Austin Food and Wine Alliance Grant Recipients

afwalogoI was pleased to attend the AFWA grant awards ceremony at the ATT Executive Conference Center. It is a pleasure to be involved with an organization that raises money through fantastic events like Wine and Swine to invest back into our culinary community. Here are the results from the evening.

Four Local Winners Capture $25,000 in Grants for Culinary Innovation & Community Giveback Projects

Austin Food & Wine Alliance Realizes a Second Year of Success with First-of-its-Kind Grant Program, Celebrated Foodie Events & Unequaled Community Support


AUSTIN, TX (December 11, 2013) – Fueled by $25,000 in grants given today by the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, four Austin-area culinary innovators will receive funding to help realize their dreams and further propel the city’s already skyrocketing culinary scene.

The 2013 Austin Food & Wine Grant Award Winners will be announced at a ceremony tonight at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center. The grant winners areConfituras for $10,000; and $5,000 grants each for Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria, Blacklands Malt, and Skinny Lane Farm

The grants will help fund a unique food preservation project that includes oral histories and the creation of a mobile kitchen and traveling canning museum (Confituras); the first USDA-inspected salumi producer in Texas (Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria);the first locally grown and malted barley in the state, which will support craft beer production (Blacklands Malt); and an on-the-farm cooking program, the first in the Elgin area (Skinny Lane Farm).

The Alliance’s grant program is the first in the nation to provide funding to support culinary innovation that contributes to the local community and isintended tosupport chefs; farmers; wine, beer and spirit makers; artisan producers; and food-focused nonprofits based on culinary innovation and community giveback. The grants align with the AFWA’smission tofoster education, awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and wine community.

The nonprofit received 22 grant applications and announced in September that it had reached its fundraising goals to be able to offer $25,000 in grants this year due to strong community partnerships and successful fundraising events. The AFWA annually hosts some of Austin’s most popular and successful charity culinary events including last month’s3rd Annual Wine & Swine Pig Roast and Live Fire!, a beef-centric, chef-driven tasting extravaganza held each spring as a kickoff to the Austin Food & Wine Festival. Both events routinely sell out and win praise by attendees and participating chefs.

Austin Food & Wine Alliance, formed just two years ago, now has awarded $45,000 in grants to the Central Texas culinary community with 2012 winners receiving $20,000 in grants to include funding for the first Texas apple orchard using organic practices (Argus Cidery); a program to humanely raise endangered heritage breed hogs and an initiative to provide local and organically grown CSAs to low income families (Tecolote Farms); and a documentary to teach more than 20,000 high school students about the process of raising beef in Texas from pasture to plate (Connally High School).

“We were delighted and impressed by the number and quality of applicants for the grants, and the committee had a difficult choice in selecting the four grant winners,” said Mariam Parker, the Alliance’s executive director. “We’re so appreciative of the community support we’ve received this year and that has allowed us to exceed our expectations at every turn.”

The grant recipients were chosen by the AFWA 2013 Grant Selection Committee, a private panel composed of prominent culinary and community-minded professionals. In addition to the four grant winners the selection committee specifically called out, three additional innovative projects were named as “honorable mentions” – worthy initiatives deserving recognition.

“The winning grant projects clearly demonstrate innovation and value to the community,” said Paul Barnes, Alliance president. “We are so fortunate to have the ingenuity, talent and commitment of these individuals and organizations focused on the advancement of food, wine and spirits in our community. It’s an extraordinary honor to be able to help these projects come to fruition.”

