Food-O-File

How the Southwest was won

Travis Tober
Travis Tober

More and more new restaurants are introducing themselves to Austinites at sip-and-stroll charity events – think LaV or Olamaie offering tasty previews that whetted appetites and created buzz. At this Thursday's 25th annual La Dolce Vita food and wine festival on the grounds of Laguna Gloria, Beverage Director Travis Tober of the upcoming Vox Table, will present one-of-a-kind drinks in the cocktail lounge. Vox Table (1000 S. Lamar) is scheduled to open in early 2015 in the Lamar Union development.

Chef Kevin Quinn, Certified Executive Chef and lead culinary instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts here in Austin is preparing to take the American Culinary Federation's Certified Master Chef exam when it is offered at the Le Cordon Bleu campus in Pasadena, Calif., later this month. Quinn will be one of 11 chefs taking the eight-day exam. There are currently only 67 chefs with CMC certification in the United States.

It's Food Fight time again! Austin's Les Dames d'Escoffier has put together a mouthwatering array of culinary auction items such as hotel packages, festival passes, yoga classes with wine and cheese pairings, food deliveries, private farmhouse dinners, and many more inviting prizes valued from $20 to $3,000 that are being added daily as the bidding war goes on. The bidding opened on Monday, Oct. 13 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 25 at www.ldeiaustin.org/food-fight. The proceeds from Food Fight go to fund culinary scholarships for young women and public school garden projects.

Another popular local contest runs from Tuesday, Oct. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 26, so be sure to buy your one-, two-, or six-day wristband for Truck by Truckwest in order to get tasting samples at participating local food trucks. Intrepid diners who sample food from participating mobile vendors vote for their favorite, and the truck with the most votes wins $10,000, to be awarded at Trailer Food Tuesday at the Long Center Oct. 28. For complete details, go to www.trailercrawl.com.

Lee Ahlbrandt, former restaurant chef and landscaper, is fighting brain cancer and, once again, Austin's generous hospitality community is coming together in support of one of their own with a benefit. Make a $10 donation at the Rattle Inn (610 Nueces) this Sunday, Oct. 19 between 5-11pm, and enjoy lots of live music while bidding on an incredibly meaty array of silent auction items.

Readers in Southwest Austin are excited about new and improved dining options in their area. I've heard from several people about the improvements made by a new chef at the popular Cafe Malta (3421 W. William Cannon), Circle C folks are flocking to the new outlet of North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery (5701-D Slaughter), and there's anticipation about a new Cuban spot called Guantanamera (6800 Westgate Blvd. #112) slated to take over a former Chinese takeout spot.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin food news, Travis Tober, Vox Table, La Dolce Vita, Cafe Malta, North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery, Guantanamera, Kevin Quinn, Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts, Les Dames d'Escoffier, Truck by Truckwest, Lee Ahlbrandt

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