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Join Sustainability, Food-Issue Discussion: TEDx, Food Policy Council

Join Sustainability, Food-Issue Discussion: TEDx, Food Policy Council

If your concerns about food reach beyond finding the next trendy restaurant or cocktail bar, this upcoming TEDx salon, with the Food Policy Council of San Antonio, has a variety of issues on its menu.

There's nothing like vegetables at their freshest. The salon-type gathering will be Saturday, July 26, at the Urban-15 space, 2500 S. Presa St. from 5-9 p.m. and includes speakers and a potluck prepared by local chefs. The price is $35.

To address ways to support a healthy, sustainable and local food system for all people, in all walks of life, the discussion topics will range from connecting to the environment, our impact on the economy and include community participants in a dialogue about food and the policies that surround it.

Organizers say the target audience can be best described as: eaters.  Real eaters. These are people in San Antonio who care about equitable access to quality food and quality ingredients. This includes farmers market aficionados, green/environmental activists and supporters, buyers of organic produce, restaurateurs and caterers and educators (K-12 and college level).

Speakers include Judith Vega of San Antonio Metro Health, Angela Harsell of Green Spaces Alliance, Elizabeth Johnson, Mitch Hagney and Kerry Meath-Sinking, local chefs and professionals who work with local farmers

The potluck follows with dishes from Elizabeth Johnson, Steven McHugh, Taste Elevated, Gaucho Gourmet, Brook Summers, Restaurant Gwendolyn and more, including sustainable cocktails by The Brooklynite’s Boulvedier Group.

Tickets are in limited supply: Click on this link


Food Police Council of San Antonio

The Food Policy Council of San Antonio serves as a stakeholder forum to support a healthy, sustainable, and local food system for people, the environment, the economy and community; gathers and disseminates information for all who work toward that goal in the San Antonio area; and advocates for policy improvements relating to food.


TEDxSanAntonio encourages and supports events intended to foster discussion and community building around ideas worth sharing in San Antonio.


(Sponsored by Defining Delicious and Urban 15)


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Wine Dinners: Bliss Sparkles, Sandy Oaks Does White Wines

Wine Dinners: Bliss Sparkles, Sandy Oaks Does White Wines

Mark Bliss

Mark Bliss

Chef Mark Bliss will present an elegant five-course dinner paired with champagne and sparkling wine from around the world on Wednesday, July 30 at Bliss, 926 S. Presa St.

Wine experts will join guests on a culinary-inspired exploration of the versatility and luxury these special wines impart. Some of the wine selections will be available for purchase as well. The cost is $165 per person, all-inclusive. For reservations, please call 210-225-2547.  To see the menu, check this link.


An evening of sipping and dining at Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard

One of the best ways to endure a hot, humid, Texas summer evening is to sip a cool, refreshing glass of white wine. Better yet, pair that glass of crisp, white wine with delicious food and you have ingredients for a memorable evening.

Sandy Oaks Chef Chris Cook has put together a meal pairing each course with a selection of white wines from some of the best Texas has to offer, including Pedernales, William Chris and Hye Meadow Wineries.

The event is Friday, July 25. There is a 7 p.m. reception and 7:30 p.m. dinner. Cost is $50 per person plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 210-621-0044. For more information on Sandy Oaks, visit them at the link here.

Sandy Oaks Olive Oil Ice creamMenu:

Reception:  Lump Crab Croquette with Grilled Strawberry Sauce and Sandy Oaks Fig Vinegar Reduction/ Pedernales Rosé 2011.  Second:  Fresh House-pulled Mozzarella and Compressed Cantaloupe, Fresh Honey and Garden Basil/William Chris, Mary Ruth 2012;  Third: Local Chicken Ballotine with House-made Pancetta and Garden Doughnut Peaches/Hye Meadow, Viognier 2012. Fourth: Crispy Skin Redfish with Apple Mint Orzo, Radish and Herbs/Pedernales, Cinco 2013; Fifth: Smoked Almond Country Bread Pudding with House Olive Oil Ice Cream and Vanilla Blackberries/Hye Meadow Trebbiano 2013.


