Tag Archive | "John Brand"

Supper Opens for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The dining room at Supper in the Hotel Emma.

The dining room at Supper in the Hotel Emma.

Supper has opened at the Hotel Emma, the crowning jewel of the Historic Pearl Brewery.

Chef John Brand

Chef John Brand

The new restaurant at 136 E. Grayson St., is helmed by chef John Brand, who also serves as culinary director of the hotel, which should be most every food lover’s dream resort, whether you’re visiting for a meal or for the weekend.

“Supper marks the first Texas restaurant project for acclaimed design team Roman & Williams, recipients of the 2014 Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award,” a press release from the restaurant reads. “Lauded for a design aesthetic that embraces the historic quality at the very essence of the Hotel Emma project, the duo created an intimate setting that seamlessly combines historic and modern elements. At Supper, with its menu of fresh, green market cuisine that flirts flavorfully with many local and regional cultural inspirations, Roman and Williams’ glossed white interiors set a light-filled stage for an unpretentious meal. Roomy booths create a welcoming ambience and pendant lights bathe the dining room in a warm, happy glow.

Apple and parsnip soup.

Apple and parsnip soup.

“Supper will boast 96 indoor seats, a scenic patio that accommodates seating for 50, and a private dining room for intimate gatherings and events for parties of up to 24.”

A recent lunch there showed Brand, known to many for his work at Las Canarias and Ostra, to be in fine form. The meal started with spinach and ricotta gnudi, a dumpling that’s related to gnocchi. It was presented with fried capers and grilled pickled artichoke hearts.

A cup of apple and parsnip soup added a fall feeling that was pure comfort.

Main courses included a juicy burger, served medium well as ordered, with a colorful salad on the side, and roast chicken with mushrooms, cauliflower and a parsnip puree.

Dessert was all indulgence with a burnt sugar panna cotta topped with sweet potato sorbet, crumbled chocolate cake and sea salt.

In short, the lunch held forth the promise of great flavors to come.

Your menu may not be the same as what we were offered. It will change with the season and whatever is freshest, from seafood to soups to salads.

Brand’s also overseeing Sternewirth, the hotel’s extensive bar, and Larder, where you can get coffee, pastries and gourmet treats to go (look for the burnt marshmallow Rice Krispie treats).

Supper is open for breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m.; lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and dinner, 5 to 10 p.m. For reservations, call (210) 448-8351.

For more information on Supper, click here. For more in the Hotel Emma, click here.

Spinach and ricotta gnudi

Spinach and ricotta gnudi

The burger with a side salad

The burger with a side salad

Roast chicken with mushrooms and cauliflower

Roast chicken with mushrooms and cauliflower

Members of the Supper kitchen staff at work

Members of the Supper kitchen staff at work


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Griffin to Go: Tales of Portugal, Chocolate and Roasted Radishes

The holiday season always means an extra-busy schedule, filled with gatherings at work and with friends as well as shopping, stuffing stockings and enjoying the lights both on the River Walk and on many people’s homes. It also brings on a lot of good food, both homemade and in restaurants around town.

The following are some random food notes that have nothing to do with each other than they were recent treats that offered a few culinary lessons along the way.

At Portugal’s table

I’ve visited Portugal twice and hope to go back many more times. The cuisine from the country’s various regions, largely unknown in America, is a lesson in making the most of every morsel available.

The people in the county are not rich in money, but their food is certainly filled with the riches of the ocean as well as their own farms. Cheeses bursting with flavor, unctuous and tangy olive oils, and hundreds of desserts made with a mixture of egg yolks and sugar are just a few of the culinary treasures to be found.

So, when Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard in Elmendorf announced that Portugal would be the latest dinner in their ongoing passport series, I was more than willing to taste whatever chef Scott Grimmitt came up with for his menu.

Sure enough, the evening began with two of those stunning cheese, which vary from town to town. One was a creamy Azores Flores and an aged raw cow’s milk cheese call Sao Jorge, both of which paired well with a sparkling wine from the ever-reliable Casal Garcia.

