When chef/restaurateur Teresa Wilson closed Aquarelle in September of last year, her plan was to transform the quaint Downtown cottage at 606 Rio Grande into a restaurant that would be an homage to her Latin heritage. However, Wilson recently announced that she and her backing partners have sold the property, and she's taking some time to consider her options and develop a new restaurant concept.
Craft butchers Ben Runkle and Bryan Butler have announced plans to open Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria this summer at 1912 E. Seventh. The new shop will offer a selection of freshly butchered meats from local and sustainable sources, as well as sausages, smoked meats, salumi, pickles, and a lunch menu of sandwiches, soups, and salads. In the meantime, look for Salt & Time in the Grand Tasting Pavilion at the Austin Food & Wine Festival this weekend.
Entrepreneurs Jeff Tusa and John Anderson have purchased the 25-year-old local hummus company Out to Lunch from founder Woody Hitchcock and renamed it Zilks Foods in a salute to Austin's treasured Zilker Park. With the new branding, they plan to promote their line of flavored hummus products as the next healthy condiment.
Sentelli's Fine Pastry & Specialty Cakes (814 W. 12th) has expanded the in-store product line to include breakfast pastries, wraps, and pizza by the slice, as well as espresso and cappuccino made by a barista. Co-owner Mike Sentell also reports that he and partner Shawn Bonifay are picking up more wholesale dessert clients (Stubb's, the Tavern, the Hilton Austin Airport) and offer large-scale production of desserts such as petit fours, filled cupcakes, and individual pies in tiny Mason jars for weddings and parties.
What started out as some enticing side dishes at last year's Fusebox Festival has developed into a full-scale menu of Digestible Feats based on unique collaborations between chefs, bartenders, and artists from a variety of other disciplines. This year's festival lineup is well-seasoned with seven mouthwatering events featuring everything from music and dancing to a stage play told in cocktails to the screening of a film on mushroom foraging complemented by a meal based on locally sourced wild ingredients. For a full schedule and tickets, go to www.fuseboxfestival.com.
Earlier this spring, Cafe Mundi owner Jessica Nieri was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent surgery – which is now followed up by chemotherapy. Like many people who are self-employed and/or in the hospitality industry, Nieri has no health insurance. In the spirit of community for which Cafe Mundi was famous, a group of Nieri's friends and customers have established a donation fund to help pay for her mounting medical expenses. Go to www.paypal.com and make direct donations to mundilovefund by designating them as a gift under the "personal" tab. We wish Jessica a speedy recovery.
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