Tag Archive | "South Texas Heritage Pork"

S. TX Heritage Pork, Chefs Plan Unusual Harvest Dinner

A team of chefs along with South Texas Heritage Pork will prepare a dinner with a difference on Dec. 1.

Chefs from Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio will gather and harvest local wild edibles and pair them with pasture-raised heritage pork, from the state’s only Animal Welfare Approved facility.

At South Texas Heritage Pork, the animals roam freely on the farm where they find many wild edibles that make up a large part of their diet. The foods impart their great flavors to the meat of these animals — the original forages on the land.

But, the team of chefs will also be foraging for some of those same flavorful plants to add to this meal, a true wild harvest. They’ll  explore the 100-acre farmland to create a family-style menu from foraged ingredients as well as implementing seasonal items, including free range heritage chicken eggs and artisanal raw milk cheese from a local purveyor.

5-minute kelley escobedo

Kelley Escobedo

“The inspiration for the dinner was cultivated while I was exploring a new pasture and working and I smelled wild rosemary. The  fragrant rosemary made my wheels turn. Since then I’ve seen several things that have inspired me — basil, sage, onions, persimmons …”  — Kelly Escobedo, South Texas Heritage Pork farm owner

The animal selected to provide the protein for the evening will be finished on freshly ground peanut hay soaked in fresh whey from the same cheese aficionado.

You’ll also have a chance to learn about foraging, which is a skill not only for chefs but dedicated foodies as well.

This sustainable meal will be accompanied by special guest Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen from Foraging Texas, a blog dedicated to the craft and science of foraging in Texas. Merriwether will be dining with guests and answering questions regarding foraging to further deepen diners’ appreciation of the meal.

Don’t miss it!  The dinner will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1 at South Texas Heritage Pork, 2890 Lucas Road, Floresville.  Tickets are $125 a seat. All proceeds are benefiting the farm, and tickets can be purchased here.

Chefs preparing dinner include:

Matt McCallister – FT33, Dallas

Randy Rucker – Bramble, Houston

Luca Della Casa

Luca Della Casa

Luca Della Casa – Nosh & Silo, San Antonio

Gabriel Ibarra – Cappy’s, San Antonio

Tim McDiarmid – Tim the Girl

Andrew Wiseheart – Contigo, Austin

Robbie Nowlin- San Antonio

Jeret Pena of The Brooklynite, San Antonio, farm-to-tin inspired cocktail.


About South Texas Heritage Pork:  Set within the green pastures of South Texas, South Texas Heritage Pork is providing the state’s only Animal Welfare Approved, pastured, all natural, heritage pork of its kind. With a mission to educate people on the value of heritage pork raised naturally and to provide the best quality, best tasting pork available, and more importantly to preserve the heritage breeds. Whether it is raising heritage hogs or breeding and caring tenderly for their pigs, South Texas Heritage Pork believes in the number one priority being that of their pigs. They grow them the old fashioned way, with no use of growth hormones, stimulants, or unnecessary antibiotics, ever. Inherently, succulent, incredibly flavorful pork is the end result of such tender, loving care. Their pork can be found in San Antonio at The Pearl Farmer’s Market,  LUKE and Barley Swine in Austin. For more information please visit them here.

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Feeding the Man at the Top: Jason Dady Cooks for the President

Organic carrots roast over a Caja China filled with a pig from South Texas Heritage Pork.

Organic carrots roast over a Caja China filled with a pig from South Texas Heritage Pork.

Chef Jason Dady of Umai Mi, Tre, Two Bros. BBQ Market and more SA restaurants got a rare chance to cook for the president of the United States Monday evening.

Jason Dady, his family and crew got to serve President Obama.

Jason Dady, his family and crew got to serve President Obama.

“Our catering company was humbled and honored to cook last night for the POTUS party at the Pemberton Castle owned by Robert Rodriguez,” he said in released statement. “It was such an amazing opportunity and I was so proud of our team for their hard work and dedication to making sure that the evening was a success.”

President Obama had been in Austin for meetings on the immigration issue and how it has affected Texas. After the meetings, the president and his staff were served Dady’s dinner. 

