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Hotel Emma to Open at Pearl in ‘Early 2015’


The four-star boutique hotel at Pearl is slated to open sometime early in 2015, according to Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Located in the 119-year-old Pearl brewhouse, Hotel Emma will have 146 rooms as well as a restaurant, bar, catering and in-room dining service.

Drawing of the kitchen at Hotel Emma

Rendering of kitchen at Hotel Emma

The hotel will have an “authentic place” on the Pearl campus in the 119-year-old brewhouse. Its name was chosen in honor of the wife of Pearl Brewery founder Otto Koehler.

Emma Koehler is credited for keeping the brewery afloat during Prohibition after her husband’s death. She converted brewery operations to function as a dry cleaner, for making near-beer, ice cream and sodas, and managed to keep the entire staff at the brewery employed during these “dry” days.

When Prohibition ended in 1933, she was there to direct the staff as they rolled out cases and kegs of beer to an eager public awaiting their first glass of real beer.

Kimpton also named the new hotel’s general manager, Steven André. He is former general manager of Hutton Hotel in Nashville and Hotel Derek in Houston; and Director of Sales and Marketing Beth Smith, formerly of the Watermark Hotel & Spa, La Mansion del Rio Hotel, and Valencia Group in San Antonio.

John Brand was brought on to the Hotel Emma team as executive chef and culinary director. Formerly of The Mokara, Omni La Mansion and Broadmoor, Brand brings to Hotel Emma over 20 years of experience in the culinary industry.

According to material provided by the owners, Hotel Emma’s architecture and interiors, designed by Roman and Williams, “embrace the extravagance of the iconic 19th century brewhouse as well as the shirtsleeve industrial aesthetic of the brewery’s ‘back rooms.'”

Brewery building at Pearl will house Hotel Emma.

Brewery building at Pearl will house Hotel Emma.

 

 

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Cured to Open at Pearl Before Christmas


Kit Goldsbury and Stephen McHugh cropped 2

Kit Goldsbury of Silver Ventures and chef Steve McHugh at preview of Cured, the Pearl restaurant to open soon.

Chef Steve McHugh’s new restaurant, Cured, will open before Christmas, a restaurant spokeswoman said today.

McHugh, the farm-raised chef who has worked in several legendary New Orleans kitchens and also served as the chef de cuisine of Lüke San Antonio, says his new restaurant will feature house-made bitters for the bar, vinegars for pickling, and cured meats for charcuterie.

The dishes at Cured will make use of the purest regional ingredients, paired with the organic methods that McHugh credits, in part, for his own renewed health as he was diagnosed with and recovered from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. McHugh’s menu is built on a foundation of lovingly hand crafted, time-consuming, cured foods, from charcuterie to pickles.

The pickles — essentially cured vegetables — are everywhere, from the Masa Fried Oysters with Tarragon and Pickled Tapioca; to the Cabrito Sliders with Chayote Pickle and Onion Sprout; even the Brewery Frank boasts an accompaniment of Nopalito Relish and House Made Ketchup.  Eleven different cured meats grace the Charcuterie list, from South Texas Heritage Pork Coppa to Hogshead Cheese to Bacon and Frog Leg Rillettes — order selections of three, six, or nine choices to sample a good range of McHugh’s passion.

One dollar from the price of each charcuterie board is donated to a different charity rotating on a quarterly basis.

The restaurant’s renovated historical building, built in 1904 as Pearl’s Administration Building which included the president’s office, will embody the perfect blend of a contemporary and historical atmosphere.

Cured is located at 306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 101, San Antonio, Texas 78215. For more information, please visit Cured’s website here.

Pearl, located north of downtown San Antonio, provides a unique experience as a top culinary and cultural destination. The mixed-use space features retail, dining, picturesque green spaces and paseos, a riverside amphitheater, and the third campus of the Culinary Institute of America.  As a former brewery operating from 1883 to 2001, Pearl reflects a vivid past while embracing the future with LEED-certified complexes mixed with historic architecture. 

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Pearl Farmers Market Celebrates 4 Years


Fresh eggs from the farm.

Fresh eggs from the farm.

