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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