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Les Dames d’Escoffier Bring Food, Film in Grand Style to Fundraiser

Les Dames d’Escoffier Bring Food, Film in Grand Style to Fundraiser

Meals on Reels table cropped

It was all glitter and pearls, top-notch auction items, perfect wine and food and a party to remember Thursday night as San Antonio’s chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s fundraiser filled a ballroom at the St. Anthony Hotel.

Meals on Reels, presented by members of the culinary organization for women, was one of this year’s events to bring in cash for scholarships and other support and opportunities for women who are in, or wish to become professionals in culinary pursuits of all kinds.

“It just went really smoothly, it was a great night, a really excellent collection of silent and live auction items – everyone did a great job,” said Les Dames President Kathy Shearer. She and restaurateur Dame Blanca Aldaco co-chaired the event. Debbie Gonzales, also a member of Les Dames and a manager at the St. Anthony, coordinated arrangements.

Planning began months ago, but the real push on site started a day ahead of the event as Dames and helpers set the stage, from auction room to banquet hall.

Grand Dame Rosemary Kowalski, in flapper finery.

Dame Rosemary Kowalski, in flapper finery.

Some 186 guests attended. The theme, Meals on Reels, was a posh take on a night at the Oscars. Tables gleamed with gray and aubergine linens, flowers, crystal candlesticks and swag bags. The entertainment was clips of foodie scenes from famous movies, shown on screens around the room and narrated by Dame Cynthia Guido and Ron Bechtol. The evening’s MCs were dames Tanji Patton and Leslie Komet Ausburn.

And of course, there was popcorn.

In the kitchen, St. Anthony Executive Chef Michael Mata and his staff cleared the way for Dames whose restaurant and cooking backgrounds prepared them to create and execute the ambitious menu Thursday night. The menu items matched those mentioned in the featured movies — ranging from Lobster Bisque and Grilled Quail to Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon.

Much of the prep work was done on Wednesday, under the guidance of Dame Naylene Dillingham, chef and owner of the renowned Mac and Ernie’s Roadside Eatery in Tarpley.

Meals on Reels quail dish cropped

Grilled Quail with Silky Rose Petal Sauce

Dillingham was assisted by restaurateurs and chefs, including dames Nancy Fitch, Cathy Tarasovic, Lisa Wong, Jenny Mattingsly and Denise Mazel, as well as Central Market Cooking School Manager Mary Martini. Dessert was prepared by Dame Anne Ng, of Bakery Lorraine.

A group of five female culinary students from the Culinary Institute of America, enrolled in Dame Julia Rosenfeld’s writing class, also made an appearance. They, along with Rosenfeld, Cathy Tarasovic and I pitched in to help with the cheese course for the event.

Photographs by Susan Jaime and Bonnie Walker

Auction table, featuring photo of Auguste Escoffier, is set up early afternoon.

Auction table, featuring photo of Auguste Escoffier, is set up early afternoon.

Silent auction items were collected by dames Di-Anna Arias and Erica Hanchey.

Live auction items, which provided fun later in the evening, included a one-week stay in a picturesque San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; a three-day culinary trip to New York for two, including dinner at the James Beard House; a chef-prepared dinner for 10 at Osteria Il Sogno in San Antonio; a private party for up to 30 people at the Don Strange Ranch; and a gourmet dinner prepared by members of Les Dames for 10 people at the home of Dame Pat Mozersky.

This fundraiser might be over, but the culinary expertise of this active local chapter of the international Les Dames d’Escoffier is planning another event, The Plate Changer,

for later this year.

About Les Dames d’Escoffier International: This year, Les Dames d’Escoffier, San Antonio Chapter (LDEI-SA), celebrates its Twentieth Anniversary. Our membership consists of dedicated professional women in the culinary arts, hospitality, agriculture, and other related fields. Our emphasis is on education and philanthropy and through our efforts, we are strengthening our community by following in the footsteps of legendary members both past and present from around the country such as Julia Child, Edna Lewis, Marcella Hazan, and Alice Waters. We are especially inspired and encouraged by our own chapter’s premier trail blazer and San Antonio star, Rosemary Kowalski, founder and CEO Emeritus of the RK Group.