“We prepared South Texas Heritage Pork in La Caja China, pizzas from Tre Trattoria, Texas blue crab cakes, and an assortment of JBG (Johnson’s Backyard Garden) Organic vegetables,” Dady said. “We utilized only local, fresh and seasonal products to really showcase what South Texas has to offer: Charred Carrots with Miso, Mixed Melon and Mint Salad, Caponata and a Cherry Tomato-Texas Peach-Cucumber Salad. “

Needless to say, the chance to cook for the president was a thrill for the chef, who couldn’t say why he was chosen for the honor except to say that he has cooked for the Democratic National Committee before. “I’m simply thankful for the opportunity,”  he said. “It was a special night and I’m so thrilled that I got to share it with my wife, brother, mother and staff.”


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They’re Planning an Old-Fashioned Boucherie at South Texas Heritage Pork

A boucherie, according an online Cajun Dictionary, is “a community butchering which involves several families contributing the animal(s) –usually pigs — to be slaughtered. Each family helps to process the different cuts of meat, like sausage, ham, boudin, chaudin, chops, and head cheese. Each family gets to take home their share of the yield. This process was done in late fall to provide meat throughout the cold months.”

boucherie_flyerIt’s a definition that the folks at South Texas Heritage Pork are taking to heart as they plan a boucherie on their farm, 2890 Lucas Road, Floresville, for Dec. 8.

“Hey, y’all, come join us for a traditional Creole boucherie,” a press release about the event says. “Our pigs will be provided from South Texas Heritage Pork, demonstrations from chef John Russ from Lüke San Antonio, chef Pieter Sypesteyn from Where Y’at Food Truck, and beer from Saint Arnold Brewery. We will kick off the day with a traditional grit and grillades brunch. Throughout the day Chef Russ and Chef Syspestyn will be demonstrating how to make classic recipes using the whole pig. Our Sunday afternoon supper begins at 3 p.m. featuring a collection of dishes that our chefs have demonstrated. The boucherie will be taking place outside on a working pig farm, so please plan accordingly.”

The day begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. The cost of a ticket is $150 for the full day, including meals, or $125 for dinner only. Call 210-383-0665 to make reservations for this old-fashioned event that really puts you back in touch with where your food comes from.

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Chefs’ Corner: Boiler House’s Kraken Rum Glazed Kurobuta Pork Belly

Are you in need of an appetizer recipe that will impress your guests and that you can make largely ahead of time?

Kraken Rum Glazed Kurobuta Pork Belly

Kraken Rum Glazed Kurobuta Pork Belly

That’s the beauty behind chef Jeff Wayne White’s Kraken Rum Glazed Kurobuta Pork Belly, which takes three days to get together. Most of the work, however, is done in advance. All you have to do is heat and assemble, before sending the hot plates out of your kitchen.

Haven’t got three days? White has just added this exciting dish to his menu at the Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden in the Pearl Brewery, 312 Pearl Parkway, so you can let him prepare it for you.  Either way, you’re sure to love this version of pork belly.

You can also shorten the recipe by using a store-bought whole grain mustard, but don’t skimp on the glaze, the pickled radishes or, least of all, the pork belly itself.

You can find Kurobuta pork belly through Williams-Sonoma, but you might also want to ask your butcher or contact the folks at South Texas Heritage Pork about getting some from them.

Kraken Braised Pork Belly

1 teaspoon pink curing salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 sheet pork belly, preferably Kurobuta
2 yellow onions, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
3 ribs celery, sliced
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
2 quarts smoked ham hock stock
1 quart pineapple juice
2 cups Kraken rum

For plating:
Kracken Rum Sauce (recipe follows)
Pickled Radishes (recipe follows)
Micro arugula
Grain Mustard (recipe follows)

Mix pink salt, brown sugar, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Rub pork belly with seasoning mix and let cure for 24 hours.

The next day, heat your oven to 275 degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, oven-proof braising pan.

Sear belly on both sides.

Remove from pan and set aside. In same pan, caramelize onion, carrots, celery and garlic.

Add peppercorns, thyme and bay leaves, then deglaze pan with ham hock stock, pineapple juice and rum.

Bring contents of braising pan to a boil, remove from heat and cover pan with foil. Place in oven and braise for 3 hours.