AFWA 2013 Grant Winners

    •  Confituras (Austin) – Since 2010, Stephanie McClenny’s mission has been to create the most delicious, locally sourced and responsibly produced preserves available. After numerous awards and national recognition, Stephanie will take her mission a step further and use the grant funds for a new focus for her company to incorporate the Preserving Austin Project. Her goal is to change the way Central Texas thinks about preserving; the project will preserve the local history of canning in Central Texas through education and community involvement. This will include company rebranding, oral histories, and creation of a mobile kitchen and traveling canning museum.
  •  Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria (Austin) – Opening this year in its first brick and mortar location, Salt & Time is Austin’s first whole animal butcher shop. The grant funds will be used towards gaining federal certification for Salt & Time to become the first USDA-inspected salumi producer in Texas. This certification will allow Salt & Time to expand its cured meat operation and provide wholesale, Texas-made salumi to chefs and restaurants. Salt & Time was recognized as an honorable mention for the 2012 AFWA Grant Awards.
  • Blacklands Malt, LLC (Leander) – Founder Brandon Ade is providing the first locally grown and malted barley in Texas to support the meteoric rise in craft beer production. A century ago, every brewery malted its own locally sourced grains. The drive to maximize profits and increase yields has resulted in grain producing conglomerates replacing local production. In September 2013, Blacklands Malt began the initial batch of the first locally malted barley in Texas. They will use grant funds to expand onsite storage capacity, source additional barley and hopefully bring one more regional farmer onboard as a producer. With Blacklands’ efforts, beer will soon be available made from 100% Texas grown malted barley.
  • Skinny Lane Farm (Elgin) – A boutique, family-owned vegetable farm started in Spring 2011 by Bekki Callaway and Michael Moser, Skinny Lane Farm will use grant funds to create an ‘On-the-Farm’ cooking program, the first in the Elgin area. The farm will build a teaching kitchen to prepare just-harvested produce and host educational events that encourage local food production and healthy lifestyles. Skinny Lane Farm was recognized as an honorable mention for the 2012 AFWA Grant Awards.

 AFWA 2013 Honorable Mentions

  • Dewberry Hills Farm (Lexington) – Owners Jane and Terry Levan are widely recognized for providing “really good chicken” at local farmers markets and to chefs and restaurants. Their mission is to provide Central Texas with humanely raised, antibiotic-free, pasture chickens at an affordable price. Committed to good stewardship and environmental responsibility, the Levans hope to gain funding to install a rainwater collection system that will ultimately allow them to reduce stress on their local aquifer and expand their operations while maintaining lower costs for their chickens.
  • Jester King Brewery (Austin) – An authentic farmhouse brewery committed to making artisan ales of great depth and character, Jester King Brewery fully embraces local terroir in brewing to give their beers a true sense of place. The brewery is the first in Texas and among the few on Earth to make spontaneously fermented beer. Founder/Brewer Jeffrey Stuffings hopes to gain funding to grow Jester King’s spontaneous fermentation program, which will be extremely unique and a first for the Texas Hill Country.
  • Fresh Chefs Society (Austin) – An Austin nonprofit just over a year old, Fresh Chefs Society empowers youth transitioning out of foster care to take charge of their eating lifestyles and connecting those who are interested in a career in the culinary field. Through a series of unique “iCook” cooking classes, Fresh Chefs Society provides hands-on cooking experiences and basic knowledge needed to cook independently and healthily. The organization seeks funding to expand and strengthen culinary experiences of foster youth in Texas and better meet the true need of our community.

Grant funding was generated through direct support from the Austin Food & Wine Festival,Whole Foods Market®, Becker Vineyards, FreshPoint, ABC Bank and the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards.

The Alliance is the designated beneficiary of the  Austin FOOD & WINE Festival, a three-day tribute to world-renown chefs and winemakers April 25 – 27, 2014.

For more information about the AFWA, visit, call 512.348.6847 or email Stay up to date with Austin Food & Wine Alliance happenings on Facebook and Twitter

Austin Cookie Takedown 2013

austin-cookie-2013WEBMy buddy Matt Timms is back in town this weekend and bringing us Christmas joy with a cookie takedown! For $15 come sample cookies from some of Austin’s best bakers or if you feel like baking several dozen cookies this weekend, he could probably fit in another contestant or 2. I can tell you from experience that Matt gives out killer prizes.