Rose petals for the quail course and fruit breads by Jenny Mattingsly

Rose petals for the quail course and fruit breads by Jenny Mattingsly

Chefs Nancy Fitch, Lisa Wong and Cathy Tarasovic

Chefs Nancy Fitch, Lisa Wong and Cathy Tarasovic

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Get Early Bird Pricing on Culinaria Festival Tickets

Get Early Bird Pricing on Culinaria Festival Tickets

Culinaria Festival Week tickets are now on sale — and you can get most at a discount.
At the Grand Tasting

At the Grand Tasting

For one week only, Culinaria is offering early bird pricing on most tickets for Festival Week, which takes place May 13-17.

Plans for this year’s five days of food, wine and spirits are underway. Events include the Grand Tasting, the Best of Mexico and Burgers, BBQ and Beer. Whether you’re interested in a single event or you want to taste everything, there are tickets for you.
To purchase your tickets to this year’s Festival Week at a discount, visit
Early bird pricing ends at midnight March 6. (FYI: Discounts do not apply to Wine or Tequila Dinners, Food Truck, or Bubble Room.)

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Empty Bowls for Full Bellies

Empty Bowls for Full Bellies

SONY DSCSAMMinistries and the San Antonio Potters Guild are teaming up for the 15th annual Empty Bowls on March 8.

It runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Southwest School of Art, 300 Augusta St.

During the event, patrons can purchase handcrafted bowls made for the event. For each bowl purchased, the guest can enjoy soup and bread provided by local restaurants.

All proceeds benefit San Antonio families facing homelessness who are served by SAMMinistries.

The organizers offer a reminder for those planning to attend the Sunday event: “Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour on the night of Saturday, March 7th. We don’t want you to miss out on the fun!”

Admission is free, but the bowls are being sold with all proceeds going to SAMMinistries. For more information, call 210-340-0302.

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Fête du Cuvée Fine Wine Auction Approaches

Fête du Cuvée Fine Wine Auction Approaches

Fête du Cuvée Fine Wine Auction, the Junior League of San Antonio’s black tie affair is presented by Wave Healthcare. This event is at 6 p.m. March 7 at the Bright Shawl, 819 Augusta St.

Exclusive lots will be featured in a silent auction including unique offerings, large format bottles, libraries and allotment wines, while a live auction will include one-of-a kind offerings and along with food and wine pairings from nationally and locally acclaimed chefs.

The name, Fête du Cuvée, is a play on the term “tête de cuvée,” which means the top of the line from any Champagne house. The idea behind the event is a celebration of the best of the best.

Chefs and Cellars Champagne pour cropProceeds from the event will benefit the community programs and projects of the Junior League of San Antonio. More information on the event can be found at

Participate in a wine auction, expand your personal cellar and experience an evening of food and wine while supporting the efforts of the Junior League of San Antonio.

The Junior League of San Antonio is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League works with more than 60 local agencies each year, making it the non-profit that supports other non-profits in San Antonio.

2015 Fête du Cuvée featured chefs:

Lisa Astorga Watel-Bite Restaurant

Jeff White-Boiler House

Brooke Smith-The Esquire Tavern

Luis Colon-Folc

James Smith-Morton’s The Steakhouse

Tim McDiarmid-Tim The Girl

Johnny Hernandez-True Flavors

James Moore-TBA Lounge (Signature Cocktail-French 75)

2015 Fête du Cuvée PASTRY CHEFS

Caitline Nykiel-Saveurs 209

Elise Broz and Stacy Zymboly-Inspired Occasions

 Event Sponsorship and Ticket Details

Ticket options include:

  • Toast the Night Individual Ticket, $150 each, includes access to the silent auction, live auction, chef stations, all wine pairings, and a commemorative tasting glass. The reservation has non-reserved seating. Standing tables will be available through The Gallery and standing room access in the Ivy Room during the Live Auction.
  • Fête du Cuvée Patron Table of 10, $2,500 per table, includes invitations for 10. Access to the silent auction, live auction, chef stations, all wine pairings, commemorative tasting glasses and a 2015 Fête du Cuvée gift for each guest. The Patron Table also includes 10 tickets to the Cellar Party preview event held in February.
  • Fête du Cuvée Patron Ticket, $250 each, includes access to the silent auction, live auction, chef stations, all wine pairings, a commemorative tasting glass, and a 2015 Fête du Cuvée gift. Patron tickets include reserved seating during dinner and the Live Auction.

Custom sponsorship packages are available for this event. For Fête du Cuvée sponsorship information, contact event chairwoman Liz Lamoureux at or 210-213-0874. Net proceeds from Fête du Cuvée benefit The Junior League of San Antonio, Inc.


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Wine, Spirits Notes: Hill Country Symposium, Wine Dinners, More

Wine, Spirits Notes: Hill Country Symposium, Wine Dinners, More

Fredericksburg hosts wine symposium

Highlighting the expanded goals for Texas Hill Country Wineries, the association will be hosting the first ever Hill Country Wine Symposium in 2015. Topics from vineyard to winery and business to hospitality will be covered over the two-day conference on March 24 and 25 at the Hill Country University Center in Fredericksburg.

“Our committee has put together a great lineup of industry experts and we are expecting over 100 attendees from all over the state,” says Executive Director January Wiese. The Symposium is bringing in speakers from California including Clark Smith of WineSmith, Don Brady of Robert Hall Winery and Al Wagner of Clos du Val.

red wineTexas wine industry expert speakers include Fredrik Osterberg- Pedernales Cellars; Rae Wilson, Wine for the People; Tim Drake,  Drake Consulting; Dr. Julie Kuhlken, Pedernales Cellars; Dr. Russ Kane, Vintage Texas; Tammy Boatright and Lindsay Kana, VingDirect; Kimberly Frost, Martin Frost & Hill and more.

The Grape Exchange Wine Reception at the end of day 1 will be a chance for growers around the state to share wines from their vineyards with wineries looking for more fruit for 2015 and beyond.

Exhibitor tables will provide wineries and growers the opportunity to meet new vendors for their businesses as well. Sponsors for the Symposium include Hill Country University Center, C&C Sales & Marketing Glass Tech, Frost Bank and Marquee Event Group.

For more details and topics to be discussed, see here. Registration is open now. Non-members $125/one day or $200/both days.  For additional information on Texas Hill Country Wineries visit the website here.

McInnis joins Bending Branch Winery in Marketing

Bending Branch Winery is proud to announce that Jennifer McInnis has joined its team as the company’s marketing and sales manager. McInnis will be responsible for marketing initiatives, social media and on premise restaurant sales.

bendingbranchwinery_ corks 2021McInnis comes from the San Antonio Express-News, where she reported on the Texas wine industry for six years before being promoted to food & drink editor of the Sunday Taste section in April 2014.

“I am proud to join the Bending Branch team during this exciting time for the winery and the Texas wine industry. It’s impressive what they have accomplished in a little more than five years, and I’m thrilled to play a role in helping them achieve their goals for the future,” McInnis said.

Bending Branch Winery, a boutique winery near Comfort, Texas, is a sustainable practices and organically focused operation with 20 acres of vines, comprising 16 varieties. For more information, news and events, visit

Remy Martin Louis XIII dinner, a high-end experience

18 Oaks at the JW Marriott San Antonio will feature a rare and special dinner on Feb. 27. The steakhouse has partnered with Remy Martin for an exclusive Louis XIII Dinner Experience for a select number of guests.

Remy Martin box croppedGuests will dine on items such as a duck confit salad, Texas Wagyu filet and pan-seared scallops and a grapefruit mint sorbet paired with a perfectly matched wine selection.

