2016 Culinaria Burgers, BBQ, & Beer

2016 Culinaria Burgers, BBQ, & Beer

Literally on top of the Hill Country, event attendees had an almost 360 view of the beautiful Hill Country below while they explored Burgers, BBQ, and Beer from many different local restaurants including the Jason Dady brothers (Shuck Shack), John Brand (Supper at Hotel Emma), and many more that I tried for the first time. This outdoors, family friendly event is a nice, casual note to end an intense Culinaria Festival week of non-stop gourmet events.

I love running into favorite chefs, foodie friends, and letting my daughter and husband expertly share their opinions on which unofficial winners stood out. My husband likes it because I think it represents what Texas means to him – beefy burgers, cold beer, and talking to friendly strangers. So much so that Priest Holmes, 90s Longhorn football player empathized the point by adding football to the mix.

This year was the first time for the event to be hosted at LaCantera Resort and the space really opened up the event. Y’all know how much I love the Pearl and downtime but the parking lot of the resort afforded much more room and space to stand in line, wander with friends and family 4 deep, and not be on top of each other.  They probably had enough space for twice the amount of booths. 🙂

Congratulations to the amazing Culinaria team for putting together another amazing Culinaria Festival Week!  Remember that the money raised is invested in the San Antonio community through culinary scholarships and contributions to the new Culinaria community garden. The chefs dedicate their time and money and product to these events and don’t forget to tell them how much you appreciate them too.

Audible Football Moment

Although the focus of this blog post is on Culinaria and the celebration of food in San Antonio, my husband wanted to make sure we did not under play (get it??) Priest Holmes and his contributions to football both at UT Austin and as a Super Bowl champion and 3x Pro Bowl Selection,ranks 15th in all-time rushing touchdowns in the NFL. One of the words my husband used to describe his career achievements(who started ahead of Ricky Williams) were “bad ass.”  Holmes was gracious when Jonathan thanked him for his contributions to football and making my husband’s year.

Jonathan has always been the biggest fan of Geekette Bits and one day I connected the way I feel for chefs, with the passion and ability to recount dishes served by year and event is the same way he feels about UT Football players (and their post Longhorn careers.)  Check out Priest Holmes Foundation and learn about his contributions to the kids of San Antonio focusing on Encouraging education, Enhancing the lives of children, and Empowering our youth. (My kind of guy!)

My husband, Horns Up w/ Priest Holmes. The way I feel for chefs, Jonathan feels for UT Longhorn Football players.
My husband, Horns Up w/ Priest Holmes. The way I feel for chefs, Jonathan feels for UT Longhorn Football players.

Experience like a Pro

Having attended this event for almost a decade now (at least five years???) I have learned a few recommendations:

  • It is HOT!
    • Wear cool clothes
    • Dump water on yourself
    • Wear a hat, bring an umbrella to shield from sun
    • Bring sunscreen or borrow some from registration
  • Bring tupperware!
    • You will never be able to eat every single thing and you’ll want to. Give yourself a fair chance by bringing tupperware, ziplock baggies, and a bag to carry your goodies in. Chefs will appreciate you not wasting their food
  • Think Tailgating
    • There will be chairs, etc but you could also easily bring your own
  • Use shuttle to event, easy parking
    • If you don’t like lines and are willing to chance chefs running out of food, don’t try to go in the first hour.
  • Truly kid friendly
    • I think Jaden was in elementary school when we first started
    • Tickets great price $10 for <21 years olds…great way to introduce them to a lot of different foods, starting with something they’re familiar with
  • Military discount

What We Tried

As it is impossible to try them all, (looking forward to leftovers in my tupperware for dinner tonight!)

  • Dady brothers were trying out some Korean inspired short ribs with sesame seeds that were perfectly crusted. As a Korean foodie, I feel confident in my endorsement
  • Supper chef John Brand’s team had a roasted corn chilled salad that complimented their wagyu beef burger delightfully
  • Francis Bogside offered two choices, a pastrami sandwich that they sous vide for 3 days after brining meat for a month!
  • Zinc chef Robbie Nowlin had a burger with a parmasean chip inside deepening the umami

There were probably over 20 restaurants represented in addition to the ice-cold free flowing beer, wine, and cocktails.

What did you try?  What were your favorites?

Tasty Photos

Seaworld Texas: Discovery Point

Seaworld Texas: Discovery Point

DISCLAIMER: Although SeaWorld San Antonio let me play with the dolphins for free, the delight elicited from the interactive experience is my own.

After thirteen months, Discovery Point at Seaworld Texas opens Saturday, May 21, 2016 @ 10am!  I had the incredible opportunity for a one on one behind the scenes tour of not only the new Discovery Point area but also swim with two dolphins which was a lifelong goal! (and got to meet three super star bloggers: @AFrugalFriend  )

Guests are invited to observe dolphins from all-new underwater viewing areas, and can also easily connect to the newly renovated Explorer’s Reef aquarium. Discovery Point can be explored by all guests as part of their admission. For a deeper interactive experience, signature swims with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, belugas and sea lions are available with a paid reservation.

