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SXSW Food Blogger Bash Recap & Gift Bag Giveaway

By Winnie Hsia, March 22, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Winnie Hsia
After four days of running between panels, keynote speakers and core conversations during the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) Conference, I was exhausted and needed refuge from the madness of the Austin Convention Center. Thankfully, I’d received an invite to the Austin360.com SXSW Food & Wine Blogger Bash, sponsored by Whole Foods Market and Go Texan and hosted at our flagship store’s wonderful Lamar Culinary Center. Little known fact – I started with Whole Foods Market as catering staff for the Lamar Culinary Center, so I know the place well and was very pleased with how the cooking school space was transformed to house not only a foodie meet & greet, but also wine tastings from the GO TEXAN wine program and demonstrations from two of the best chefs in town – Tyson Cole from Uchi and Jesse Griffiths from Dai Due Supper Club. Some highlights of the night:
  • During his demonstration of a fabulous herb stuffed flounder, Jesse explained that flounder start off like most fish with eyes on either side of their heads and over their lifetimes, one eye migrates over to sit adjacent to the unmoved one!
  • Tyson Cole demonstrated how to prepare rice balls (or in his words “primitive sushi”), though there was absolutely nothing primitive about the amazingly delicious dish he created.
  • GO TEXAN sponsored a blind wine tasting comparing four Texas wines (all under $20) with their price comparable counterparts from around the world. The surprise of the night? The Texas wines were all unique, tasty and reasonably priced!
In addition to the food and wine provided by Jesse, Tyson and GO TEXAN, the Lamar Culinary Center also provided a beautiful spread of locally inspired appetizers including my personal favorite - tomato tatins ("Sliced Texas hot house tomatoes atop country-style bread spread with fresh Texas basil pesto and drizzled with olive oil.") and a fine selection of Texas beers and wines. The company was delightful, the weather was spring perfection and I was very happy to meet Jodi of Tasty Touring, Rachel and Nichelle of Cupcakes Take the Cake, Teddy from Fun With Your Food, Addie of Relish Austin and many other awesome bloggers! All of our guests left with an amazing Better Bag filled with goodies including 365 Everyday Value Pita Chips, Sweet Leaf tea, Alaffia shea & coffee body lotion, an Austin360 tee-shirt, a GO TEXAN wine carrier and more! We gave away one bag to a lucky Twitterer at SXSWi who posted a picture of what they had for dinner and now, we’d like to give you, our wonderful blog audience, a chance to win one too! Simply post a comment on this entry between now and Friday March 27th and we will select one at random to receive the coolest schwag bag ever. Read on to see what some of the food blogger attendees had to say: This is Life in Austin Eat'n Veg'n Austin Gastronome Cookery Content Relish Austin Tasty Touring Keep Austin Tasty Eat! Craft! Live! Cooking Inside the Lines Lisa is Cooking Apron Adventures Maggie's Austin Poco-Cocoa Sifting Through Austin Fun With Your Food Austin360 video
Category: Random Stuff




Stacey Viera says ...
What a fantastic idea for an event! Cooking affordable, healthy and tasty meals is a daily challenge. Thanks for linking to the bloggers who share some great ideas.
03/25/2009 7:01:43 AM CDT
marie says ...
Can those Texas wines be purchased at WF stores outside of Texas?
03/25/2009 8:19:22 AM CDT
Addie Broyles says ...
Thanks for posting about the Austin360 event, Winnie! It was great to meet you and hang out with our awesome Central Texas food bloggers. We hope to do it again next year! Here's my post about it: http://www.austin360.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/food2/entries/2009/03/17/post.html See you soon! addie
03/24/2009 4:49:28 PM CDT
kc jan says ...
We have a saying in berkeley,''farms in berkeley?'' so i will say wines of Texas...sounds great for under $20.
03/24/2009 8:33:24 AM CDT
Abigail Joy M says ...
I love Austin Whole Foods Austin! This is always the fun place to be...SXSW, Valentine's, Eeyore's Bday, Baby BDay...you always come through and then some! Ciao!
03/24/2009 3:44:13 AM CDT
Jackie McNeil says ...