Then the courses flew by, with a kale and sausage filled Caldo Verde, thickened with potato, a happy marriage of pork and clams, and, perhaps my personal favorite of the evening, grilled sardines with a piri-piri sauce and fresh lemon. Grimmitt shared his recipe for the killer sauce, which he described as a chimichurri with sriracha adding a welcome kick. (So, that’s parsley, garlic, olive oil, a touch of vinegar and salt, plus the fiery kick of sriracha used to taste.) Try it on fish, fajitas of any type, roast chicken or just a slice of bread.

A hearty steak with potatoes preceded a custard tart — those egg yolks and sugar, again — topped with port-soaked strawberries. While the tart was wonderful, the simple magic of the port-soaked strawberries could make an easy dessert throughout the holiday season. A dollop of whipped cream and you’re all set.

The program for the dinner included next year’s dinners at Sandy Oaks, so you may want to start preparing now:

  • Feb. 1 — Croatia
  • April 12  — Sicily
  • June 7  —  Andalucia
  • Aug. 9  — Morocco
  • Oct. 11  — Chile
  • Dec. 13  —  Mexico

For more information on Sandy Oaks, click here.

Chocolate many times over

A chocolate temple complete with torches and a pool of passion fruit sauce.

Susana Trilling, one of Mexico’s top chefs, made a welcome appearance at Las Canarias for a chocolate-themed dinner. It’s the first in a series the restaurant in the Omni La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., has planned. Chiles and corn will be the themes of the next two meals, planned for early 2013.

The five-course tasting menu, accompanied by a savory starter and truffles laced with hot chiles, made you rethink all you thought you knew about the flavors of chocolate, cocoa and cacao.

Duck breast in an achiote-chocolate sauce was silky with a slight tingle of heat and the supple, dark mystery of the cocoa. Beef sautéed with wild porcinis in a chocolate and Cabernet Sauvignon sauce offered a complex host of flavors, and a roasted pumpkin soup was served with chocolate croutons. Chocolate came in all three dishes, but that common ingredient didn’t taste the same from dish to dish.

Perhaps my favorite expression was a mixed green salad with matchsticks of watermelon radish, Honeycrisp apple and almonds tossed with a chocolate-orange-vanilla dressing. Las Canarias chef John Brand said that the original recipe had also called for kohlrabi, but his suppliers and local farmers could find any that day.

Dessert was a dark chocolate temple dedicated to the rain god Cosijo and arrived with a passion fruit sauce that disappeared as quickly as the chocolate.

For many chefs and restaurateurs, these special dinners can just seem like extra work. But not at Las Canarias during this meal. Everyone we spoke with from the staff was in awe of Trilling and the knowledge she had to impart. Some even came in on their day off to help make the banana leaf-wrapped mole tamales filled with olives and plantain.

Roast that radish

Roasted radishes a la John Brand

This coming Sunday is Noche de los Rabanos, the Oaxacan festival of radishes. Every year on Dec. 23, the citizens of that Mexican village get together with radish carvings of the most intricate nature. It’s a chance to celebrate together before enjoying the more private family gatherings of Christmas. (A bit of trivia: Trilling was born on Dec. 23, thereby earning the nickname “Rabanita,” or “Little Radish.”)

I love to use radishes in a lot of dishes, both raw and cooked, from latkes to raw ravioli, in which this slices of lime-soaked daikon radish have goat cheese spread between them.

Brand offered up another variation of what to do with these root vegetables: Take red globe radishes, rub olive oil over them and season with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for about a half hour or until the radishes are done. Then, serve them as a snack.

Brand said if he ever had a bar, he’d make this the snack food.

After giving them a try, I can see why. They’re aren’t just good by themselves, they’re great with a pilsner on the side.

Let no leftovers go to waste

A pot of ham soup.

In a column of leftover food items, it’s good to end with a few thoughts on real leftovers.