Dinner, which starts at 7 p.m., will be followed by a guided tasting of Remy Martin’s Louis XIII.  18 Oaks at the JW Marriott is at  23808 Resort Parkway.

The price per person is $195 (includes dinner, wine and Louis XIII tasting).  Reservations are required; call 210-491-5825.


Single malt Scotch tasting coming up at Crumpets

When it comes to single malt scotch, age isn’t just a number; it’s the number that matters. Join Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery for an evening of elegant food and perfectly aged scotch on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

Scotch glass illustrationEnjoy five single malt scotch selections paired with five equally rich dishes. Dinner will begin with a 12-year-old Glenkinchie paired with a Fromage de Chevre in Puff Pastry followed by a 16-year-old Lagavulin matched with Smoked Salmon Canapés.

The mid-dinner meal will include a 12-year-old Cragganmore and Prosciutto-Stuffed Mushroom followed by a 10-year-old Braichladdich and Lamb Chops with Fresh Rosemary and Dijon Mustard before dessert, Chocolate Florentine and a 14-year-old Oban.

Call 210-821-5600 to reserve your seat at $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. Crumpets Restaurant & Bakery is located at 3920 Harry Wurzbach, San Antonio, TX, 78209.



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Tasty Events: Wine, Chocolate, KLRN’s TV Celebrity Chef

Tasty Events: Wine, Chocolate, KLRN’s TV Celebrity Chef

Passport to Greece at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard’s Passport Adventure Series is a bimonthly dinner series that focuses on areas of the world that produce olive oil and table olives.

Each dinner features an authentic menu featuring olives and oil from the country being highlighted as well as pairing the cuisine with wine from that region.

The next dinner is a culinary trip to Greece, and happens on Feb. 13. The reception is at 6:30 and dinner is at 7.  Greek wines will be paired with each course.

The price is $75 per persoon, with an 18 percent tip. You can call Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, which is on 25195 Mathis road in Elmendorf, a 25-minute drive from downtown San Antonio. Or, check the website here to make reservations. The menu is below.

Sandy Oaks passport to Greece logo1st Course: Greek Olives
Greek cheese, homemade pita bread,
Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)

2nd Course:
  Greek Stuffed Tomato
Stuffed with orzo, herbs, citrus, and feta over warm greens

3rd Course: Moussaka
Made with ground beef, eggplant, tomatoes, with a Greek cheese bechamel and fresh garden greens

4th Course: Grilled Lamb Steak
With roasted red potatoes and roasted zucchini; Classic tzatziki sauce

5th Course: Ouzo Spiced Pear Tartlet
With a Chocolate honey sauce
Olive mint sorbet

Mary Ann Esposito chefMary Ann Esposito of “Ciao Italia” appears in San Antonio in March

Join KLRN and Luce Ristorante e Enoteca for a multi-course Italian dinner, wine and fun with Mary Ann Esposito, host of “Ciao Italia,” the longest-running cooking program in America. You’ll also receive an autographed cookbook.

Esposito will be the featured chef at KLRN’s Chef Series on March 22.  Since 1989, PBS Chef Mary Ann Esposito has entertained and enlightened while offering valuable cooking tips. She crafts classic creations that food fans can easily recreate at home.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. The cost is $150 per person. Luce Ristorante e Enoteca is at 11255 Huebner Road.  For tickets, which are limited, click here.

 Little Gretel’s Denise Mazel named 2014 Businesswoman of the Year

The Boerne Chamber’s 2014 Businesswoman of the Year has been announced as Denise Mazel, chef and owner of Boerne’s Little Gretel restaurant. Mazel’s vision began more than 30 years ago when she spotted a little house for sale on River Road that became her first business in Boerne and the first commercial business established on River Road.

Denise Mazel and daughter Veronica Mazel-Brown

Chef Denise Mazel and daughter Veronica Mazel-Brown

When she first opened her shop, she offered knitting and needlepoint classes and sold yarn. Her long-time dream of owning a restaurant that would depict Boerne’s heritage came true six years ago when she opened Little Gretel.

