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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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Bruce Auden Earns Another James Beard Nomination


Bruce Auden

Bruce Auden of Biga on the Banks, 203 S. St. Mary’s St., is among the five finalists for best chef in the Southwest, according to the James Beard Foundation.

Auden has been nominated several times in the past for the award, which is the culinary field’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Auden is up against several Texas competitors, including Bryan Caswell of Reef in Houston and Tyson Cole of Uchi in Austin. Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas and Ryan Hardy of Montagna at the Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., are the other nominees.

Another Texan to make the list is Robb Walsh of Houston, who is nominated in the journalism division for Food Culture and Travel writing. He shares the nomination with Rick Bragg and Francine Maroukian for a piece in Garden & Sun titled “The Southerner’s Guide to Oysters.” They are up against Bill Addison for a piece in Atlanta Magazine on “BBQ 2010” and Matt Gross for an article in Saveur on “Tapei, Family Style.”

The journalism awards will be announced May 6. The restaurant awards will be announced May 9. For the full list of nominees, click here.

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