I found myself facing some really good leftover ham, minus the ham bone, so it just made sense to make a fresh pot of soup using the vegetables I had in the bottom of the fridge. A turnip, some broccoli stems, carrots, onion and cabbage, with a little garlic, became the base, sautéed for about 10 minutes in olive oil, while some vegetable broth came to a boil on the back burner. Then, about as much ham as vegetables went into the pot for a good warming before the stock was added. A beer was added at the end to provide an added richness of flavor.

There was still plenty of ham left. So more cabbage and onion got chopped up. This time, dill pickles were added with the ham to create a massive amount of salad, mixed with sour cream and mayonnaise, some extra dill weed for good measure, plus salt and pepper.

Both will come in handy on those days when making lunch takes up too much time in the morning.

When I told this to a friend, she wondered why no ham casserole. That’s certainly a possibility, but most casseroles have too many potatoes, carb-heavy soups and starches for my diabetic diet, but I could easily see layering ham, potatoes and cheese in a 9-by-13-inch pan, adding milk or cream and seasonings, and baking until its a bubbling thing of beauty. Or maybe adding ham to a baked macaroni and cheese.

What do you like to do with leftover ham when you don’t have a ham bone?


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Try It. It’s Good for You. And It Tastes Great.

Chef John Brand and his son, Malachi, prepare amaranth-crusted avocado.

Fall announced its arrival Sunday with temperatures dropping to the 50s and a definite nip in the air.

Mela offers two types of Indian chicken.

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.

Citrus’ Jeffrey Balfour presents a lemony seafood salad.

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.

A group of students from the CIA dishes up tea-smoked salmon at the fire pit.

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An Evening of Chefs, Cellars and Camaraderie

A member of the NAO team prepares bowls for Chefs and Cellars.

Chef Jesse T. Perez (right) plates one of his dishes.

It’s a fairly simple recipe. Culinaria’s annual Chefs and Cellars brings together a few of the city’s best chefs with some finely aged wines from private cellars. Nothing complicated, right? Yet the end result is a gustatory delight that always gains an alchemical element that comes from the camaraderie that occurs whenever people share common — or in this case, uncommon and exceptional — food and wine.

Kampachi, Uni and Yuzu Kosho from chef John Brand.

Sunday night’s dinner, held in the kitchens at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, featured five teams going all out to create a memorable evening, which may explain why the event was sold out months in advance.

Chef Jason Dady and his crew presented an evening of tapas inspired by a recent visit to Spain and elBulli. Among the more than two dozen small plates he offered were salt-roasted prawns, boquerones, pan tomate, bone marrow tartare, corn pudding on a lime wedge, foie gras-eel croissant and garbanzo bean stew with lobster. Wine merchant Woody de Luna offered a series of Spanish wines including a 1978 Gran Reserva CUNE Viña Real and 2009 Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rose Cava.

Chef Johnny Hernandez plates a dish.

John Brand from Las Canarias and Ostra paired several types of sashimi-style seafood (Kampachi, Uni and Yuzu Kosho) and smoked roe with at 2001 Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir Jean Paul Droin from Scott Duncan’s collection. He playfully presented a Monterey Bay sardine inside a decorative tin while Oregon sturgeon and American caviar were served in a salt cod box. Red deer striploin and foie gras with maitake mushrooms were paired with 1996 Chateau Cantemerle Haut-Medoc Bordeaux.

Jason Dady (left) slices Jose Andrews’ Jamon Iberico.

Lobster al Pastor was the starting dish from chef Johnny Hernandez, who followed it up with a chile relleno with cochinita pibil, a beef short rib with mole, and a grilled New York strip with plantain tamarind demi and a huitlacoche tlacoyo.

Chefs Jesse T. Perez and James Moore were partnered to showcase two talents who are opening restaurants in the Pearl Brewery this fall. Perez showed off plans for Arcade Midtown Kitchen, which specializes in American fare, while Moore, known for his work at Max’s Wine Dive, will be in charge of the Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden. Among the dishes they served were a fresh lobster soft taco with sweet potato, shrimp and grits, Heritage pork belly with Granny Smith compote, red beet sorbetto, and smoked lamb chop and mushroom. Phil Seelig and Hien Nguyen offered the wines, including Pol Roger Brut Rosé 2002, two vintages of Sassicaia and 1975 Croft Port.

