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Food for Thought: James Beard Foundation’s Taste America to visit Austin

September 11, 2018
James Beard Foundation Taste America

As I always promise, when I receive exclusive foodie news and event information, I’ll pass it along to you as soon as possible! Today’s press release is certainly one that will get your tummy rumbling. The James Beard Foundation’s cross-country culinary series is traveling to Austin. From November 15 – 17, the series will be featuring cooking demos, a one-of-a-kind benefit dinner, and ‘Smoke Session’ to kick-off the festivities. And you can actually attend! Get all the details below…

AUSTIN, TX (September 5, 2018) – The James Beard Foundation’s 2018 Taste America® cross-country culinary series will visit Austin from November 15-17 for a weekend of food-filled events. Traveling to ten cities this fall, Taste America celebrates the country’s diverse culinary culture and the important role that chefs play in advocating for a more delicious, sustainable, and equitable food world.

Austin’s weekend-long itinerary will kick off with Smoke Session on Thursday, November 15, at celebrated East Austin brewery and locally sourced restaurant, The Brewer’s Table.  The evening of BBQ, brews, and blues will be co-hosted by legendary pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz*** (Snow’s BBQ, Lexington, TX) and will feature tastings with 10 of Austin’s most popular chefs, includingJesse DeLeon (Rosewood, Austin), JB Gross (Loro, Austin), Sarah Heard (Foreign & Domestic, Austin), Host Chef Zach Hunter (The Brewer’s Table, Austin), Nathan Lemley (Foreign & Domestic, Austin), Evan LeRoy (LeRoy and Lewis, Austin), Wayne Mueller (Louie Mueller BBQ, Taylor, TX), Fermín Nuñez (Suerte, Austin), Bocuse d’Or winner Matthew Peters(Austin), and Page Pressley (Emmer & Rye, Austin). Drew Durish, the head brewer atThe Brewer’s Table, will be showcasing a commemorative Smoke Session Lager brewed specifically for guests at the kick-off event.

In addition to the reception, Smoke Session will also include musical performances, yard games, and interactive activations from event sponsors. A limited number of tickets for Smoke Sessionare now available to the public for $75. All Taste America benefit dinner VIP ticket holders and table purchasers will have access to the kick-off event.

James Beard Foundation Taste America

Taste America’s weekend in Austin will continue on Friday, November 16, with a benefit dinner at W Austin featuring a culinary dream team made up of the country’s top chefs, including Rene Ortiz*** (Launderette**, Austin), Tatsu Aikawa (Ramen Tatsu-ya, Austin), Callie Speer (Holy Roller, Austin), Zach Hunter (The Brewer’s Table, Austin), as well as Manuel Rodriguez (W Austin, Austin). Afterwards, guests will be seated for an extraordinary dinner prepared by the Taste America Visiting All-Stars Sarah Hymanson*** and Sara Kramer (Kismet**, Los Angeles) and Taste America Local All-Star Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie***, Austin). Capping off the night will be a dessert reception featuring Tavel Bristol-Joseph (Emmer & Rye, Austin), Ariana Quant (Uchi, Austin), Sarah Prieto (Austin), and Angel Castillo (TRACE, Austin). A portion of the proceeds from the benefit dinner will directly contribute to the Foundation’s Scholarship Programs. In keeping with the Foundation’s commitment to promote a more sustainable food system, viable food and meals left over from the benefit dinner will be donated to those in need in partnership with Feeding America®.

As a complement to the Friday night festivities, Taste America will also be presenting a pop-up event on Saturday, November 17 at Sur La Table®–Domain NORTHSIDE. where the James Beard Foundation’s latest cookbook,Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, will be on displayActivities of the day will include a Zero Waste cooking demonstration by Chef Zach Hunter, as well as cooking demonstrations by Austin’s Taste America Visiting All-Stars Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, both of whom are alums of the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, which empowers chefs to become advocates for food-system change.Throughout the pop-up experience, guests will have the opportunity to speak with the chefs and gain insight on how we can create a more delicious and sustainable food world.

James Beard Foundation Taste America
Image courtesy of Luxe Beat Magazine

The Committee for Taste America Austin includes: Heather Witbeck and John Baydale (President, Hai Hospitality); Sara Berman (Communications Manager, Method); Sam Elkin (Talent Buyer, C3 Presents);Rebekah GainsleyElaine and Rich Garza (Giant Noise); Kelly Krause (Conference Programming Manager, SXSW); Carla McDonald (Founder & Editor in Chief, The Salonniere); Lauren and Tom Moorman(McGuire Moorman Hospitality); Janna Paulson (Co-Founder, Peel Paulson Design Studio); Autumn Rich (Founder & CEO, Autumn Rich & Co.); Lauren Travis (Regional Director of Marketing, W Hotels and W Austin); Tara Treffry (Director of Culinary, Whole Foods Market); and Courtney (Director, Sponsorship & Marketing, C3 Presents) and Jeff Trucksess (CEO, SolCharge LLC).

Visit Austin’s event page for the full schedule and more details.

These sort of events get me excited about cooking! So as a special treat to kick off the holiday season, we’re giving away a Dash Compact Air Fryer (ARV $65) to help with your culinary aspirations. Enter below for your chance to win!

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