Sampling the wines of Spain, at Crumpets

Crumpets, at 3920 Harry Wurzbach Road, will be celebrating some of the excellent wines of Spain at this wine dinner on Aug. 8,  beginning at 7 p.m.  The cost is $70 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Call for reservations at 210-821-5600.

On the menu:   Gazpacho, served with Ostatu Rosada; Paella de Rioja/Ostatu Blanco; Jamon Serrano/Ugarte Cosecha; Pierna de Cordero Asado (roast leg of lamb)/Tres Ojos OV Garnacha; Helado de Avellana (ice cream)/El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez



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Luckenbach, Food Trucks, Wine: Who Can Resist!

Luckenbach, Food Trucks, Wine: Who Can Resist!

If ever a Hill Country location was made for food trucks, music and wine, it’s the tiny — but renowned — town of Luckenbach.

The event will be the first annual Hill Country Food Truck Festival, featuring more than a dozen food trucks, Texas Hill Country wine and a lineup of live music starting at noon and continuing until 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2.

Hill Country Food Truck FestivalNearly a dozen Hill Country wineries will offer wines for purchase by the glass and bottle from noon until 9 p.m. Wineries include 4.0 Cellars, Messina Hof Hill Country, Kerrville Hills Winery, Fall Creek Vineyards, Texas Hills Vineyards, Singing Waters Vineyards, Becker Vineyards, Texas Legato Winery, Westcave Cellars Winery and William Chris Vineyards.

More than a dozen food trucks will also be in attendance with plenty of food truck fare for purchase. Participating food trucks include Cheesy Jane’s, Clear River Pecan Company, Come and Get It Chuckwagon, Crazy Carl’s, KHILL BBQ Company, Mr. Meximum, Red Bud Roasters, Ritts Twisted Brisket, SaWeet Cupcakes, Slider Provider and SpiceSea Gourmet.

The Americana live music schedule headlines The Greencards, performers include Milk Drive, Martin & Lewis, Paul Cauthen, Bonnie Bishop, Dan Dyer, Steve Poltz, Rosie Flores, and more.

Wine bottles and corksProceeds will benefit the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts (TCWCA), a planned 30,000 square-foot facility which will be located in downtown Fredericksburg.

In addition to the TCWCA, event organizers include Luckenbach, Texas, the San Antonio Food Truck Association, the Texas Hill Country Wineries and the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau.

Tickets for the Hill Country Food Truck Festival are $15 per person for adults and children ages 12 and under are free. Tickets are available online here.

The TCWCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the awareness, understanding, and celebration of Texas food, wine and agriculture through educational programming and hands on experiences for wine and culinary enthusiasts, for food and hospitality professionals and for high school and college students.

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Wine Week: Central Market, Wine Tastings and More

Wine Week: Central Market, Wine Tastings and More

Wine On IceCentral Market’s Wine Week begins today (Wednesday, June 9) in all Central Market locations throughout Texas, where devotees can discover a wide range of wines, find fresh new favorites and meet winemakers who will be sharing their wine expertise and insights.

On Thursday, July 10 from 5 p.m.- 8 p.m., customers can “let the good times stroll” with an in-store adventure to discover new ways to enjoy favorite wines, sample foods that pair beautifully with the selections and chat with Central Market experts at numerous unique tasting stations.

In addition to learning more about the flavors, aromas and production techniques for a variety of wines that range from cava to cabernet, customers who purchase the $10 admission will also receive a special gift bag that includes a wine glass, corkscrew, a Central Market Wine Guide and a Central Market Wine Event Guide

For a complete schedule of winemaker events here in San Antonio, visit

This week will feature nine meet-and-greet events with winemakers, including Thomas Houseman of Anne Amie, Adam Lee of Siduri Wines, Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines, Tony Leonardini of BNA Wine Group, Giorgio Flessati of Falernia, Rocio Gonzalez of Mollydooker Wines, Hector Durigutti of Lamadrid and representatives from Bello Wines and Bouchon Winery.