The Pearl, San Antonio’s growing culinary town center, has hosted a successful producers-only farmers market since 2009. On Saturday, it’s time to recognize the achievement from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. There will be live music, treats, the usual array of produce and specialty items and complimentary tastings from San Antonio chefs.

“The Pearl Farmers Market has connected the community through working with farms in a 150 mile radius of San Antonio, raising awareness of seasonal eating and bringing people together through the celebration of local food,” the Pearl said in an announcement.

“Over the past four years Pearl Farmers Market has connected thousands of people to their local farmers and food producers from around San Antonio,” said Tatum Evans, market manager at Pearl.

“Our anniversary is a special time to thank all participants for their support of and commitment to our local food system.  Take time during our anniversary to thank a farmer and thank a shopper!”

Taste offerings by some of the city’s best talent including Jesse Perez (Arcade), Johnny Hernandez (La Gloria), Steve McHugh (Cured), Tim Rattray (The Granary), Geronimo Lopez (Nao), Jeff White (Boiler House) and Noah Melnagailis (One Lucky Duck).

Pearl is located at 200 E. Grayson St. in San Antonio, Texas. For more information about events at Pearl please click here.

 

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Dishing Up Paella: Coming Soon to Pearl


The 4th Annual Corona Paella Challenge hosted by La Gloria’s chef/owner, Johnny Hernandez, returns to Pearl Sunday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m..  Chefs from San Antonio, across the country and Mexico will be cooking.

“We are excited to host the Paella Challenge again this year and invite everyone to come and join us in this celebration,” said Elizabeth Fauerso, chief marketing officer at Pearl. “This event has become a tradition in San Antonio, bringing chefs and the community together, and we are thrilled to be doing it again this year.”

paella snailsGoing into its fourth year, the Paella Challenge showcases the delicious food and wine of Spain and offers traditional sangria and a variety of fabulous craft and imported beers. The event continues to present its attendees with an afternoon filled with live entertainment and fun for the whole family.

Proceeds from the event will benefit The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio and The Educational Foundation of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s celebrity chef will be Jehangir Mehta, who appeared on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.

Joining him in competition are Jesse Perez (Arcade Midtown Kitchen), Jeff White (The Boiler House), Steven McHugh, Tim McCarty (Sodexo), Jhojans Priego Zarat (Mariscos Villa Rica), Susana Trilling (cookbook author and Seasons of My Heart Cooking School chef instructor), Zach Lutton (Zedrics), John Herdman(Las Ramblas), David Wirebaugh (Hyatt Regency), Jeff Balfour (Citrus), Jason Dady (Tre Trattoria).

Also entering are Craig Bianco (The RK Group), Peter Holt (Lupe Tortilla), Mark Bliss (Bliss), Clint Connaway (MAX’s Wine Dive), James Canter, Michael Mata(Wyndham), Alejandro Rodriguez (Catalan Cuisine Catering), and Flor Vergara (True Flavors).

Tickets to the event are $50 pre-sale. Admission for individuals under 21 years of age is $25.  Tickets can be purchased here. and the day-of at Pearl.

paella traditional

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San Antonio Herb Market Is Saturday


The San Antonio Herb Market springs to life again at the Pearl Brewery on Saturday.  At this free event, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can purchase herbs both familiar and exotic, and celebrate this year’s “Herb of the Year” — the rose.

The Herb of the Year program, spearheaded by IHA’s Horticulture Committee, has established Herb of the Year selections up to 2015.

They make their selections based on the herb being outstanding in at least two of the three major categories: culinary, medicinal, or ornamental. While the rose’s overwhelming popularity is as the fragrant mainstay of a gorgeous display, in a garden or in a vase, the petals also can be eaten.

In fact, one of the presentations on Saturday will be from 12-1 p.m. with chef Stephen McHugh, who will offer pointers on Cooking with Rose.

You’ve heard of rosewater, or seen rose petals in salads from time to time. If you haven’t cooked with rose petals, we link to this recipe from herbalist Susan Bellsinger, for Rose and Pistachio Scones. Put a basketful of these delicious surprises on your next brunch table!

