Four words: Texas straight bourbon whiskey
Today's Texas distilling industry is in much the same place as the wine industry was 26 years ago when the festival was founded here in Austin. New companies are coming online every year, such as the new Spirit of Texas Distillery in Pflugerville (www.spiritoftx.com) that's producing rum for Pecan Street Rum. Garrison Brothers
Distillery (www.garrisonbros.com) recently released a small batch of its 94 proof Texas straight bourbon whiskey to selected stores in the Hill Country, San Antonio, and Austin. If this most recent batch is already sold out, you are invited to tour the distillery off Highway 290 West in Hye and enjoy a sample during your visit. And speaking of distilled spirits, kudos to La Condesa's Nate Wales, a member of the U.S. bartending team that took first place in the recent Cocktail World Cup punch challenge with its "42Below the Mason-Dixie Line" punch.
The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas is seeking applications for its fourth annual Pastry Scholarship Competition. The winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship, and two runners-up get $1,000 each. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in an accredited culinary program at the time of the competition. See complete details and application forms at www.winefoodfoundation.org. Applications must be received by 5pm Friday, April 8, to be considered.
Round Rock Farms 2 Market opens Wednesday, April 6, from 4 to 7pm in the Dell Diamond parking lot off Highway 79. A new website is coming soon at www.roundrockfarmersmarket.org. Also, the new 6701 Burnet Road Market, formerly known as the Travis County Farmers' Market, reopens April 7 with market days on Thursdays from 4 to 8pm and Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. Learn about upcoming events at www.6701burnetroadmarket.com.