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GauchoGourmet Holidays! Book Signing, Toy Drive for the Kids

GauchoGourmet Holidays! Book Signing, Toy Drive for the Kids

Gaucho Gourmet’s Saturday Market this week will feature a Texas-sized Holiday Book Signing, with six authors present and signing four great Texas food books.

This is a one-time chance to pick up gifts for the food-lovers on your holiday gift lists, and have them signed. The following authors will be on hand Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.:
Texas Hill Country Cookbook• Chef Terry Thompson-Anderson, veteran chef and culinary instructor, will be present to sign her cookbook “Texas on the Table: People, Places and Recipes Celebrating the Lone Star State,” destined to become the definitive book on Texas cooking.
• Chef Scott Cohen, former executive chef of Las Canarias at La Mansion del Rio Hotel and current instructor at Le Cordon Bleu Austin, is signing his “The Texas Hill Country Cookbook – A Taste of Provence” for the discriminating palate and lover of local products.
• Renowned Hill Country Chef Ross Burtwell and contributing author Julia Celeste Rosenfeld are signing their striking “Texas Hill Country Cuisine: Flavors from the Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant,” perfect for all Hill Country cuisine and Texas wine connoisseurs.
• Bonnie Walker and John Griffin will be signing their recently published “Barbecue Lover’s Texas – Restaurants, Markets, Recipes & Traditions” for the guys and gals who are meat lovers (especially barbecue!) on your Christmas list.

Toys for Tots Benefit now through Dec. 13 — win a giant Pannettone

GauchoGourmet is also accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys between Mon, Dec. 6 through Saturday Dec. 13 to benefit Toys for Tots and ultimately the less fortunate children in our community. This toy drive is in conjunction with Groomer’s Seafood.

panettone albertengoWith each donation dropped off at GauchoGourmet, the donor’s name will be entered into GauchoGourmet’s biggest and best giveaway yet. The winner will be announced Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. and will receipve a specially ordered 22 pound Panettone Christmas cake, made by artisanal producer Albertengo, from Italy.

Bring toys, sample some of the great holiday gourmet items at GauchoGourmet and pck up gifts — all this Saturday.


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6 Ways to Help the Less Fortunate This Season

6 Ways to Help the Less Fortunate This Season

SAN ANTONIO FOOD BANK: Benefiting the hungry in San Antonio

Turn hungry holidays into happy holidays by ordering holiday cards from the San Antonio Food Bank. Designed by the Food Bank, you can send these cards to family, friends, coworkers, colleagues, and clients to wish them a happy holiday while helping to put food on the tables of those in need. Purchase cards here.

Christmas at the Caverns: Perfect for families and visiting relatives! Beginning on November 28 and running through December 23, Natural Bridge Caverns will be illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights outside along with two new underground Christmas shows and other holidays attractions on the grounds. $2 from every ticket will be donated to the San Antonio Food Bank and if you bring two cans of food to donate as well, you will receive a $2 gift card to use for food, beverage, or retail items at the park.  For more information and list of all holiday attractions click here.

NUTCRACKER SWEETS: Benefiting Battered Women and Children’s Center

The popular Nutcracker Sweets holiday tasting event is back – bigger and more scrumptious than ever. The event venue is the cherry on top: the exquisite Tobin Center.Christmas nutcracker

Nearly 20 of the city’s top restaurants, bakeries, chefs and trucks will roll out an evening of holiday delights – from savory to sweet – on Monday, Dec. 8 (2014) from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter.

“Domestic violence has been making national headlines lately,” says Marta B. Peláez, BWCS president/CEO. “But it remains a local issue that knows no socio-economic boundaries – and no particular season.”

Nutcracker Sweets tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for 13 – 17-year-olds, and entrance is free for kids 12 and younger. Tickets are available online at or may be purchased by phone by contacting Brooke Bell at 210-930-3669.

HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE: Benefiting Marine Corps Toys for Tots

Boardwalk on Bulverde, 14732 Bulverde Road, will host its annual holiday toy drive benefiting the Marine Corps Toys for Tots San Antonio on Dec. 5-6.

Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy for donation to Marine Corps Toys for Tots San Antonio.

On December 7, the food truck park will host its first Silent Disco event. Guests are invited to attend this high energy yet silent experience where the DJ broadcasts through headphones worn by event-goers. Admission is free and toy donations will be accepted (donations on Sunday will distributed to local children in San Antonio, not through Toys for Tots).

Boardwalk on Bulverde will feature a host of food trucks during this weekend-long celebration. For more information, visit or by calling 210-402-2829.

JINGLE BELLS AND BURGERS: Benefits Elf Louise Project

elflouiseThe new Big Bob’s Burgers, 4553 N. Loop 1604 W., will mark its grand opening by hosting Jingle Bells and Burgers to benefit Elf Louise. The fundraiser will be Dec. 9 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. 

