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Food and Wine Pairing with Chef Troy Knapp of The Driskill Grill

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Howdy! It’s your disappearing writer here. Sorry for the extended absence, but it has been a busy few months. Among other things, I spent the spring and summer studying for my Certified Specialist of Wine exam and I passed. Yay! You can expect there will be more wine posts in the future.

I’ve also helped launch a new series of classes with the Wine and Food Foundation highlighting food and wine pairing at area restaurants. It has been so fun to work with local sommeliers and chefs to explore both classic and unusual pairings. Executive Chef Troy Knapp of Austin’s Driskill Grill recently led a group of twenty Wine & Food Foundation supporters through a phenomenal three course tasting at one of our Perfect Pair classes.

Incredible food and wine pairings are usually a collaborative effort between a chef and sommelier as they each own a specific half of the equation, sharing some knowledge in the middle. Chef Knapp has an edge up on the pairing formula as not only is he an experienced chef, but he is a Certified Sommelier. He introduced our group not only to his wine acumen, as well as the new approach to the Driskill Grill menu which they unveiled that week.

butternut squash and vouvray

All the pairings were spectacular, showing off two different wines with each plating, I was wowed by an amuse bouche of butternut squash soup paired with 2008 Domaine Huet, Le Haut – Lieu, Vouvray Demi Sec from Loire, France. While a sweeter wine is not usually my first choice, the Demi Sec harmonized beautifully with the butternut squash and made me long for fall.

The crowd favorite of the night was Chef Knapp’s second course pairing of dry-aged Wagyu flatiron steak with a blind pairing of Temprañillo. Curious if the group could discern the Spanish Rioja (2006 López de Heredia Viña Cubillo Crianza) from a Texas Temprañillo (2012 Bending Branch), Chef Knapp had the group taste the two without giving a clue as to their origin.

rioja pairing2

About half the group placed the wines correctly, but everyone was a winner because the perfectly grilled beef and Bending Branch Temprañillo were a match made in heaven. The dry cherry flavors married well with the steak served atop a carrot puree, roasted beets, summer squash and huckleberry bordelaise.

Ending the night with a 2008 Royal Tokaji paired with a hazelnut torte guaranteed that everyone left full, satisfied and as devoted fans of Chef Knapp and his team at the Driskill Grill.

To learn more about wine and food pairing, join us for the Wine & Food Foundation’s next Perfect Pair class class on Tuesday, October 20th at Arro or at one of Driskill Grill’s pairing dinners, the next one on Tuesday, October 13th is with Master Sommelier Guy Stout. You can learn more about Guy Stout and his journey in the wine world in his interview with Levi Dalton of the I’ll Drink to That podcast.

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Tomato Dinner, Kitchen Sale & Citywide 86’d: June Texas Food Events

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2015 Tomato Dinner 
Tuesday, June 9

Celebrate the flavors of vine-ripened tomatoes at the height of the season with a feast on the farm. The Tomato Dinner will begin with a seasonal cocktail and appetizers, followed by entree courses and a plated dessert, all with a focus on Springdale Farm tomatoes. Check out the great list of participating chefs and artisans and purchase your tickets here. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Springdale Center for Urban Agriculture and Slow Food Austin.

The Austin Dames Kitchen Sale 
Sunday, June 14

The Austin chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier are hosting their spring fundraiser, the Austin Dames Kitchen Sale. Donate gently used kitchen items to a great organization and find bargains at the sale!  All proceeds go to support the educational and philanthropic programs of the Les Dames. Learn more about the Les Dames Kitchen Sale.

Citywide 86’d Competition
Monday, June 15

Austin’s Chopped like cooking competition will come to a close when the final four chefs face off and create three courses with mystery bags of ingredients. Cheer on the chefs and enjoy bites and beverages from some of Austin’s favorite restaurants. Purchase tickets now.