Robbi Daves Will, featured speaker at SA Herb Market

The featured speaker of this year’s San Antonio Herb Market is Robbi Daves Will. She has been in the green industry more than 30 years, working with native plant production, landscape construction, retail and wholesale nurseries.

Other presentations during the day will include an Ask the Experts session, Growing Herbs, Rose-Herb of the Year, Rainwater Catchment, a drip irrigation discussion and more. (See list.)

Among this year’s vendors are the Antique Rose Emporium, Country Lane Growers, Fanick’s Garden Center, Imagine Lavender, the San Antonio Herb Society, Farm Fresh Soaps and more. (See list.)

Horseradish plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s All About Pearl: New Location for Farmers Market and More


Celebrate the opening of Pearl’s newest section on Saturday (Sept. 22). Live music, cooking demos, a photo booth and sales and specials at the newest shops are on the agenda.

Pearl kicks off the day with the Farmers Market at 9 a.m.  Located in their new parking lot in front of the historic brewhouse, the Farmer’s Market offers fresh, local and seasonal products that range from vegetables, fruits, meats, baked goods and value-added products.

“We’re marking the occasion with special treats for families: music from Steven Lee Moya, all natural paletas and a photo booth to encourage family fun,” said Elizabeth Fauerso, chief marketing officer at Pearl.
The celebration continues with a DJ in the Breezeway, cooking demos from CIA talent and a photo booth from 1-3 p.m. Adelante, in their new space, will be serving champagne and chocolate cake all afternoon as they feature their latest in fall fashion including fall sweaters, scarves and statement jewelry.
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A San Antonio staple, Dos Carolinas will now call Pearl home showcasing handmade and custom guayaberas. On Saturday only, they will be offering free monograms for each shirt or dress purchased.  Lee Lee Loves Shoes is also a new addition to the Pearl, and on Saturday,  sample sweet bites from Ayon Bakery.
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Pearl is located at 200 E. Grayson St. in San Antonio, Texas. For more information about events at Pearl please visit their website here.

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Rice Rules at Pearl Paella Party



Waldy Malouf’s Paella is artfully arranged with seafood and vegetables on top.

It was a beautiful day for a cook-off Sunday and the Pearl Brewery, in front of the Culinary Institute of America, offered a perfect setting for the first ever Cocina de las Americas. The big event was a Paella Cook-Off.


Rene Fernandez of Azuca stirs rice into a paella that he made out of competition during Sunday’s paella cook-off.

When the flames under the huge paella pans were extinguished in the afternoon, judges chose their winners. First place went to chef and restaurateur Ben Ford, of Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, CA. Peter Holt and crew from Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurant in Houston,  took second place and San Antonio chef, Jeffrey Balfour of Citrus, at the Valencia Hotel, took third.

There were as many imaginative takes on paella as there were teams — 16 in all. These included celebrity chefs Waldy Malouf of New York (Beacon and Waldy’s restaurants in New York City) and Ford. Each team drew long lines, as attendees waited patiently for tastes of the famous, saffron-laced Spanish rice dish.

SavorSA was there, too. The writers of this article admit they had a few minutes of high excitement when the chef we’d been assigned to help ran late. Michael Gilleto, chef of a private club in New Jersey, flew in Sunday and arrived in the nick of time, but not before his two nervous assistants had dashed off to the huge food pantry in the middle of the grounds to snatch up ingredients. If Gilleto didn’t make it, we figured we’d pinch hit and make our own paella.


Chef Michael Giletto plates his paella for judging.

Gilleto showed up, though, and we were off — slicing, dicing, killing lobsters, cutting up whole chickens, cleaning shrimp and dashing around looking for a few ingredients we’d missed during the first mad rush.

Gilleto liked a classic-style paella, one traditionally more about rice and olive oil than about masses of seafood, chicken, chorizo and more ingredients piled high. We were with him on that.

Along with the usual ingredients in the pantry we noticed bags of chopped pineapple, hoja santa plants (sometimes called the root beer plant), ancho chiles and more. We said “yes” to the ancho chiles, which Gilleto wanted to flavor the stock, but we all tacitly agreed “no” on the pineapple.

