Food-o-file

Whole Foods and Alamo expand, UT opens its doors wide, and more


Opening Days

As the Chronicle hits the stands today, Austin entrepreneur John Mackey and Mayor Will Wynn are breaking bread at the opening ceremonies for the new Whole Foods Market flagship store downtown at 525 N. Lamar. The opening was preceded by private media tours and public festivities touting the remarkable new store, the crown jewel of Mackey's giant Austin-based health-food grocery chain. Earlier this week, members of the Chronicle Food staff inspected all the amazing attributes of the new facility and attended the gala Block Party bash. We'll be sharing our reactions in an upcoming issue.

Whole Foods isn't the only homegrown Austin business celebrating a new location this week. Dinner-and-a-movie theatre-innovators Tim and Karrie League will unveil their eagerly awaited new outlet, the Alamo Drafthouse South (1120 S. Lamar), on Monday, March 7, with a week of great film events. Join us at 7pm on Wednesday, March 9, for a special Eat, Drink, Watch Movies screening of the legendary Japanese film Rashomon enhanced with an eclectic menu designed by chef Tyson Cole of Uchi (801 S. Lamar, 916-4808). The $50 reserved seat tickets entitle guests to an enjoyable evening of award-winning food and film benefitting the Capital Area Food Bank, plus a $25 gift certificate from Uchi. Make reservations online at www.originalalamo.com.


Event Menu: March 4-10

• If you've got the most unsightly kitchen in town and want to remodel rather than move, drop by the booth of Austin custom kitchen design firm Kitchens by Chris Anne (637-1744, www.kitchensbychrisanne.com) at the Austin Home and Garden Show this weekend to enter Austin's Ugliest Kitchen Contest. The winner will receive free design consultation and drawings plus generous discounts from various local vendors; Austin Home & Garden Show, Austin Convention Center, March 4-6.

• The sixth annual Explore UT open house takes place this Saturday. Food-related events, including the Science of Food Production, Food Quality Testing, and Do It 5 Times a Day, will be presented. For more info, www.utexas.edu/events/exploreut; Mary E. Gearing Hall, UT Campus 11am-4pm, Saturday, March 5.

• Chef Sean Fulford of Zin American Bistro & Bar (1601 W. 38th #1, 377-5252, www.zinbistro.com) invites new friends and loyal patrons to join him at a monthly Chef's Table dinner featuring a five-course meal with wine-pairing suggestions by Neil Turner. The table seats 12 and reserved seats are $75; 6:30pm, Tuesday, March 8.

• Concerned about the proliferation of genetically modified foods in the mainstream American food supply? Attend the free screening of a new documentary film, The Future of Food, offering "an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods" finding their way onto our grocery shelves. Producer Deborah Koons Garcia will present the film and be available for a Q&A. For more info, go to www.saynotogmos.org and www.thefutureoffood.com; Texas Union Theatre, 24th & Guadalupe. 6:30-9:45pm, Wednesday, March 9.

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