Bistro 3158 takes its dining series trans-Atlantic; plus, Amy's Ice Creams celebrates Oliver Stone

Photo by John Anderson

By the time this goes to press, the live Top Chef 2007 finale will have been over for a few hours. After last week's semifinal elimination, I'm banking on Texan Casey Thompson of Shinsei in Dallas to take the prize. While she may lack Dale Levitski's audacity, and she certainly does not possess the blazing knife skills of Hung Huynh (whose cooking was described last week as "technically precise but soulless" by no less an expert than chef Eric Ripert), Thompson has come into her own in the last few weeks of competition. It would be great to see a Texas woman chef win the whole thing... Last fall, regular Chronicle contributor Mick Vann attended a dinner at Austin Community College's Culinary Arts program's Bistro 3158 and shared a story about it with our readers. This fall, ACC students in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, and Meeting and Event Planning are creating another stellar dinner series that is open to the public. The dinners this season are designed to "capture the classic glamour, grace, and flavor of the famous trans-Atlantic cruise ships." Bistro 3158 is located at the ACC Eastview Campus (3401 Webberville #3000-3158), and the dinners will take place from 6 to 7:30pm on Thursdays from Oct. 4 through Nov. 8, Nov. 29, and Dec. 6. For more information, prices, menus, and reservations, go to Amy's Ice Creams is known locally for its myriad of delicious flavors and the razzle-dazzle showmanship of the servers in their popular scoop shops. In keeping with that spirit of creativity, the folks at Amy's are partnering with the upcoming Austin Film Festival to honor screenwriter/director/producer Oliver Stone, no stranger to showmanship himself. During the entire week of AFF (Oct. 11-18), Amy's will be serving the following flavors inspired by Stone's work: Any Given Sundae (Mexican vanilla swirled with fudge, nuts, and cherries), Cone and the Bluebarian (blueberry ice cream with waffle-cone chunks), Natural Born Chiller (mango-banana ice), and Walnut Street (sweet cream, walnuts, and honey). Look for the Stone-inspired flavors at Amy's Super South (3100 S. Congress), Amy's SoCo (1301 S. Congress), Amy's Sixth Street (1012 W. Sixth), and at the airport location at Gate 12... The hottest-selling new food items in the SoCo neighborhood are being purchased from a shiny new Airstream trailer with a rotating cupcake on top. Hey Cupcake! entrepreneur Wesley Hurt tells us the student foot-traffic in the campus area was not sustaining his first location on 24th Street, so he's reserving the portable wooden hut for festival sales and has moved his retail operation to SoCo. The new trailer in the 1600 block of South Congress is open for business Tuesday through Thursday from noon until 9pm and Fridays and Saturdays from noon until late night. Cupcake flavors include vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, and carrot cake, and they are selling like hot-, uh, cupcakes!

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