The cost is $20 per person, which includes a burger, fries, drink and beer. All of the money will be donated to the Elf Louise Christmas Project, which provides toys to less fortunate families. In 2012, more than 19,000 children in 5,434 San Antonio families were given gifts.

Lucas Jack, who opened for Foreigner at The Majestic, and who does both covers of Billy Joel and Elton John, as well as his own music, will be entertaining. He’s playing for free as well.

There will be raffle items, including eighth row center Spurs tickets Santa himself will be there for pictures.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

COWS FOR COATS: Benefiting local shelters

chick-fil-aParticipating Chick-fil-A restaurants in San Antonio and New Braunfels are collecting new and gently used coats Dec. 1-6.

Your coat donation will also get you a coupon for a free grilled chicken sandwich or chicken nuggets.

The coats will be donated to shelters in San Antonio and New Braunfels to distribute to those in need.




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Chef Cooperative Pop-Up No. 4 to Benefit Parr Vineyards

Chef Cooperative Pop-Up No. 4 to Benefit Parr Vineyards

Chef Cooperative New Logo resizedThe Chef Cooperative’s next pop-up dinner will be a fundraising event at the Fig Tree Restaurant’s Dashiell House Saturday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

This farm-to-table event will benefit Parr Vineyards, located in Boerne.  Parr has been hit particularly hard by the recent drought and cold freezes — their crops were destroyed because of this year’s volatile weather.

“We wanted to give money to a local grape grower this time because of the drought,” says Stephen Paprocki, president of the Chef Cooperative.

Pedernales Cellars, which will transform Parr Vineyards next crop of grapes into superb wine, will be featuring some of their other fine offerings on this evening, including Cinco, GSM and Tempranillo.

One of the goals of the Chef Cooperative is to raise awareness about the importance of eating local, sustainable and humanely raised food. “Every dish we make utilizes ingredients from different farms, so it’s a great way to introduce and educate,” says Paprocki.

Wine bottles and corksThe upcoming event will showcase more than 30 local farms and vendors and will be prepared by 13 of the city’s best chefs, including Fig Tree’s Chef Laurent Rae. Each of the menu’s seven courses will be paired with a local wine from Pedernales Cellars, or a beer or spirit from Ranger Creek.

Promoting GO TEXAN is another key mission of the Cooperative. Paprocki, who is a member of the board of San Antonio’s Food Council, is also working towards bringing these core concepts into the school system with the new Farm to School Committee, a sub-group of San Antonio’s Food Policy Council.

As the Chef Cooperative events usually sell out, guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible.  These tickets make a great gift for the holidays. For more information, go to The Dashiell House at the Fig Tree Restaurant is located downtown at 515 Villita St.

Interested guests can purchase the $75 tickets online by clicking this link.

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Tamales at Pearl Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Tamales at Pearl Celebrates 5th Anniversary

The fifth annual Tamales! Holiday Festival returns to Pearl on Dec. 6, noon to 6 p.m.

Sponsored by Cadillac, C.H. Guenther, H-E-B, and Silver Eagle, the event offers guests an afternoon of savory tastes, great sounds, and sights of the holiday season.

Tamales at Pearl 2013 Tray“In its fifth year, the Tamales! Holiday Festival has evolved into a holiday celebration for the city of San Antonio and beyond,” said Pearl’s chief marketing officer Elizabeth Fauerso. “It’s so amazing to see people from all over Texas come together for a day full of entertainment, culture, and cuisine.”

Unlike in the past four years, this year’s festivities will not include the tamale-making competition.

“Due to a smaller footprint, and a lot of logistical complexity due to activity and construction on site and the opening of the hotel, we have put the contest on hold for this year,” said Shelley Grieshaber, culinary director of Pearl.

Guests will be able to explore a full range of tamales from more than 20 different tamales vendors, ranging from traditional San Antonio classics to South American and everything in between as culinary students, restaurants and chefs showcase a blend of innovative twists and classic techniques with tamales.

While savoring the treats on hand, guests will also be entertained by live music from the all-star Selena tribute band, Bidi Bidi Banda, and Grammy award-winning Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs at the Pearl amphitheater. For the little ones, there will be a crafts and activities area, presented by The Do Seum, where kids can create corn-husk dolls, participate in fun games and more.

The event is free and open to the public, no ticket necessary. Food and beverage prices range from $1 to $5 per vendor and there will be ATMs available on site.

Pearl is located at 303 Pearl Parkway in San Antonio, Texas. For more information about Tamales! Holiday Festival at Pearl please visit here.

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Mark Your Calendars: Nutcracker Sweets Returns!

Mark Your Calendars: Nutcracker Sweets Returns!