Chef John Brand’s team prepares a dish.

New to the event this year was the team from the CIA’s NAO under the direction of chef Geronimo Lopez. New World flavors and cocktails included honey-sous vide sweetbreads, pan-seared squab, cherry-smoked xuxu salad and wood-roasted wild boar chop. The pair of cocktails included La Entrada, made with cachaça, maraschino and Crème Yvette, and Interludio, a mix of grapefruit, Aperol, Campari and Pisco. Richard and Bunny Becker offered the wines to go with the meal.

It didn’t take much time before the guests started comparing plates and even sharing a few bites or sips — and the real reason this evening is a success each year became readily apparent.

For more information on upcoming Culinaria events, click on the ad at the top of the page. The next event is Feastivàl on Oct. 7.

Red deer striploin with foie gras, spice bread, a parsnip puree and maitake mushrooms from chef John Brand.

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Harvests of Grapes and Rosés at Becker Vineyards

Rosés of all hues.

STONEWALL — Things were pretty in pink Saturday as Becker Vineyards hosted its annual Rambling Rosé panel.

The two sold-out sessions, sponsored by Culinaria, featured a half-dozen rosés from France, Texas and California that the panelists tasted blindly while discussing the wines and their fondness for rosé with those in attendance.

The growing popularity of rosé could be seen by the number of attendees who admitted that they had bottles of the summertime favorite at home. Several years ago, very few raised their hands when asked if they drank rosé; this year, more than a dozen hands shot into the air at the same question.

What’s the appeal?

In Texas, the eternal summer with days topping 100 for great stretches is a starter. As Richard Becker told the gathering, rosé is one of the two wines that the French served iced down (Champagne is the other). That means, dry, icy rosé is a great way to chill out.

Richard Becker inspects recently harvested grapes.

It’s also a great food wine, whether you’re serving seafood, a steak or roast chicken. As moderator Steven Krueger, sommelier for the Westin La Cantera, pointed out, it’s the perfect Thanksgiving wine, because it is so versatile.

This was brought home by a lamb dish with a spicy mustard, micro herbs and deconstructed peas and carrots, all prepared by chef John Brand of Las Canarias and Ostra.

Of the rosés sampled, four were from France, including the brightly acidic Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rosé, the subtle Whispering Angel from Chateau d’Esclans, the Syrah-based Sybel from Yves Cuilleron, and the grenache-based Le Poussin. California was the home of the “deeper rosé “(meaning almost red) from IM, or Isabel Mondavi, which had a touch of residual sugar.

The fresh and vibrant Becker Vineyards Provençal ably demonstrated what Texas can bring to rosé.

Among the other panelists were Woody de Luna of Vintages 2.0, artist and wine lover Harold Wood, Becker Vineyards’ new winemaker Jonathan Leahy and myself.

Chef John Brand (left) and sous chef Gene Moss.

And the message of it all: Go out and grab a rosé. Find out for yourself why this is such a rewarding, refreshing wine.

Visitors to the winery, and they were out in throngs Saturday, also got to see the grapes come in as harvest time is underway. The volume is much greater this year than last year, when the drought affected vineyards across the state. But this a similarity between the two harvests: Last year’s grapes had concentrated flavor, and so do this year’s grapes, Becker said.

Richard and Bunny Becker are also putting the finishing touches on a new private tasting area that’s underneath the main tasting room. The former barrel room has a lengthy table for tastings or dinners. There’s also an area that houses a library of the winery’s age-worthy wines, a few of which date back to the winery’s early days.

The winery started 20 years ago, as one of the Beckers’ sons, Joe, said. He was on hand to offer a few stories of how his mother and he planted the first vineyards around the property back in 1992, though the first wine wasn’t bottled for another three years.

Now the winery bottles more than 100,000 cases a year in a variety of styles, such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as grapes relatively new to Texas, including Barbera and Tempranillo.

Workers feed grapes into the crusher destemmer.

