March 20, 2011 - Chef John Besh Launches PBS Cooking Show

     News about one of our favorite celebrity chefs: John Besh, who recently opened Lüke San Antonio River Walk and will kick off the four-day culinary showdown at the Texas Hill
Country Wine & Food Festival
- headlining the Stars Across Texas Classic, on Thursday, March 31st, that supreme tasting event showcasing 25 top chefs from the Lone Star State - will debut his new television show, "Chef John Besh's New Orleans," in April on PBS.  
   Besh will pay homage to the Big Easy in the new cooking series, celebrating the food he loved as a boy growing up on the bayous, refined in his years of study in America and Europe, and brought back home - where his six New Orleans-based restaurants are indelible parts of Louisiana's culinary landscape.  No local air dates have been announced, so in the meantime - click the graphic above for a preview of his new series.
February 20, 2011 - Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival Preview

     One of our favorite annual events - the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival, celebrates its 26th anniversary this year with a new look, larger program of events, and a few changes.  The state's premier celebration of wine, food, brews and spirits will run March 31st
to April 3rd.
    As in the past, this year's festival infuses the celebration with new creativity, rising-star chefs, quality winemakers, contemporary flair and a healthy dollop of Austin's unique urban edge.  The always-sold-out food gala The Stars Across Texas Classic and other favorites - such as Savor the Hill Country Winery Luncheons and Big Dog Reds - return in 2010.  New this year are cutting-edge events dedicated to beef, fire and chefs - including tastings featuring Texas charcuterie with Texas wine, and top chefs from Texas and leading-edge culinary epicenters that include New York, Portland, Los Angeles, and even the Australian Outback.
   The festival features a wine dinner with Hollywood star Kyle Maclachlan with meat-centric fare of Los Angeles chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal Restaurant - named one of the very top restaurants in the U.S. - teaming with local celebrity chefs David Bull of Congress and Josh Watkins of The Carillon on April 2nd at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center.
    One event we are eager to experience is the showcase Live Fire! Beef Supremacy Over Flames at the Texas Disposal Systems Exotic Game Ranch on April 1st.  The chef congress, featuring protein royalties in the world capital of beef, chef Brad Farmerie of New York City's James Beard-winning Public Restaurant, Australian Outback chef Andrew Dwyer, Aaron Franklin of Austin's white hot Franklin BBQ, pastry ace Rebecca Rather, Andy Ricker of Portland's Pok Pok, and more.  
    And the festival closing Sunday Fair goes urban this year with its new location at the Mexican American Cultural Center in downtown Austin. No more stomping through the mud - yeah!  Billed as an "Eclectic Urban Celebration of Food, Wine & Spirits," local breweries, restaurants, and purveyors will throw the city's biggest food party of the year along the shores of Austin's Lady Bird Lake on April 3rd.
   You can sample a complete list of the events in PDF form here.  And be sure to purchase tickets now at - these events are guaranteed to sell out.
January 22, 2011 - "I Art Congress" Launching Feb. 10th

      An informal collective of Congress Avenue museums and galleries - led by Austin Details Art + Photo and with promotional support by the Downtown Austin Alliance - are creating a new monthly series of themed, open house experiences called "I Art Congress."  The free monthly series launches on February 10th with the Valentine's-themed "Love 101."
    The evening includes artwork
about love and loss, a poetry experience, and shopping and exhibitions.  The Austin Museum of Art will host poet Jena Gessaman and special guests for the spoken word event "Red" from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., to explore the intense emotions and fine lines between love, anger, and passion.  Following the performance, Gessaman will serves as "Poet for Hire" and create personalized poems on the spot, using her 1970 Olivetti Studio 45 typewriter.          CONTINUED >
(Images courtesy Austin CVB)
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Working the Room
Blogging Austin’s arts events with Rob Faubion