Discovery Point can be explored by all guests as part of their SeaWorld San Antonio park admission.  I’ll be updating this blog post with more content, pictures, and video soon too!

Swim with Dolphins

Guests can also make reservations for an additional fee to swim with dolphins, belugas, and sea lions.

  • Swim participants must be at least 6 years old and children ages 6 to 12 must be accompanied by a paying adult who is also participating in the swim experience.
  • Prices range from $125 to $155 per person.
  • 600,000-gallon Dolphin Lagoon is twice the size of the previous dolphin habitat.

SeaWorld San Antonio is home to:

  • 21 Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins – 15 females and six males, ranging in age from 1 to 43 years old.
  • Most of the dolphins were born at SeaWorld, four made SeaWorld their home after being rescued by the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network and deemed non-releasable by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • More than 7,100 plants comprised of 80 different species ranging from native trees and palms to tropical ferns and bamboo create Discovery Point’s tropical oasis.
  • A variety of shells, natural materials, recycled glass and stone were used as building materials throughout Discovery Point, including the rockwork shapes created to resemble dolphins.

Explorer’s Reef is home to more than 350 species of fish, invertebrates and amphibians, as well as five different species of sharks, ranging in age from seven to 27 years old – all of which are considered vulnerable and well on their way toward endangered status.

The majority of Caribbean coral on display in Explorer’s Reef was grown by SeaWorld San Antonio’s Aquarium Department.

Visit www.seaworlddiscoverypoint.com, and be sure to follow SeaWorld on Facebook or @SeaWorld on Twitter and Instagram @SeaWorldTexas, using #DiscoveryPoint like I did.here.

2016 Culinaria Food Festival

2016 Culinaria Food Festival

Festival Week, Culinaria’s popular gustatory get-together, features multiple events over the course of four days! From food trucks to haute cuisine, beer to champagne, Festival Week truly offers something for everyone! The 2016 lineup is shaking out to be the best yet!

As one of Culinaria’s featured bloggers this year, I am very proud to partner with one of my favorite not for profit organizations! You will never meet more passionate people running Culinaria who partner with local chefs and schools to not only elevate San Antonio, TX as a foodie destination nationally, they also are focused on scholarships and education for the community from kids on up!

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Check out the video to get an idea of past festivals.

Festival Events

The Farm Dinner

Be one of the first to dine in Magnolia Halle for a sampling of what’s in store for the upcoming Culinaria Farm. Chef Jeff White (Boiler House), Chef Robert Fleming and the Magnolia Pancake Haus team along with a few friends including Chef Luis Colon (Folc), Chef Josh Cross and Chef Robbie Nowlin (Boudro’s and Zinc) will create a multiple-course dinner.

The Culinaria Farm – $85

Back to Bubbles

WHEN:  

High end and fabulous, this event is all that sparkles. With a secluded setting at La Cantera Resort and Spa, our guests will have the opportunity to enjoy an intimate evening with local chefs and vineyards paired with a beautiful setting. We’ve resurrected a favorite that will prove to be elegance defined.

May 20, 2016 7:00 PM – 10:00PM
$75 in advance, $100 at the door
La Cantera Resort & Spa – Adult Pool

Tacos And Talk (And Tasting)

WHEN:  

  • 11:00 AM – Tempranillos of Texas
    11:30 AM – Taco Town
    11:30 AM – American Whiskey
    12:30 AM – Speak Like a Somm
    1:00 PM – Coffee & Booze
    2:00 PM – Texas Fine Wine Seminar
    2:45 PM – Demo with Chef Rowan
    4:00 PM – Mixology at home

$50 ($75 at the door) – Ages 21 & Older
$10 – Under 21, free – 5 & Under
La Cantera Resort & Spa – Plaza San Saba

The Grand Tasting (Reimagined)

The re-imagined Grand Tasting: creations by talented local and guest chefs along with wine as well as spirits brought to you at one spectacular event. This long-running event of Culinaria will feature some spectacular elements and all of the sights and sounds that make such a celebration complete.

$100 ($125 at the door) – Ages 21 & Older
La Cantera Resort & Spa – San Antonio Ballroom

WHEN:  

Burgers, BBQ & Beer

The smoke and smells will lead you to your favorite chefs; you’re in charge of paring their creations with a beer, cocktail or glass of wine. A recipe for the perfect afternoon event, pick your favorite creation and we’ll award the chef who brings it home. Roll up your sleeves and dig in, the bib is optional.

