Food-o-File

Virginia B. Wood fills you up with chef news and Brazilian celebrations in this week's "Food-o-File."


Chef News

Last spring, we did a feature story on local sous chefs and chefs de cuisine, the go-to men and women who execute the culinary visions of executive chefs in some of Austin's top restaurants. In less than a year, the careers of most of the folks mentioned in that piece have undergone some serious changes, so here's an update. Chronicle contributor MM Pack was in New York City recently and had the opportunity to visit with former Driskill Hotel sous chef Tien Ho, who is now a saucier at Cafe Boulud in Manhattan. Look for that interview on p.44 of this issue. Steve Blaisdell left Granite Cafe for a short stint at Zoot, and last fall he became executive chef at the Barr Mansion. In November, Brenton Childs left the Vespaio kitchen to set up his own catering operation. Asti chef de cuisine Kristie Moore and Granite Cafe sous chef Andy Sasser followed their wedding last summer with a whirlwind European honeymoon. Now the newlyweds are planning a move to Sasser's hometown of Columbia, Mo., by the end of the month. They hope to start a family, open their own restaurant, and buy a home. We wish them every success.

In other local chef news, Catherine Clapner has left Central Market Westgate and is the pastry chef at the new Mansion at Judges' Hill, where a soft opening was planned for last weekend. In a recent e-mail announcement, chef Rino Lanzalotti advised that he closed Bottega Della Pasta in December and is now selling wine and imported specialty foods for Mondovino Inc. According to Lanzalotti, after years of running a chef-owned business, the life of a salesman is much less stressful. Although this little item didn't make the network coverage of the legendary PGA tour event, Austin caterers Ricky Olmedo, Stephen Shallcross, and Melissa Brannen of 2 Dine 4 and Kathyrn Mathis of Wakichef served up a delicious taste of Texas to more than 1,000 hungry golf fans at the Canary Cottage just off the 18th green at the recent AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tourney. On a much more somber note, we offer our sincere condolences to former Starlite chef Chris Howard on the untimely death of his young wife, Amber.


Brazilian Food & Music

Local Brazilian food and music aficionados will want to attend the Alma de Mujer celebration at Las Manitas (211 Congress) on Saturday evening, Feb. 22, from 6-10pm. Marcia Pirmez will present a meal that includes feijoada completa and Caipirinha cocktails. Tickets are $25. For reservations, call 477-6007 or e-mail lapena@igc.apc.org.

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