Awards and accolades up for grabs this August

August is a busy month for contests with local culinary implications. First up, Meals on Wheels & More celebrates 40 years of providing meals to Austin's homebound elderly and disabled with a recipe contest. The agency wants to choose a nutritious, economical new entrée for their menu lineup, with the winning dish bearing the name of the person who submitted it. Finalists will be chosen by the agency's food service director, executive chef, and nutritionist. Those recipes will be prepared and agency staff will help choose the winner. Go to for details, and enter the contest between Aug. 20 and Sept. 10. The winner will be announced here and on the MOWAM website on Sept. 26.

Food artisans around the country have until Aug. 31 to enter the annual Good Food Awards competition in any of nine categories. See details and entry forms at Regional finalists will be announced in November, and the awards are handed out at a gala event in San Francisco in January 2013. Ask Confituras' owner Steph­an­ie McClenny what winning a Good Food Award has done for her business.

And finally, has announced the names of the 18 finalists in their annual Start Small, Go Big contest that provides professional mentoring and national publicity to small business winners in six categories. Winners will be chosen based on online voting between now and Friday, Aug. 24. Austinite Amy Kritzer's What Jew Wanna Eat blog is a finalist in the food and drink category. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Kritzer teaches cooking classes and puts her personal spin on traditional Jewish home cooking recipes. Follow her on Twitter @WhatJewWannaEat. To introduce Kritzer to our readers and encourage Austinites to vote for her, we're featuring some of her recipes for Rosh Hashanah dishes on our On the Range blog. Check them out, and vote for Amy daily at

In.gredients (2610 Manor Rd.) is a new health food grocery in central East Austin. To reduce packaging waste, the store offers many items in bulk and encourages shoppers to bring their own shopping bags and containers. Weigh containers on arrival, shop, and off you go.

Local restaurant news: A taste-tempting weekend brunch is up and running in the 400 Rab­bits lounge at the Alamo Drafthouse Slaugh­ter ... After a successful 11-year run, sisters Anna Zovek and Piroska Althauser will close their European Bistro (111 E. Main, Pflug­er­ville) on Aug. 31. Anna will remain in Central Tex­as near her grandson, but Piroska will return to their native Hungary where she can get 100% insurance coverage for chronic health problems. A tavern called Stein & Stem will replace the restaurant this fall... No sooner had chef Tyler Johnson received raves on our blog for his menu overhaul at Hugo's Res­tau­rant y Tequila Bar (300 S. Lamar), than we received notice he's turned the kitchen there over to chef Albert Carreno, leaving to open Micheladas Cafe y Cantina (333 E. Second) with Downtown hospitality veterans Bob and Clay Woody.

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