$50 ($75 at the door)
$10 – Under 21, free – 5 & Under
La Cantera Resort & Spa – West Lot

WHEN:  

Follow on Social

Facebook: facebook.com/CulinariaSanAntonio

Twitter: @culinariasa

Instagram: @culinariasa

@CULINARIASA  #EatDrinkGive  #Culinariasa  

Staycation!

Our venue host is offering a special rate for Culinaria guests! Click here to view La Cantera Resort & Spa’s room availability and rates during May 19-23, 2016!

Transportation

Sign up for Uber and insert the promo code CULINARIAFEST16 to receive a free ride on us, up to $20 off.
You can also use MY code for a FREE ride any other time too here: https://www.uber.com/invite/5d8mv
Festival Fotos Over the Years

GIVEAWAY: San Antonio Symphony Patriotic Pops

GIVEAWAY: San Antonio Symphony Patriotic Pops

In honor of National Military Appreciation Month, the San Antonio Symphony will be offering a 50 percent discount off tickets for all current and former members of the military and their family to attend the Patriotic Pops concerts on May 13-14 at 8 p.m. and May 15 at 2 p.m. at the Tobin Center.

The Symphony is proud to honor, remember and appreciate those who have served and those who are now serving in the military.

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Military can use “THANKS” promo code by visiting TobinCenter.org or by going in person to the Tobin Center Box Office with their military ID to skip processing fees.

Learn more and buy tickets here.

When:  May 13 & 14, 2016, 8:00 p.m. | May 15, 2016, 2:00 p.m.

What:  Patriotic Pops H-E-B Performance Hall at The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

Who: Stuart Chafetz, conductor, Ron Nirenberg, narrator

Don’t miss the final Pops concert of the season as we honor our veterans and armed service members with a tribute featuring some of your favorite patriotic selections including music from John Williams, Aaron Copland, Gershwin, Sousa, and some great radio hits from the ’50s.

  • John Williams’ Midway March and his theme from the movie J.F.K.
  • Sousa’s Liberty Bell March
  • Music from the movie Gardens of Stone
  • Armed Forces Salute
  • Music from Tchaikovsky’s powerfully stunning 1812 Overture

Concert is sponsored by Cavender Audi

Ways to Enter and Win

You could be randomly selected to win FOUR tickets to the San Antonio Symphony performance of “Patriotic Pops“, especially if you take advantage of all these ways to enter!

I want to win tix to #PatrioticPops & @sasym @TobinCenterSA @geekettebits! #NationalMilitaryAppreciation http://geekettebits.com/san-antonio/giveaway-san-antonio-symphony-patriotic-pops/

2016 Big Give San Antonio

2016 Big Give San Antonio


The Big Give S.A. is a 24-hour day of giving that brings donors and nonprofits together by creating a shared region-wide experience and connecting people to the causes that matter to them the most. Last year YOU came together to raise $4.3 million dollars for 882 charitable causes in 24 hours.

This year, with a goal of $6,000,000, we are hoping to do even more for South Central Texas.

Watch the Leaderboard to see all the organizations you can donate to including (just a fraction are shown below):

  1. Air Force Village – love supporting our military!
  2. Culinaria – love supporting this not-for-profit organization for foodies and future foodies. They are doing amazing things working with MIT to develop new sustainable farming practices, learn where your food comes from from the chefs making it.
  3. San Antonio Museum of Art – amazing exhibits and helped my best friend have a fabulous engagement!
  4. San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind & Vision Impaired – love supporting this local organization that employs and rehabs visually disabled.
  5. San Antonio Food Bank – one in four children in San Antonio go to bed hungry…SA Food Bank is working hard to help reduce this number.
  6. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – for Cured chef Steve McHugh.
  7. San Antonio Conservation Society – supporting the conservation of local historical landmarks
  8. Locke Hill PTA – for my book club ladies!
  9. SAMMinistries – amazing presence on social media during this drive, helping to provide for those that don’t have things.
  10. Sunshine Cottage School for Deaf Children – my mom was a sign language interpreter makes me smile for this organization
  11. ChildSafe – helping to end child abuse in San Antonio through awareness and options
  12. TEDxSanAntonio – shoutout Chris Sandoval and Kathy Babb and TEDxSanAntonio speaker Wayne Hartman!
  13. Girls Incorporated of San Antonio – helping to raise strong, smart, and bold girls, all over the city and beyond
  14. Hemisfair Conservancy – my BFF is a big part of the Conservancy and they valant efforts to revitilize downtown San Antonio
  15. The Magik Theatre – wonderful memories watching plays with season passes and Jaden.
  16. Honor Veterans Now – y’all know I love veterans
  17. Association of the United States Army – especially Army Vets like my dad
  18. NOWCastSA – providing non-partisan news for the city
  19. Tobin Center for the Performing Arts – beautiful performance art center of international caliber.

For up-to-date information on the event and how you can get involved, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BigGiveSA.

Hashtag: #BGSA2016

Learn about the results from 2015!