte at the museum's third annual Taste of Mexico on Thursday, May 2, from 6-9pm at the corner of Fifth & Congress. In a festive, tent-covered outdoor market, guests will enjoy live music and sample the tastiest dishes from more than 30 Austin Mexican restaurants as well as those from six honored guest restaurants from our sister city of Saltillo, Mexico. (In a true demonstration of Texas hospitality, downtown restaurateurs will open their restaurant kitchens to the visiting chefs from Saltillo, providing them places to cook as well as hosting tours and receptions for the visitors. We'll have more about that next week.) The museum party will also feature a silent auction and a Desfile de Comida or Food Fashion Show, where participating restaurants will present signature dishes as their models take the stage. Proceeds from the event benefit Mexic-Arte Museum. Call 480-9373 to charge tickets for this grand fiesta!... In an effort to broaden their donor base, the organizers of Austin's annual Share Our Strength anti-hunger fundraiser are presenting a series of tantalizing events rather than one big dinner. The events will take place between May 2 and June 15 and the local beneficiaries of the S.O.S. funds will once again be Caritas of Austin and the Sustainable Food Center. Austinites who are interested in supporting the hunger-fighting goals of these worthwhile organizations can choose from a variety of parties: There will be seven $75-per-person wine dinners scheduled at local restaurants between May 5-28; a $100-per-person Chef Trio series where teams of chefs will pool their talents preparing dinners on May 2, 8, and 14; the $35-per-person tasting event series where guests can sample Italian sparkling wines at Asti on June 4, Mojito cocktails at Saba Blue Water Cafe on June 6, sake at Kenichi on June 12, and Spanish sherrys at Malaga on June 19; and the Wild Beast Feast Clay Shoot & Wild Game Dinner ($1,000 per team of four, $250 for individual shooters, $35 for non-shooters) which will be held on June 2 at the Cypress Valley Preserve with chefs David Bull of the Driskill Hotel, Kevin Williamson of Ranch 616/Ella's Ranch and Will Packwood, formerly of Emilia's, preparing the meal. For more information about these events or to purchase tickets, contact Paula Biehler at 328-3935 or visit the local Web site at

Alice Waters in Austin

It's no exaggeration to say that Berkeley, Calif., restaurateur Alice Waters has had a tremendous impact on an entire generation of American chefs and restaurateurs, in many ways changing the way Americans eat and think about food. Her groundbreaking Chez Panisse restaurant set the standard for serving fresh, local, seasonal, and, whenever possible, organic produce -- a standard that many restaurants around the country aspire to today. Waters will be in Austin in May, speaking and signing copies of her new book, Chez Panisse Fruit (HarperCollins, $34.95), at a $125-per-person class at Central Market Cooking School (4001 N. Lamar, 458-3068) on May 10. Waters will also be fêted at a $7-per-person dinner party and booksigning hosted by Fonda San Miguel owner Tom Gilliland on Thursday, May 9, at 7pm at the restaurant (2330 W. North Loop, 459-4121). Chef Miguel Ravago will prepare the meal honoring Waters. The cost of each event includes a signed copy of Alice Waters' new book, and each event requires reservations. They are filling up fast!

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Alice Waters, Mexic-Arte Museum, Taste of Mexico, Share Our Strength, Caritas of Austin, Sustainable Food Center

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