Huzzahs for local restaurateurs, plus comings and goings
This time last year, Austin chef Paul Qui competed against international cooking talent in the S. Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice, Italy, and came home the winner of the Young Chef of the Year 2013 award. This weekend, he'll be back at the 14th annual cooking contest and regatta as a member of the prestigious judging panel. Not a bad way to spend the weekend... When the Texas Restaurant Association holds the President's Gala at their annual convention next week in Houston, Austin restaurateur and County Line co-owner Don "Skeeter" Miller will be named to the TRA Hall of Honor. This is the highest honor a TRA member can receive from his or her peers and it puts Miller in a very elite group, just as County Line begins its 40th year in business... And speaking of honors, chef Sonya Coté's pastoral restaurant, Eden East (755 Springdale) at Springdale Farm, has been named one of the Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants in America by Open Table, one of only four Texas eateries to make the list of mostly resort destinations.
We're told the former Stallion Grill (5201 Airport) is sporting a permit application for a business called Sala and Betty. No word yet on what the new restaurant will offer, but it will have plenty of parking and the possibility of a convenient drive-through window.
Partners Ben Googins and Elias Martins are no longer owners of Rio's Brazilian Cafe (408 N. Pleasant Valley), but the popular Eastside spot has been reopened under the management of Aaron Googins and will be welcoming soccer fans during the World Cup, Wednesdays through Sundays... Stopped by Foreign & Domestic (306 E. 53rd) for Casa Brasil coffee and popovers on Saturday morning and ran into some of the same folks who used to frequent the regular bake sales there. The restaurant is now open for coffee and pastries daily, Monday-Saturday, 7-11am, and Sundays, 9am-3pm.
Former Threadgill's general manager Dave Whitney and San Antonio chef Jason Garcia have opened aRoma Italian Kitchen & Bar (3403 S. Lamar), serving Italian cuisine, complemented by an extensive wine list and full bar, daily from 5pm... T&S Seafood (10014 N. Lamar), a popular spot for dim sum and once the favorite late-night haunt of local chefs, has closed... The Food Lab at the University of Texas is offering a start-up competition for teams of entrepreneurs with innovative business plans for a product or process that can "affect and improve how the food supply chain functions." Registration began June 1 and runs through Sept. 30. The competition is open to everyone, and during this first year, they will award $30,000 in the form of four $5,000 prizes and one $10,000 grand prize. For more about the Food Lab challenge, go to austinchronicle.com/daily/food.