Reserve a $10 wine stroll entry online at


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Monterey, Umai-Mi Good Tastes Coming Up!

Monterey, Umai-Mi Good Tastes Coming Up!

The Monterey sign featured
New chef at The Monterey
Luis Segovia, The Monterey’s chef de cuisine, is a taco-loving, Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park grad who previously worked at San Antonio’s The Sandbar Fish House & Market and Il Sogno. Luis makes some pretty killer Beef Tongue Tacos with pickled bell peppers and cotija cheese. They’re on the menu now, along with the likes of Szechuan Queso Dip, a French Fry Po-Boy and a Smoked Sausage Corn Dog.
And because its summer in Texas, the Monty is serving three takes on mariscos: Charred Squid (jicama, mango, lime vinaigrette, green curry, crispy onions), Grilled Shrimp Aguachiles (lime, jalapeño, cucumber, avocados, red onion) and Campechana El Monty (shrimp, bay scallops, fish collar pickled onions avocado). In true El Monty fashion, this new menu is not one that stays within the lines.
The Monterey is located at 1127 S St. Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78210, in the King William neighborhood. The restaurant is open Tues-Thurs: 6pm-11pm, Fri and Sat: 6pm-12am, and Sun: 10am-2pm. For further information please visit


Chef Rebecca MassonChef Rebecca Masson teams up with Jason Dady at Umai Mi

Chef Rebecca Masson, acclaimed chef at Houston’s Fluff Bake Bar, will join Jason Dady at Umai Mi – Modern Asian Restaurant & Bar on July 15 at 6:30 p.m.

This is part of a guest chef series, and a chance for you to get some tastes from a Houston chef without making the drive!

This six-course meal is limited seating and you’ll want to make reservations soon at 210-496-0555. Umai Mi is at 555 W. Bitters at The Alley on Bitters.

The cost is $60 per guest, plus tax and gratuity; $30 beverage pairing available;  You can also donate $25 to Rebecca’s Charity Lucky Dog Rescue in exchange for a free high five and a fluffernutter





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Grab That Coconut — SA’s Texas Tiki Week Arrives

Grab That Coconut — SA’s Texas Tiki Week Arrives

Tiki with Bartender cropped

All Tiki Photos Courtesy David Rangel.

This week, your favorite drinking and eating establishments want to interest you in fruity, boozy cocktails that are not only delicious, but comparable to a vacation in a glass.

Or – you know – a coconut.

In San Antonio, it’s time for Texas Tiki Week, going now through Sunday, June 29. (See Schedule below.)

These days, tiki is no longer considered tacky, and with the support of the United States Bartender’s Guild, high-end versions of these delightfully potent libations are appearing in your favorite craft cocktail bars in San Antonio.

In San Antonio, popular establishments doing tiki include Hot Joy, Bohanan’s and Blue Box at the Pearl.

Most notable, though, are The Brooklynite (a proponent of Tiki Tuesdays since its inception in 2012) and El Mirador (under new ownership); both of which are participating in this year’s Texas Tiki Week.

The Brooklynite will launch its new tiki menu this week. El Mirador will hold an educational seminar with Wahaka Mezcal before an Agave Tiki hour on the newly-renovated back patio.

The Esquire owners now own El Mirador, and bar manager Houston Eaves had the following to say about his excitement for Tiki Week:

Tiki with flame cropped“We are going to be hosting our event at El Mirador, instead of The Esquire. Texas Tiki Week is a way to involve our community in a lot of fun, educational, and philanthropic events (with rum!). It exposes consumers to a really fun part of American history that may be a bit misunderstood. Tiki drinks have gone full-circle. They began with fresh, tropical fruits, and a variety of rums, then got dumbed down to bottled mixes & sub-par rums. [Now] we are embracing the fresh and quality ingredients available to us, as well as innovative culinary technique. This is a week to celebrate the kitschy, contagious fun of Tiki!”

