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Archive | January 26th, 2012

StarChefs.com Shines a Light on Austin, San Antonio Chefs

StarChefs.com Shines a Light on Austin, San Antonio Chefs

StarChefs.com has announced its 2012 Austin–San Antonio Rising Stars award winners, including several favorite names from the San Antonio dining scene.

The winners will be showcased at the StarChefs.com Rising Stars Revue at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at The Driskill Hotel in Austin. The walk-around tasting gala, , hosted by Chef Jonathan Gelman of Driskill Grill, will give diners the opportunity to eat their way through a series of Austin and San Antonio’s restaurants and sample beverage pairings by the winning sommelier and mixologist.

This is the first year StarChefs.com has held a Rising Stars Revue in Austin-San Antonio.

More than 60 Austin-San Antonio candidates were considered through in-person tastings and interviews.

The 2012 Austin-San Antonio Rising Stars Award Winners, with San Antonio winners in bold:

CHEFS

David Bull, Congress Austin

Ned Elliott, Foreign & Domestic

Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue

Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine

Rene Ortiz, La Condesa

Paul Qui, Uchiko

Quealy Watson, The Monterey

Andrew Wiseheart, Contigo

PASTRY CHEFS

Plinio Sandalio, Carillon

Philip Speer, Uchiko

SUSTAINABILITY CHEF

Michael Sohocki, Restaurant Gwendolyn

HOTEL CHEF

Josh Watkins, Carillon

ARTISANS

John Bates and Brandon Martinez, Noble Pig

RESTAURATEURS

Tyson Cole, Uchi, Uchi Houston and Uchiko

Jason Dady, Bin 555, Tre Trattoria, and Two Bros. BBQ Market

SOMMELIER

June Rodil, Congress Austin

MIXOLOGIST

Jeret Peña, The Esquire Tavern

The Mentor Award, presented by Vitamix, will be given to an influential chef who has shaped a new generation of culinary talent locally. It will be announced at the gala, along with a Brewer Award. Guests will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite dish of the night. The Rising Star who garners the most votes will receive a Jade Range 18-inch commercial plancha.

Tickets are $85 per person; VIP tickets are $125 and include a private reception with Champagne and Petrossian caviar, beginning at 5:45 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.starchefs.com/tickets or by calling 212-966-7575.

 

 

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SA Stock Show & Rodeo BBQ Cookoff Fri. & Sat.

SA Stock Show & Rodeo BBQ Cookoff Fri. & Sat.

The 2012 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Bar-B-Que Cookoff and Concert will take place at Sea World San Antonio Friday and Saturday, with music from Cody Canada and The Departed and Brandon Rhyder.

Admission on Friday,  Jan. 27,  is  $5 per person. The show will begin charging for gate entry on Friday at 5 p.m.

On Saturday, gates will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to midnight.  Admission on Saturday is $15 for adults.

A weekend pass, good for both nights, may be purchased for $13.

Admission is $15 for adults.  Children 12 and under and active military (with ID) are free. Pets are not permitted.

Call 210-225-5851 for more information. Or, visit the website.

Sea World is on Westover Hills Blvd, off Highway 90 West.

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San Antonio Cocktail Conference Premieres

San Antonio Cocktail Conference Premieres

A world of cocktails exists beyond martinis, margaritas and Manhattans. And during the next four days, San Antonio will  be welcoming a host of mixologists, expert bartenders and other libations luminaries to the city. The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is the first of its kind in Texas and will kick off tonight with a splash at the Opening Night Soiree at Bohanan’s, from 7 to midnight.

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference is based on the popular Manhattan Cocktail Classic and New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail. The evenings are devoted to parties, of course, but a full, varied schedule of classes from experts in the business are available throughout the conference.  To see the complete list of events and classes, availability and to register, visit the conference’s website.

Friday will bring the first day of classes to the conference—with 14 seminars dedicated to a variety of lessons in cocktail creation offered at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel throughout the day.

“We are hosting some of the best bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts from across the United States and as far away as Australia and Italy ,” explains Scott Becker , general manager of Bohanan’s Restaurant & Bar. “With this kind of world-class talent, the cocktail education experience is sure to be unmatched.”

