The 'Saveur' Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival revs up, Uchi chef Tyson Cole racks up the awards, and more

Wine and Food Festival Awards

The Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival kicks off tonight with a gala reception at the Texas Disposal Systems Exotic Game Ranch and Pavilion hosted by Food Network personality Tyler Florence. In addition to a skeet-shooting competition, delicious grilled fare prepared by guest celebrity chefs, and tastings of wine and spirits, the evening's activities will include an awards ceremony recognizing important contributions to the Texas wine and food industries. Twin Liquors owner David Jabour is the 2005 inductee into Who's Who in Texas Food and Wine; Chronicle wine columnist Wes Marshall is recognized as the Unsung Hero for his informed support of the Texas wine industry; and the restaurant receiving the Dine With Texas Wine award is Cafe 909 in Marble Falls. Texas artisan food producers chosen as Saveur's Authentic Texas Stars are Amy Salazar of La Paletera in San Antonio, Sam Greenberg of Greenberg Turkeys in Tyler, and Paula Lambert, founder of the Mozzarella Company in Dallas. Congratulations to all of the honorees.

Best Chef 2005

Uchi executive chef Tyson Cole is having quite a month! He has just returned from a gala celebration in New York City, where he was named one of the Top Ten New Chefs of 2005 by Food & Wine magazine. Tyson will join the other nine top chefs at the annual Aspen Food & Wine Festival in Colorado in June and be an F&W cover boy in the July issue. This is great news for the young chef, his restaurant, and the entire Austin dining scene. And that's not all: We also hear that chef Cole is in the running for a James Beard Foundation regional best chef award, with the winners to be announced in early May. Be sure to congratulate Cole when you stop at Uchi's table at the Stars Across Texas tasting Friday night at the Hilton.

Event Menu: April 8-14

• The Thai Association of Central Texas invites Austinites to a spring Thai Festival at Fiesta Gardens (2101 Bergman). The festivities will include demonstrations of authentic Thai arts and crafts, language, costumes and music, fruit and vegetable carvings, plus food booths and a cooking competition. For more information, go to; noon-5pm, Sunday, April 10.

• Popular local restaurateur Suzi Yi will conduct her first ever cooking class at the Central Market Cooking School (4001 N. Lamar, 458-3068). Fans of her three busy restaurants will want to sign up to learn some of the secrets to her delicious cuisine. The class is $50, and reservations are necessary; 6:30pm, Monday, April 11.

• In response to the recent financially devastating robbery at Hyde Park Theatre (, the folks at Zin Bistro (#1 Jefferson Square) will hold a $75-per-person benefit dinner to help the theatre replace some of the stolen equipment. Seating is limited, and reservations can be made by calling the theatre at 479-7529; 7pm, Wednesday, April 13.

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Saveur Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival, Tyson Cole, Uchi, Thai Association of Central Texas, Suzy Yi, Hyde Park Theatre, Zin Bistro

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