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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

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300 comments

Comments

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.

marie says …

Can those Texas wines be purchased at WF stores outside of Texas?

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

kc jan says …

We have a saying in berkeley,''farms in berkeley?'' so i will say wines of Texas...sounds great for under $20.

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!

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!

Michele Molesky says …

This event sounds simply scrumptious! I wish I could have been a part of it!

Lindsay says …

Sounds like a great time with great food. To bad I am so far away!

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.

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.

Kati says …

All these SXSW posts are making me quite jealous that I am not there! Great photos.

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.

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.

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.

MikeH says …

Looks quite yummy, wish I had been there, love our local WF store.

mirabelle says …

If I wasn't jealous enough that I missed SXSW for the music now add food to the mix!

Melissa says …

That looks wonderful! Everything looks so tasty. :)

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.

Susan Bryan says …

I'm curious on what Dai Due was serving. I like their supper club premise and local focus . . .

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

Tamar Erlich says …

Nice post about the event. I would love to win your bag. Thank you for the giveaway. Tamar

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!

Brittany says …

I wish i could have been there! The whole festival looks amazing!

Bryce says …

Can't wait to go next year! Any of the Texas beers stand out?

Taylor says …

I hope to see more events like this at future festivals. Bonnaroo, Coachella, CMJ... Food and music is the ultimate pairing!

Kandice says …

Great post! I love the way the Whole Foods Market puts on so many demonstrations and educational programs at the local stores. Namaste, Kandice

Kandice says …

Great post! I love the way the Whole Foods Market puts on so many demonstrations and educational programs at the local stores. Namaste, Kandice P.S.: Wanted to say great post!

Laura says …

The gift bags were awesome and the event was terrific!

Jodi says …

I had a truly wonderful time. Thank you to everyone who played a part. I am proud to be a part of such a fun food blogger community. Great to meet you as well, Winnie!

Brittney says …

I love it! I wish I could have been there to experience it for myself, but the recaps posted by you and your fellow foodies made me feel like I was there!

Nathan says …

I was surprised to see you post about SXSW, but it sounds like it was a great time.

Cara Ferguson says …

I am still dreaming about the rice ball. SOOO freaking amazing. Thanks Whole Foods. and yes I would love to enter for the the free bag!

Heather Cook says …

Looks delicious, wish I could have been there.

Crystal says …

You know I love some free stuff and totally wish I was down there in Austin to have gone to this event. Maybe next year!!

Hallie says …

Thanks for posting this! Now I have to check out those bloggers...like I needed more blogs to read ;-)

Jason says …

My friend went to the event and said it was awesome...sorry I missed it.

Susan Cisco says …

I'm friends with Justin Ong (Keep Austin Tasty Blog). He told me about the great food and party.

bazu says …

Man I wish I could have been there- sounds like a fun event!

austinathelibrarian says …

OH! I love love love Whole Foods. Just discovered this blog and can't wait to read more.

Crystal says …

Thanks so much for hosting this wonderful event... we had so much fun!

Lexie says …

Sounds like this was a greta event --please have one here in the DC Area!

ruth says …

Thank for posting this wonderful recap of the event. It sounds enticing and incredible. Whole Foods certainly is impressive in everyway.

Amy says …

This sounds like an event I want to attend next year... Perhaps I should take my interest and passion and turn it into a career as a food blogger!

Vic says …

What a wonderful idea for an event! My mouth is watering just thinking about all that good food...excuse me while I go wipe the drool from my chin.

Alyson Paige Warren says …

What a feast for the senses - the ears and tongue, especially!

Caroline says …

As a former Austinite (and almost a lifetime Whole Foods shopper- started when I was a child in the 80s in Austin!) this post made me very homesick for Austin and SXSW, but did inspire me to try to make some rice balls! Sounds like a fun event!

Tina Wright says …

Wish I could have been there. I first attended SXSW in the mid-1990s and while there visited a Whole Foods store for the first time. I fell in love!

Jennifer says …

I hope in the future there is a giveaway for events like this--sounds like it was a lot of fun!

Donna Y says …

That sounds like fun! I don't even like tomatoes, and I want some tomato tatins!!

Bernadette Geyer says …

Thanks for showing some simple menu ideas, like the tomato tatins... yum! I look forward to an event in my area.

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