Travel | Food | Human Rights

Filtering by Category: Dessert

Wanderlust in SA

Added on by lea thompson.

I fight the urge to roll my eyes whenever a person tells me they have "Wanderlust." Anyone who has read travel and culture magazines in the last five years knows the word belongs on a list of words and phrases to retire- it's up there with "nestled" and "rolling hills" and "picturesque." The only thing that annoys me more than "wanderlust,"  is the fact that I haven't found a word that better describes my own compulsion to wander, travel and move constantly. I have kept busy with work in San Antonio since August, and I admit I have scattered my professional energies since October  trying to incorporate travel in my work in 2014. I am excited to be traveling throughout Belgium, France, Spain, and possibly Asia in the coming months, and I hope travel is something I can incorporate in my career and assignments more in the future.

I am trying to stay mindful of which people and things are around me at this moment in my life; I have grown so much in my professional and personal life because of them, and I know this moment in my life will pass. I am proud to be working in San Antonio in a time where the city's creative communities are beginning to come into their own,  particularly in the food community. Recent writing and photo assignments have reminded me that travel will always be part of my life, even if I can't find a better word than "wanderlust" to describe it.  We are always moving even when we are standing still, and I am traveling even when I simply bake souffles in the family kitchen.


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)

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


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!


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!


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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#HaveCake #WillEatItToo

Added on by lea thompson.

Your first "real" job (a job that follows your career path, gives vacation days and health benefits) is a milestone and a godsend in the life of a writer/photographer...This is what I tell myself everyday as I clock in for my current job as a cashier. Eight days into the new year and I've never felt more frustrated or uninspired in my life.All I know is my current approach to life is no longer working. A new plan of action is needed, but I don't even know where or how to begin again.

I have no apparent direction in my writings these days. My once ultra-organized binders and notebooks have spewed photographs and articles across the bedroom floor. Despite new freelance jobs, I feel more and more that I am just making pretty pictures without a real audience or message.

I'm feeling desperately ambitious these days, and the only release I seem to find is when I'm cooking and baking. I have limited access to editing equipment, so while my DSLR fills up and waits, my camera phone helps record my current creative processes. Instagram:LEABIAPHOTO

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Mise en Place

Added on by lea thompson.

[gallery ids="246,247,240"] After what proved to be a very long summer, I wasn't sure if I'd return blogging or if I should take a permanent hiatus from publishing my work. I've decided to come back and I plan on working effectively and with efficiency from now on.

I took this summer to reflect on milestones and life changes that were important to me, though they'd admittedly bore anyone else in the world. These months were filled with cloying, clichéd questions such as,  "What do you want to accomplish with your post-grad life?", "How do you pay back those loans?" and "What is your life motto?"

Graduation, re-locations, relationships, trips, jobs, successes, and disappointments: These are pretty standard experiences for twenty-somethings, but I have arrived in a new place. I am able to face these predictable setbacks and answer those clichéd questions with complete confidence.

What do I want to accomplish with my life? Simply put, I want to capture, create and promote beauty through my photography and writings.

How will I pay back those loans? Continue working part-time, continue freelancing locally, continue applying for positions and  hope that a "real" job will be found before the forbearance period ends. And of course, buy lottery tickets.

What is my life motto? Mise en Place. "Mise en place" is a French phrase, often used in the culinary world which translates to "everything in its place". Meaning every ingredient should be prepared, every tool set-up and ready for action. Ask any professional pastry chef and they will tell you "Mise en place" is the most basic rule in a kitchen.

Even the best laid plans can go awry, and life has taught me they will. As in kitchens, life will throw dirty curves and grease fires your way. Sometimes the chocolate burns, sometimes the egg whites don't rise, and sometimes you realize the oven was never turned on.

I know that I have a lot more to learn, but I am prepared and I am ready.

Film and Food

Added on by lea thompson.

I use digital SLRs for most of my work, but there is still nothing quite as satisfying as the 35 mm film experience. I love being physically involved in every aspect of the photo making process. Finding the subject, loading the film, listening to the shutter release, cranking the film to rewind, spooling the reel and developing the photos in the dark. It's an intuitive process, and in a world of glossy photo spreads, it's nice to see some imperfections. In the future, I'll experiment more with medium format cameras to get better depth of field and avoid that lens distortion, but I'd like to work more with the ideas and feelings people have in relationships with food.