Event: Jacques Pépin to be honored at AFWA dinner at Launderette

Jacques Pepin will be the guest of honor at a dinner at Launderette on June 4.
Jacques Pepin will be the guest of honor at a dinner at Launderette on June 4.
The Austin Food & Wine Alliance will honor French culinary legend Jacques Pépin with a special dinner at Launderette on June 5. Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki, whose Launderette is a finalist for the James Beard award for Best New Restaurant in America, will prepare a five-course meal with wine pairings. Pepin will not cook, but will be on hand to talk to the guests and share stories from his illustrious career. There are 85 seats available, with tickets costing $285. Seats can be purchased by emailing info@austinfoodwinealliance.org.
The dinner is being held in conjunction with Pépin’s June 5 talk at the Long Center (tickets here).  Proceeds from both events benefit the grant program of the Austin Food & Wine Alliance.

 

Maker of Austin’s best Roman-style pizza, chef Tim Lane leaves Burn Pizza + Bar

Chef Tim Lane's Roman-style pizzas helped elevate Burn Pizza + Bar from being just another East Austin bar. (Tom McCarthy Jr. AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Chef Tim Lane’s Roman-style pizzas helped elevate Burn Pizza + Bar from being just another East Austin bar. (Tom McCarthy Jr. AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

The maker of the best Roman-style pizzas in Austin is on the move. Executive chef Tim Lane has left his post at Bridget Dunlap’s Burn Pizza + Bar to pursue other opportunities in Austin. The chef has expressed interest in possibly returning to work with molecular gastronomy. After spending the early part of his career working at places like Asti in Austin, Lane spent nine years in Rome, where he worked as sous chef for Cristina Bowerman at the modernist Michelin-starred Glass Hosteria. Dunlap says she has yet to decide on a replacement for Lane.

Tacodeli Spyglass to operate from food truck while renovating

tacodeliThe tiny taco shop near the Greenbelt is getting a facelift and taking over the adjacent dry-cleaning space next door. Tacodeli will close its Spyglass storefront and move operations to an onsite food truck, as it undergoes expansion. The expanded location will triple indoor seating from its current squished 12-seat set-up ans also offer long window-facing, rail seating for dining. The bigger space means a bigger kitchen, as well as an additional restroom.

During the renovation, Tacodeli will serve a truncated menu from its food truck (see right), which will have the same hours as the existing Spyglass location. The changes begin on Tuesday and completion of the new space is expected before the end of summer.

“This location represents our beginnings and has special meaning to us,” Tacodeli co-founder Roberto Espinosa said. “This renovation brings exciting change and improvements, while still retaining the unique character and charm of the original Spyglass location.”

In addition to the renovation, Tacodeli also announced this week that it is now accepting online ordering for all location, but the option won’t be available for the Spyglass location once renovations start next week.

Tacodeli now offers online ordering


001

 

 

 

Tacodeli is known for great tacos, Doña sauce, early closing hours and healthy lines. But your wait for a Papadulce or Frontera Fundido Sirloin taco may have just gotten a little shorter.

The Austin-based taco makers (who recently expanded to Dallas) posted yesterday on Facebook that they are now accepting online orders at all locations.

A note of warning: Tacodeli on North Lamar was closed this morning due to a power outage and calls to that shop and Spyglass are currently ending with a busy signal.

(Update: A previous version of this post mentioned that the Tacodeli site stated that online ordering had not come to the North Lamar location. Despite the text on the site at the time, online ordering is available at all locations.)

Related: 

Former Geraldine’s chef Jesse DeLeon to open Victoria Provisions

Image of executive chef Jesse DeLeon via Linkedin.com.
Image of executive chef Jesse DeLeon via Linkedin.com.

Veteran Austin chef Jesse DeLeon will open Victoria Provisions with two business partners in May. The chef, who has worked at Vespaio and Zoot, left his post as sous chef at Geraldine’s in the Hotel Van Zandt earlier this month.