When done, remove belly from pan and place on sheet pan.

Place another sheet pan on top of belly and weigh down with canned food or something of weight and refrigerate overnight.

Strain braising liquid and reserve for sauce.

Remove belly from refrigerator and cut into even 2-inch squares.

For each serving, sear 3 squares in hot sauté pan skin side down. Flip over and roast in 275-degree oven for 4 minutes.

Place squares on plate.

Heat Kracken Rum Sauce in pan then mount with butter.

Pour sauce over pork belly. Garnish with plenty of Pickled Radish and micro arugula. Serve with Grain Mustard on the side.

Kraken Rum Sauce

2 yellow onions, sliced
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup Kraken rum
Braising liquid from the pork belly pan
Salt, to taste

In 2 tablespoons oil, caramelize onions.

Add cider vinegar and sugar, and reduce by 75 percent.

Add rum and reduce by half.

Add braising liquid and reduce by 75 percent.

Season to taste.

Pickled Radish

Bouquet Garni:
1 sprig tarragon
1 sprig mint
1/4 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 cups white balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar

1 pound red radishes, sliced

For bouquet garni, wrap tarragon, mint, cumin, fennel and peppercorns in cheese cloth and tie closed with twine. Add to a saucepan containing brine ingredients: white balsamic vinegar, water and sugar.

Bring brine to a boil then turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Place sliced radishes into a glass jar.

Pour hot brine over radish and let cool to room temp.

Once cool, seal jar tightly and refrigerate for 1 week.

Grain Mustard

½ cup ground brown mustard seeds
1/2 cup ground yellow mustard seeds
½ cup whole brown mustard seeds
1/2 cup whole yellow mustard seeds
¼ cup mustard powder
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup champagne vinegar
1 ½ cup water

Combine mustard seeds, mustard powder, salt, sugar, vinegar and water. Mix well, and leave covered at room temperature for 2 days before refrigerating.

Makes about 3 cups.

From Jeff Wayne White/Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden



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Fine Swine, Cold Beer and a Prelude of Summer in One Event

Members of the the Art Institute of San Antonio prepare a paella for guests of the second Fine Swine Cook-off.

Members of the the Art Institute of San Antonio prepare a paella for guests of the second Fine Swine Cook-off.

FLORESVILLE — The temperatures hit new heights for the year Sunday and the sun was somewhat unforgiving at the South Texas Heritage Pork farm as three culinary schools prepared pigs for the second annual Fine Swine Cook-Off and Flavor Fest.

Guests line up for lettuce cups filled with pork and rice.

Guests line up for lettuce cups filled with pork and rice.

But withstanding the heat of the kitchen — even an outdoor kitchen — is something all chefs-in-training learn how to handle, so there were few grumbles, though most welcomed the shade of their tents while they cooked away.

The teams from the Art Institute of San Antonio, the Culinary Institute of America and the San Antonio Food Bank were all trying to be the most creative with every last bit of meat found on the pig. So, the ear might be fried and used as a garnish on a salad. Or the heart could be turned into jerky (see recipe below). One group even bottled its own … mmm … Bacon Soda.

These dishes were all for the judges. Meanwhile, the rest of the guests treated themselves to an assortment of treats available in another competition. A group of chefs from Corpus Christi offered a seafood sampling that included an oyster on the half shell with a lemon grass and horseradish gelée, shrimp headcheese, shrimp shell stock with lemon foam and shrimp sausage. Where Y’at’s Pieter Sypesteyn served crispy pork boudin balls and steaming hot bowls of goat and hominy gumbo, while Brandon McKelvey of Say.She.Ate fried chicken in duck fat. James Canter, who won last week’s Paella Challenge, showcased quail in an oyster kimchee sauce with watermelon radish.

Local beers from Ranger Creek, Alamo, Guadalupe and Saint Arnold were on tap, while Pedernales Cellars wines were available.

Cutting up every bit of pork flavor.

Cutting up every bit of pork flavor.

