Food-o-File

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Central Texas Fruit

Isn't it great how the increase in markets has helped increase the production of fruit crops in Central Texas recently? 2004 has been a particularly great year for fruit crops, starting with strawberries in the spring, then blackberries, peaches, figs, blueberries, and now apples and pears. I sampled a crisp little Gala apple from an orchard near Bertram from the Downtown Farmers' Market (Fourth & Guadalupe) this week, and a crunchy pear from Boggy Creek Farm (3414 Lyons). I'm willing to bet you'll find both apples and pears at all area farmers' markets for the next few weekends.

Food Travels

Boggy Creek farmers Carol Ann Sayle and Larry Butler traveled to Santa Fe, N.M., last week, where they visited their friends, cookbook author Deborah Madison and her artist husband, Pat Fitzgerald. While in the Land of Enchantment, Sayle and Butler also crossed paths with former Austinites Jean-Luc and Denise Salles, who dropped down from their summer jobs in Colorado to forage for mushrooms and visit former Chronicle contributor Rebecca Chastenet and husband, Cedric. The Chastenets welcomed a baby son, Alexander, in midsummer... Central Market Westgate baker Michelle Haram recently returned from spending a month studying literature and writing in Ireland, and TCA grad Amber O'Connor studied the cuisine of Oaxaca at Seasons of My Heart cooking school as part of her externship earlier this summer... Former Austin restaurateur Lalo Garland (Spaghetti Western, El Rinconcito) has returned to his native Lima, Peru. He now operates an eatery called Lalo's, serving the cuisine of the Americas. He encourages local chefs and any former customers who are interested in information about unique South American foodstuffs to contact him at eg2222@telefonica.net.pe.


Event Menu: Sept. 9-19

Dining for Life: A total of 74 of Austin's best restaurants will contribute 15% of their profits to support the programs of AIDS Services of Austin. Check out the ad on p.55 for a list of restaurants and get out on the town! All day Monday, Sept. 13.

Italian Language Classes: Eight-week classes taught at Ciola's Italian-American Restaurant (1310 RR 620 S., 263-9936). Contact instructor Tina Polo (259-2331, tinapolo@flash.net) for reservations. Classes begin Monday, Sept. 13, at 7pm.

Z'Day in Austin: Join Hizzoner the mayor and plenty of fans for the 15th anniversary celebration of an Austin original. Z'Tejas Grill (1110 W. Sixth, 478-5355, www.ztejas.com) is 15 years young this week and throwing a big party to benefit the Old West Austin Neighborhood Association. $25 gets you tasty Southwestern eats and margaritas. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 6pm.

Scotch Whisky Tasting: Opal Divine's Freehouse (700 W. Sixth, 477-3308) hosts master brewer Ian MacMillan of Burn Stewart Distilleries for a tasting of some great whiskies. Reservations required. Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 6pm.

Chuy's Green Chile Festival: Drop by any of the four Chuy's locations to purchase Hatch chiles by the pound, fresh, roasted whole, or roasted and processed. While you're there, try out some of the eight new menu items featuring this year's new crop of chiles. Now through Sept. 19.

Eat, Drink, Watch Movies: You don't want to miss this one-of-a-kind food event at the Barr Mansion (10463 Sprinkle): a sumptuous French banquet, an incredible silent auction, and the alfresco screening of the marvelous foodie movie Vatel, all benefiting chef Roger Mollett. Make reservations online at www.drafthouse.com or pay cash at any Drafthouse box office. Sunday, Sept. 19, 6pm.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Lalo Garland, TCA, Sesons of My Heart Cooking School, Central Market Westgate, Michelle Haram, Eat, Drink, Watch Movies, Chuy's Green Chile Festival, Z'Tejas, Ciola's, Dining for Life

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