Here are the deets:

Austin Cookie Takedown! The Power and the Cookies!!!!!

Austin!  The 3rd leg of the Holiday Cookie Takedown tour!!!

Email Matt Timms to compete at !!!

Hey you guys because wow!  CALLING ALL COOKIE COOKS!  Make a big batch of cookies and bring it to Shangri La, December 15 2-4PM, and show Austin about how your cookies are the filthiest example of Holiday Cheer in the whole wide world!!!! Win prizes (seriously the prizes are huge- just look below at prize sponsors) and drink and fun!

EMAIL MATT TIMMS at to sign up!  I’ll send you the detes, which are simple (make a lot of cookies!)

ATTENDEES! TICKETS UP HERE!!!!!! Want to eat a bajillon cookies?  Just $15 to do exactly that and drink the finest holiday cocktailz!!!  (21+)



Cake Boss_Color Logo 

Edible Austin’s Eat Local Week 2013

webbannerMarla Camp, editor of Edible Austin, is one of my favorite foodies in town. In addition to putting out an award winning food publication customized to the Austin scene, she is a fervent promoter of all things local. For the past several years, Edible Austin has hosted a week long celebration of local food artisans and farms with their Eat Local Week. Here is a highlight of the signature events this year.

Edible Austin Presents the 7th Annual Eat Drink Local Week
Benefitting Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots
AUSTIN, TX – December 2, 2013 – This year Edible Austin’s Eat Drink Local Week will begin on Saturday, December 7 with events all week through Saturday, December 14th. We are challenging the community not only to continue to support locally sourcing restaurants but also to cook meals throughout the week made entirely from local ingredients.

Edible Austin will be at farmers markets across the city throughout the week to encourage home cooking with farm fresh seasonal ingredients. We will also be launching an online mapped guide to locally sourcing restaurants in and around Austin. We hope that introducing this guide to the community as well as to visitors in town will help support these restaurants beyond Eat Drink Local Week.

We will also present three signature events throughout Eat Drink Local Week:
An Evening with Will Allen
Sunday, December 8, 7:30 PM at Stateside at the Paramount
An inspiring talk reinforcing the value of urban farming. Following the talk will be a panel moderated by Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith and a farmers market in the theater lobby. Tickets: $35 admission, $100 VIP including a reception featuring chef-prepared tastings and beverages.
–Presented by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, the Paramount Theatre and The Texas Tribune.
A Winter Harvest Dinner Party
Tuesday, December 10, 6:30 PM at Palm Door
A family-style dinner with live music to celebrate seasonal ingredients and encourage community gatherings around local food. Tickets: $65 includes entry and 8 course meal. Cash bar.
–Presented by Bread & Circus Supper Club and Pink Avocado.

An Advanced Screening of Farm-City, State
Thursday, December 12, 7 PM at the Blanton Museum of Art Auditorium
A film about how what a city would look like if its entire population could be fed by healthy, organic food from local farmers. Director David Barrow will lead an audience Q&A with a panel of guests after the film. Free w/ RSVP.
–Presented by Wheatsville Co-op and the Blanton Museum of Art

Austin Bakes for Austin

atxbakesforaustinbanner1Are you baking up a storm for Thanksgiving? Looking for a volunteer project to give thanks back? Or maybe want to buy some goodies to feed to family in town for the holiday? I have got good news for you!!  The wonderful folks who have raised well into the six figures for causes like the typhoons in Japan and the recent explosion tragedy in West, Texas are holding another great bake sale in Austin over the Thanksgiving weekend. They are looking for bakers to donate goods, volunteers to man locations, and, of course, eaters to purchase all of the yummy donations. All proceeds go to the families recently hit by the devastating floods in Austin. Below are the details if you would like to participate. Here is the link to the sign up page. And here is the link to the Facebook page.