She was recently nominated as a member of “Best Chefs America” and the only woman awarded that recognition in the San Antonio area.  In 2014, she was invited to compete in the Food Network television program “Beat Bobby Flay.”  She was also featured in an article titled Lone Star Kolaches published in Cook’s Country, a national publication, where her kolaches were praised as the best and most traditional.

During her travels back to her native Czech Republic, she was awarded the Honorary Certificate of Nobility for preparing and serving food to the heads of state. Mazel also is dedicated to linking youth to her profession by offering apprenticeships and sharing her knowledge and skills with Boerne ISD culinary arts students.

Little Gretel Restaurant is at 518 River Road in Boerne. It is open every day for breakfast and lunch, and open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner.   (830) 331-1368

Becker Vineyards Offers Wine, Music and Book Signing

From romantic wine and chocolate tastings to book signings and the annual Bluebonnets, Bluegrass and BBQ, Becker Vineyards in Stonewall provides lots of reasons to make them a destination. For more information on these and other happenings at Becker, please visit their website here.

Red_wine_closeup_in_glassFeb. 7, 8, 14, & 15 Annual Merlot & Chocolate Tasting (Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sundays, Noon – 6 p.m.)  Delysia Chocolatiers will have samples of ganache and bark as well as product for sale.  Al’s Gourmet Nuts will have gourmet nuts (spicy, savory, or sweet), too.  And Chef Ross Burtwell of The Cabernet Grill will have a cookbook signing (“Texas Hill Country Cuisine, Flavors from The Cabernet Grill”) on Feb. 7 only.

Feb. 21 Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 “Ragin’ Cajun & Texas Shrimp  Visitors will go at their own pace to the wineries on the wine road to sample a Cajun Shrimp concoction to pair with a wine.  Complimentary event; no reservations required.  Time:  11:30 a.m. until out.

March 14 & 15 Annual Bluebonnets, Bluegrass, & BBQ.  Dr. Becker’s brother Robert Becker and the Woodstreet Bloodhounds will play Bluegrass music.  No cover charge.  Chef Jayson Cox will be making BBQ to serve and sell to the public.  BBQ from 11:30 a.m. until out.  Music:  1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

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Scenes from the Cowboy Breakfast

Scenes from the Cowboy Breakfast

Crowds fill the parking lot of the Cowboys Dancehall.

Crowds fill the parking lot of the Cowboys Dancehall.

The 37th Cowboy Breakfast drew tens of thousands of people out on a cool but clear Friday morning. The annual event, promoted as the world’s largest cooked breakfast, is always a draw, even when it rains, but in the right weather, the crowd can be fierce. And so, by 5:30 a.m., lines waiting for a free taco or biscuits stretched all the way across the parking lot of the Cowboys Dancehall.

Keeping the coal fires burning so the cooking can continue.

Keeping the coal fires burning so the cooking can continue.

By the end of the event, organizers were planning on having served:

  • 12,000 Kiolbassa Chorizo and egg tacos
  • 10,000 Pruski’s sausage and egg tacos
  • 10,000 Rudy’s BBQ beef tacos
  • 8,000 Pioneer Biscuits and Kiolbassa Sausage
  • 8,000 bacon and egg tacos
  • 5,000 potato and egg tacos
  • 5,000 Kiolbassa Sausage wraps
  • 5,000 pastries from Flowers Baking Company/Buttercrust
  • 5,000 pints Oak Farms milk and orange juice
  • 2,500 servings of Pioneer Biscuits and gravy

No one knows how any cups of coffee McDonald’s would be served or how many Mission Tortillas would be used.

It takes a team to wrap the sausages.

It takes a team to wrap the sausages.

The event is sponsored by Jordan Ford, which provided the vans that transported people from the parking lot at the nearby Rialto movie theater to the breakfast site.

