Third Annual Texas Olive Festival in Dripping Springs

UPDATED 5/26/2015:  Texas Olive Festival has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 10 to Sunday, September 13 due to the inclement weather forecast, flooding, and potential road closures as seen this past weekend. Any tickets purchased for the festival will be honored for the new weekend in September or can be fully refunded.

  • Guests can expect a similar lineup of activities and events this September and will still have the opportunity to experience live music, food and wine tastings, chef demos, and educational activities surrounding olives and olive growing.

Third Annual Texas Olive Festival in Dripping Springs

The third annual Texas Olive Festival, presented by Texas Hill Country Olive Company, is thrilled to announce the exciting chef demonstration lineup during the Festival Expo on Saturday, May 30 from noon to 7:00 p.m. 

The chef lineup for this year’s festival includes:

  • Chefs Alma Alcocer-Thomas and Jeff Martinez of Austin’s Alcomar
  • Chef Chris Wilson of The Carillon
  • Chef Jeff Balfour of San Antonio’s Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery
  • Chef Ross Burtwell of Cabernet Grill
  • Chef and Culinary Instructor David Holtzman of The Art Institute of Austin.




Throughout the day, Central Texas chefs will provide a 45-minute demonstration of a recipe that incorporates Texas Hill Country Olive Company’s olive oil or balsamic vinegars. Guests will not only be able to watch the chefs prepare the dish, they will also be able to meet each chef and have the opportunity sample each chef’s dish directly following the demonstration.

The full lineup for the chef demonstrations features the following:

·       Chefs Alma Alcocer-Thomas and Jeff Martinez from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

·       Chef Ross Burtwell from 1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

·       Chef Jeff Balfour from 3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

·       Chef Chris Wilson from 4:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

·       Chef David Holtzman from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

The Texas Olive Festival is a four-day event held from Thursday, May 28 to Sunday, May 31 in Dripping Springs. Held at Texas Hill Country Olive Company, Texas Olive Festival provides guests with an opportunity to experience food, wine, chef demos, and educational activities surrounding olives and olive growing.

In addition to the exciting chef lineup, the Festival Expo will feature live music from the Charlie Pierce Band and select musicians from the Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival.

Photo Credit: Texas Hill Country Olive Company

Food and wine tastings from local restaurants and wineries including:

  • Smoke’N Hops
  • Crepe Crazy
  • Pilot Knob Vineyard
  • Hye Meadow Winery
  • Fall Creek Vineyards
  • Lewis Wines

Specialty vendors including:

  • Barrel Designs
  • Two Winey Women
  • Concha’s Salsa
  • Lone Star Gifts

Additional Activities:

  • Kid’s activities
  • Feature an olive farming panel discussion with Texas Olive Growers Association and Council (TOGAC)
  • Health and beauty seminars
  • Book signings by guest chefs.

Tickets for Texas Olive Festival are now on sale at starting at $25 for the Festival Expo and varying in pricing for the individual events on May 28, 29, and 31. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit St. David’s NeuroTexas Institute. The Texas Hill Country Olive Company is located on 17 acres at 2530 West Fitzhugh Rd. in Dripping Springs, Texas.

For more information, please visit

Southerleigh at the Pearl

I had a fantastic time during my first visit to Southerleigh at the Pearl with my sister on Tuesday.  Nestled in the space attached to the future location of Hotel Emma, Southerleigh marks the two and half year journey of many brilliant minds.

The restaurant is the marriage of Chef Jeff Balfour, previously Citrus restaurant at Hotel Valencia, and Les Locke, previously head brewer at Branchline Brewing Co.  The third generation of brewing in the 120 year old location.  Manning the front of the house is the amazing, fabulous Philippe Place who actually was one of the master’s of my wedding at the Hotel Eilan Resort and Spa. He warmly greeted me, by name, and my sister, making recommendations for my sister and I, pointing out special nuances that we might not have noticed (like the playful mussels and ale) on the menu. He pulled up a chair just before dessert to get the rundown on the “good, not so good, and opportunities” which we didn’t have too much negative feedback about.


Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery on Urbanspoon

Southerleigh at the Pearl San Antonio  Southerleigh at the Pearl San Antonio    Southerleigh at the Pearl San Antonio    Southerleigh at the Pearl San Antonio  Southerleigh at the Pearl San Antonio  Southerleigh at the Pearl San Antonio

Austin Food+Wine Festival Fire Pit

The Austin Food + Wine Festival will take place April 24-26, 2015, bringing an array of taste, talent and culinary entertainment to the Capital City.  As part of the festival, the Fire Pits will showcase multiple chefs on Saturday and Sunday, each offering a front-row experience cooking with live fire to all festival pass holders.


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Saturday, April 25 @ 11-3pm, enjoy bites from chefs including:


Sunday, April 26 @ 11-2pm, Fire Pit masters will include:


Final event at Fire Pit features three distinct cooking challenges issued to fans directly from participating Fire Pit chefs Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo/Gardner), Paul Qui & Thai Changthong (ESK Thai-Kun), and Tandy Wilson (City House, Nashville) and Pat Martin (Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville).


To enter, fans pick a challenge, prepare the specific dish and post to Instagram for a chance to win two (2) Weekender Passes and a KitchenAid Magnetic Drive Torrent Blender. Entry is open now until March 26


Learn more and connect:



Weekender passes for the 2015 Austin Food + Wine Festival are still available at $250/person, and include access to fire pits, cooking demos, food, wine and cocktail tastings, book signings, and Grand Tasting tents on Saturday & Sunday.  Purchase Weekender passes

Luke San Antonio Visiting Chefs Series

Luke San Antonio Visiting Chefs Series

I am very excited when Luke San Antonio PR contact shared with me that Luke San Antonio and Chef John Russ (@johnny_russ) was about to debut a new series called “Luke San Antonio Visiting Chefs Series” which was born from Chef John Besh’s desire for sharing ideas and food between New Orleans and San Antonio giving opportunities for chefs in both locations to collaborate and highlight their talents in new markets. I remember enjoying Chef Alon Shaya’s shared meal at Luke San Antonio during Chef Besh’s “Cooking from the Heart” book tour last year. He made cookbook recipes including a fantastic ragout of lamb shoulder with cavatelli and soupe de poisons. He stayed after the meal and diners had fantastic conversations with all the chefs. To me, this series is an extension of this meal – being able to be a part of the intimacy that takes place between chefs who are cooking for each other. These chefs love their local farmers and producers and people who enjoy their food and appreciate the home their sharing. Chef Shaya (@AlonShaya) has gone on to start his own restaurant in NOLA, Shaya, which features a modern Israeli menu and you know that Chef John Besh could not be prouder (especially since Chef Shaya still helms Domenica, Pizza Domenica.)

Luke San Antonio Visiting Chefs Series + Luke San Antonio Visiting Chefs Series


The first chef in the Luke San Antonio series is Chef Brian Landry (@chefbrianlandry) of Borgne in NOLA which I had the pleasure of experiencing in person while my husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary! The restaurant name comes from Lake Borgne, near New Orleans where Chef Besh and Chef Landry spent summers fishing together. The menu features coastal Louisiana seafood as 80% of its menu. I didn’t have a chance to meet Chef Landry then so I am looking forward to the opportunity this Thursday, March 12, 2015 @ 7pm for a multicourse meal featuring crawfish and local South Texas Heritage Pork!

Each dinner event will seat approximately 80 guests and not only serve signature dishes from each chef and his/her respective restaurant, but also reflect a particular theme or season like wild game in the fall and festive treats around the holidays.

Brian Landry, a New Orleans native, is a passionate chef, supporter of regional foodways, and dedicated conservationist of Gulf seafood. As the executive chef at Borgne, Landry pays homage to Louisiana’s coastal, indigenous cuisine while using the freshest local ingredients. Landry is constantly seizing the opportunity to get the word out that the Gulf has the best seafood in the world.

Luke San Antonio Visiting Chefs Series
Phto credit: ChefBrian Landry from John Besh Family


Who: Chef Brian Landry, Borgne

When: Thursday, March 12 @ 7 pm

What: Luke San Antonio Visiting Chefs Series

Menu includes:


Crawfish Bisque

stuffed crawfish


Crawfish Agnolotti

mustard greens, black truffle


Crawfish Etouffée Fried Rice


Panéed South Texas Pork

crawfish gravy, stone ground grits


Boil spiced whipped chocolate

stout cake, salted potatoes and crispy chocolate

Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased online here.

Future chefs from the John Besh Restaurant Family include:

  • Chef Todd Pulsinelli (August)
  • Chef Aarón Sánchez (Johnny Sánchez)
  • Chef Erick Loos (La Provence)
  • Chef Drake Leonards (Lüke New Orleans)
  • Chef Alon Shaya (Domenica, Pizza Domenica, Shaya)

Luke San Antonio Visiting Chefs Series

Click to add a blog post for Lüke on Zomato

2015 Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week

2015 Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week

As a foodie in San Antonio, I have a couple of favorite times of the year and they all involve Culinaria, our premier non-profit organization that helps bring awareness to the world of the culinary greatness that is bubbling within our fair city of San Antonio.  They work hard to bring food and wine events to the community, drawing people into San Antonio and helping provide scholarships for future chefs and helping our local chefs!  One of my favorite weeks is in August when San Antonio restaurants offer discounted prix fixe meals for lunch and dinner at a great deal.  I am excited to help announce Culinaria’s newest wintertime San Antonio Restaurant Week!  Send calendar invites out and start planning your meals!

2015 Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week

When:  January 19-24, 2015 (lunch and dinner)

Where:  Participating San Antonio restaurants listed here.

San Antonio Restaurant Week benefits Culinaria, so your dining experience during will be a charitable one. With each meal ordered specifically for San Antonio Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will donate $1 for lunch and $2 for dinner to Culinaria and the programs it supports.

Tiered Lunch and Dinner Plans

Participating restaurants will offer a prix-fixe menu – encompassing a three-course lunch and dinner for two different tiers:
Tier 1: $15 lunch and $35 dinner.
Tier 2: $10 lunch and $25 dinner

Flyer here:  Culinaria_RW_2015_8.5×11

Fifth Annual Tamales! Holiday Festival at the Pearl

Fifth Annual Tamales! Holiday Festival at the Pearl

Fifth Annual Tamales! Holiday Festival at the Pearl

What: Fifth Annual Tamales! Holiday Festival at the Pearl

When: Saturday, December 6, from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Cost: FREE entrance, $1-$5 per vendor

Where: 303 Pearl Parkway in San Antonio, Texas.

Guests will be invited to experience and savor the tastes, sounds, and sights of the holiday season.

“In its fifth year, the Tamales! Holiday Festival has evolved into a holiday celebration for the city of San Antonio and beyond,” said Pearl’s Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Fauerso. “It’s so amazing to see people from all over Texas come together for a day full of entertainment, culture, and cuisine.”

Guests will be able to explore a full range of tamales from more than twenty different tamales vendors, ranging from traditional San Antonio classics to South American and everything in between as culinary students, renowned restaurants and esteemed chefs showcase a blend of innovative twists and classic techniques with tamales.

While savoring the delicious assortment of delicacies, guests will also be able to enjoy live music from the all-star Selena tribute band, Bidi Bidi Banda, and Grammy award-winning Max Baca & Los Texmaniacs at the Pearl amphitheater. For the little ones, there will be a crafts and activities area, presented by The Do Seum, where kids can create cornhusk dolls, participate in fun games and more.

Fifth Annual Tamales! Holiday Festival at the Pearl

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

No matter where you are in the world, nothing captures the sweetness of a sunny afternoon better than ice cream. Friday, July 18th, Uber San Antonio will be serving up cold treats on demand in 144 cities, in 38 countries, on 6 continents. You can use the Uber mobile app to either order a delivery of ice cream or a ride or both! I have personally used the Uber car service in San Deigo, CA and Chicago, IL and both times have been a very easy experience. Within the app you select or enter your pick up location and Uber will let you know how long it will take for your ride to arrive and how much it will cost to take you to your destination. Make sure you use my promotional code below!

