Fall announced its arrival Sunday with temperatures dropping to the 50s and a definite nip in the air.
Yet that didn’t stop hundreds of people from reaching the Pearl Brewery Sunday on bike, on foot and in their cars for the first Feastivál, a tribute to healthy eating that Culinaria presented with H-E-B.
While they sipped wine and sampled healthy snacks from area restaurants and food purveyors, they listened to Dan Evans, a country singer who lost 136 pounds on TV’s “The Biggest Loser” and worked up some warmth doing a few zumba steps. Cooking demonstrations and wine seminars were on the menu as well.
Some of the snacks included a lemon seafood salad from chef Jeffrey Balfour at Citrus in the Hotel Valencia, amaranth-crusted avocado from chef John Brand of Las Canarias and Ostra, chicken tikka and tandoori chicken from Mela, black beans and brown rice from EZ’s, and guacamole with mango salsa on a jicama base from Paloma Blanca. Mike Behrend’s Green Vegetarian Cuisine offered a mixed plate with a pea, baby lima, edamame and carrot salad tossed with a touch of truffle oil.
Jesse Perez, whose Arcade is opening at the Pearl later this year, offered a warming cup of butternut squash soup with feta. Steven McHugh, whose restaurant at the Pearl will opening the spring, offered roasted beets with blood orange over an avocado-ricotta spread. The two bros., Jason and Jake Dady, were on hand with smoked turkey from their Two Bros. BBQ Market.
A group of students from the Culinary Institute of America lit the fire pit and drew diners with tea-smoked salmon over vegetable couscous.
H-E-B, Zeric’s, Brio Tuscan Grille, and Eoni, which makes Bazookie whole grain and fruit bars, also offered tasty treats.
“It was amazing and healthy,” said Culinaria CEO Suzanne Taranto Etheredge, adding that both sponsoring organizations were pleased with the turnout and the fact that word is getting out that healthful food can taste great.