Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Our mission is to use our culinary talents and resources to provide for the nutritional welfare of the economically disadvantaged children of Williamson County, Texas, the surrounding area and the world. We aim to do this through providing nutritious food, education, partnerships with area schools and daycare, cooking lessons, installation of home gardens and scholarships for the study of culinary arts to deserving students.
What does that mean exactly? Well, here’s the way it works. Chefalicious Hospitality offers catering, personal and private chef services, meal delivery for those know don’t have the time or inclination to cook, cooking lessons and classes and summer cooking camps for kids. Let’s say you need one of these services. If you chose to hire Chefalcious Hospitality (CH) as you would any other caterer or private chef, you also get the added benefit and peace of mind in knowing that your money is helping to feed hungry kids. You see, all of our proceeds are used to provide nutritional services to food insecure children in Williamson county.
We seek to assist children and their families in several ways:
This experience forever changed me and highlighted the plight of so many in my community. While I was in Boston completing my culinary internship with America’s Test Kitchen, I saw a billboard that advertised a place where any child under 18 could get a meal in the summer. It was sponsored by the USDA. I started thinking about how I could start something like that at home. Once back home in Texas, I started talking to people about my idea. Pretty soon, I had a professional kitchen, a dining room and office space with utilities donated by a local church in Leander. Next a farmer began donating organic vegetables. Then a certified master gardener offered to help with the gardens. A retired grant writer offered to help raise funds. We were on our way!
Currently, we are working on putting together our board of directors and infrastructure of the foundation and expect to be fully operational early in 2012. We hope to have a grand opening and a gala fundraiser in upcoming days. I would love to invite all of you to consider being a part of this important work, either by volunteering time, donating, or hiring CH for your events and culinary needs. We look forward to serving you and the children of Williamson county.
Please contact me regarding opportunities or to contract CH for events and services at firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-300-6128 or PO Box 1058, Liberty Hill, TX 78642.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The beloved holidays are upon us. It’s my favorite time of the year! I get warm fuzzies just thinking about the smell of a decorated tree, the taste of our cul-de-sac cookie exchange or the tune of a soft holiday song. All of our senses are enhanced during the holidays. We want you to spend more time enjoying the holidays and less time trying to decide what to get your family and friends as gifts, so we’ve done the work for you and hope you can check everyone off your list with these amazing gift selections. And, as usual, we include the special WFF wine & spirits section.
By Marika Flatt
FOR THE OENOPHILE:
The Instant Wine Refresher by Ravi
Custom iPhone case
It will be a great conversation piece and then you can tell the person your favorite wines. Zazzle can print literally any picture, graphic or design onto a case, letting you design something completely original. Custom Zazzle and Case-Mate mobile cases range from $34.95 to $39.95, www.Zazzle.com/cases
Cookies by Design’s “Aged to Perfection” cookie bouquet
Who doesn’t love to eat sweets during the holidays? This cookie bouquet is perfect for all of us oenophiles! This adorable design is great for hostess gifts or a gift you want delivered to someone. Check out this “Aged to Perfection” bouquet: http://www.cookiesbydesign.com/gift-baskets/birthday-gifts/aged-to-perfection-boutray ($90.99). And, for that hard-to-buy-for guy, Cookies by Design has licensing agreements with the NFL, NCAA and MLB to reproduce team logos and colors on cookies. It’s a great gift for the ultimate fan, especially with his name on a jersey cookie! Check out: http://www.cookiesbydesign.com/nfl-gifts/dallas-cowboys-gifts/dallas-cowboys-cookie-bouquet
Woozie wine insulators
The first time I saw a Woozie wine glass insulator, I was at my sister’s 40th birthday party and I was coveting her gift of this stylish and functional little Woozie. Just like using a koozie for your beer, you pull this fashionable Woozie over your wine glass and it creates an insulated and adorable glass of wine, not to mention you don’t need a wine glass charm. Now, Woozie has wine bottle insulators and glass insulators that come in holiday designs and even a Woozie to cheer on your favorite sports team! I just love this inexpensive gift idea for anyone who enjoys wine, www.woozie.com.
Jockey Person to Person Convertible Cardigan and Ponte Jacket
FOR THE FOODIE:
Sea Salt collection
Great for the foodie to keep in the kitchen and use in those tasty recipes! The sampler kits run from $24.95 - $59.95, www.thespicelab.com.
Grafton Village Cheeses
During the holidays, we’re all entertaining and looking for yummy goodies to bring to dinner parties. Handcrafting world-class artisanal cheeses for over a century in the quintessential town of Grafton, Vermont, Grafton Village Cheeses are perfect for the holidays.