On Thursday, the Cowboy Breakfast showed its appreciation for wounded warriors, their families and support staff by delivering tacos and biscuits and gravy to the Warrior Family Support Center at Brooke Army Medical Center.

How did all this get started? A press release on the event offered a little history: “Paying homage to the trail riders of the Old West, the Cowboy Breakfast began in 1979 with a handful of cooks and grills in the parking lot of Central Park Mall, its home for 23 years, as the sendoff for trail riders beginning the annual trek to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.”


That cooler full of taco filling will empty quickly.

That cooler full of taco filling will empty quickly.

A hot cup of coffee and a taco are worth the wait.

A hot cup of coffee is worth the wait.

The action behind the scenes is non-stop.

The action behind the scenes is non-stop.

Warm tacos and a friendly smile to start the day.

Warm tacos and a friendly smiles a great way to start the day.

It's never too early to ride a mechanical bull.

It’s never too early to ride a mechanical bull.

Waiting for the rest of the day to begin.

Waiting for the rest of the day to begin.

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Get Ready for a Day of Pork, Drink and Fun

Get Ready for a Day of Pork, Drink and Fun

The pigs are getting fat, and the next Creole boucherie is in the works.

pigDon’t know what a boucherie is? Well, Urban Dictionary defines it as “a party distinguished by consumption of mass quantities of food, beer, soft drinks and hard liquor.” In other words, food and fun.

It all begins at 11 a.m. Feb. 8 at Vintage Heart Farm, which is providing the pigs. You’ll also get demonstrations from John Russ of Lüke San Antonio, Pieter Sypesteyn of the Cookhouse and Where Y’At, Diego Galicia and Rico Torres from Mixtli, and Heather Nanez from Bohanan’s with guest appearances from other San Antonio chefs. Cocktails will be under the care of Jesse Torres from Mixtli and Mezcaleria Mixtli.

“We will kick off the day with a traditional grit and grillades brunch,” an announcement of the event says. “Throughout the day our chefs 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 farm, so plan and dress accordingly.

Vintage Heart Farm is at 1700 CR 332, Stockdale.

Tickets are $150 for adults or $75 for children under 10, plus processing fee. For tickets click here.

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be Part of the Slim Down Showdown?

Do You Have What It Takes to Be Part of the Slim Down Showdown?

Can you lose weight, eat healthier and change your lifestyle for the better?
Changing your life for the better is the goal of the Slim Down Showdown.

Changing your life for the better is the goal of the Slim Down Showdown.

Thirty-five people from across the state hope so. H-E-B has named members of the public and their own employees to participate in the fifth anniversary of the H-E-B Slim Down Showdown. Presented with Nestle, Beanitos and belVita, this is a 16-week contest designed to provide contestants with the education and tools they need to live a healthier lifestyle, and the chance to win cash prizes.

You may not have been chosen for the contest, but you, too, can take part. Details on that appear below.
In the Community Contest, 15 members of the public were chosen to compete for a grand prize of $10,000 and a Healthy Hero prize of $5,000. They will embark on a life-changing journey alongside 15 H-E-B employees, or partners, who are eligible for a separate grand prize of $10,000 and a Healthy Hero prize of $5,000.
As part of the fifth anniversary celebration, H-E-B has selected five Second Chance partners who have previously participated in a past season of Slim Down Showdown. The Second Chance winner will receive $2,500.

The 15 Slim Down Showdown Community Contestants are:
  • Michael Plata, San Benito
  • Bonnie Tisdale, McAllen
  • Janie Ramirez, Edinburg
  • Darralyn Johnson, Austin
  • Robin Russelll, Granbury
  • Nathan Dennis, College Station
  • Veronica Allen, Houston
  • David Nungaray, San Antonio
  • Tamlynn Niemietz, New Braunfels
  • Cathleen Nogueron, San Antonio
  • Bobby Mowles, Victoria
  • Terra Gauvain, Austin
  • Michael Wise, Katy
  • Petra Pearce, San Antonio
  • Clay Jackson, Houston 
 The 15 Slim Down Showdown Partner Contestants are:
  • Jose Trevino, Mission
  • Lettie Tellez, Raymondville
  • Santos Segovia, Mission
  • Shay Malcolm, Austin
  • Rebecca Lockridge, Waxahachie
  • Courtney Combs, Austin
  • Brock Hartman, Corpus Christi
  • Michelle Mathis, Rosenberg
  • Brandon Singleton, Houston
  • Daisy Gallegos, Houston
  • James Griffith, San Antonio
  • Veronica Jones, San Antonio
  • Manuel Naredo, San Antonio
  • Laura Cuellar, San Antonio
  • Jeremy Peebles, Corpus Christi 

