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!