Pair these signature cheeses with crackers from the deli and a bottle of red wine. Grafton Village Cheese offers a variety of gift baskets that feature their award-winning cheeses along with an array of specialty Vermont goodies. Holiday flavors like Sage Cheddar and Garlic Cheddar make these baskets a delicious and welcomed change to the foodie gifts that friends and family have been sending for years. $39.99 - $59.99, http://www.graftonvillagecheese.com/.
Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolates
First of all, we all know how decadent fine chocolates and red wine are to our palettes. During the busy holidays, sometimes we just need to slow down with a truffle and a glass of cabernet in the evening. So, forget about purchasing this gift for someone else, just go ahead and purchase it for yourself and hide it away in your favorite decadent hiding spot.
This is truly a new chocolate experience (think hazelnut filled praline seashells). Guylian Chocolates are small treasures that are only sold at specialty, artisanal chocolate stores (2 piece $0.99 to $1.49; 6 piece $2.99 to $3.99 and 22 piece ranges from $7.99 to $14.99, www.GuylianBelgianChocolate.com)
McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil
Grown and produced in Northern California, McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil has been written up a variety of national print publications and holds many culinary distinctions. A blend of six early-harvest Italian varieties—bottled immediately, without filtration—in the traditional Tuscan style, McEvoy Ranch Olio Nuovo has a distinctly vibrant green color, rich fruit flavor and peppery finish. McEvoy Ranch Olio Nuovo retails for $22 (375mL) / $42 (750 mL) www.mcevoyranch.com and Whole Foods.
FOR THE KIDDO:
GLOB Paint Kit
Most arts & crafts paints stink. GLOB is a new line of all natural botanical paints made from fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices. With colors like lemon verbena, pomegranate and basil green, (and they all smell like the color) GLOB paints are delightful for projects. Using non-toxic, food-grade ingredients, GLOB paints are all natural and biodegradable. Each kit includes 6 color packets, 6 compostable jars with lids & 2 bamboo brushes. $15 www.globiton.com
Funky Junque Accessories
The vocal performance/karaoke application and microphone developed for the iPad, Soulo transforms iPads into cutting-edge personal karaoke singing machines that you can bring anywhere and have non-stop singing fun. Soulo is a really cool mic/accessory and super easy to use - just plug it in, launch the app and start singing.
The Soulo App is available for free at the App Store and integrates with your iTunes account. The Soulo Digital is available at Target and the Apple Store for $99 and a wired microphone is available for $69.
Mario’s Pizzeria game
It’s amore! If the parent is a foodie, sometimes the child is too! Children will “cook up” tons of fun with this fun game. The 8-piece play set has all the ingredients of a perfect pizzeria – three pizza pies, chef, delivery boy and vehicle, along with a very special oven that “fires-up” when the button is pushed. www.ravensburger.com, $40
WINE AND SPIRITS:
Cakebread wines, i.e. the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
I was lucky enough to tour the famous Cakebread vineyard and winery in August and was completely overwhelmed with how amazing their operation is, how they utilize modern technology in their vineyards and how amazing each and every pour tasted!
I now have my souvenir Cakebread glasses and enjoy their wines whenever possible. The grapes for their Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon come from terrific vineyards in prime locations in the Napa Valley. With fruit sources from multiple, diverse microclimates, they craft a sumptuous, elegant Cabernet Sauvignon that melds the opulent black fruit character and firm tannins typical of the valley’s warmer northern microclimates with the bright fruit tones and crisp acidity characteristic of its cooler southern precincts. Enjoy with a great steak!
Alex Elman Wines
This summer, Alexandra Elman, entrepreneur and wine expert, launched a collection of accessible, organic wines. The inaugural offering is made up of four varietals from Argentina—a Chardonnay, a Torrontés, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Malbec, and are representative of what the collection aims to deliver: hand crafted, sustainable, honest wines that are truly emblematic of their terroir.
Alex's story is an inspiring one. The self-dubbed "Blind Wine Chick" lost her sight at age 27 and instead of slowing her down, Alex discovered that her palate had become even more focused and her passion for wine even more intense. She now travels the world seeking out sustainable fine wines to bring to the U.S. market, accompanied by Hanley, her seeing eye dog.
Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon
While the 2007 Silver Oak cab is great for the holidays, be it a holiday meal or as a gift to your holiday party hosts, what really stands out is Silver Oak's ability to etch their bottles of wine. The etching takes the classic bottle of wine and turns it into whatever the customer would like; messages, pictures, logos...the bottle's can be completely customized and etched however they would like. The etchings can be done on either of the two most recent Silver Oak vintages, the 2007 Alexander Valley as well as the exquisite and ever popular 2006 Napa Valley Cab (www.silveroak.com)
Rutherford Hill Merlot
At just $25, Rutherford Hill Merlot proves that you don’t have to spend a lot for great, quality bottle of wine thus making it ideal for a holiday host or hostess gift.
