Food-o-File

Sarah Rowland benefit shows Austin's big heart and local eats

The rousing success of the benefit for Central Texas farmer Sarah Rowland last week had me counting my blessings once again. That lovely evening made it twice in the same month that I was privileged to witness this community lavishing love and support, both emotional and financial, on friends in need. It is a beautiful thing – the people who live here do give here. Kudos to Larry Butler, Carol Ann Sayle, Suzanne Santos, Salila Travers, Emmett Fox, Mark and Melanie McAfee and the staff at the Barr Mansion, and Marla Camp and her staff at Edible Austin for putting such a great party together in about three weeks. Heartfelt thanks to all the farmers, chefs, artisan food and beverage producers, musicians, and other businesses who donated their products and their talents to a very worthy cause. (See candid photos with this story online at austinchronicle.com.)... Local food businesses are becoming more sensitive to and aware of the issue of gluten intolerance, and that's being reflected on menus and store shelves around town. For example, Zax Pints & Plates (312 Barton Springs Rd., 481-0100, www.zaxaustin.com) has recently added a Tripel-style gluten-free Belgian beer to their menu. The brewers of Quest use "millet, buckwheat, and sorghum instead of barley or wheat as the base malt." Also, celiac sufferers who miss chocolate cake and brownies will want to keep an eye out for the new gluten-free version of Miles of Chocolate, which should show up in local stores before the end of the month. I've tried the new version, and it is every bit as decadently delectable as the original – known to many local chocoholics who can't live without it as "Miles of Crack"... It's gratifying to see restaurants around Austin and the rest of the state doing what they can to feature local produce, meats, and cheeses on their menus, considering how difficult it can be for time-stressed chefs and small farmers to make business connections. For example, most of the chefs who cooked at last week's benefit are all regular farmers' market shoppers who make time in their busy schedules to forage for the best local produce. To make farm-to-restaurant connections easier across the state, the Texas Department of Agriculture created the Go Texan Restaurant Program (www.gotexan.org) this year and already has 274 restaurant members participating. For a $25 annual fee, member restaurants get help in sourcing locally produced foods and benefit from the statewide Go Texan marketing campaign. If the quality of food at the Rowland benefit last week proved anything, it was that when it comes to great flavor, local is certainly the way to go. For more info about the program, call Sarah Riggins at 475-1663 or e-mail sarah.riggins@agr.state.tx.us.

Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

If you want to submit a recipe, send it to food@austinchronicle.com

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Go Texan
Top 9 Savory Bites of 2009*
Top 9 Savory Bites of 2009*
* plus a lagniappe

Virginia B. Wood, Jan. 1, 2010

Austin Reaches Biodiesel Big Leagues
Austin Reaches Biodiesel Big Leagues
New local partnership makes Austin biodiesel pump headquarters

Daniel Mottola, July 28, 2006

More Food-o-File
Food-o-File
Food-o-File
Finding community

Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 18, 2015

Food-o-File
Food-o-File
Town and country

Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 4, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Sarah Rowland benefit, Go Texan, Edible Austin, Zax Pints & Plates, gluten-free beer

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle