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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

Glenn B. says …

Great event. Let me know if there something like this in Birmingham, Alabama or Memphis, Tennessee.

TB Sojka says …

Cool event - Thanks!

Venessa Brown says …

This looks like it was so much fun! I love the fact about the flounder eyes. Animals are so weird, but tasty!

Angela says …

Gosh,I am starving after reading and seeing the pics of this event. I'm heading to Whole Foods this weekend to stock up for some serious cooking. Thanks for covering the event, Winnie.

Marion says …

These food events and tastings are always eye-openers. Perhaps we will have one in San Diego in the future. There are more foodies here than when I came to town twenty years ago. The restaurant climate has changed for the better.

Amy Fletcher says …

I was raised macrobiotic, with seasonal foods par for the course(please excuse the pun)! I've carried this into my adult life to a certain extent, as I now eat fish, AND am an avid organic gardner, like my mother before me! Additionally, I am half Japanese, & moving to Austin *soon*(GOLLY! wish I'd been there for the event)so the info provided by this post really helped out,& I've now subscribed to email alerts by the chefs in the article! Thank you for giving me a heads up as to what to expect!!!=^^=

Food Woolf says …

Sounds like a great time! I wish I had gone to SXSW for the food blog angle, but I managed to listen to the audio of the panel discussion and felt like I got a sneak peak into the goings on. I hope there are more food blogger panels available at SXSW next year! If so, I'll be there!

Kate says …

The tomato tatin looks delicious - I can't wait for fresh, local produce to be in season here in the Northeast!

Susan says …

I'd love to see a demonstration like this in Columbus Ohio!

Karen says …

Eye migration, rice balls, primitive sushi, and Relish Austin - are you guys not laughing? That's totally funny! Food nerds unite! Love it! Keep the great pics coming!

Elaine says …

Conferences with Demos are the best! I wish I could have there!

Candid says …

i am sooooo sick of hearing about SXSW - some of us who are broke and can't afford such decadence could have used a party week too but you don't see us rubbing it in the nations face. =p

Tracy says …

Sounds fantastic - would be a perfect event for our new Fairfax, VA Fair Lakes store! Please consider taking it on tour to other cities :-D

Hayley says …

Would love to see the recipes for foods mentioned in the article!

Kathleen LaFollett says …

Yum! Looks like good food, Good fun and good weather were enjoyed by all. The tomato tatin did catch my tastebuds too.

Bryna Bear says …

When will there be an event like this in the Middletown, New Jersey store? Those Texans know how to host an event. Wish I was there. Looks like fun with yummy food and wine tasting.

Terri says …

Keep up the GREAT WORK ! Love all you do for the consumer !

Lyn says …

I'm going to quiz my 17 yo daughter about flounder eyes. If she gets it right, I'll take her to WF for a treat. If she gets it wrong, I'll still take her (and tease her while we're there! jk).

Laura says …

I'm hungry now!

Lisa says …

The food looks amazing! I know someone who has been and says it is phenomenal.

Andrea says …

sounds like a fun time. only wished that they had an event like this in my state. :(

Andrea says …

sounds like a fun time. only wished that the event happened near me. :(

Rachel says …

What fun!

Rita Chhabra says …

Wow, this looks like it was a great event! And I love Wholefoods--esp the location at the Time Warner Center... I could stroll around in there for hours!

MB Sulvan says …

The wines look really affordable and delicious!

Bill Sullivan says …

Recipes would be awesome-the ingredients are amazingly fresh!

Jo says …

Awesome event. All the fun & food you guys had makes me feel jealous. :-( .

Jen Anderson says …

We'd love to host a Rhode Island event here in Little Rhody. We finally have a WF of our own and its the best - just 3 miles from my office and it has helped expand our family menus. Little Rhody wines rock and can give Texan wines a run for their grape mashin! Thanks!

Evelyn says …

How about publishing at least some of the recipies mentioned? I'm not a wine drinker, but the food sounded fabulous!

Buddy says …

I wish I could have atteded--everything sounds so tasty

mcbobby says …

We begged, whimpered and whined every time we went to the mainland for a WF to be opened in Hawaii. Last September we finally had our wish granted. Now, all we need are more events out here like SXSW and we will achieve Nirvana! (Hey, we're already in Paradise - come visit!)

Judy Nadler says …

Really found Jesse's explaination of the flounder's eye migration fascinating! You never know what kind of great info you will learn at a Whole Foods!

Patricia says …

This event sound wonderful. Could you bring one to Western Massachusetts sometime soon? We'd love it!

Erin says …

I just want to win the bag.

Rebecca says …

Sounds like a fabulous event.

Susie says …

Wow, that looks like too much fun!

Danny says …

This post is making me hungry. Going to stop by my local Whole Foods. We love the Seafood Grill area!

Sheridan Phillips says …

Sounds like a terrific event! Recipes please! And when do we get such an event here in Santa Fe held in our new Farmers Market building?

Jean Ross says …

I love the idea of this event including the Texas wines. I find that critics sniff at the idea of good wines made anywhere but France, California and Australia, but frankly, my favorite wines are USA wines from small wineries in less-known wine states, such as Virginia and New York State. Why not Texas wines??!

Dani says …

Wines in Texas?? Who knew? ;-) Next time you have to invite some of your favorite WF customers to join in on the celebration!!

Tracey Neumarke says …

Thanks for sharing. I especially liked that you had links to so many different sites.

Mary Hayes says …

Wish I had been at SXSW--good music and from the looks of it--the food to match! Yummy!

Alicia says …

I agree with my fellow posters...wish the recipes could be posted online, and wish I could have been there!

Kandy says …

Looks like a great time! I'm so jealous I wasn't there.

kimbly says …

I want to try the primitive sushi recipe!

Chris says …

Those tomato tatins look delicious.

Lorie says …

Man it all looked like alot of fun with all the speech, all that natural food. The great looking state and the weather.. It would of been great to taste all the different foods that was being made in the outdoors..

melanie says …

man that loos like so much fun!

DorothyKO says …

I'm currently at a military base in Djibouti, Africa and am constantly wishing to be at the WF back in Mt. Pleasant, SC. I love food festivals and one sponsored by WF has got to be top-notch. Wish I could've been there.

Linda Wang says …

Everything looks delicious! Wish Whole Foods would put on a food & wine bash in the SF Bay Area.

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