More stops on Austin's culinary map
By Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Oct. 31, 2014
The Good Food Awards finalists for 2015 include several Austinites: Jester King Brewery for the Atrial Rubicite and Montmorency vs. Balaton beers; White Mountain Foods for Bulgarian yogurt; Pogue Mahone Pickles for Texas Sweet Heat pickles; and Confituras for wild plum jam. The winners will be announced at a San Francisco gala Jan. 8.
The Southern Foodways Alliance held the 2014 symposium in Oxford, Miss., this past weekend, and Austinite Toni Tipton-Martin was a recipient of the organization's prestigious John Egerton Prize. The prize recognizes work by "artists, writers, scholars, food artisans, cooks, or farmers whose work in the American South addresses issues of race, class, gender, social, and environmental justice through the lens of food." Tipton-Martin (www.thejemimacode.com) will use the $5,000 prize as seed money for an African-American foodways symposium in Austin in 2015.
Austin's artisan chocolate boom continues with the opening of Chocolaterie Tessa (7425 Burnet Rd.) where second-generation chocolatier Tessa Halstead is creating custom truffles, bon bons, seasonal molded chocolate items, and all kinds of chocolate-covered treats. Halstead grew up around her father Rex Morgan's chocolate shop in Dallas and attended the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy in Chicago. She will celebrate the grand opening of her shop on Wednesday, Nov. 5.
Cherrywood, Mueller, and Wilshire Wood residents are eagerly awaiting the grand opening of the 27th outlet of Torchy's Tacos (1801 E. 51st) on Thursday, Nov. 20. The new restaurant features the interior design of the company's future outlets including a full bar, but also offers a shaded dining patio overlooking Bartholomew Park.
Carlos Rivero's El Chile restaurant group is busy this week with the opening of a new El Chilito (1623 E. Seventh) outlet and a Día de los Muertos party on Saturday, Nov. 1 from noon-2pm at the El Chile Cafe y Cantina (1816 S. First). Chef Jeff Martinez will roast a whole pig and guests can enjoy tacos and street foods while supplies last, plus margarita specials in the dining room. Partygoers are encouraged to come in costume and bring offerings for an altar. The party will also be the occasion of the announcement that the El Chile space will be transformed to house a new concept in early 2015. AlcoMar will be a Latin coastal kitchen featuring the chef-driven cuisine of Alma Alcocer-Thomas and Martinez in the atmosphere of a rustic coastal beach house.