In the end, the judges’ panel gave top pork prize to the Art Institute while their favorite of the open contest from the rest of the chefs on hand went to the team from the Corpus Christi area, which included Paul Morales, Audie Morris and David Graham. (This was a second win for Morales, who was part of the award-winning pork team from last year, also the Art Institute.) The people’s choice award went to the team from the Texas Cooks Co-op. (The judges’ panel included celebrity chef John Besh as well as local chefs Steven McHugh, Michael Sohocki, David Gilbert and John Russ among others.)

But the real winners were those who got to sample these local foods, whether it was the pork at center stage, the goat, the chicken or the quail. All of it came from Texas, if not specifically from the region south of San Antonio where South Texas Heritage is located. It had to be prepared on site, but it also had to be humanely raised, which also means healthier for those eating the food.

Pig Heart Jerky

Brian West of the CIA bastes a fresh ham.

Brian West of the CIA bastes a fresh ham.

1 pig heart
3 1/2 ounces soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red chile flakes6 ounces crushed black peppercorns or red chile flakes (optional)

Pat dry the heart and remove all fat and veins from the heart. Cut into thin slices, approximately 1/4 inch thick. Mix soy sauce, liquid smoke, granulated garlic, Worcestershire sauce, granulated onion, 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon red chile flakes together in a zip-lock bag. Add the heart slices and marinate for 24 hours. Flip the bag over every 5 hours or so to get even distribution of the marinade.

Remove the heart slices from the marinade and pat extremely dry. If you want a more peppered jerky, roll the slices in crush black peppercorns or red chile pepper flakes.

Lay out the pieces in an even layer on a food dehydrator. The slices are done when they shrunken 30 percent to 40 percent and are dry but pliable.

From the Art Institute of San Antonio


A member of the Art Institute's team prepares to serve the judges.

A member of the Art Institute’s team prepares to serve the judges.

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Swine! It’s Fine and It’s Sunday

swineSouth Texas Heritage Pork will host its second annual Fine Swine Cook-Off and Flavor Fest on Sunday at its farm, which is at 4268 County Road 404, Floresville.

Four culinary schools will vie for prizes, including cash, in a “snout-to-tail competition,” as the farm calls it. “South Texas Heritage Pork will provide our custom-fed, peanut-finished, pastured heritage pork.”

Each team will include five students currently enrolled in a culinary program and an instructor. Among the teams will be three from San Antonio: The Art Institute of America, The Culinary Institute of America and the San Antonio Food Bank Culinary Program.

The Groove Factory will provide the music while three food trucks — DUK Truck, Say.She.Ate and Where Y’At — will be on site.  There will also be a Pie Eating Contest featuring pies from Ms. Chocolatier.

General admission tickets are $35 and include entry, parking, live music, pie eating contest, tastings and spectator for the competition. Cash bar for general admission will include Alamo Beer, Guadalupe Beer and St. Arnold’s.

VIP tickets are $75 and include upgraded tastings, VIP parking and seating located near the judging table as well as Ranger Creek Beer and Pedernales Wines.

The fun begins at 2 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on South Texas Heritage Pork, click here or call (830) 534-7993. Shuttle service from the Pearl Brewery is also available.


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2012 Was a Year of Eating Well

The Pearl has become a food lover’s center for festivals as well as restaurants.

Bliss is aptly named.

As we approach the end of 2012, it’s time to look back on the many great flavors that we sampled. The list is lengthy, thanks to a decided upturn in culinary offerings across the city, both on the dining scene and for the food lover in general.

One of the biggest food stories of the year was the continued growth of the Pearl Brewery, which saw the opening of three praise-worthy eateries and a trendy bar. It also was the location of an increasing number of food festivals, meaning thousands from all over the city were showing up on a regular basis for cooking demonstrations at the Saturday farmers market, for paella, burgers and barbecue or tamales, and for the restaurants, all in the quest of good food.

A glimpse into the kitchen at the Granary.

The list of new restaurants includes the Granary ‘Cue and Brew, which restored beer making to the premises. Artisan barbecue, fine brews and an irresistible condiment known as ‘cue butter all made this a welcome addition. The Boiler House Texas Grill and Wine Garden delivers on the belief that quality grilled meat is prerequisite in the Lone Star State, and the massive setting, covering two stories, is epic enough to complement chef James Moore’s ranch-style fare.