Rutherford Hill’s Merlot is an elegant, refined blend of classic Bordeaux varietals that create its rich aroma and flavor. Bursting with notes of cherry and plum, this silky, full-flavored wine is balanced, firm and the perfect gift for anyone who appreciates fine wine.
To learn more, please visit: www.rutherfordhill.com
2009 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay
Stumped on what wine to gift to your foodie friend whose typical Monday night menu sounds something like this -- Caramelized, balsamic-glazed heirloom figs and parmesan crisps with Chanterelle Mushroom tapenade?
With a rich and round mouth feel, this well-structured wine will pair well with anything, from crab cakes with saffron aioli to roasted rabbit. Your foodie friend will appreciate the versatility of this food friendly Chardonnay. http://www.landmarkwine.com/, $28
2009 JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon
For the friend who always knows everything on the up and up, give the gift of wine from one of California’s up and coming wine regions, Paso Robles. Only 14 miles from the coast, the limestone soils, hot days and cool nights in Paso give birth to elegant, high caliber wines. JUSTIN Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception.
Made in a classic Bordeaux style, showcases the universally appealing flavors of delicate ripe raspberries, currant, and vanilla. http://www.justinwine.com/, $26
Tequila Herradura is 100% blue agave tequila carefully crafted using traditional methods, such as cooking the agave in clay ovens and fermenting naturally with wild yeast. Herradura Añejo is aged for 25 months, which is 13 months longer than the industry standard. Its deep copper color hints to its oaky, spicy taste, which is apparent at the sniff of this refined expression and lingers on even after the first sip. Enjoyed like a fine Cognac or bourbon, Herradura Añejo is a great gift. $59.99 – 750 ml bottle
Sandeman Founders Reserve Collector's Tins
Marika Flatt has been a freelance writer since 2002, writing for publications such as: GoodHousekeeping.com, Austin Lifestyle, Austin Woman, FamilyTravel.com, ChickVacations, and several others. Her writing has also appeared on NPR.org. She is also the founder of PR by the Book, www.prbythebook.com. She lives with her husband and 3 children in Austin.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
As guests entered the event, they were greeted by a glamourous Champagne girl, sponsored by LaMarca prosecco, encouraged to grab a glass of bubbly from her skirt. Throughout the evening, our host, Chef Brad Sorenson who was featured on season 6 of The Next Food Network star, provided light-hearted commentary.
The Dylan Jones trio provided background music and guests bid for unique items at the silent auction. One guest took home a bottle of 1955 port with their winning big!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Other highlights? Crispy, straight-out-of-the-fryer eggs rolls from Fresh Off The Truck were one of my favorites while Morgan enjoyed deep fried steak mac n’ cheese from Trey’s Cuisine. It was most definitely as sinful as it sounds. To make up for it, I had a bright, fresh, and delicious mini O.G. from Blenders and Bowls. What’s that, you ask? Blended acai topped with fresh fruit, hemp granola, and Round Rock honey. That’s healthy, right? With some other less memorable stops in between, we wrapped up our gorging with Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches. Dirty Mint Chip sandwiched between Chocolate cookies and Salted Caramel between Chocolate Chip Cookies – it’s hard to go wrong. I even checked out their website and saw a Brown Butter with Candied Bacon ice cream – yes, please!
This year’s Gypsy Picnic was certainly an improvement over last year and I was happy to find some new trailers to frequent. Ready for Gypsy Picnic 2012? You bet I am!
Written by Becka Brown, Community Relations Director
Monday, October 24, 2011
Chefs had a limited time to prepare a dish including potatoes, beets, green onion, and Longhorn beef. Each chef introduced his dish to the celebrity judges, who included Chef David Bull, Chef Tyson Cole, and Chef Kent Rathbun. Also in attendance to talk about the wines was Devon Broglie, Master Sommelier and Global Buyer at Whole Foods Market.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Food: David Garrido, Susan and Ed Auler, David Bull, Paula Biehler, Shawn Cirkiel, Quincy Erickson, Bryce Gilmore, Jennifer and Marshall Jones (Our Executive Director!!), Cameron Lockley, Rob Moshein, plus Deborah and Larry Peel (Our Chairman!).
