Food-o-File

Let's just go ahead and get under way ...

The Mangia pizza boat
The Mangia pizza boat

Earlier in the year, we reported that Oasis owner Beau Theriot had hired high-profile Houston chef Tim Keating to run the kitchen operation at the popular Lake Travis-area restaurant. Turns out chef Keating's tenure there was very short, and he's now at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Fla. The Oasis kitchen is back under the supervision of a group of longtime employees... Another change of which we've recently become aware is that Lee Morrison and Bud Royer dissolved their joint venture earlier this spring, and now the cozy West Austin meat market and takeout shop is known simply as Lee's Meat Market (467-6700). "After all these years of explaining to people that we were not related to the Cooper's barbecue dynasty, I realized it would just be easier if the store was named after me [Lee] rather than my brother, Cooper. His original place in San Antonio still has his name," Morrison told us recently... Meanwhile, look for the Royers to be featured in a new TVFN program called Road Tasted and to debut a snazzy new Web site upgrade (www.royersroundtopcafe.com) from which they'll pursue the mail-order pie business full tilt this fall... If you're cruising on Lake Travis this weekend and happen to see a 16-foot-tall dinosaur headed your way, don't think summer horror movie; think pizza. That's right: Those wacky guys from Mangia Pizza (six area locations) are sporting a new pull-up pizza boat with a giant Mangiasaurus rex dinosaur sitting on the bow. The pizza boat has a three-person crew eager to serve up delicious Mangia pizza, ice, and soft drinks. "Whether they're anchored in Devil's Cove or rounding Windy Point, we make it easy for people on the water to get our great pizza without leaving their boat. All they have to do is pull up to the dinosaur and get their food," explains Mangia owner Mark Negro. The Mangia pizza boat will be serving on Lake Travis during daylight hours every Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day... In keeping with a food-preparation trend that has been sweeping the country in the past couple of years, Mike and Cindy Lopez opened Whatcha Got Cooking (3601 W. William Cannon #750, 891-7770, www.whatchagotcooking.com) in Southwest Austin this spring. Customers can make reservations online, scheduling one- or two-hour cooking sessions during which they'll prepare six to 12 tasty meals in the well-equipped kitchen studio. The prepared foods are then ready for the freezer, providing several hassle-free meals for busy working families. Individuals or groups are welcome to schedule sessions or cooking parties during the week or on weekends. Sessions are always hosted by a Whatcha Got Cooking staffer and include complimentary appetizers and wine. Menus change monthly. Check the Web site for menus, pricing options, and to make reservations.


Event Menu :: July 6-13

Barton Creek Square Mall hosts Sara Moulton, one of television's busiest and most popular celebrity chefs, and TV host Bill Boggs at the daylong Simon Super Chefs Live! event this weekend. Mall shoppers will be treated to a day of cooking demonstrations by local chefs from Cafe Caprice and 34th Street Cafe; wine seminars; food and beverage samples; vendor information booths; booksignings; and culinary activities with participating retailers and restaurants. The day will culminate with a crowd-pleasing Super Chefs Cook-Off featuring chefs Jack Gilmore of Z'Tejas Grill and Matt Wayland of the Oasis assisted by audience members and local celebrities. The entire event is free and open to the public; Sat., July 8, 11:30am-5pm.

Central Market and the Blanton Museum of Art (MLK & Congress) are joining forces to present Art Fix, an opportunity to blend art and food. Chefs Cindy Haenel and Paul Schunder will prepare light summer dishes inspired by Giovanni Battista Passeri's Musical Party in a Garden and based on ingredients fresh from the market. The events are free and open to the public; Thu., July 6, 6pm; and Wed., July 12, noon.

Melissa and Tony Curtis-Wellings, proprietors of Faraday's Kitchen Store (1501 RR 620 N., 266-5666, www.faradayskitchenstore.com),

invite Austin foodies to the Culinary Event and Sale commemorating the first anniversary of their business. The daylong party will include cooking and product demonstration, special deals on selected merchandise, and door prizes, plus snow cones and a moonwalk for the kids. DJs from Mix 94.7FM will help them celebrate with free barbecue from Rudy's Country Store & BBQ from 10am-noon; Sat., July 8, 10am-6pm.

Sunset Valley Farmers Market (Toney Burger parking lot, www.sunsetvalleyfarmersmarket.org) launches the Helping Harvest Day this weekend and will donate 5% of all vendor proceeds to benefit AIDS Services of Austin. Lunch and live entertainment, as well as activities for children, will be available; Sat., July 8, 9am-1pm.

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