There will be five bake sales around town on Saturday, November 30th from 10 AM to 2 PM. Please sign up for the bake sale of your choice by clicking your preferred location below:

We aim to have 4-6 volunteers at each bake sale location who will help set up the baked goods, talk with customers, collect money, and clean up once the sale is finished. You don’t need to be available for the whole sale to volunteer; just sign up on the spreadsheet for whenever you’d like to help. If you’re not yet sure what you’re baking, it’s totally fine to put your name and other information in the spreadsheet as a placeholder, and come back later to fill in the baked good information.
What to Bake
  • Savory and sweet baked goods, preserves, and homemade candies are welcome! 
  • In order to comply with Austin health codes, items at the bake sale need to be wrapped or boxed for sale when you drop them off. Individually wrapped treats, packaged dozens and half-dozens, as well as whole cakes/pies/tarts/loaves etc. are welcome. 
  • It may be warm or rainy that day, so please make items that will be safe and appetizing to eat after some time outside. That means no custard, ice cream cakes, whipped cream, cream cheese frosting, whipped egg white frostings or dairy items that spoil quickly. 
  • Please label your treats with the item name. Include your @Twitter handle and blog URL if you’re online. Gluten-free/dairy-free/vegan/nut-free items are welcome and should be clearly labeled as such.
  • Please plan to deliver your goods in containers you will not need returned.
  • We sell everything by donation, so the more delicious/special the items, and the nicer the packaging/presentation, the more money we can get! 
Supplies to Bring. We’re looking for the following supplies at each location. Can you help? Sign up on the spreadsheet, or reply via email to let me know.
  • Several large handmade or printed signs announcing the bake sale (This is a BIG need!)
  • 2-4 rectangular folding tables at all locations except Whole Foods locations
  • 2-4 Red plastic or paper table cloths
  • 2-4 Large, clean coffee cans or pickle jars to hold donations
  • A few folding chairs for volunteers to sit on
  • Pop-up party tents for shade at all locations except Whole Foods Locations
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tape, scissors, pens, markers, poster boards for signs
  • Dessert displays like cake stands, baskets, tiered dessert displays
If you bring supplies like folding tables, chairs, dessert displays, or other items that you’ll want to take home, please label them with your name and phone number. Those items will be available for pick-up at 2:00 PM. Leftover baked goods from all locations will be packed up and delivered to local fire houses and nonprofit organizations after the sale. We will need volunteers to help with those efforts starting at 2:00 PM.
Tell your friends! We cannot have too many volunteer bakers, and we certainly cannot have too many patrons!!!

Chef Auction

EdibleSignatureEventsFor those with deeper pockets, here is your chance for a personal meal with Austin’s top chef’s.