Business: Eddie Safady, Wendy Casey Sooch and Nav Sooch
Interactive: David Wyatt
Media: Dave Shaw, George Elliman, Deborah Hamilton-Lynn,
Nightlife: Chad Auler, Becky and Damon Holditch, Sylvia and David Jabour, Kara and Matt Swinney
Style: Rachel Elsberry
Thank you to everyone for their continued support of The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Guests sampled food inspired by many regions of the world including North America, South America, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Japan, and Australia, and were able to pair wines (or sakes!) with each tasty bite. But don’t forget the bubbly! A step out on to the second floor terrace on this comfortable summer night revealed champagnes and sparkling wines galore.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Behind the scenes of the conference, the annual Texas' Best Sommelier competition will be taking place, with the winner announced at the Grand Tasting on Monday evening. Each year the winner of the competition is awarded scholarships for professional certification courses.
If you haven't registered for this one-of-a-kind conference be sure to do so soon - tickets are selling fast. http://www.texsom.com/
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Swing on by Le Cordon Bleu this Sunday from 11:30am - 2:30pm to watch the competition and see who gets crowned the winner!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Special thanks to Twin Liquors, Republic National Distributing Company, Retour Wines and Sokol Blosser. Some great looking lots that were up for auction and the crowd was eager to start bidding! Thanks to our Auctioneers Harvey Kronberg, Doyle Fellers and Kevin Patterson.
Monday, March 14, 2011
- “A Seat at The Table” - 16 of the rarest wines from 8 Auction Committee Members’ personal collections, Chef Mark Paul of Wink, and a beautiful Lady Bird Lake view. Only 8 seats will be on the auction block for this incredible wine experience.
- Chuck Wagner’s Caymus Special Selection has been the benchmark California cabernet for over 3 decades, and we have a Salmanazar (9 liters) of the 2008 Caymus SS Cabernet Sauvignon! That’s a case of Caymus in 1 bottle! $3,500 Estimated Value
- 2 Nights for 2 people in Siena, Italy at the San Felice Holiday House Le Bonce with a tour of the winery and a personal tasting. This wonderful package comes with a 5 liter of 2006 San Felice Chianti Classico to get in the spirit!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
$250 per person / $2,500 table (of 12)
Featured Lots for 2011:
- 3 bottles (.750 liter) of 2007 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon in the wooden box, 100 point rating by Robert Parker; $7,500 Estimated Value
- The wine dinner in the Larry Peel Wine Cellar is always a success and is back on the auction block this year. Winners of that lot are treated to a dinner prepared by Executive Chef Elmar Prambs of the Four Seasons, paired with fine wine from Peel’s Cellar while surrounded by over 5,000 bottles of rare and fine wine in the rustic yet charming cellar; $4,000 Estimated Value
- One Imperial (6 liter bottle) 2007 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, 98+ rating by Robert Parker; $2,500 Estimated Value
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Also on the Auction block is a Private Wine Tasting for 6 at Joseph Phelps Vineyards. Six guests will enjoy a unique visit to the Joselph Phelps Vineyards for a private, high-end tasting (typically reserved for Phelps preferred members). The tasting will feature a selection of their current releases including their flagship wine, Insignia. Since the release of the 1990 vintage, Insignia has been produced estate-grown grapes from two of the most desirable sources for Cabernet Savignon, Rutherford Bench and the Stags Leap District.
Join us on Saturday, April 16th to see these items (and many other greats) up for Auction!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
benefitting The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas. So far between the staff and interns we've visited NoRTH, urban an american grill, Jo's Downtown, El Arbol, Judge's at Mansion Hill, Sagra and Whole Foods! But there are so many other fantastic restaurants offering deals that we're sure to stay busy the next few days.
To see all special, menus and events - visit http://www.sipandsavoraustin.com/. Let us know where you'll be Sipping and Savoring and hopefully we can meet up!
Monday, January 10, 2011
The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas is thrilled to be selected as the 2011 beneficiary of Sip & Savor Austin - a city-wide food and drink celebration with one goal – to get the most “people in the door” of participating restaurants and bars, surpassing any food and drink event in the city.
Sip & Savor Austin is a 2-week event from January 16-30, 2011 featuring a variety of venues including Max's Wine Dive (Foundation Community Partner!), Whole Foods Market, Urban at The Westin, The Carillon, Paggi House, La Sombra, III Forks and many, many more!
To see all special, menus and events - visit http://www.sipandsavoraustin.com/. Let us know where you'll be Sipping and Savoring - we'd love to join you!
Friday, January 7, 2011
The two remaining finalists will each receive $1,000.00 scholarships made payable to their respective schools.
Download an application here. The deadline to submit your application is 5pm on Friday, February 11, 2011.
About the Scholarship:
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
We've got a busy start to the year with an Argentinean dinner pairing at La Sombra (February 2), Zinfandel Grand Tasting (March 6), Annual Stephan Pyles Scholarship Cook-Off (April 2-3) and the always fabulous Rare & Fine Wine Auction (April 16). Plus, we're working on some new, exciting events that celebrate and highlight what we love...wine and food! Stay tuned...