I am very familiar with SXSW, having lived in the area, but I now live in Florida and miss that event so much! It was such a lovely surprise to see it covered in your blog and it made me so homesick! I would love to win the free goodie bag to feel a little closer to home. Texas wines are soooo delicious! My favorite winery, hands down, is Messina Hof outside Bryan/College Station. Everything they make is fantastic. Thanks for the great coverage!
03/25/2009 9:10:53 AM CDT
Michele Molesky says ...
This event sounds simply scrumptious! I wish I could have been a part of it!
03/26/2009 7:32:01 PM CDT
Lindsay says ...
Sounds like a great time with great food. To bad I am so far away!
03/27/2009 1:20:10 AM CDT
Matt says ...
I've been to the SXSW, and in the future would like to see WF have some sort of a gourmet BBQ using healthy ingredients, that way you are paying tribute to a Texas tradition while showing what you can do with your products, barbeques don't have to be just a side of beef and sauce anymore.
03/27/2009 3:10:05 AM CDT
Nona says ...
Sounds like it was a great event. I would love to see Whole Foods sponsor a vegetarian/vegan/healthy food conference or festival here in Washington, DC. I love how Whole Foods has taken leadership around important issues like health, the environment, and even animal adoptions. You have certainly set the example for other companies than want to truly be a part of their communities. Besides the great selection, it's why I support my local Whole Foods store, despite the bite in my budget.
03/27/2009 10:10:59 AM CDT
Kati says ...
All these SXSW posts are making me quite jealous that I am not there! Great photos.
03/22/2009 5:28:58 PM CDT
Angie (Losing It and Loving It) says ...
Sounds and looks like you had a great time. The rice ball and those tomatoes look so tasty.
03/22/2009 6:54:25 PM CDT
Michele Pineda says ...
I'm jealous! The food looked great and it seems as though the weather was perfect and a great time was had by all. Thanks for the update and letting us have a peek as to what this conference was all about.
03/22/2009 7:14:34 PM CDT
Jamie says ...
I wouldn't mind seeing a list of those GO TEXAN sponsored wines under $20. SXSW was great. I'm sorry I missed out on the cupcakes though.
03/22/2009 7:57:31 PM CDT
MikeH says ...
Looks quite yummy, wish I had been there, love our local WF store.
03/22/2009 9:55:53 PM CDT
mirabelle says ...
If I wasn't jealous enough that I missed SXSW for the music now add food to the mix!
03/22/2009 9:59:47 PM CDT
Melissa says ...
That looks wonderful! Everything looks so tasty. :)
03/22/2009 10:10:33 PM CDT
Jamie says ...
I wouldn't mind seeing a list of those GO TEXAN sponsored wines under $20. SXSW was great. I'm sorry I missed out on the cupcakes though. Oops...forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.
03/23/2009 3:00:19 AM CDT
Susan Bryan says ...
I'm curious on what Dai Due was serving. I like their supper club premise and local focus . . .
03/23/2009 7:32:22 AM CDT
Denise Fraser says ...
Here are the four Texas wines that were featured during the Texas Two-Sip Tasting. They are available at Whole Foods Market. - McPherson Viognier 2007 - Llano Signature Melange - McPherson Sangiovese 2006 - Texas Hills Orange Moscato 2005 Thanks. GO TEXAN www.GOTEXAN.org
03/23/2009 8:37:11 AM CDT
Tamar Erlich says ...
Nice post about the event. I would love to win your bag. Thank you for the giveaway. Tamar
03/23/2009 9:35:39 AM CDT
Meaghan says ...
I'm quickly discovering that Austin is quite possibly one of the greatest cities in the US. I'm definitely jealous I missed it!
03/23/2009 9:41:30 AM CDT
Brittany says ...
I wish i could have been there! The whole festival looks amazing!
03/23/2009 9:46:11 AM CDT
Bryce says ...
Can't wait to go next year! Any of the Texas beers stand out?
03/23/2009 10:00:11 AM CDT
Taylor says ...
I hope to see more events like this at future festivals. Bonnaroo, Coachella, CMJ... Food and music is the ultimate pairing!
03/23/2009 11:12:21 AM CDT