The venerable James Beard Foundation has hit the road for its Taste America series, and Austin will get its own taste next weekend. More than two dozen local and visiting chefs are participating in a series of dinners and food events.
The weekend is centerpieced by a three-course dinner on November 16 at the W Hotel prepared by Taste America Visiting All-Stars Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson of Middle Eastern restaurants Madcapra and Kismet in Los Angeles and Local All-Star Michael Fojtasek of Olamaie. A dinner from that trio alone would be enough to grab the foodie spotlight for a weekend, but that dinner will be preceded by a massive tasting and cocktail reception featuring almost a dozen chefs.
The opening reception will feature the chefs from Kemuri Tatsu-Ya preparing tartare with smoked miso, fall squash from Brewer’s Table chef Zach Hunter, swordfish pancetta from Ben Lustbader and Jason Vincent of Giant in Chicago, along with bites from Rene Ortiz of Launderette, Manuel Rodriguez of the W and Callie Speer of Holy Roller.
Following the seated dinner, guests will peruse dessert tasting stations with food prepared by Tavel Bristol-Joseph of Emmer & Rye, Ariana Quant of Uchi and Uchiko and Sarah Prieto.
The weekend will get off to a robust start with Thursday night’s Smoke Session, an evening of barbecue and blues at The Brewer’s Table. That 7 p.m. cocktail reception and tasting co-hosted by Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow's BBQ in Lockhart will feature music from Jackie Vinson and food from about a dozen Central Texas chefs, including Evan LeRoy of LeRoy & Lewis, Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller BBQ, Fermin Nuñez of Suerte, 2017 Bocuse D’Or winner Mathew Peters and Page Pressley, chef-partner at Emmer & Rye.
Tickets for the Friday night dinner and reception cost $250. VIP tickets cost $300 and include entry to the Thursday night Smoke Session event, tickets to which can be purchased separately for $75. Tickets and more information available online.
Kramer and Hymanson will also host cooking demos at Sur La Table at Domain Northside on November 17, as will Hunter. Info on those here.
MENUS FOR NOVEMBER 16 DINNER (subject to change)
First Course: Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer, Kismet
Little Gem Lettuce with Roasted Tomatoes, Grapefruit, and Sheep’s Milk Feta
Second Course: Michael Fotjasek
Potato–Country Ham Salad with Veldhuizen Cheddar
Third Course: Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer
Verlasso Salmon with Moroccan-Spiced Carrots, Almond Broth, and Green Zhoug
Dark Chocolate Mousse with Milk Chocolate–Texas Pecan Mole, White Chocolate Crumbs, and Citrus Marmalade (Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Emmer & Rye, Austin)
Chèvre Cheesecake with Honey Apples and Bourbon Pecans (Sarah Prieto, Austin)
Grapefruit Curd with Aloe Foam, Grapefruit Sorbet, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Ariana Quant, Uchi + Uchiko, Austin)
The opening tasting reception menu will include:
Kemuri Tartare with Smoked Miso, Shiso Oil, Salted Shishito Peppers, and Pickled Daikon (Tatsu Aikawa, Kemuri Tatsuya, Austin)
Fall Squash Barbecue with Apple–Saison Marmalade, Sunchoke Cream, and Candied Seeds and Grains (Zach Hunter, The Brewer’s Table, Austin)
Swordfish pancetta with Green Papaya (Ben Lustbader and Jason Vincent, Giant, Chicago)
Verlasso Salmon Crudo with Dashi, Lemon, Avocado, and Oregano (Rene Ortiz, Launderette, Austin)
Pickled Gulf Shrimp Cocktail with Okra and Pepper Rémoulade (Manuel Rodriguez, Host Chef, W Austin)
Beet Pastrami Sandwiches with Collard Greens, Swiss Cheese Whiz, and Puffed-and-Candied Rye Berries on Fried Rye (Callie Speer, Holy Roller, Austin)
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