The popular Nutcracker Sweets holiday tasting event is back – bigger and more scrumptious than ever. The event venue is the cherry on top: the exquisite Tobin Center.Christmas nutcracker

Nearly 20 of the city’s top restaurants, bakeries, chefs and trucks will roll out an evening of holiday delights – from savory to sweet – on Monday, Dec. 8 (2014) from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter.

“Domestic violence has been making national headlines lately,” says Marta B. Peláez, BWCS president/CEO. “But it remains a local issue that knows no socio-economic boundaries – and no particular season.”

Nutcracker Sweets tickets are $50 for adults, $25 for 13 – 17-year-olds, and entrance is free for kids 12 and younger. Tickets are available online at or may be purchased by phone by contacting Brooke Bell at 210-930-3669.

In addition to festive bites and beverages from the city’s finest establishments, guests will be treated to live music and a performance by Ballet San Antonio, plus an upscale raffle.

The retail Nutcracker Sweets Shoppe also returns, filled with cookbooks, culinary specialties and holiday gifts that will make the season of giving even more delicious. Shoppe vendors will donate a percentage of their sales to FVPS.

Dine-around participants include: A La Mode Gelato, Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Biga on the Banks, Brindles Awesome Ice Cream, Citrus, Cordillera Ranch, Cured, Feast, Freddie Covo Truffles, Guerrilla Gourmet, HEB Alon Market, HEB Culinary Academy, Los Barrios, Mi Tierra, Nosh/Silo, Pullin Premium BBQ, Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, Tejas Rodeo Co., and Tim the Girl Catering. Major funding for the event is generously provided by HEB and Valero Energy Foundation.

The beneficiary: The Battered Women and Children’s Shelter provides life-saving services to victims of domestic violence to help them reach self-sufficiency away from abuse.

nutcracker cupcakes

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S. TX Heritage Pork, Chefs Plan Unusual Harvest Dinner

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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It’s Time for Some Foie Gras

It’s Time for Some Foie Gras

This one has us excited: GauchoGourmet, 935 Isom Road, is having its annual Duck & Foie Gras Feast from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15.

Make your own foie at home.

Make your own foie at home.

Chef Robbie Nowlin of Citrus and the Hotel Valencia will be leading two classes in how to handle foie gras. One is set for 10:30 a.m., the other for 12:30 p.m. Price is $40 a person.

In addition to preparing a special foie gras dish that guests can sample, Nowlin will take questions from anyone about this delicacy.

Register for the class and you kit a take-home kit for two that will let you create your own foie gras feast. The kit includes two pieces of 2 oz. Hudson Valley foie gras, local organic micro greens from My Father’s Farm in Seguin, imported Italian Amarena cherries by Fabri and a fresh, artisan brioche loaf from The Bread Box.

Several types of foie gras will be for sale.

Several types of foie gras will be for sale.

Other discounts will be offered on additional foie gras must-haves, such as French made frying pans and Alexander Vineyard Sauternes dessert wine, which will beautifully complement any foie gras dish.

Foie gras has long been a favorite treat when dining out. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to bring this treat into your own kitchen.

Duck fans, don’t worry. You haven’t been forgotten in the foie fuss.  All duck products will be offered at 10 percent off on Saturday. The lineup includes whole legs from Rougie, breasts from Hudson Valley and Delpeyrat, smoked breast, duck bacon, confit legs, duck salami, duck sausage and duck fat.

For more information or to register for the class, call 210-454-9861 or email

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Olive Fest! Celebrate the Harvest, Share the Bounty

Olive Fest! Celebrate the Harvest, Share the Bounty

In August and September, Texas olive growers are full of expectation as they harvest their crops.

In October and November, it’s time to relax and share some of the treasures the harvest brought.

This year, the harvest at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, just south of San Antonio, has been nothing less than amazing — the ranch’s best year ever, according to founder and proprietor Saundra Winokur.

Sandy Oaks 2014 Harvest Olives on TarpSo, the team at Sandy Oaks is putting together a day-long, walkaround event that will allow guests to eat, taste, have a glass of wine and educate themselves while enjoying the bounty of local Texas olives.

Celebrate the Harvest, Share the Bounty will be Nov. 15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

At that time, the public has its first chance to taste Sandy Oaks  oil, or the olio nuovo, that has been milled and is now being stored and allowed to settle for a time. (Read about not just the quantity of oil from this year’s harvest but also its remarkable qualitative aspects by clicking here.)

Celebrate the Harvest, Share the Bounty will include a special menu using local ingredients — many of which will come from the orchard’s garden — and locally crafted beer and wine in Sandy Oaks’ brand new wine tasting room.

How can you say no to cage-free smoked whole chicken with truffle risotto and preserved lemon and wines from local vineyards?