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Rosemary’s Kitchen Gets Cooking

Rosemary Kowalski

San Antonio knows Rosemary Kowalski for the catering that her company, the RK Group, has provided for the past 66 years. But now she has a new project on the front burner. She’s teamed up with SA Youth to launch Rosemary’s Kitchen, a culinary training program designed to help underprivileged youth ages 16-24.

“We want to help recover high school dropouts,” Cynthia Le Monds, CEO of SA Youth told a crowd that had braved the rains to pour into the Mission Verde Center, formerly Cooper Middle School.

The 27-year-old community group helps kids with educational programs that focus on their getting a diploma while they take part in workforce training programs that prepare them for jobs in construction and computer technology. The information has been put to use building energy-efficient homes in town.

Now Rosemary’s Kitchen will help people who have an interest in learning more about the culinary arts, restaurant work and catering. A community cafe will be part of the project.

Kowalski has been involved with the project from the beginning — and not just by lending her name, Le Monds said: “She was involved in the design, she helped select the equipment. … Rosemary put so much into the development of Rosemary’s Kitchen.”

John Brand’s open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches

“In my 66 years in the food business, I have always dreamed of helping someone have a place to teach culinary arts that would help our city,” Kowalski said. “I never dreamed that someone would offer to name a kitchen after me. I’ve always talked about wanting to help young people change their lives by becoming chefs and helping them realize their talents. Now we’re able to do this thanks to SA Youth.”

Her devotion to the cause was rewarded with the announcement of a $25,000 donation from H-E-B. Le Monds urged the gathering and the community at large to contribute as well to the non-profit program, “in whatever way is meaningful for you. … Any amount that you feel you can pledge will be appreciated.”

Jason Cardenas makes nitrogen Rice Krispie treats

Students in the program were on hand to serve treats that the RK Group had donated, including lobster corn dogs and tiny cones filled with chicken salad. In the meantime, a handful of RK’s chefs were joined by some of the city’s finest, including Johnny Hernandez from La Gloria,  to present playful takes on cafeteria favorites.

Jeff Balfour of Citrus served up chicken nuggets, John Brand of Las Canarias offered grilled cheese with pickled artichoke hearts and olives, and Jason Dady of Bin 555 and Tre Trattoria had square pizza. Eric Nelson of RK offered stuffed meatloaf in the form of meatballs and mac ‘n’ cheese gratin with a Goldfish crust and truffle shavings on top. Most of us never had anything nearly as good. And in a nod to chemistry class crossed with trendy molecular cooking, there were nitrogen Rice Krispie treats.

For more about SA Youth or for information on making a donation, visit or call (210) 223-3131.

Jason Dady’s square pizza

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Burgers, BBQ and Beer — a Match Made in San Antonio Heaven

Michael Alvarez of the Grand Hyatt offers braised beef on a wheat bun.

Culinaria wound up five days of celebrating the finest in San Antonio food and spirits scene with an event that is tailored made for Texan tastes: Burgers, BBQ and Beer.

Sure, some wine and alcohol were thrown for good measure, but the highlights for the hundreds who thronged to the Pearl Brewery were treats such as the Wagyu beef burgers and lobster rolls that John Brand’s team from Las Canarias and Ostra served up.

Chef Jesse Perez of the upcoming Arcade restaurant offered up a chorizo burger, while Steve Warner of Two Step Restaurant served pulled pork with slaw on a buttery bun. Chef Michael Flores from Sur la Table offered pulled pork, too, but he complemented his with pulled shrimp.

John Brand is engulfed in smoke as he prepares burgers.

Jeff Balfour of Citrus won fans with a decidedly different rabbit burger with cheese and Dijon mustard; the bottles of Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale that he and his staff used to fight off the heat were not chosen because of the meat, Balfour said with a laugh. Shere Henrici of the Rolling Pig had an Asian-influenced sweet and sour pork dish with peanuts adding crunch to the sauce.

Michael Alvarez was part of the Grand Hyatt team, which  served up three-day braised beef with house-made giardinara and a raspberry gelatin  shooter that had a touch of chocolate in it.