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

Who: Uber

When: Friday, July 18th, 11am- 5pm

How: Download the iPhone app here and the Android app here. You can use the promotional code for $20 off your first discounted ride: IceCreamSA

What: Classic ice cream trucks and uberX partner vehicles will be delivering ice cream on-demand across San Antonio

Delivery Includes:

  • (5) icy treats + Uber swag to users for just $25

Additional Discount:

We have a special promo code ‘IceCreamSA’ which provides new users $20 off their first uberX ride

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream


  • Ice Cream will be available on Friday, July 18th.
  • To request, choose the Ice Cream option in the app. If a vehicle is available, you’ll be enjoying your desserts in minutes.
  • No cash needed—your order will be billed to your Uber account.

See what everyone is saying about #UberIceCream on Twitter (@Uber_SanAntonio) and Instagram.

World Peace:

Uber will also be doing a few special drop-offs and surprising some kiddos at the Ronald McDonald House with ice cream, as well as a special visit by Miss San Antonio 2014, Deidra Angulo. Very sweet indeed Uber, thanks for sharing!


Uber is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 70 cities today, Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer.

For more details about Uber’s insurance policy, check it out here.

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream

Uber San Antonio Ice Cream




2014 Culinaria’s San Antonio Restaurant Week

2014 Culinaria’s San Antonio Restaurant Week

My favorite time of the year is here and that’s Culinaria’s Restaurant Week!  Although we are a month out (almost exactly!), Culinaria is a local non-profit culinary organization that works towards creating opportunities to share food among friends, neighbors, and those in need.  It has helped put San Antonio on the map as a culinary destination not just layover.

Restaurant Week is Culinaria’s celebration of amazing San Antonio restaurants and this year there are almost 70 different restaurants and food trucks participating!  The participating restaurants and their amazing chefs have a set menu that you can take advantage of (much less expensive than ordering items a la carte).  I love it, this is literally my favorite time of year (besides the middle of May when Culinaria’s Festival Week occurs.)

When: Saturday, August 16 through Saturday, 23, 2014


San Antonio Restaurant Week benefits Culinaria, so your dining experience during Restaurant Week will be a charitable one. With each meal ordered specifically for San Antonio Restaurant Week, restaurants will donate $1 for lunch and $2 for dinner to Culinaria and the programs it supports.

2014 Culinaria San Antonio Restaurant Week

How much for a fantastic meal supporting your local non-profit organization?

Participating restaurants will offer a prix-fixe menu – encompassing a three-course lunch and dinner for three different tiers:

  • $15 lunch and $35 dinner.
  • $10 lunch and $25 dinner
  • Restaurant Week on The Move: $8 lunch and $15 dinner

*Reservations are not required to participate – but, are a good idea – and can be booked directly with the restaurants.


Here are the restaurants participating with an easy map to all of them to optimize your trip!

Make sure you follow Culinaria on Twitter here: and Facebook here:

Kimura San Antonio Ramen

Kimura San Antonio Ramen

Kimura San Antonio Ramen is located on Pecan St. and is a wonderful location for a lunch break or dinner date.

Address: 152 E Pecan St Ste 200, San Antonio, TX 78205

Phone: (210) 444-0702


Kimura on Urbanspoon

The name comes from co-owner and general manager Jennifer Wade’s family name — “Kimura,” meaning “tree village” in Japanese.

Chef Michael Sohocki, also owner and executive chef of Restaurant Gwendolyn, opened August 2013.





2014 San Antonio Charcuterie Week

Starting from today until Saturday, July 26 (ignore the misleading June in my image…), San Antonio chefs will participate in San Antonio’s 2nd Charcuterie Week.  The first one featured in 2012 San Antonio Charcuterie Week was a hit and a long time coming, I’m glad to see this one!

I hit Arcade Midtown Kitchen at the Pearl as my first stop on the culinary map and of course Chef Jesse Perez and his “family” of chefs came up with individual components each concept tested and owned individually that married together perfectly.  He knew they would take pride in my enjoyment of the plate that they spent the past month working, pickling, brining, and preparing.  Excitement was high in their kitchen and the passion (which is one of my favorite things about charcuterie) was clearly demonstrated on their plate.