Edible Austin Presents the 3rd Annual Chef Auction
A benefit for Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots
AUSTIN, TX – November 11, 2013 – On Thursday, November 21, Edible Austin will auction off nine amazing chefs in its 3rd annual Chef Auction, raising money for Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots, hosted at the historic Allan House (1104 San Antonio St). Attendees will bid on custom packages consisting of unique dining experiences with each chef. Last year’s event raised over $30,000 for the Sustainable Food Center and Urban Roots.
The evening begins with a pre-auction cocktail hour at 6:00 pm with tastings from local chefs and artisans provided by Spoon & Co, confituras, Celtic Seafare, Pâté Letelier, Dos Lunas Artisan Cheeses and Princess & Mooses’s Sister Bakery. Handcrafted beverages will be provided by Paula’s Texas Spirits, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the Treaty Oak Bar, featuring tantalizing spirit punches served up by guest bartender Bill Norris of Midnight Cowboy. Guests can mix and mingle with friends and colleagues while conspiring on whom they’ll bid as they enjoy live jazz from the Paul Klemperer Trio. Rumors of appearances by numerous chefs on the auction block are spreading and are most likely true.
At 7:45 pm, celebrity auctioneer Walt Roberts will take the stage to work his magic with getting those paddles up to bid on one-of-a-kind dinner packages curated by nine of Austin’s finest chefs: Paul Qui of qui, Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine, David Bull of Congress, Josh Watkins of The Carillon, Tink Pinkard of Roast, Brian Malarkey of Searsucker, Monica Pope of Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, Mat Clouser & Callie Speer of Swift’s Attic and Tatsu Aikawa & Tako Matsumoto of Ramen Tatsu-Ya. You may read about package details and watch videos of the chefs here.
Tickets are available for purchase here. A limited number of early bird tickets are available for $45 and once sold out, general admission tickets will be $55.
# #  #
About the Chef Auction beneficiary nonprofits and event presenter, Edible Austin:
Urban Roots is a youth development program that uses sustainable agriculture as a means to transform the lives of young people and increase access to healthy food in Austin. They participate in the Sustainable Food Center farmers’ markets, offer subscriptions to a CSA, and donate 40% of their harvest to local soup kitchens and food pantries.
Sustainable Food Center (SFC) cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food—envisioning a food-secure community where all children and adults grow, share and prepare healthy local food. In addition to producing four farmers’ markets in Austin, SFC’s services include training in community and school gardening, farm-to-work, farm-to-cafeteria and farm-to-school through Sprouting Healthy Kids, and cooking and nutrition education classes.
Edible Austin is a bimonthly publication celebrating local food and food culture in Central Texas, season by season. Edible Austin is a member of Edible Communities, winner of the James Beard Foundation 2011 Publication of the Year Award.
Edible Austin Chef Auction details:

Cadillac Cafe at Austin Fan Fest

fanfestDid you know there was a cafe as part of the big Circuit of the Americas big Fan Fest next weekend? Here are more details along with the chef schedule:





AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 11, 2013)—One of the most popular spots at Austin Fan Fest fueled by Shell will be the Cadillac Café, where some of the city’s top culinary chefs will be preparing their specialties and sharing their cooking expertise with race fans.

The free fan fest located in downtown Austin encompasses most of downtown Austin’s renowned Warehouse and 2nd Street entertainment districts and will open Thursday, Nov. 14 through Sunday, Nov. 17.  The fan fest will feature fun activities, exhibits, food and music for all ages in celebration of the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Circuit of The Americas race weekend.

Austin Fan Fest fueled by Shell will showcase 12 activity zones over 12 square blocks bounded by San Antonio Street (west), 5th Street (north), Congress Avenue (east) and 2nd Street (south).  The fan fest hours will be: Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday from Noon to midnight and Sunday from Noon to 8 p.m.

The Cadillac Café will be hosting executive chefs from Austin’s most popular restaurants—Sway, The Bonneville, El Alma Restaurante Bar and Garrido’s Restaurant & Bar.  The Cadillac café will be located in the 2nd Street District, on 2nd street between Guadalupe and Lavaca, and will feature multiple culinary demonstrations throughout each day of the festival.


In addition to showcasing unique Austin culinary talent, Cadillac will feature the world’s fastest family of production cars at the Cadillac Café. Beneath the hood of the Cadillac V-Series rests a 6.2L V8 engine with 556 HP and 551 lb.-ft of torque, capable of propelling you from 0-60 in as fast as 3.9 seconds.  From the revolutionary Magnetic Ride Control to its race-inspired low center of gravity, the Cadillac V-Series was schooled on The Nurburgring, the proving ground for the finest production cars in the world.  Experience the adrenaline rush in person.


Festival fans that visit the Cadillac Café will also get to relax in the Sony 4K Lounge, a lounge-style environment featuring Sony ‘s new 4K Ultra HD TVs. Fans will get to experience the rich color and stunning contrast of the  4K HD TVs while listening to live music that will be emanating from the Mobil1 stage.