Jeret Pena owner of The Brooklynite adds, “Our focus is to go back to the basics of tiki vs. the modern flavors, weird colors and hyped out vibe.  The goal is to focus on the classics and still make them fun!”

Schedule for Tiki Week

The Esquire Tiki Week menu will be running now through Sunday featuring drinks like:

IMPROVED DAIQUIRI:  3-island rum, overproof Jamaican rum, lime, sugar, absinthe. WAKING THE DEAD:  bonded bourbon, espresso-fernet, italian vermouth, pineapple, lemon. MAI TAI: 3-island rum, jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, curacao, orgeat, lime.  SINGAPORE SLING: dry gin, benedictine, cherry heering, lime, mineral water. SEA OF CONFUSION: Jamaican rum, demerara 151 rum, pear brandy, chartreuse, zucca rabarbaro, passion fruit, lemon, angostura bitters.

Wednesday (6/25) Agave-Tiki @ El Mirador (new concept)

3-5 p.m. Educational Seminar with Wahaka Mezcal for Industy only

5-7  p.m. Agave-Tiki Happy Hour

Texas Tiki Week croppedThursday (6/26 – 6/29)  Tiki Late Nite @ Hot Joy starting at 11 p.m.

Late night tiki menus (food & drink)

Sunday 6/29 – Blue Box

Bacardi Blender Bowl @ The Blue Box

Starting at 1 p.m. -3 p.m.

Bohanan’s will be hosting the closing SA party on Sunday (6/29) at 4 p.m. in their courtyard. With tiki snacks and guest bartenders making tiki drinks.

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French Tradition: Bastille Day Wine Dinner at Frederick’s

French Tradition: Bastille Day Wine Dinner at Frederick’s

Every July 14, Paris celebrates Bastille Day (referred to as La Fête de la Bastille or La Fête Nationale in French). Dine in fine French style at Frederick’s, on Broadway, which is having a special wine dinner in honor of the event from Monday through Wednesday (July 14-16).

Make reservations at 210-828-9050. Cost is $95 per person plus tax and tip.

Red_wine_closeup_in_glassBastille Day Menu

First Course: Black Pepper Crab Dumpling with Lemon Grass Beurre Blanc
Domaine de Nizas Rose, Provence, France

Second Course: Steamed Lobster with Garlic, Ginger, & Basil Sauce
Redde Sancerre, Loire Valley, France

Third Course: Slow Baked Halibut with Apples, Onions, & Coconut
Louis Jadot Macon Village, Burgundy, France

Fourth Course:  Charred Beef Tenderloin with Soy, Garlic, & Coriander
Chateau Doyac, Bordeaux, France

Fifth Course: Tart of Pears, Caramelized & Raw

Robert Mondavi Mosacto D’Oro, Napa Valley, California

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Passport to Israel: Dinner in a Market Setting, Exotic Flavors

Passport to Israel: Dinner in a Market Setting, Exotic Flavors

Sandy Oaks’ Olive Orchard’s  Israeli Passport Event offers a chance to immerse yourself in the flavors of Israel in a setting that resembles the vibrant souk, or Israeli market –  and all it requires is a short drive out of town.

The ranch, a 20-mile drive from downtown San Antonio, has become known for its Passport Adventure dining series and this one, on June 13,  offers something fun and different. There will be a series of dining stations for each course of the dinner.  You’ll stroll through the market,  sample olive oils from Israel, listen to live music and in the meantime, enjoy a five-course meal of carefully selected dishes that highlight the Israeli cuisine and Israeli wines.

