Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

SXSW Food Blogger Bash Recap & Gift Bag Giveaway

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

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300 comments

Comments

Peg says …

I recently moved from Austin to Northern California - a fine place for a foodie and wineaux! Reading your blog made me nostalgic - for both the music and fun of SXSW, as well as the fabulousness of the Austin Whole Foods and its culinary center, where I attended many outstanding classes & events. I'm so sorry I missed this one!

yoLeah says …

Love Whole Foods wish I could have made it to Austin this year.. school job school job job school!!

Carrie says …

Yum! Sounds like one perfect fresh,local food fiesta!

Diane Grupp says …

I wish we had a festival like this at my local WFM! Wht a great concept and an innovative way to get the community involved in helping our planet.

Loretta says …

The Texas wines sound really interesting. Too bad Whole Foods in NYC don't carry wine ...

KellyH says …

Sounds like an awesome time! And the food looked great.

Kristen Johnson says …

Sounds like the event was fun.

Gloria Chadwick says …

Wish I'd known about this conference in Austin. I'm in San Antonio (an hour's drive away) and would have loved to be there. It sounds wonderful!! So bummed that I missed it.

tiff says …

Sounds like a fun time.

erica says …

It's going to be nice to take some cooking classes at the Lamar Culinary Center. I'm bummed I missed the SXSW demonstrations.

melissa says …

Wow - those rice balls sound amazing!

Deborah Wilson says …

Sorry not to have been a part of the bloggers event. Sounds like a great time - good food, good wine, good company. Hope the event size grows to include more folks next go-round!

Rachel B says …

I love the use of local produce, love the education to the event. WF is always the best place to try something new.

Chris says …

This sounded like alot of fun. Wish you would have one in my area!

Kimberly S. says …

The Texas Hot House Tomatoes look soooo good. I'm so addicted to tomatoes. These were probably full of flavor!!!

Allison says …

As if I wasn't jealous enough of all of my friends who were lucky enough to go to SXSW this year, now yummy food is added to the mix! :-) Thanks for the blog!

Raylene Canby says …

SXSW 2009 was the best ever and visiting the "mother ship" of Whole Foods was a highlight.

Jill says …

I would love to attend an event like this one in the Orlando area.

Denise Donahoe says …

wow, I'd like to get in on some of these cooking classes. Whole Foods does a good job of having these sample offerings and classes.

lee (getting fit) says …

Someday I'll be in Austin for this event. I was just in Austin but left right before it started.

Amanda says …

Pick me! Pick me! =D

Rachel says …

This event sound like something I really should have been at. /jealous

Jen says …

I will definitely have to try making that tomato appetizer, sounds delish!

jen casado says …

yummy! I'm jealous!!!

Michelle Chatfield says …

I had no idea there were food events at SXSW. Sounds like a blast!

Lois says …

Yummy!

Joanna says …

I had no idea that flounders' eyes move like that! Thanks for opening the give-away up to the public!

Orphan Annie says …

Looks and sounds great. I always enjoy the demonstrations and tastings at my local Whole Foods.

Ressa says …

This sounds so yummy! Did you use Texas Olive Oil as well?

Alice says …

The food looks delicious! I love my Better Bag and use it every time I go grocery shopping.

Maryann Peterson says …

Great food, good store....what more can I ask for :o)

Heather says …

Please count me in for the super bag giveaway!

Joanna says …

You really know how to make my mouth water! I am far away in Bolivia, but will be in Austin in about 1 month and now have a firm date to be at WFM immediately upon arrival! So much good food, so little time! YUMMY!

Susan says …

Sounds like an event that I hope will be repeated elsewhere. Also would really like to have the recipe for Tyson Cole's rice balls. Thanks

Mary Wells says …

Wow! It sounds like so much fun and looks delicious! Wish I was there.

Koinonia Community says …

Sounds like a wonderful time. Those tomatoes look awesome!

Matt says …

Wish I could have been there. Sounded like an awesome event.

Lily says …

Sounds fun, I wish Seattle had something like this. If we ever have a chance to visit Austin, I'll have to try and time it around this event!

Amy says …

This sounds like it was so much fun; I wish I could have attended. I love that [finally] I have a WF downthe street from me and that I can begin t shop more healthfully for myself and family. AND I can't wait to pick up one of these adorable new bags. Even small things can help out our mother earth!

Betsy says …

Would love to win the bag!!!!

Theresa says …

I wish that there was a Whole Foods here Northern Orange County, Ca. That will be kinda cool to have one in Anaheim Or Brea^^

Megan says …

The riceballs look great - could you publish the recipe?

Marlene Schmidt says …

Stop making us hungry--over the computer. And why not host a similar, health/gourmet food fest in Glendale or Los Angeles, CA? You will have a most appreciative audience, with such imaginative foods, recipes and beverages as you have demonstrated. California's present economy has spurred more at-home meals. Take advantage of this.

pm says …

Bring the Southwest cuisine to Chicagoland. Would love to sample and learn how to cook healthy with Whole Foods. Never disapointed my taste buds in the past.

MZDZ says …

Wow, a little green I couldn't have been there!

Katie says …

Makes me hungry to even read about!

Sarah Lehan says …

I know it's name is SXSW - but could we hold it in the Denver area next time? Looks like a fine time was had by all. Now I have to stop typing and go to Whole Foods.

Rhonda says …

Cool music & yummy food.....wish i was there!

Stefanie Schmidt says …

Wow what an amazing event. I would love to win this gift bag.

Erin says …

Very cool.

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