There will also be opportunities to take a step back from the food and drink and really educate yourself on the olive growing and harvesting process. Education stations will be set up with actives centering around planting and cultivation techniques, tutorials and cooking demonstrations.

Live jazz provided by the Sandy Oaks Jazztet will be floating along the air as you wander around the nursery and find a tree to take home and plant —  and all the information you need to pick a delicious variety that will grow well.

Jazz on Sandy Oaks patio part of the serene, country atmosphere.

Jazz on Sandy Oaks patio part of the serene, country atmosphere.

Activities and games for the kids are planned, making this an extremely family-friendly event in the cool fall weather on the beautiful, well-tended grounds of this working ranch.

This year’s harvest has produced what the experts are saying will be the most flavorful and complex olive oil ever produced at Sandy Oaks — the public will be able to appreciate not only the culinary value of Texas olive oil, but also stock up on products such as olive jelly, olive butter, olive leaf tea, olivewood dishes and servingware and a full line of skin care, soaps and beauty products made from the olives and oil at the ranch.

PRICE: $30 per adult;  $15 for children 12 and under

WHERE: Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard, 25195 Mathis Road, Elmendorf, Texas 78112

Find out more by clicking here.


Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard is located on 40 acres in Elmendorf, TX just 20 minutes south of San Antonio. Sandy Oaks is best known for its olive trees, olive oil, and olive leaf based skin and beauty products.  With over 40 acres of olive trees and a nursery that can contain up to 10,000 or more olive seedlings at any given time, Sandy Oaks offers exceptional hospitality and educational services based around the various uses of olive oil.



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Feast in the Autumn Air at Peeler Farm

Feast in the Autumn Air at Peeler Farm

Canadian Thanksgiving logo cropped

This fall there is a plethora of chefs from around Texas and San Antonio sourcing their ingredients not just from the farmers markets but at the actual farm.

Here’s one close to home.

On Oct. 12, Peeler Farm is hosting a first-ever Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. Chefs John Russ of Lüke Restaurant and Tim McDiarmid of Tim the Girl Catering & The Special Projects Social are creating a one-time Sunday afternoon feast at the fabulous farm of Marianna and Jason Peeler.

Tim McDiarmid, of Tim the Girl Catering and Special Projects Social. (Courtesy photo)

Tim McDiarmid

McDiarmid, a Canadian native, has high hopes for celebrating the bounty of this locally raised harvest with fellow chef Russ. Located in the idyllic countryside near Floresville, the menu is inspired by the land which hosts a vast range humanely treated animals, including chickens, cows, lambs and goats.

The evening also includes a farm tour upon arrival with classy cocktails crafted by Jeret Pena and The Boulevardier Group of The Brooklynite.

The seasonal, farm-inspired dinner will end with rustic desserts by Elise Broz of Biga on the Banks. Partial proceeds from this event will go to The Raul Jimenez Dinner, a group that provides a Thanksgiving dinner for seniors who would otherwise have nowhere to go for the holiday.

Tickets are $150 and can be purchased by clicking here.


Welcome Hors d Ouerves: Chopped Chicken Liver, Grilled Focaccia, Watermelon Pickles; Texas Crab Deviled Eggs

Family Style Sunday Supper:  Grilled Broccoli Rabe with Preserved Lemon, Roasted Brussels Both Ways, Turnip ‘Puff’, Sweet Potato Hash, Smashed New Potatoes, White Boudin Stuffing, Herb Roasted Chicken, Cast Iron Fried Chicken, Fresh Cranberry Relish, Chicken & Tasso Jus

Dessert Stand: Fresh Fried Apple Cider Donuts, Mission Valley Grapefruit, Almond & Raspberry Trifle, Love Creek Apple Streusel



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Drew’s American Grill on the Move — But First, a Party

Drew’s American Grill on the Move — But First, a Party

The popular Drew’s American Grill, at 18740 Stone Oak Parkway will close its doors as it opens new ones. The transition begins this week and builds to an all-out party on Sunday, Oct. 5.

“Our final day in this location will be a celebration of our success and the friends we’ve made,” says owner Drew Glick.

Drews American Grill cropped“We’re going to pull out all the stops on an all-day brunch and linner buffet – East Coast style. I don’t think anyone’s going to leave hungry.”

Drew’s is also offering guests half-price bottles of wine all day, every day, until the doors shut, plus daily food and drink specials.

“We’re inviting our guests to celebrate this next phase with us. We’re not closing down, we’re on the move!”

Drew’s executive chef, Charles Bartsch, and other members of Drew’s crew will be taking to the road for the next several months as an oilfield catering team.

“Our oilfield catering business has been booming, so we’re going to explore it as we search for an even better potential location for Drew’s next dining spot.”

Fans can watch the Drew’s Facebook page for additional information, and sign up for an e-newsletter with announcements and news.


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