2015 Community Lunch Series
Friday, June 19, June 26 & July 3

This summer’s Community Lunch Series is a set of three delicious, summertime meals on the Urban Roots Farm. At each lunch, a group of Urban Roots Youth Farm Interns will team up with a different local chef to prepare and share a seasonal, multi-course meal  with the Austin community. Each meal incorporates fresh produce, grown and harvested from the Urban Roots Farm. This event will sell out so grab your tickets!

 

 

 

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Farmgrass, Foodways & Farm to Plate: May Texas Food Events

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April showers bring May flowers and Central Texas food events. From the Texas Foodways Symposium, an annual event highlighting Texas food culture to San Antonio’s Culinaria Festival Week, get out and enjoy!

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Lenoir, host of the 3rd Annual Crawfish Boil benefitting Urban Roots.

3rd Annual Crawfish Boil
Sunday, May 3

Join Tipsy Texan and L-Style/G-Style in supporting local heroes, Urban Roots and enjoy a sunny afternoon with friends, music, food & fun at Lenoir. Crawfish and all the fixins with drink and raffle tickets at the door. Get your tickets now!

Farmgrass Fest
Sunday, May 3

Celebrate local farmers with a  beautiful day of bluegrass, food and fun on the Simmons Family Farms. All of the proceeds from the festival will go to an emergency medical fund for farmers in central Texas. More information and tickets here

2015 Foodways Texas Symposium
May 7 – May 9

Join Foodways Texas for this years Symposium in San Antonio “The Texas Mexican Table.” The discussion will cover Mexican food in Texas in its many forms with two full days (May 8-9) of speakers broaching myriad topics. As usual, there will be seven meals included through the weekend. Chefs, artisans, and restaurants from around the state will join in the celebration by preparing meals that connect back discussions. Grab tickets and learn more about speakers and chefs participating in this years Foodways Symposium!

Culinaria Festival Week
May 13 – May 17

Culinaria’s Festival Week features 18 distinct events over the course of five days. From food trucks to haute cuisine, beer to champagne, Festival Week truly offers something for everyone.

SFC Farm to Plate
Thursday, May 14

Enjoy the bounty of spring with SFC at their annual fundraiser at the historic Barr Mansion. Enjoy food from Central Texas chefs dedicated to sourcing locally paired with handmade cocktails, biodynamic wines and local microbrews. This annual fundraising event raises critical funds for SFC programs, empowering families to feed themselves for a lifetime and to change the course of agriculture to support environmental, cultural and economic health. This event is known to sell out so grab your tickets today!

Texas Olive Festival
May 28 – May 31

Held at Texas Hill Country Olive Company, experience olives galore along with food, wine, chef demos and educational activities surrounding olives and olive growing. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit St. David’s NeuroTexas Institute. Get tickets here and head out to the Hill Country.

 

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Fire, Farms, and Mud Bugs: April Texas Food Events

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Springtime ushers in wildflowers and Texas food events galore. Get out your calendar because there is great line-up of local food events coming up. Here are a few of our favorites this month.

live fire

Live Fire!
Thursday, April 4

Experience Austin’s favorite meat- centric live-fire cooking event in it’s fifth year. Head out to the Texas hill country for live music, premium wines, craft beers, and chef mastery over open flame. Benefitting the Austin Food & Wine Alliance culinary grants. Check out the full line-up and grab tickets here.

East Austin Urban Farm Tour
Sunday, April 12

Spend the afternoon strolling through the fields of four urban farms and learn about their growing crops, share their experiences and get answers to your gardening questions. At each farm, chefs will provide bites using the freshest farm ingredients while local brewers, wine merchants, and mixologists offer sips. More on the farms and tickets here.

May events just around the corner…

3rd Annual Crawfish Boil
Sunday, May 3

Join Tipsy Texan and L-Style/G-Style in supporting local heroes, Urban Roots and enjoy a sunny afternoon with friends, music, food & fun at Lenoir. Crawfish and all the fixins with drink and raffle tickets at the door. Get your tickets now!

Farmgrass Fest
Sunday, May 3

Celebrate local farmers with a  beautiful day of bluegrass, food and fun on the Simmons Family Farms. All of the proceeds from the festival will go to an emergency medical fund for farmers in central Texas. More information and tickets here

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