 

 

It all goes toward a good time, but there’s also has a higher purpose. It is a benefit for HeartGift, an organization that comprises surgeons, pediatric cardiologists, medical personnel and volunteers, and host families, all dedicated to providing  life-saving heart surgery to disadvantaged children. These are youngsters who live in developing countries where specialized treatment is scarce or nonexistent.

Since its establishment in 2000, HeartGift has helped more than 120 children in 22 countries on five continents. For more information about HeartGift, visit the website by clicking here.

At tonight’s opening event, representatives from a number of brands of spirits will be hosting nine bars, making 18 specialty cocktails. And, look forward to some lively bidding on a Fender Stratocaster autographed by all of the band members of Journey. These proceeds, too, will go to HeartGift.

On Friday, start the party with Rio San Antonio Cruises, which will launch from a tiki party at the El Tropicano Hotel. The boats will serve as taxis, providing cocktails and a ride along the San Antonio River, to and from Soho Wine & Martini Bar and Ocho Lounge at the Havana.

On Saturday, it’s the Original Cocktail Competition, hosted by Fee Brothers Bitters and Red Bull at Bohanan’s; the Esquire Tavern hosts the Saturday Night Soiree. On Sunday, it’s brunch at the Gunther Hotel, sponsored by Cinco Vodka.

Click here for three interesting cocktail recipes to make on your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Drink In Some Eternal Bliss

Drink In Some Eternal Bliss

Eternal Bliss

In celebration of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, here are three cocktails to wet your whistle.

Eternal Bliss

Eddie V’s of Austin is serving this seductive sweetie just in time of Valentine’s Day.

2 strawberries
2 ounces Hendrick’s Gin
1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Rosé sparkling wine
Mint, for garnish
½ strawberry, sliced, for garnish

Build this cocktail in a shaker tin

Muddle strawberries.

Add ice, gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake and pour into a rocks glass

Float a splash of rosé sparkling wine on top.

Garnish with a sprig of mint and a cut ½ strawberry.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From Eddie V’s

Cherry Margarcia

Cotton, a restaurant in Manchester, N.H., offers the following tips for making better martinis:

  • Chill your martini glass by filling it with ice cubes and water an letting it sit while you make the martini.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add all the liquid ingredients and skaes vigorously.
  • Empty the ice and water from the martini glass
  • Rim the glass with the appropriate rimmer — sugar, salt, etc.
  • Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the chilled martini glass.
  • Garnish and serve.

This margarita variation uses a splash of maraschino juice. You can also add lime, if you like.

2 ounces Patrón Silver tequila
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce sour mix
Splash of maraschino cherry juice from a jar of cherries

You can certainly use whichever tequila you prepare and can also substitute Cointreau for triple sec. Fresh cherries make a nice garnish.

Mix the tequila, triple sec, sour mix and maraschino cherry juice in an ice-filled shaker. Pour into an iced martini glass rimmed with sugar.

Makes 1 cocktail.

From “Cotton’s: The Cookbook” by Jeffrey Paige

Limoncello and Mint Sparkler

“Limoncello, a liqueur made by steeping lemon peels in a neutral spirit, has long been a staple in the lemon-producing region along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, where it is usually served well chilled in the summer months. It offers even more of a lift when infused with mint and mixed with club soda and fresh lemon juice,” according to “Gourmet Today” edited by Ruth Reichl.

1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
8 ounces (1 cup) chilled limoncello
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
3 cups chilled club soda
Ice cubes
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
Lemon slices, for garnish

Combine mint and limoncello in a bowl and bruise mint by gently mashing with a wooden spoon. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.

Pour limoncello through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher, pressing firmly on mint; discard mint. Stir lemon juice and club soda into limoncello, then add enough ice to fill the pitcher. Pour drink and ice into six 8-ounce glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs and lemon slices.

Note: The strained limoncello-mint infusion can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 hours.

Makes 6 cocktail.

From “Gourmet Today” edited by Ruth Reichl

 

 

 

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