The executive chefs will be cooking up their specialties from Thursday through Sunday on the following schedule:

Thursday, November 14

Friday, November 15

Saturday, November 16 Sunday, November 17

Garridos- 12:30

N/A The Bonneville-3:00 G.H. Mumm-2:00 The Bonneville-3:00
N/A G.H. Mumm-4:00

The Bonneville-4:00

El Alma-6:30 Sway-6:30 Sway-6:30


Award winning Sway, featuring modern Thai food, was named one of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appetite Magazine.  Executive chef Alexis Chong will feature outstanding tastes in a menu developed by executive chef Rene Ortiz and Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Pastry Chef, Laura Sawicki.  Sway is located at 1417 South 1st Street.

Upscale New American cuisine is featured at The Bonneville, where they serve classic cuisine with a contemporary twist in a modern but comfortable environment.

Located at 202 W. Cesar Chavez, the Bonneville features chefs Jennifer Costello or Chris Hurley.

Garridos is a modern Mexican restaurant with a patio overlooking shoal creek in downtown Austin.  The menu is 95% gluten free, all natural and fresh ingredients.  The executive chef is David Garrido and the restaurant is located in downtown Austin at 360 Nueces St.

El Alma is the culmination of two great friends—a restauranteur and chef—bringing to life a fresh and flavorful approach to Mexican flavors in a cozy neighborhood restaurant. Chef Alma Alcocer came to Austin in 1989 from Mexico City and her restaurant is one of the locals regular stops located at 1025 Barton Springs Road.


G.H. Mumm will be doing a champagne tasting.  G. H. Mumm, situated in Reims in northern France, is one of the largest Champagne producers worldwide.

For further information on Austin Fan Fest Fueled by Shell and the Cadillac Café, visit

Beer and Cheese December 5th for Edible Austin


And another favorite holiday event. I have been the last 3 years and it never fails to be a raucous good time.

Annual Beer and Cheese Tasting!
Date:  Thursday, December 5, 2013
Time:  6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location:  512 Brewing Company, 407 Radam Ln., Ste F200, Austin, Texas 78745
Tickets:  $45 for Slow Food Members; $50 for Non-members.  Purchase tickets here!

 5 cheeses, 5 Beers, Snacks and a Great Time!

This has become a mainstay in our annual scheduling. A Beer and Cheese Pairing…an homage to the bi-annual event held in Bra, Italy by Slow Food International, CHEESE.

Proceeds benefit Slow Food Austin Programming

Wine and Swine

event_WineSwine_2013_topAnd another great event coming up…. Wine and Swine!! Get your tickets fast before they sell out.




Andrew Wiseheart, Contigo


Tatsu Aikawa, Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Chili Cheese Ramen

Josh Watkins, The Carillon

Whole Pig Roaster

Eric Lucas, Whole Foods Market®


Rene Ortiz & Laura Sawicki

Cubana Frita, Mojo Cubano, Chimbe Sauce

Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Pigs On a Blanket

John Bates, Noble Sandwich

All Things Piggy

Sarah McIntosh, Épicerie Café & Grocery

Korean Dog: Kimchi and Siracha Aioli.
German Dog: Kraut and Mustard.
Chili Dog: Venison Chili and Cheese

Kristine Kittrell, Mulberry

Pork & Vermouth, Charred Onion, Fennel, Grapefruit

Jesse Perez, Arcade Midtown Kitchen

Sal and Limon’ Pork Chile Verde with Pork Sausage Dirty Rice and Blistered Serrano Mayo

Mat Clouser, Swift’s Attic

Inside Out Pork Tacos with Roasted Jalapeño Salsa

Jason Dady, Jason Dady Restaurants

“Pork and Beans” Belly Belly, and Shoulder with Fermented Black Beans, Rice Cake and Thai Inspirations

Larry Kocurek, Trace

Fire Roasted Pork Loin with Morcilla

Erica Beneke, Max’s Wine Dive

Grilled Cubano

Alma Alcocer-Thomas, El Alma Cafe Y Cantina

Conchinita Pibil

Michael Fojtasek & Grae Nonas, Olamaie

Deviled Ham Sandwich

Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue

South Carolina Style Whole Hog Sammies with Vinegar & Red Chile Flake Mop and Slaw

