Food-o-File

Rachael Ray enjoys herself in Austin, and wholesale and online custom bakeries proliferate

While thousands of loyal fans were trying to snag invitations to her big party at Maggie Mae's last week, media queen Rachael Ray, her musician husband John Cusimano, and a film crew from her Rachael's Vacation program were enjoying a delectable farm-to-table meal prepared by Dai Due chef/owner Jesse Griffiths at our favorite urban organic garden, Boggy Creek Farm (3414 Lyons, 926-4650, www.boggycreekfarm.com). The crew also visited Olivia (2043 S. Lamar, 804-2700, www.olivia-austin.com) and shot footage of chef/owner James Holmes shopping for ingredients at the farmstand. We'll let you know when the segment is scheduled to run... Speaking of urban organic gardens, gardening and healthy eating advocates all over the country celebrated last week when it was revealed that a group of Washington, D.C., elementary school students helped first lady Michelle Obama begin planting an organic kitchen garden on the lawn at the White House on March 20. Some produce and herbs from the new garden will be used in the White House kitchen, and some will be donated to a neighborhood soup kitchen where Mrs. Obama volunteers... Kudos to Texas Culi­nary Academy (11400 Burnet Rd., 837-2665, www.chefs.edu/Austin) wine educator "Miss Jane" Nickles, who was named the Ultimate Culi­nary Educator in a competition held at the inaugural summit of the Foodservice Educat­ors Learning Community last month in Charleston, S.C. Nickles' winning presentation, a 15-minute wine-tasting class titled "Ready, Set, Sip" was described as a "combination of lecture, stand-up comedy, beat poetry, rap, and interpretive dance"... I'm amazed by the proliferation of wholesale and online custom bakeries around town recently. Sharing the variety of sweet samples has made me very popular at editorial meetings at the office. After years on the West Coast, dessert maker Michael Hurd, who styles himself as the CinnaMan (673-0565, cinnamandesserts@yahoo.com), has returned to Austin with a tasty line of cheesecakes (his specialty), cakes, cookies, tortes, and tarts for any and all special occasions. Alexan­dra Bruskoff provides the imagination for Alexandra's Cookie Dreams (482-8210, www.alexandrascookiedreams.com), an online bakery featuring a delectable line of signature cookies that can be custom packaged in bags, boxes, and tins to solve every personal, corporate, retail, or wholesale gift-giving dilemma. Austin native Laura Lively offers two sizes of delightful cupcakes (regular and miniature poppers) for every occasion through L's Cupcake Cafe (689-7566, www.cupcakecafeaustin.com). We're told the 1,000 cupcakes she served at the annual prerodeo Cowboy Break­fast disappeared in less than an hour. Former baking and pastry instructor Angela Giles turns out custom sculpted cakes and elegant miniature desserts for weddings and other celebrations at her Blue Note Bakery (4201 S. Congress, 797-7367, www.bluenotebakery.com). Check out her work online, and then make an appointment for samples and consultation.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Rachael Ray, Boggy Creek Farm, Olivia, Jane Nickles, Alexandra's Cookie Dreams, L's Cupcake Cafe

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