The most intriguing addition, though, is NAO, the Culinary Institute of America’s full-service restaurant, which has provided San Antonio with its broadest and most authentic taste of South and Central American cuisines to date. These exciting flavors, from seafood stews and roasted meats to an inviting cocktail program, have somehow not been able to secure a foothold before in a city that values its Tex-Mex above all; yet in just a few months, NAO has developed a local following, and its client base should grow as word continues to get out to the rest of the country that the school has a campus and a destination restaurant here. When the visiting chef series returns, with culinary stars from countries as diverse as Brazil, Peru and Argentina, you’d be wise to make your reservations as soon as possible.

The CIA’s flagship restaurant in San Antonio.

NAO is also built on the concept of small plates, which has also not been widely popular in San Antonio. Yet Bite in the Southtown area and a revitalized Nosh on Austin Highway are joining in the effort to break that mold.

Southtown continued to attract diners from across the city, as Mark Bliss returned with a new restaurant, the aptly named Bliss. The warmth of the place, the impressive setting and the comfort of the food, especially when enjoyed at the chef’s table in the kitchen, all help place it among the city’s best.

Johnny Hernandez opened two distinct venues in the Southtown area, if not Southtown proper. They include the Frutería at the Steel House Lofts, where you can get everything from market-fresh fruit for breakfast to an impressive array of, you got it, small plates for dinner, and Casa Hernán, an airy catering facility and brunch spot in his own home.

Another welcome addition to the Southtown scene was the Alamo Street Eat Bar, a food truck park that featured crazy good burgers from Cullum’s Attaboy, the Peacemaker combination of pork belly and fried oysters from Where Y’At and the DUK Truck’s duck confit tacos. Add Zum Sushi, The Institute of Chili, Wheelie Gourmet and a few other visitors, as well as a great beer lineup, and you’ve got some wonderful fresh treats. And what do food trucks provide but small plates, albeit from different plates, giving you the feel of being on a tapas trail?

An “Eat Street” crew films at the Point Park & Eats.

Another food truck park that opened up north in Leon Springs was the Point Park & Eat, which also offers a great beer selection and a wide array of foods from a lineup that has changed in the months that it’s been open. The culinary confections come from trucks such as Skinny Cat, Gourmet on the Fly, Blazin’ Burgers and Say-She-Ate.

Television continued to discover may of these culinary gems. Say-She-Ate was one of four food trucks filmed for the TV series, “Eat Street.” The others include Rickshaw Stop, Tapa Tapa and Society Bakery. Meanwhile, PBS celebrity chef Ming Tsai came to town to film segments of “Simply Ming” with Diana Barrios Treviño from Los Barrios, Elizabeth Johnson of the CIA, John Besh of Lüke (visiting from New Orleans) and Johnny Hernandez at La Gloria.

Sustenio, with Stephan Pyles’ blessing and David Gilbert’s gifts, made people realize the Eilan Hotel Resort and Spa off I-10 was not just a pretty façade. Its menu, with much of the dishes derived from local meats and produce, features an exciting array of ceviches that captured the freshness of the sea and a number of dishes using South Texas Heritage Pork products.

The $13 Burger at Knife & Fork.

The gastropub movement continued with the opening of Knife & Fork in the Stone Oak area. An outgrowth of the Bistro Six food truck, it offered a $13 Burger worth every cent, an extensive cocktail program and a laid-back atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the bistronomy craze — a hybrid of “bistro” and “gastronomy” — could be found in Laurent’s Modern Cuisine on McCullough Avenue. Next door to the still-vibrant and dependable Bistro Vatel, it proved that a segment of San Antonio does love its French food.

For those who enjoy a meal every now and then at home, the number of gourmet groceries grew, thanks to the addition of Trader Joe’s in the Quarry Extension and a second Whole Foods on Blanco Road, north of Loop 1604. The food warehouse Gaucho Gourmet expanded its hours to the public to six days a week, while Groomer’s Seafood reeled in even more seafood lovers, especially when lobsters hit a mouthwatering low of $5.95 apiece.

Classic cocktails have made a comeback.

