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Behind the Scenes: One Lucky Duck

Added on by lea thompson.

I recently wrote a story on One Lucky Duck, a new juice bar and raw food establishment located in the Historical Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, Texas. Here are few more photographs from my time spent at One Lucky Duck.  You can read the story as printed here in the SA Current: One Lucky Duck , or check out One Lucky Duck Texas menu. Happy Eating! (L to R:)Emily Melngailis with One Lucky Duck founder, Sarma Melngailis at the Grand Opening of One Lucky Duck Texas.

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Matthew, at One Lucky Duck

 

Sarma's Green Kale Shake

 

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SA Brunch: Why I get out of bed on Sundays

Added on by lea thompson.

For most San Antonians, Sunday is still a day reserved for rest. Whether we are recovering from Saturday night, or preparing for a new week, we look for opportunities to unwind and enjoy ourselves. My favorite antidote for a stressful, busy week? Brunch.

If you're in need of a truly great brunch experience, head over to The Arcade Midtown Kitchen, located in the Pearl Brewery. Last weekend, Arcade Chef/Owner, Jesse Perez, unveiled a new brunch menu sure to delight locals and visitors alike.

Perez grew up in San Antonio, but spent the last decade as a chef in some of the best restaurants in the country before returning in February 2013 to open The Arcade. The well-traveled chef brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes; Perez has helped introduce new flavors and dining experiences to the San Antonio culinary community.

The Arcade's Bar Manager, Christopher Ware, pays homage to brunch with a great selection of delicious drinks. Savor and enjoy a delicious bloody Mary or a refreshing, bubbly mimosa.

Even on the laziest of Sundays, you have to admit this brunch looks way better than staying in bed.

Bloody Mary at Arcade's Sunday brunch

In "El Rancho" you see evidence of Chef Perez's San Antonio roots and Latin training.

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I'm not ashamed to say I tried to sneak this dish away from my brunch companions. The eggs were beautiful, the chorizo was perfect, and the salsa verde surprised me with complex, subtle flavors.

Make sure to try the piping hot,fresh California coffee, delivered daily from City Bean Coffee in Los Angeles. Perez worked as an executive hotel chef in LA for several years,where he first discovered a respect for fresh, seasonal ingredients.

California coffee freshly imported from City Bean Coffee in LA.

Bacon enthusiasts will rejoice in Chef Perez's Chicago-inspired bacon plate.

"I take my bacon seriously," Chef Perez said. Rather than the usual bacon strips, Perez serves perfectly cooked bacon slabs.

Bacon slabs served at Arcade's Sunday brunch.

In'THE' Chicken meets the Waffle, Perez recognizes his time spent as a chef in Atlanta. Fans of the chicken and waffles trend will appreciate the Chicken Milanese style (no bones!) served with a Pioneer Flour Waffle, and an endless supply of Maple Syrup.

'THE' Chicken meets the Waffle

Check out other Arcade brunch menu items here: [gallery columns="4" ids="931,933,934,932"]

The Arcade serves brunch to a full house on Sundays, between 10:30 am- 2 pm. I'd recommend calling (210) 369-9664 or clicking here to reserve a table.

Happy Eating!!

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Meatopia tranforms San Antonio into Carnivore's Paradise

Added on by lea thompson.

SAN ANTONIO, TX- Meatopia, a food festival often described as a "Woodstock of edible animals" will celebrate great Texas meats Nov. 2-3 at the Pearl Brewery. Although it was originally founded by food writer Josh Ozersky as a New York City food event, Meatopia will celebrate its tenth year in the Lonestar state. "This will be the greatest meat event that Texas has ever seen," Ozersky said.

On Saturday night, the festival opens with Beefsteak, a tribute to food traditions and excesses of the Gilded Age. On Sunday, Meatopia will feature 33 of the best chefs in the country and their culinary creations. Carnivorous attendees can expect great beef, as well as "pork, veal, chicken, duck, quail, bison, and many other animals,from snout to tail."

Joshua Ozersky speaks at Meatopia Conference at the Granary at the Pearl Brewery, in San Antonio, Texas

All the meat will be "cruelty-free, hormone free, and anti-biotic free," Ozersky said. "Meatopia focuses on the relationship between the (meat) producers and chefs.

Meatopia will showcase the greatest meat collaborations in the country, including San Antonio's Jesse Perez of Arcade, Andrew Weissman of Il Sogno, Tim Rattray of The Granary, Geronimo Lopez of NAO, Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria, and Jason Dady of Two Bros BBQ.

Chefs representing Austin include: Top Chef winner Paul Qui, culinary team Laura Sawicki and Rene Ortiz, Foreign and Domestic's Ned Elliott, and Bryan Butler and Ben Runkle of Salt & Time.

Meatopia collaborators

Meatopia offers general admission tickets at $75, VIP tickets at $125, and a bundled VIP package for both Meatopia and Beefsteak for $195. Single event tickets for Beefsteak run at $195. You can buy your tickets here.