One crew decorated their paella with julienned carrots. Another crew had help from one of their member’s grandmother, who hailed from the northern principality of Asturias, Spain.


bout 1,000 people, including families, turned out to the first paella cook-off.

Shelley Grieshaber, culinary director at the Pearl Brewery and CIA graduate, made her way from table to table doing the “color” interviews for the day. Johnny Hernandez, chef and owner of Pearl’s upcoming La Gloria restaurant, and driving force behind the cook-off, alternated roles between host and trouble shooter.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day,” said Grieshaber, who was excited at the success of the event.

San Antonio Food Bank culinary students were on hand to assist. Chef Rene Fernandez of Azuca made a huge paella prior to the contest to serve to the hungry masses. Other San Antonio chefs in the competition included Jason Dady, Dave Souter and Brian West, as well as a crew from the R.K. Group and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


Ben Ford, right, shakes hands with a fellow chef after winning the paella cook-off.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be going toward scholarship opportunities at the CIA San Antonio to benefit local chefs.  A portion of proceeds will also go to the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Office of the Honorary Council to Spain for educational initiatives benefiting San Antonio students. H-E-B/Central Market were presenting sponsors of the community event, in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America.

It was a fun competition, and one we hope to see again next year.

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Paella Cook-Off at Pearl, Iron Chef-style


The first-ever Cocina de las Americas, a one-day community event, will be held on the grounds of the Pearl, 312 Pearl Parkway, on March 14.  Chefs will vie for a prize, competing Iron Chef style, to make the best Spanish Paella, the country’s famous rice dish.

H-E-B/Central Market are presenting sponsors of this community event, in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America.  Co-chairs of the event are Chef Johnny Hernandez of True Flavors and Dya Campos, Director of Public Affairs for H-E-B.  The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and New World Wine and Food Festival also are supporting and promoting the event.

The public is invited to enjoy live entertainment and sampling of food from Spain, including sangria, Spanish hams and cheeses and an array of tapas, or Spanish small plates, prepared by CIA San Antonio students.

All food and beverage stations will be located in the Fountain Plaza. Live entertainment will be in the Main Stage Train area.

Chefs will compete with a full pantry of ingredients while guests can watch the cooking action in full swing.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward scholarship opportunities to the CIA San Antonio to benefit local chefs.  A portion of proceeds will also go to the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Office of the Honorary Council to Spain for educational initiatives benefiting San Antonio students.

Admission to the festival is $40. Doors open to the public at 11 a.m., judging is at 1:45 p.m. and the event ends at about 4 p.m. Tickets are $40; $20 ages 21 and under. Tickets can be purchased online at nwwff.frontgatetickets.com and www.ciacocinadelasamericas.com.

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A Dream Coming True


ilsogno2San Antonio foodies have waited for months now for the opening of Il Sogno, Andrew Weissman’s take on Italian food. Well, the wait is almost over.

Weissman, chef and owner of Le Reve and Sandbar, says the Italian restaurant at the Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayson St., Suite 100, will have its official opening Aug. 5.

On a tour of the facility this week, Weissman showed how patrons of the restaurant will be greeted upon entry with a view of a pasta maker at work as well as a Prosecco bar. The open kitchen will also have a chef’s table seating for those who want to watch their meal prepared up close.

They’ll get a good look at the focus of the kitchen, a 6,500-pound gas- and wood-fired oven that can reach a temperature of 1,100 degrees. What all that heat means is that pizzas will be cooked in about 1 minute, said Weissman, who is obviously excited by its possibilities.

Those pizzas, by the way, will be priced in accordance with the time you order them. So, if your order is placed at 5:15 p.m., the price will be $5.15. If it’s ordered at 8 p.m., expect to pay $8.

Luca Dellacasa, who has worked with Weissman for several years at Le Reve, will be in charge of the kitchen, while Terri Wright, formerly of Silo, will manage the front of the house.

Il Sogno (SOWN-yo) is Italian for “the dream.” Just as Le Reve is French for “the dream.”

The new restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No reservations will be taken. Call (210) 223-3900.

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