San Antonio lifted it spirits high during the year. Distilled spirits, that is. Mixed drinks, both shaken and stirred, got a huge boost from the first annual San Antonio Cocktail Conference. But it didn’t stop there. The Blue Box in the Pearl and the downtown Brooklynite joined the likes of Bar 1919 in the Blue Star Complex and the bar at NAO as havens for hand-crafted classic cocktails. A rye sour shaken with traditional egg white, a real martini made with gin and a pisco sour bright with freshly squeezed citrus were all incentives that made exploring these nightspots fun.

Expect beer’s popularity to soar in the new year. Beyond the excellent brews at the Granary, we await Alamo Beer’s ambitious plans for a downtown complex that will feature a restaurant as well as a brewing facility as well as the launch of Branchline Brewery.

What else can we expect? The Pearl will continue to expand with the openings of Jesse Perez’s Arcade Midtown Kitchen and an as-yet-unnamed venture from Steven McHugh as well as the move of Green Vegetarian Cuisine, all of which will add to the draw of the campus. Culinaria has announced plans for a community garden center offering food and agricultural education for the city. Andrew Weissman is taking over the former Liberty Bar site on Josephine Street.

With these strides forward on so many fronts, the city’s culinary scene should continue to offer some enticing new flavors for anyone with a healthy appetite.

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Last-Minute Food Gift Ideas for All Budgets

Bacon Candy Canes. Now that’s festive.

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer for a foodie on your list, here are a few suggestions of items from local businesses:

  • Finishing oils, pressed from a variety of sources, such as celery, nutmeg, carrot and even radish, can be found at Ali Baba International Food Market, 9307 Wurzbach Road. You’ll find then on an end-cap in the expanding market.
  • Spices from the East from either Himalayan Bazaar, 8466 Fredericksburg Road, or Mustapha Asian and Middle Eastern Grocery, 4081 Medical Drive, are also great for experimenting with a world of flavors.
  • Vinegar may seem an odd gift, until you check out the sweet, tangy vinegars at GauchoGourmet, 935 Isom Road, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes, ages and styles. Go for an aged balsamic from Italy or a spicy pecan vinegar from California. You’ll find plenty of other food favorites in both stocking stuffer sizes and jumbo jars.
  • Bacon Candy Canes — but, of course — are available at Leighelena at the Pearl, 202 Pearl Parkway. A six-pack is priced at $7. The neighboring Melissa Guerra Tienda de Cocino has begun selling wine and cigars.
  • For the cocktail lover on your list, tickets to any or all of the events during the upcoming San Antonio Cocktail Conference would be just the ticket. The second annual event is set for Jan. 17-20 and features everything from an opening party at the Majestic Theater with drinks and live music from Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval to seminars on tequila, Texas spirits and making cocktails at home. Click here for more information.
  • Shake up some fun at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

    Don’t forget your favorite three-letter grocery store. H-E-B has introduced its new Primo Picks products line, with treats such as Café Ole Holiday Blend coffee, Central Market Olive Oil Popcorn and Central Market Salted Truffle Brownie Mix. The items are specially marked Primo Picks on the shelves. Or ask for help.

  • The farmers markets this weekend are great places to find everything from specialized produce to South Texas Heritage Pork products. Two of the bigger markets are the Pearl Farmers Market, Saturday morning at the Pearl Brewery, and the Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market, 255 E. Basse Road, on  Sunday.
  • Many of your favorite restaurants are offering gift cards. A few are even offering discounts. Luce Ristorante e Enoteca, 11255 Huebner Road, for example, is offering two $50 cards for a total of $79.99.
  • Camp Brisket is a two-day intensive for barbecue lovers that’s being sponsored by Foodways Texas. It’s set for Jan. 11-12. As the website for the event says, “Camp Brisket will specifically focus on that quintessential Texas smoked meat, the humble brisket, covering topics such as the debate over which grades/types of beef to use, types of smokers, wrapping or not wrapping the brisket, and much more.” For more information, including prices, click here.
  • The Culinary Institute of America’s Boot Camps run anywhere from two to five days and cover such topics as Comfort Foods, American Regional Cuisine, Hors d’Oeuvres and Hearth Breads. They are intensive programs for serious home cooks, or “enthusiasts,” as the CIA likes to call them. For more information, click here. The local classes are marked (TX).