The 5 Slim Down Showdown “Second Chance” Partners are:

  • Jessica Flores, Houston
  • Douglas Macis, Austin
  • Albert Moreno, Weslaco
  • Anastacia Chadis, Corpus Christi
  • Jacquelyn Ary, Brownsville

Contestants were chosen based on their willingness to embrace the program and to publicly share their journey and the resulting lifestyle changes through blogs, vlogs and social media. Grand prize winners are selected based on overall health improvement, participation and fan engagement. Healthy Hero winners demonstrate the most progress on health markers such as body mass index, blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
From Jan. 17-23, all contestants will come to San Antonio to participate in Fit Camp, an intensive, week-long wellness program with experts from H-E-B, Methodist Healthcare and the Cooper Aerobics Center. H-E-B manages the contest, including overall nutrition and fitness education. Methodist Healthcare provides medical oversight and testing for the program and Cooper provides expert speakers for Fit Camp.
Once they return home, contestants will receive one-on-one coaching and support from H-E-B’s registered dietitians in addition to their individual meal plans and fitness goals developed during Fit Camp. They also receive a one-year gym membership, courtesy of Gold’s Gym, to help them with their fitness routine. Winners will be announced on May 9 at a ceremony at the Henry B Gonzales Convention Center in conjunction with the H-E-B Health & Wellness Family Expo.  
Each week throughout the Showdown, the contestants will be blogging and vlogging about their experience. You can read about their journey at or participate yourself by taking part in the Slim Down Showdown Challenge, an online healthy living course with recipes, workouts, summaries, videos, and a mobile tracker for weight. Last year, nearly 9,600 people signed up for the online challenge and recorded losing a total of 71,429 pounds.
This year, participants can log their progress to help their hometown win the H-E-B Community Challenge, a one-of-a kind competition that runs from January through April and mobilizes schools, businesses, organizations, individuals and leaders toward the common goal of transforming their community’s health. Five communities will be named winners with one participating school in each of the winning communities receiving a $1,000 grant. Winning schools and communities will be recognized at the Slim Down Showdown Finale on May 9 in San Antonio.
For more information, visit

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Calling All Carnivores: Meat Week Is Upon Us

Calling All Carnivores: Meat Week Is Upon Us

meatweekMeat Week begins Sunday, and you know you’ve been hankering for it.

The fun starts at Big Bob’s Burgers, 4553 N. Loop 1604 W., with the 50/50/50 burger. Get there after 4 p.m. and enjoy a promotion with Alamo Beer Co. As a promotion for the event reads, “Bob has his famous Meat Week San Antonio 50/50/50 burger to help us celebrate — that’s BEEF, BACON, PORK BUTT oh my!”

The weeklong series of events includes:

  • Monday — Smoke Shack, 6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday — B&D Ice, 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday — B-Daddy’s BBQ, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday — The County Line on 1-10, 6:30 p.m.
  • Friday — The grand opening of Dignowity Meats with Alamo Beer Co., 6-9 p.m. RSVP required.
  • Saturday — The Point Park & Eats food truck extravaganza and tap takeover.
  • Sunday, Feb. 1 — A bike run to Taps y Tapas is at 2 p.m. followed by a Super Bowl Party at the Bungalow with kickoff at 5:30 p.m.

For more details, email local hosts Denise or Noel at


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