Food and Beverage Director, Chef Chris Cook

Sandy Oaks Food and Beverage Director, Chef Chris Cook

Sandy Oaks’ new food and beverage director, chef Chris Cook, has planned dishes featuring some of the remarkable flavors of this cuisine: za’atar spice, preserved lemon, tahini and more, all lending flare to locally sourced meats and vegetables, from Hill Country raised goat and turkey to chicken and seasonal garden herbs.

Fine Israeli wines come with each course, carefully matched to the food. The dinner ends with Orange and Almond Cake with berries and Grilled Pear Baklava, served with sweet Israeli muscat wine. (See full menu below.)

If you’ve never been to Sandy Oaks, late spring is a great  time to visit. The 10,000-tree olive orchard is nestled within the 360 acres of the ranch, that also includes meadows and pasture land for cattle and other livestock. The grounds and business buildings, including barn, offices and a well-stocked gift shop, are beautifully maintained.


Za’atar seasoning, spice blend used in Middle East cooking.

Best of all, the setting for this Passport Series dinner will provide a sense of visiting an exotic market.

You may also visit Sandy Oaks’ gift shop, where items are selected for their beauty and usefulness. Buy olive oil and other foods based on olives and olive trees, and try out some of the fragrant skin care and beauty products also made at Sandy Oaks.

The Israeli Passport Event begins at 7 p.m. Friday, June 13.  The cost is $65 per person. Reservations can be made here.  Or call 210-821-0044.


MENU: Israeli Passport Event

Reception:      Israeli olive oil, cheeses, challah and traditional accompaniments

Italian_olive_oil_2007Station 1:        Whole Roasted Hill Country Goat with Israeli Garden Herb Cous Cous, Preserved Curried Lemon, Za’atar Spice, Cilantro Yogurt

Wine: 2011 Dalton Winery, Canaan Red, Galilee Region, Israel

Station 2:         Roasted Garlic and Olive Falafel, Mint Pinenut Pesto and Fresh-Squeezed Orange Juice.

Wine:  2010 Kinneret Muscat Hamburg, Judean Hills, Israel

Station 3:         Grilled Turkey Shish Taouk and Schnitzel, Preserved Vegetable Garlic Paste, Tahini, Mint Lemonade Fresh-Squeezed Juice

Wine: 2010 Tishbi Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, Zichron Ya’Akov, Carmel Mountains, Israel

Station 4:         Smoked Chicken Dumplings and Seasonal Vegetables, Garden Tomato Sauce, Olives and Pickled Onions

Wine: 2011 Dalton Winery, Canaan Red, Galilee Region, Israel

Station 5:         Orange and Almond Cake and Grilled Pear Baklava, Seasonal berries, Chocolate Mint, Pear Coulis, Blintzes and Truffles

Wine:  2010 Kinneret Muscat Hamburg, Judean Hills, Israel



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Texas Folklife Festival: A Taste of the World

Texas Folklife Festival: A Taste of the World

Folk Life girls croppedBy James M. Benavides

Guests often say a visit to the Texas Folklife Festival is a trip around the world, with opportunities to sample a variety of authentic dishes and flavors.

The festival’s menu is a roll call of cultures that contribute to the Texas palate. The festival’s vast and varied menu and diversity of food offerings has sharpened the vision for the festival’s 2014 theme: “A Taste of the World.”

To accommodate Convention Center construction, the festival will be celebrated over two days, June 7 and 8, on a more intimate footprint at the Institute of Texan Cultures downtown.

A walk through the festival grounds might reveal a similarity in food traditions for cultures on opposite sides of the globe. The Argentine community will offer traditional empanadas – a meat-filled turnover – while the Pakistanis will offer a samosa – a fried, vegetable-filled turnover. The selections bear a delicious similarity to Chinese egg rolls and Filipino lumpia.