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Beer and Food Pairings Popping Up Around the City

ED’S NOTE:The date of the Sustenio dinner has been changed to Oct. 18.

Oktoberfest is in the air. So naturally there are several events happening in the coming weeks that offer savory reminders of how wonderful food and beer pairings can be.

Brewniverse at Central Market

Central Market, 4821 Broadway, is focusing on beer every day through Sept. 25, offering tastings in the wine and beer department as well as classes adding the food element to beer appreciation.

One class, set for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21, will focus on craft-brewed beers paired with American artisanal cheeses. “You’ll be amazed by the delicious results,” the class description promises. The cost is $45. Call (210) 368-8617.

Beer and Bacon Pairing Dinner at Whole Foods

The culinary team at Whole Foods Market at the Alamo Quarry, 255 E. Basse Road, is planning a five-course dinner pairing beer and bacon. It’s set for 7 p.m. Oct. 3.

Specialty beers from around the world will be paired with the pork favorite. The cost is $30 a person. Prepaid reservations required. Call (210) 826-4676.

Pork and  Jester King Beer at Sustenio

Sustenio at the Eilan Hotel, 17101 La Cantera Parkway, is pairing South Texas Heritage Pork and Jester King beers in a three-course dinner, from snout to tail, that’s set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 18.

The pig for this dinner will have been fed a special avocado diet for two weeks prior to the dinner, according to South Texas Heritage Pork, a highly sought-after pork purveyor in the region.

Jester King Craft Brewery is an authentic farmhouse brewery committed to making artisan ales. “Like the small, farmhouse breweries that inspired us, we seek to embrace nature and local terroir in our brewing, giving our beers a true sense of place,” says the brewery, which is located south of Austin. “We draw water from our well at the brewery to make our beer and at times call upon naturally occurring yeast from the Texas Hill Country to shape our unique flavors. We use as many organic ingredients as possible with the majority of our beer being USDA Certified Organic. We do not rush beer to market, but instead allow it to mature naturally – often in oak barrels – prior to re-fermentation in the bottle, cask, or keg.”

The dinner begins with a meet and greet featuring folks from South Texas Heritage Pork and Jester King.

The cost is $75 a person. Call (210) 598-2950 for reservations.

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Food Revolutions Popping Up In, Around SA

Sandy Winokur (from left), Susan Jaime, Mike Behrend and Troy Knapp are part of the food revolutions occurring in SA.

On  Tuesday, a group of SA food innovators got together to discuss the ongoing growth and changes going on in the San Antonio area when it comes to what is going on our plates. Farmers, ranchers, food merchants and chefs joined for 5-Minute Food Revolutions.

The forum, with about 100 in attendance, was presented at Aldaco’s Sunset Station. The panel was selected for their unconventional and/or pioneering approach to food, be it growing gardens or crops, raising chickens and hogs or running a restaurant.

Tim McDiarmid, of Tim the Girl Catering and Special Projects Social, describes her approach to food and her pop-up dinners.

Mike Behrend, for example, was a dedicated meat eater until about seven years ago. The chef and owner of Green Vegetarian Cuisine described his changeover in restaurant terms: “What I used to think of as a pain-in-the-ass customer? I became that customer.” Green is the top go-to restaurant for vegetarians and popular with many who don’t want to eat meat at every meal, too.

Kelley Escobedo, who with her husband Mark, founded South Texas Heritage Pork, described how her farm “lets the animals have a life” while they strive to reduce their carbon footprint and move from feeding their heritage hogs peanuts instead of corn. “This is not an easy life. We do it because we have passion,” said Escobedo.

To watch a video of the 90-minute presentation, click here.

Participants included Chad Carey of The Monterey, Marianna Peeler of Peeler Farms, Sameer Siddiqui of Rickshaw Stop, Saundra Winokur of Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, Mike Behrend of Green Vegetarian Cuisine, Susan Jaime of Ferra Coffee, Tim McDiarmid of Tim the Girl/Special Projects Social pop-up events, Blair Condon of Green Spaces Alliance, Kelley Escobedo of South Texas Heritage Pork and Troy Knapp of the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort.

The event was co-sponsored by SavorSA, Plaza de Armas and NOWCastSA, who videotaped it.

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