Food-o-File

Chef stuff and tube news


Chef News

Two chef instructors at the Texas Culinary Academy (11400 Burnet Rd., 837-2665, www.tca.org) recently completed the career evaluation and written testing necessary to be awarded important credentials conferred by the professional culinary organizations to which they belong. Chef Rebecca Barsch Fischer has earned the designation of Certified Executive Chef from the American Culinary Federation, and chef Edna Lynn Porter has earned the designation of Certified Culinary Professional from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Congratulations to them both... Owners of the Blair House Inn (100 W. Spoke Hill in Wimberley, 877/549-5450, www.blairhouseinn.com) have announced the hiring of Matt Malowski as executive chef and cooking instructor. Malowski, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has worked in upscale restaurants and hotels across the United States and Europe. He was most recently executive chef at the new Whole Foods Market flagship store in downtown Austin. Blair House owners Vickie and Mike Schneider expect Malowski to invest his cooking and teaching expertise in the expansion of their popular recreational cooking classes and Saturday-night dinners. Check out his menus and cooking-class schedules on their Web site... Chef/owner Tyson Cole of Uchi (801 S. Lamar, 916-4808) e-mailed to let us know that he has added two accomplished local chefs to his large, diverse cooking staff. The sophisticated dessert creations of Phillip Speer will now complement meals at Uchi, and Deegan McClung is the new chef de cuisine at the nationally recognized eatery.


More Food TV

Just like many other cable channels, the Food Network is rolling out new programming for our summer entertainment, and Central Texans are getting their fair share of exposure. Jamie and Bobby Deen have taken off without mom, Paula, in a program that is part travelogue and part product-promotion called Road Tasted (Tuesdays, 9pm). The good ol' Southern boys drive cross-country sampling distinctive regional food products and telling the audience how to get them. They came through Central Texas this spring, making pies with Bud Royer at Royer's Round Top Cafe (www.royersroundtopcafe.com) and whipping up some chili-spiked Aztec brownies with Austin baker Mary Louise Butters (www.buttersbrownies.com). When it came time for barbecue, the Deens dropped in on Skeeter Miller and company at the County Line (www.airribs.com) and chowed down on some of those gargantuan beef ribs. We'll try to keep you posted on when this program is scheduled to air... Another new cooking-competition show features the ubiquitous Bobby Flay in something called Throwdown (Thursdays, 9pm). Here, the guests on the show were recruited by an ad on the Food Network Web site that encouraged respondents to write in describing their "culinary claim to fame," in hopes of becoming the subject of a Food Network profile. Thirteen unsuspecting cooks were chosen, and production crews showed up to shoot them preparing their particular specialty, such as chowder, wedding cakes, chili, or jerk chicken. At some point during the shoot, Flay arrives out of nowhere in a black SUV and, much to the guests' surprise, challenges them to a "throwdown" wherein he'll compete with them, preparing his version of their specialty. The half-hour programs end up being as much or more about Flay and his own preparation for the "throwdowns" as they are about the guest cooks, which I found disappointing. A segment featuring Terlingua International Chili Championship competition cook Cindy Reed Wilkins (www.cinchili.com) of Houston is scheduled to air on Thursday, July 26. Austin cookbook and children's book author Angela Shelf Medearis prepared jerk chicken with Flay and received two swanky new Weber grills used in the program when it was over. The episode will air Aug. 10, and we'll bet Flay got more than he bargained for with the sassy, media-savvy Medearis. She should end up with her own show.


Event Menu: July 26-Aug. 3

The Chautauqua River School is a local nonprofit that provides on-the-water recreation and education for at-risk youth in Austin and sells excellent Chautauqua River School Smoked Salmon at the Sunset Valley Farmers' Market to fund some of their programs. This weekend, the group celebrates a new name, the Texas River School, and a new home at the Texas Rowing Center with a family-fun-filled benefit at the Broken Spoke (3201 S. Lamar, 442-6189). The event will include a silent auction during sets by Bill Oliver & the Otter Space Band, Karen Mal, Lee Edwards and Claudia Voyles, plus the headlining performance (8pm) of Dale Watson & His Lone Stars. Admission is $20 at the door, and children younger than 12 get in free; 6pm to midnight, Wednesday, Aug. 2.

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