DeLeon, who grew up in Victoria, will pull from his stops at various Austin restaurant and his Gulf Coast upbringing to prepare seasonal Texas cuisine utilizing classic French and Italian technique. Billed as a cooking demonstration, Victoria Provisions will initially serve dinner at two seatings each week at Patricia’s Table (510 W. 35th St.), a space that regularly hosts cooking classes. Dinners, which will be BYOB affairs, will start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday, with a 6:30 p.m. social hour before meals. The de facto supper club eventually plans to move into its own brick-and-mortar restaurant space.

Victoria Provisions will send out its constantly changing menus two weeks before meals. Diners can sign up for the 20 seats online on a first-come, first-served basis. Meals will be $50 (plus tax and gratuity) and will vary in course format depending on the featured ingredients and proteins.

After a soft-open week for family and friends, Victoria Provisions plans to serve its first meal to the public on May 19. You can get more information about Victoria Provisions and sign up for their email alerts at victoria-provisions.com.

 

Tiny Pies opens on South Lamar with free pie and coffee Tuesday night

Bite-sized pecan pies from Austin's Tiny Pies. (Credit: Addie Broyles)
Bite-sized pecan pies from Austin’s Tiny Pies. (Credit: Addie Broyles)

Tiny Pies will celebrate the opening of its second location, at 2032 S. Lamar Blvd. (next to Henri’s), with free coffee and pie on Tuesday night. The mother-daughter-owned shop, which serves sweet and savory pies, also has a shop at 5035 Burnet Rd. and the pies are available in freezer sections at retail outlets around the state.

Closed: El Arroyo in Northwest Hills

The original El Arroyo on West Fifth Street (pictured) is known for its witty sign. (Credit: Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
The original El Arroyo on West Fifth Street (pictured) is known for its witty sign. (Credit: Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Tex-Mex restaurant El Arroyo, which opened almost 20 years ago at 7032 Wood Hollow Drive in Northwest Hills, closed yesterday. The original Fifth Street location, which opened in 1987 remains in business. El Arroyo is owned by brothers Austin and Ellis Winstanley, who also own Star Seeds, Caine, The Tavern and Abel’s and Hill’s Cafe. We have a call out to find out what led to the closing of the restaurant near Far West Boulevard.

 

 

 

 

Who made the decision to cancel the Austin Food & Wine Festival?

Auditorium Shores was covered with puddles of standing water on Wednesday, as more rained moved in Thursday morning. (Credit: Matthew Odam AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Auditorium Shores was covered with puddles of standing water on Wednesday, as more rained moved in Thursday morning. (Credit: Matthew Odam AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

If there were any smug jokers defiantly pointing to the sunny skies yesterday around the time the Austin Food & Wine Festival announced the cancellation of this year’s event, today’s rain has probably quieted their squawking.

It was unclear yesterday who made the call to cancel the fest for the first time in its five-year history, but Jason Maurer, the events manager for the City of Austin’s Parks & Recreation Department, said today that the decision was made jointly between city officials and festival producer C3 Presents.

City officials were on hand at the park throughout the week monitoring the situation with C3 reps. Load-in was supposed to take place on Monday, but torrential rains over the weekend delayed that process. With more rain Wednesday morning, the timeline for production kept getting pushed. As the grounds became more soaked, the feasibility of pulling off the festival became less likely.

“You get to a point where it’s too wet to get ready,” Maurer said. And, even if producers had been able to magically snap their fingers and put the festival together by Friday, more wet weather was predicted for Sunday.

“You have to have a broader perspective,” Maurer said.

With standing water, lightning and thunderstorms, public safety was also a concern of organizers and city officials, but Maurer said the decision ultimately couldn’t be put in just one box. Production timelines, public safety, the condition of the park and the festival experience (which would have likely been miserable on Sunday, given the prediction of more rain) all combined to force C3 and the city to jointly make the call to pull the plug.

