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Archive | February 24th, 2012

New Chefs’ Coalition to Punch Up City’s Culinary Rep

New Chefs’ Coalition to Punch Up City’s Culinary Rep

A coalition of San Antonio chefs say they are determined to raise San Antonio’s profile on the national culinary scene, says chef Andrew Weissman.

Andrew Weissman, chef and restaurateur.

Weissman, chef and owner of the restaurant group that includes The Sandbar and Il Sogno, has met with other chefs, including chef/restaurateur Jason Dady and Steven McHugh, chef at Lüke, for the past several Fridays to begin putting the organization together.

“If we go about this the right way, we (SA chefs) can create a situation here that the national media can tap into,” said Weissman.

Austin, on the other hand, has had its share of the spotlight recently. Chef Paul Qui has been competing on Bravo’s Top Chef, while Barley Swine was named one of the top 10 best new restaurants in the country by GQ magazine.

“I am happy that Austin has burst on the scene nationally, but we can achieve the same thing for San Antonio. We all have (national) recognition and we all have a voice,” said Weissman.

“The story about Austin has been written. The story that hasn’t been written is San Antonio.  That can happen if we go about this the right way,” says Weissman.

The “right way” will start with the organizing – those culinary professionals who wish to be part of the coalition will have their chance to join.

In the meantime, be on the lookout for the group as they put together a newsletter and Facebook pages.

That coalition which you can follow on Twitter @SAChefcoalition said in a tweet this afternoon, “Spread the word: We are mobile.” Included in the tweet were Weissman, Dady and McHugh, in addition to @beyondthekit (David Gilbert, Sustenio chef), @chefjohnbrand, chef at Las Canarias and Ostra, and @TheMontereySA (chef Quealy Watson).

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Andrew Weissman Wins Mentor Award

Andrew Weissman Wins Mentor Award

Andrew Weissman

Andrew Weissman of Il Sogno and the Sandbar, both at the Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayson St., won the Mentor Award this week from StarChefs.com during the website’s first Austin-San Antonio Rising Stars awards party.

Weissman, who originally owned Le Rêve, was cited for shaping a new generation of local talent. Some of the people who have worked for Weissman include Doug Horn of Dough, Chris Carlson of the Sandbar, Byron Bergeron of Fig Tree Restaurant, and Michael Sohocki, whose Restaurant Gwendolyn is in the former Le Rêve location at 152 E. Pecan St.

Sohocki was honored by StarChefs for Sustainability Chef. Jason Dady was one of two Restaurateurs of the Year, with Austin’s Tyson Cole. Jeret Pea of the Esquire Tavern and Quealy Watson of the Monterey were also among the San Antonians honored.

It’s been a busy week for Weissman, who also cooked Wednesday for 65 guest chefs and members of the Culinary Institute of America’s board. The list included Thomas Keller of the French Laundry and Per Se, Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s, and Charlie Palmer, all of whom were filled with praise for the dinner at Il Sogno.

Weissman hadn’t met Yamaguchi before and really enjoyed talking with the chef, known for showcasing the seafood of the Hawaiian islands in spectacular ways.

For more information on Il Sogno, call (210) 223-3900.

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