Meaty Goodness at Live Fire Austin

Live Fire SaltlickCome on baby light my fire! Last night I attended the Live Fire meat extravaganza. Live Fire is sponsored by the Austin Food and Wine Alliance and held at the world famous Salt Lick Pavilion in Driftwood, Texas. Sixteen chefs, numerous cocktail and wine tastings, and plenty of meaty goodness to go around!

I started the evening at Sway’s booth to try the Thai chili beef with coconut cream and vegetables. It was burn-your-face-off great! I don’t eat spicy food that often, but wow it was worth it! Good thing they were passing out Prosecco when you entered the pavilion. It was a nice way to cool down!

I sampled wines by Becker Vineyards, Pacific Rim, among others that escape me. I moved on to Dai Due’s flatiron steak tacos, flank steak rouland by Homegrown Revival, brisket by Franklin’s, and my favorite of the night-oxtail ramen with beef tongue chashu by Ramen Tatsu-ya. I dreamed of beef tongue and woke up smiling. My husband was very suspicious, but it was THAT good.Food for Live Fire

This is one of my favorite events of the year. I discovered I liked beef tongue, pickled strawberries, and espresso BBQ sauce (separately, but might prove to be an interesting combo!). I love trying new food combinations and you just can’t go wrong with lots of Texas steer!

Beef–it kicks chicken’s ass any day! Moo!

The WellGro Co.

Last weekend I participated in a herb garden fundraiser sponsored by The WellGro Co. at Contigo restaurant. The event raised funds to build a garden at Travis High School. The WellGro Co. is a local non-profit organization run by Ed and Kerri Hughey committed to bringing real food back into schools.  Ed and Kerri were moved into action by the childhood obesity epidemic and wanted to support organizations that drive change and make a positive impact. The WellGro Co. holds several events throughout the year as well as offers products on their website to help raise funds to support those organizations.

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This event in particular spoke to me because I was raised on processed food, often receiving free or reduced lunches at school.  I think that is why I am so obsessed with homemade, fresh, healthy food now. I’m not always perfect, but I’ve learned to balance. Kids on low-income meal plans often do not have a choice as to what they eat.  A hot dog and chips are easier and cheaper than organic chicken and vegetables. How can we expect children to choose to eat healthy if they have never been exposed or have access to real food?

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The Travis High School garden will provide an organic learning environment for the culinary students. They will have a chance to forge a relationship with their food and also educate others (friends, family, etc) on the importance of eating something other than fast food.

The herb workshop was taught by Sam Thorp of Johnson’s Backyard Garden. He shared his tips and tricks for successful planting and maintenance. I plant herbs every year and use them all through the spring and summer. I definitely learned a few new things! During the workshop we planted herbs in Contigo’s garden which will be used at the restaurant.

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After the workshop we had a great lunch prepared by the Travis High School culinary students. Can’t beat fresh arugula, sausages, and potato salad! Perfect food on a gorgeous day!  I had a great time and met some inspiring people in the food community.

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Check out some great photos of the event on Chris Perez’s website: MetropoChris.  For more garden inspiration check out Lorin Baum’s company Texas Roots. And support your local food community!

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