The array of burgers included patties made of sausage, venison and other meats came from the likes of Magnolia Pancake Haus, the Esquire Tavern and EZ’s, while barbecue came from Ben E. Keith and Q on the Riverwalk among others.

For those who partied a little too much the previous night at the Grand Tasting or wherever the party may have been, Jason Dady offered Bloody Mary’s with a smoky barbecue flavor.

Pet the possum? Sure, just not around the head.

Bakery Lorraine and Flour Power were among those offering sweets, with macarons in several flavors, brownies, cookies and cake bites drawing snackers of all ages.

For those in search of something a little different, Kameron Bean of Wild Times Edutainment brought a possum, a hedgehog and a non-fragrant skunk for people to pet. The shaded area drew plenty of interested visitors, as did the mister area, which helped take an edge off the warm day.

The sun made an icy beer all the more welcome, as Culinaria closed out its festival season on a high note.



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Pearl Throws a Party for Its Third Anniversary

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard has been a long-time feature at the Pearl Farmers Market.

Cora Lamar helps a customer at her produce and flower booth.

As revitalization of the Pearl Brewery began several years ago, the owners of the property, Silver Ventures, knew that a farmers market would be a great way of bringing local people to the site while developing a greater sense of community. Three years ago this weekend, the Pearl Farmers Market began with vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables and meats to olive oil, baked goods, lavender products, and flowers.

The lineup of vendors has grown and changed somewhat in that time. Many of the vendors have become old friends over time — Beaune Farms, Biga on the Banks for their breads, Sandy Oaks Olive Orchards, Al’s Gourmet Nuts, Thunder Heart Bison and Peeler Farms chickens, to name a few — and new ones have been added, including Restaurant Gwendolyn, which offers handmade sausages and bacon. The market has also become more at home in its space at the back of the Pearl Brewery, with hundreds of people milling about and many a dog sniffing out the scene.

On Saturday, the spring harvest after the recent rains brought an abundance of items, including breakfast radishes, kale, arugula, cabbage, onions, spring garlic, fennel, green beans, herbs, leeks, brussels sprouts, new potatoes, beets, varieties of squashes, carrots, cucumbers, shallots, peppers, broccoli, mushrooms and more. Fredericksburg peaches were going quickly, as were blackberries and a few strawberries.

Chef John Brand serves marketgoers a savory treat.

Cora Lamar of Oak Hill Farm drew customers with the vivid lavender-colored artichoke blossoms that she had. She also had a few artichokes with her, but they sold quickly, she said.

Artichoke blossoms

For those who bought an artichoke blossom for the first time, she explained that they should not be placed in water or they’ll rot. Instead, the flowering plant, which is in the same family as the thistle, should be set up without water. As the plant begins to dry, the green leaves should turn brown, but the flower would retain its color, Lamar said.

The morning sun drew a line to the handcrafted ice cream booth, where flavors included Strawberry Basil, Salty Caramel, Orange Lavender, Blackberry Lemon and Peach Pecan Amaretto.

Fennel bulbs

The anniversary celebration also brought out some of the city’s chefs who provided samples of dishes that used ingredients you could find in the market.

.Fresh-picked carrots

Chad Carey of the Monterey was there with his new chef, Coleman Foster, to hand out chicken meatballs with a peach kimchi. John Brand of Las Canarias and Ostra offered braised lamb’s neck, while Ocho chef Jason Garcia served a quinoa salad with seasonal vegetables  and a tamarind vinaigrette.

It’s always fun to stop by Melissa Guerra’s Tienda de Cocina in the neighboring Full Goods building on the brewery campus. In addition to the great kitchen items that the store always features, Guerra was offering a hula hoop demonstration and she was spinning right along to the DJ’s funkadelic sounds.

Customers shop the market for the freshest produce.



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Light Three Candles for the Pearl Farmers Market This Saturday

The Pearl Farmers Market turns three on Saturday.

The Pearl Farmers Market, 200 E. Grayson St., celebrates its third birthday this weekend in style.

