Monday, May 2, 2011

Edible Texas Presents the Texas Wine Food Match

In Europe, wine has always been enjoyed with food; in America, wine is regarded as a cocktail choice. The pleasure of pairing wine with food to complement each other is taking center stage with the inaugural Edible Texas Wine Food Match, presented by Edible Austin and The Texas Food and Wine Gourmet. This first-ever culinary competition challenges chefs from Central Texas to create regional food to pair with appellation wines of Texas to bring out the best in both. Held on Friday, June 3, 7 to10 p.m. at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, the competition is an official event of the 2011 International Association of Culinary Professionals’ national conference.

Guest judges include Jacques P├ępin, world-renowned chef, television celebrity, author and culinary educator; Francois Dionot, founder and director of L’Academie de Cuisine; John Besh, chef, restaurateur, author and television personality; Michael Bauer, executive food and wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle; and Paula Lambert, cookbook author and founder of the Mozzarella Company. Five Central Texas chefs, chosen by a panel of preliminary judges, will vie for the perfect pairing that reflects the soil, grapes, wine and food of Texas in three courses for 150 guests. Proceeds from the event will benefit the newly launched nonprofit Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts in Fredericksburg, Texas.

“It is wine savored with food that matters!” said Texas wine authority Dr. Russell Kane. From the French province of Languedoc to the hills of Texas, it is wines reflecting the essence of their origin through the grapes grown in their region thoughtfully paired with food distinct to their region, which will inform the present and future of winemaking in America.

Chef, writer and wine expert Terry Thompson-Anderson explains that in Europe, winemaking has for centuries reflected the culture of its geographic origin, with the wine taking on the identity of the soil in which its grapes were grown as much as the variety of grapes grown there. Vintners experimented with endless varieties to find what grew best in their piece of earth. The wine birthed from those successes had the taste of the place. In America, in just a few hundred years, winemakers are learning these same lessons. The many regions of our vast continent support vineyards and wineries that produce wines distinct to their location. The present-day Texas wine industry has had a relatively short 35-year history of growing grapes and making wine, although grapes have been grown for wine production in the state since the late 1600’s. Now, through the hard work and trials of pioneer grape growers and vintners, Texas wines have a taste that reflects the synergy of the grapes and the soil in which they are grown that is singular to the state.

At the same time Texas has developed its own well-defined cuisine with a focus on ingredients unique to the land and with a taste of the history and culture within its colossal boundaries.

“Put some skilled chefs together with dedicated winemakers and it’s sure to produce a culinary experience that will leave judges and guests alike not soon forgetting that what grows together in the Texas soil, goes together at the table,” says Thompson-Anderson.

Major sponsors of this event include AT&T Hotel and Conference Center, GO TEXAN, Whole Foods Market / Greenling Organic Delivery, Glazer’s, Trattoria Lisina / Salt Lick: The Driftwood Experience and Montesino Farm.

Edible Austin is a quarterly publication that celebrates Central Texas food culture. The Texas Food and Wine Gourmet is a website devoted to supporting the unique culture of food and wine in Texas. The Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts is dedicated to the awareness, understanding, and celebration of Texas food, wine and agriculture through educational programming and hands-on-experiences.

Tickets are $100 and available for purchase on the event website: http://www.edibleaustin.com/ediblewandf

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