Folk Life 2013 audience crop“Nothing about this festival is — or has ever been — small,” said Jo Ann Andera, festival director. “We’re assembling 40 community and heritage organizations, 30 food booths, a menu of some 150 items, six stages of entertainment and more than 50 artisans demonstrating their crafts.”

Longtime festival-goers have their favorites too. Some stroll the grounds to find half a dozen styles of sausages: Polish kielbasa, Belgian white sausages, English bangers, Creole boudin and a variety of German wursts. For others, a day at the festival includes a bowl of Wendish noodles and a Lebanese shish kebab. Greek gyros and Belgian waffles also make the list for longtime festival favorites, while other festival goers make a point of visiting the Irish booth for a corned beef sandwich.

Folk Life scotch_egg cropFestival guests will taste a variety of unique beverages as well. Native Americans offer aguas frescas, different types of fruit punches, with tuna (cactus pear) a popular choice.

The Filipinos make a refreshing melon juice, a drink of sweet cantaloupe fruit and sugar, mixed into refreshing cold water and ice. A wonderful accompaniment to the many desserts is a demitasse of flavorful Arabica java at the Turkish booth.

Satisfied with the festival’s wide variety of exotic foods and beverages, guests can make their way around six stages for music, dance and entertainment. Some may choose to gather with the cowboys, strumming guitars and reciting old Texas verse. Others might prefer the classic rock ‘n’ roll coming from a fire station band. Spanish guitar, banjo, sitar, fiddle, resonator guitar, dulcimer, drum and bagpipes all sound across the festival grounds. Dancers demonstrate the styles of Lebanon, Ireland, China, the Philippines, Appalachia, Greece, Italy and dozens of others.

Folk LIfe 2013 Mexican crafts crop“It’s a celebration of Texas and Texans,” Andera said. “We’ve come from so many places and brought so many amazing traditions with us: our food, our music, our dances and crafts. This is the event to come to taste and experience a piece of the world and a piece of our own state.”

The 2014 Texas Folklife Festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday, June 7, and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday, June 8 at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures. Tickets are on sale at, the ITC museum store, H-E-B stores in and around San Antonio, the Sam Houston Club at Fort Sam Houston, and Lackland and Randolph Air Force Base Information, Tickets and Tours Offices. Adult tickets (age 13+) are $10 advance, $13 gate. Children’s tickets (age 6-12) are: $5 advance or gate. Children 5 and under are always free. For more information, visit or call 210-458-2300.

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Brooklynite, Stay Golden, Party Bus Tours — Plus Tiki!

Brooklynite, Stay Golden, Party Bus Tours — Plus Tiki!

Hitch a free ride on a high-end party bus from The Brooklynite, 516 Brooklyn Ave., to Stay Golden Social House and ending at TacoLand before circling back to the Brooklynite this weekend and next.
Brooklynite shark busThis bar-hopping, progressive bus-ride offer is brought to customers by collaborators-bar owners Chris Erck and Jeret Pena. They’re looking to  celebrate the start of their venture, Stay Golden Social House, in style.
The free bus rides start this Friday and Saturday nights (May 30, 31) beginning at the Brooklynite, and next week (Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7). They’ll run from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. and will leave each location every 10 minutes.  These high-end party buses have plenty of room and televisions too, to keep the party moving.
More fun at BKSA June 3
The first-ever BKSA Luau Party kicks off in great tiki-theme style on Tuesday, June 3, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Brooklynite, 316 Brooklyn Ave.
Tiki cocktail for BrooklyniteBe an early bird (at 9 sharp, not before!) because handmade floral leis will be passed out to the first 15 guests. Also, you might want to buy a new “Get Tiki With It” T-shirt.

Costumes are encouraged. Grab your bikinis, grass skirts, sunglasses, sombreros, and celebrate summer, tiki-style.

Tiki Tuesday drinks are on the bar all night long with killer music and stunning cocktails. And, food trucks will be outside to serve up sustenance.

For reservations, call (210) 444-0707.


Photos courtesy Dave Rangel






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