June 2 – Day 1
Via Text: Hi from Austin TX and the IACP Sparks from the Culinary Edge. I will be crusin’ 6th street tonite for the best chef owned restaurants. More later.
Post: RECAP DAY 1 – Here I am, in the only “blue” dot city in Texas – Austin (blue as in liberal), attending the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual convention titled Light Your Fire: Sparks from the culinary edge. I decided to skip the Awards Gala Reception and Ceremony since neither I or anyone I know has been nominated. Instead I decided to find the “best” Italian restaurant in this area. Seems it was unanimous amongst the Texas foodies I know, that Vespaio on Congress Street was “the” best. Surrounded by a SoHo-style arts and crafts-first Thursday of the month-art fair Vespaio was in the middle of it all, located in an old brick-style, wooden school house table and chair setting. The first sense of smell is the from the wood-burning oven. Three menus were placed on the table. One was for small plates from their antipasti market area. Second menu was for their impressive French and Italian wine list. The third menu included a extensive daily special list, inserted into their menu of fabulous homemade pasta and meat, poultry and fish dishes – I had SCALOPPINE DI VITELLO AL MARSALA E FUNGHI-Thinly sliced veal with house cured pastrami & melted fontina cheese in Marsala-mushroom-tomato sauce with spaghetti aglio olio & rosemary-bellisimo! The desert “dolce” menu was fab too. We chose the ricotta ice cream that came with berry filled turnovers. Needless to say, I think I made the right decision – Hotel banquet food vs Vespaio Ristorante food. Tomorrow I plan on attending two seminars and the Culinary Expo and Book Fair. My publisher Harvard Common Press will be there and can’t wait to tell you about their party tomorrow night – El Naranjo Mobile – it’s a “food truck party”!
June 3 – Day 2
Via Text: Day 2 on my way to the conference on food trends impacting TV cooking shows presented by FoodNetwork staff more later…
Via Text: Just finished with the Cooking Channel execs on why they started another food channel. More later. PS”foodie” is out “food connected” is in.
Post: COOKING CHANNEL JUNKIE – Just came from an very interesting forum of Cooking Channel programming execs talking about the 1 year anniversary of launching their new channel. Unlike the Food Nework shows that they described as more “entertainment” programs vs Cooking Channel shows that are more “informative” targeting the “younger, emerging food lover”. Should be interesting to see the type of programming they will offer, as they launch some new potential shows and talent on their website and blogs first, before taking them on tv. Stay tuned.
The Culinary Expo was next – my “wow” came from the Kitchen Aid booth – check out all the new attachments they are offering for their stand mixer: specialty pasta maker; ravioli maker, and best of all – ice cream bowl for easy making of awesome sorbets and ice cream. Yum
Tonight – Food Truck Party….more later
TAPAS PARTY ON RAINEY STREET – This old street is being completely revitalized by restaurants and bars who now occupy this once residential neighborhood – and leave it to Harvard Common Press to throw a party in such a chic hip location where old homes are turned into contemporary restaurants. Rainey Street Historic District is a street of historic 20-30 homes, many of which are bungalow style, in downtown Austin. Combine the food truck food El Naranjo (Oaxaca, Mex) cuisine and libations from their next door neighbor Icenhauer’s bar and you’ve got a delicious combination. The food was authentic and drinks were were good. What a great way to experience the Austin culture. Congress and 6th street still have the best restaurants and bars (for now), but the next time you’re in Austin, TX head on over to Rainey Street.
June 4 – Day 3
Via Text: Lasy day of IACP convention. On my way to try a street vendor’s “waffle taco”.