The fun at the Pearl begins Friday evening with the final Spring Echale! featuring performances from Chico Trujillo, Ana Tijoux and Bombasta. Showtime is 7 p.m.

Then, on Saturday, Pearl marks its birthday with tastings from San Antonio chefs, giveaways and live music for the whole family. It’s a great way to get some last-minute gifts for Mother’s Day.

“Pearl Farmers Market, where each vendor is located within 150 miles of San Antonio, has become a major source of food and fun for our community. For three years, we have connected with the people that grow our food, raised awareness of seasonal eating and the struggles of farming, and brought people together with local food at the center,” said Tatum Evans, Pearl Farmers Market Manager . “We are thankful to the farmers who plant, grow, raise and harvest our food and thankful to the thousands of shoppers who attend market on Saturdays.”

“Going into our third year at Pearl Farmers Market is just as exciting as the very first day we opened. We see new customers every market day who become regular shoppers every Saturday. Local restaurants, individuals, visitors, and families have become part of the Pearl Farmers Market community,” said Cora Lamar, president of the Pearl Farmers Market Association and owner of Oak Hill Farm. “We at Pearl Farmers Market enjoy bringing San Antonio the best LOCAL produce, meats, eggs, and value added foods every Saturday of the year.”

Among the chefs who’ll be on hand are Jeff Balfour (Citrus), John Brand (Las Canarias and Ostra), Chad Carey (The Monterey), Jason Dady (Tre Tratorria, Bin 555, Two Bros. BBQ), Mark Weaver (Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights), Matt Hanck (Tre Tratorria Downtown), PJ Edwards (Bin 555), Jeff Foresman (The Westin), Jason Garcia (Ocho), Steven McHugh (Luke) and Rob Yoas (RoMo’s Café).

Additionally, MesAlegre returns with a complete sensory experience for food enthusiasts with a fantastic lunch prepared by La Gloria’s Johnny Hernandez. There is availability for 40 reservations, please call 210-434-4388 for more information or to make reservations for MesAlegre.

Market hours are 9 a.m.-1 p.m.


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Las Canarias, Ostra Have Seats for River Parade

Las Canarias at the Omni La Mansion del Rio, 112 College St., and Ostra at the Mokara, 212 W. Crockett St., are offering riverside specials for the upcoming Texas Cavalier’s Fiesta River Parade, which is set for April 23.

Dinner service will be from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. and will include several options:

  • Indoor dining includes a choice of à la carte or prix fixe dining with complimentary riverfront seating available at start of the parade.
  • Patio dining includes a choice of à la carte or prix fixe dining with a $100 food and beverage minimum per table.

The prix fixe menu begins with a choice of Martinez Farms Carrot Velouté with  Jumbo Lump Crab, Carrot Top Pesto and Curry Crème Fraiche or Arugula Salad with Poached Hen Egg, Black Pepper Candied Wisconsin Bacon and Champagne Vinaigrette, followed by a choice of Breast of Chicken with Black Trumpet Walnut Pesto and Broccolini or Creekstone Farms Braised Beef with Celeriac Yukon Potato Purée, Heirloom Carrots and Parsley Coulis. Dessert is Tres Leches Cheesecake with Pineapple Kiwi Relish, Prickly Pear and Almonds. The cost of the meal is $65 a person, or $90 with matching wines.

Chef John Brand is also offering a five-course tasting menu with matching wines for $100 a person.

Reservations must be guaranteed with a credit card and confirmed three business days prior to the event. Cancellation fees will be charged when cancelled, if applicable.

For reservations, call (210) 518-1063.

River-view seating without dining is available for purchase through the hotel’s concierge staff for $15 a person.

Ostra will have the full à la carte menu, with plenty of seafood options including oysters on the half shell, from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

During dinner service, beginning at 5:30 pm, outside seating on the patio will be available with a required $100 food and beverage minimum per table.

For reservations, call Ostra at (210) 396-5817.

Ostra’s Margarita Bar will be open from 2 to 11 p.m. Seating for the parade will be available on a first come, first served basis.



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