Meatopia

The Granary and Salt & Time collaborated to serve delicious snacks including mouth-watering pastrami, samples of porkbelly with jicama, salami, and sausages.

Porkbelly with jicama

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Culinaria's Restaurant Week celebrates San Antonio food culture

Added on by lea thompson.

San Antonio has become a mecca for fine dining and culinary innovation. Culinaria's Restaurant Week celebrates local food culture, and makes fine dining experiences accessible to the community. Between August 17-24, participating restaurants, food trucks, and pop-ups will offer 3 course, prix-fixe lunch menus for $15, and dinner specials for $35. Click here for a list of participating restaurants.Culinaria 2013 On Tuesday, the Restaurant Week on the Move Event at Travis Park featured eight local food trucks, each offering special 3 course lunches. Restaurant Week on the Move, at Travis Park

I selected delicious DUK tacos from DUK TRUCK, a food venture owned by local Chef Jason Dady. The duck was cooked to perfection, and the pineapple chunks made the tacos a perfect combination of sweet and savory. I will be on the hunt for the bright yellow truck again soon. Duck Tacos from Duk Truk

Another great reason to dine out during Culinaria's Restaurant Week? Some of the event's proceeds will be used for community based projects, including Culinaria's new Garden Project. During the Travis Park event, I spoke with Culinaria President Suzanne Taranto Etheredge, who was excited for the garden to promote healthy living and education in San Antonio. To learn how you can contribute to the Culinaria Garden Project, email: info (at) culinariasa.org

Check Culture Spoon throughout Restaurant Week;  More food news and event updates coming soon! Happy Eating!

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Hatch Pepper Salsa

Added on by lea thompson.

Bright green, smooth and symmetrical- these are qualities to look for in a great hatch chile pepper. Hatch chiles may have originated in New Mexico, but Texas has adopted them as a favorite spicy ingredient in summer dishes, particularly in salsa. I used what was available in my family's garden, but you can find hatch peppers in season at most grocery distributors. Enjoy! Warning: You want the beauty of the salsa, not burning chiles to bring tears to your eyes- always wear gloves when handling peppers!

Ingredients: 4 Hatch chiles 2 tbs Garlic 3 Roma Tomatoes Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Total time: about 20 minutes Serves: 4

Pre-heat oven to 350. Brush hatch peppers with olive oil and place on baking sheet. Roast peppers ten minutes, or until the skin blackens and blisters. Wearing gloves, add roasted hatch peppers to food processor.

Roasted Hatch Chiles

 

I added 1/2 of a Habanero pepper, but if this is out of your spice range (slice off a sliver to test), try substituting with more hatch or a combo of red onion and cilantro for some kick.

Habanero Peppers

Dice tomatoes and garlic before adding to food processor.

Roma Tomatoes

Pulse until ingredients are combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Hatch Pepper Salsa

I rarely make salsa the same way twice; I think it's more fun to experiment and see what works. Instead of tortilla chips, my family tried the salsa on veggies (like zucchini), quinoa and salads. Have fun!

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Pearl Brewery: What's happening NAO

Added on by lea thompson.

Although the Pearl Brewery closed its doors in 2001, the site remains a source of culinary innovation through its ever-expanding farmer's market and diverse restaurants. NAO, a restaurant headed by Chef Geronimo Lopez, breathes new life into familiar Latin American dishes. Lopez and CIA student chefs observe cultural traditions while using local and seasonal ingredients to create delicious new plates.

Chef Lopez

NAO has introduced several new "traditions", which are sure to please locals and visitors alike.

Fire & Ice at NAO is a new happy hour special on Fridays and Saturdays, 5-7, featuring drinks and tapas.

On Saturdays, head over to the plaza for spit-roasted pork breakfast tacos, prepared by NAO and CIA students. (9:30 am- 1pm) Best menu deal: 2 tacos and any beverage for $5!

Chefs

Update: NAO will also offer a Market Lunch in the dining room during the Pearl Farmer’s Market from 11:00am to 2:00pm! Roasting pork for Breakfast tacos

Note: Saturdays at the Pearl Brewery are busy with culinary events, so the earlier you arrive, the better! Happy eating!

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Pack your Palate

Added on by lea thompson.

One of the best ways to understand a culture is to experience life through the food. While on assignment last week, I was able to photograph and experience the culture at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin. Escoffier students demonstrated their culinary talents through an International food showcase. Each chef represented a different country and cuisine, and the results were delicious. Escoffier Showcase

Tiramisu from Italy Tiramisu, from Italy

Tikka Masala and gulab jamun (balls of dough fried in sweet rosewater) from India India's Tikka Masala and Gulab Jamun

Spicy ginger soup from South Africa

Quesadillas from Mexico Quesadillas in Mexcio

Tres Leches Tres Leches from Mexico

Mini hamburgers from USA American Mini Burgers

Macarons, breads and fromage from France Macarons from France

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