Erica Waksmunski, Congress

Brioche Beignet with Banana Pastry Cream and Assorted Candies

Janina O’Leary

“Hot Chocolate” Spiced Pot De Creme

Michelle Arcilla, Jeffreys

Deconstructed S’More

Anthony Sobotik & Chad Palmatier, Lick Ice Cream

Sweet Potato & Breakfast Bacon Ice Creams

Musical performance by:

Ghosts Along
the Brazos

Ghosts Along the Brazos


La Dolce Vita 2013

LDV_WebOne of my favorite foodie events of the year is coming up this week. They always sell out, so get your tickets fast if you want to meet me there. I will be volunteering as usual.

October 24, 2013

Laguna Gloria
3809 W. 35th Street

Event Time: 6-9pm

$150 General admission

$200 General admission + access to exclusive Cocktail Lounge (limited tickets available)


(Available Between 5:30-9:30 PM)

There will be no onsite parking for La Dolce Vita 2013.

Please park at the TXDot remote lot and use shuttle service.

La Dolce Vita Parking:
TxDot Lot: Camp Hubbard Campus
3500 Jackson Ave
Austin TX, 78731

All Inquiries:
La Dolce Vita

Spend an evening on the shores of Lake Austin benefiting The Contemporary Austin’s education programs at the Jones Center, Laguna Gloria and The Art School.  Sip and savor the best Texas has to offer at the 24th La Dolce Vita Food and Wine Festival.  Enjoy food and libations from more than 50 of Austin’s top restaurants and Texas wineries.

$200 ticket holders will enjoy access to an exclusive cocktail lounge curated by The Tipsy Texan, featuring an all-star cast of Austin mixologists.

Stay up to date with La Dolce Vita happenings and updates on Facebook (La Dolce Vita Food & Wine Festival) and Twitter (@LaDolceVitaATX), and join the conversation using the hashtag #ladolcevita2013.


Photography Camp


Photo by Melissa Skorpil

I cannot wait for next weekend! First of all, it is my bday! But even more exciting is this all day photography camp that the AFBA is putting on. It is open to non-members as well and for all skill levels, so get your tickets now before they sell out!!!


Are you tired of being rejected by FoodGawker? Do your Instagram pics leave commenters asking just what is that? Are all your family photos dark and blurry? You’re not alone. Join us for Photography Camp!

Two years ago AFBA offered its first photo class. This year, we’re upping the ante with an all-day event!

Our group of experts, chosen from the Austin food community, will share their knowledge on choosing the right gear, figuring out lighting, styling food, deciding on the best phone app, and more. Whether you’re using a DSLR or a camera phone, you’ll come away with plenty of tips and tricks to make your photos truly drool-worthy.


Saturday, September 28

8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


AOMA campus in South Austin, behind Westgate Shopping Center (map)


Tickets are on sale now! Purchase on Eventbrite.

Your ticket gets you hands-on training and photography best practices, a yummy box lunch provided by Pamela Jane’s New England Lobster Rolls (vegetarian and gluten-free options available), morning sips and snacks by Zhi Tea and  Better Bites Bakery, iced coffee by Chameleon Cold Brew, and happy hour snacks sponsored by Dinner Lab.


Food Photography 101 – Melissa Skorpil takes you through everything from how to plan a shoot to setting up lighting and using props.

Photo EditingMary Helen Leonard takes you through editing basics.

Don’t Fear the Manual Setting – Chris Perez will help you step outside your autofocus safety zone.

Rig ItRyan Schierling teaches you how to get the most out of your camera.

Phoning It InJane Ko will show that gorgeous photos can come from your phone, too.

All About the GearPeter Tsai discusses the best gear for your camera.

plus Breakout Shooting Sessions



Chameleon Cold Brew

Zhi Tea

Dinner Lab


Better Bites Bakery

Holland Photo

Citygram Magazine

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