Festival goers will all receive full refunds, organizers said yesterday. For those who were planning on a weekend of eating and drinking, check out our 2015 Dining Guide for recs on the best places to eat in town. And check out our story from yesterday about discounts and specials some restaurants are offering festival ticket holders.

 

Austin Food & Wine Festival: 10 Questions with … Tyson Cole

Tyson Cole and his Applewood Smoked Masu Taco at the Austin Food and Wine Festival's Rock Your Taco event at Republic Square Park on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
Tyson Cole and his Applewood Smoked Masu Taco at the Austin Food and Wine Festival’s Rock Your Taco event at Republic Square Park on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

Uchi founder and James Beard Award winner Tyson Cole will compete in Saturday’s Rock Your Taco (which he has won twice). He will also serve composed small plates at the Chef Showcase on Sunday afternoon at Republic Square Park.

First important meal you ever cooked for another person?

The first catering gig I did by myself for 20 or so people has to be it. The off-site cooking gave me the confidence to attempt to open Uchi in 2003.

Favorite cooking tool in the kitchen?

Sheet pans and aluminum foil.

Most overrated/underrated food?

Overrated: cake. Underrated: vinegar.

Just home from a long night in the kitchen, what are you drinking?

Water

What’s the next buzzy food coming to restaurant menus?

Carrots

Last meal in America (not at one of your restaurants), where do you go?

ABC Kitchen (New York City)

Neapolitan or New York style-pizza?

Neapolitan

Cake or pie?

Pie

Dream four-person dinner party?

Mario Batali, Matthew McConaughey, Thom Yorke, Jimmy Fallon.

Bagel or breakfast taco?

Taco, of course!

The Austin Food and Wine Festival takes place April 22-24 at Auditorium Shores and Republic Square Park. For tickets and more information, visit austinfoodandwinefestival.com

Austin Food & Wine Festival: 10 Questions with … Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson holds his Braised Lamb taco at the Austin Food and Wine Festival's Rock Your Taco event at Republic Square Park on Saturday, April 25, 2015. (Credit: Deborah Cannon)
Hugh Acheson holds his Braised Lamb taco at the Austin Food and Wine Festival’s Rock Your Taco event at Republic Square Park on Saturday, April 25, 2015. (Credit: Deborah Cannon)

Owner of restaurants across Georgia, famed chef Hugh Acheson has won multiple James Beard awards and was named Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2002. He also has gained celebrity as a judge on “Top Chef.” Acheson will conduct a demonstration on the wonders of the avocado at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Auditorium Shores. He will also compete in the Rock Your Taco event, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday at Republic Square Park.

First important meal you ever cooked for another person?

I remember cooking an elaborate (at the time) meal for my dad one time when I was maybe 15. It was a seared tuna dish with some sort of rice and a carrot sauce. Very ’80s.

Favorite cooking tool in the kitchen?

I love a good spoon, one that feels right in your hand and acts as everything a knife can’t be: spatula, baster, turner, stirrer, plating device.

Most overrated/underrated food?

Truffles are overrated and are just a ludicrous amount of money for earthy umami. Done with the truffle. (I am a cheap person.) Onion is the most underrated flavor and ingredient. It is a versatile workhorse.

Just home from a long night in the kitchen, what are you drinking?

A glass of red Burgundy. Nothing fancy, maybe a simple Beaune.

What’s the next buzzy food coming to restaurant menus?

More vegetables. We have learned how to cook vegetables and it kind of makes me giddy.

Last meal in America (not at one of your restaurants), where do you go?

Sushi Gen in Los Angeles. I like sushi a lot.

Neapolitan or New York-style pizza?

Neapolitan

Cake or pie?

Pie

Dream four-person dinner party?

Tom Waits, Kurt Vonnegut, Yoda.

Bagel or breakfast taco?

Bagel

The Austin Food and Wine Festival takes place April 22-24 at Auditorium Shores and Republic Square Park. For tickets and more information, visit austinfoodandwinefestival.com