Arcade San Antonio Charcuterie Week Arcade San Antonio Charcuterie Week Arcade San Antonio Charcuterie Week Arcade San Antonio Charcuterie Week

For those that want to learn more about what charcuterie is and why it matters, check out that link to Michael Sohocki’s article in the Rivard Report where he details the art of making everything in house and why he helped found the original event at Restaurant Gwendolyn.

2014 San Antonio Charcuterie Week

Participants include:

  • Restaurant Gwendolyn
  • Where Y’at Food Truck
  • The Granary
  • Biga on the Banks
  • Arcade Midtown Kitchen
  • Crossroads Southern Kitchen
  • LUKE
  • Sandbar
  • Mixtli
  • The Monterey
  • Hotel Valencia
  • El Machito
  • Il Sogno
  • The Luxury (which has a beer pairing)
  • Rosella (offering a vegetarian plate)
  • Tre Trattoria in Alamo Heights
  • Boiler House
  • Big Hops Gastropub
  • Hot Joy

Each charc (pronounced “shark”) is $20 per plate beautiful plate of “everything made in house” array of sausages, pâtés, terrines, and confit.

Charcuterie Week 2014
Charcuterie Week 2014 from Restaurant Gwendolyn
Charcuterie Week 2014 San Antonio
Charcuterie Week 2014 Mixtili Bento Box

2014 San Antonio Charcuterie Week

Click to add a blog post for Arcade Midtown Kitchen on Zomato

SOBRO Pizza Co. San Antonio

SOBRO Pizza Co. San Antonio

SoBro Pizza Co. is a great addition to Midtown San Antonio, right outside the Pearl. They have created a fun vibe that is welcoming and tasty. You can enjoy Italian style pizzas made in their large stone pizza over or choose from their fresh salads and gelato for dessert. The pizza dough has a slightly chewy texture with a crispy bottom. The homemade tomato sauce is made from tomatoes and herbs.

Paul Hughes formerly of Park Motel Café. Owners also include Mon and Gerry Shirley of Mon Thai Bistro. Paul and his partner meticulously selected the fantastic decor, some of it handmade (look up at their amazing light fixtures for one example!)

Click to add a blog post for SoBro Pizza Co. on Zomato

SOBRO Pizza Co. San AntonioSOBRO Pizza Co. San Antonio

SOBRO Pizza Co. San Antonio

SOBRO Pizza Co. San Antonio

Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon

The weekend of the Culinaria Festival starts with the incredibly popular Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon. The Beckers play host to four local chefs each taking one course of the meal and pairing it with the Culinaria’s guest winemakers for the week. The result is an afternoon that is tasty, informative and the perfect way to kick off the weekend. This year’s featured chefs and restaurants include: Chef Cullen Holle, Tre Trattoria Downtown, Chef Michael Mata, the St. Anthony, Chef Jeff White, the Boiler House and Elaine Bicknell, Elaine’s Table. This year’s featured wineries include: Becker Vineyards, Bending Branch, Brennan Vineyards and Messina Hof.

Learn more about Culinaria San Antonio.

Becker Vineyards on Social Media:

Becker Vineyards Lavender Haus Reception Hall
May 16, 2014
11:30 AM-2PM
Pricing: $75/person
Attire: business casual

2014 Menu

Begins around 11:30
Smoked Meats and Cheeses and wine

1st Course
Spring Love Salad
Cherry Balsamic Tomatoes-Citrus Oil Olives-Pearl Mozzarella-Fig Vinaigrette-Fresh Salad Greens Bouquet-Parmesan Ribbons-Freshly Grated Pink Salt Garnished With Chicken
Mike Mota St. Anthony Hotel

2nd Course
Pan Fried Soft Shell Crab, Smoked Apple Cider Beets, Sour Goat Cheese Crema and Pickled Red Grapes
Jeff White The Boiler House

3rd Course
Comfit of Lamb Belly with a Ragu of Shoulder, Cacio Pepe Sauce con Burrata , Spring Carrots, Peas, radish, and Goat Milk Biscott.
Cullen Holle Tre Tattoria Downtown

Elaine’s Famous Carrot Cake Elaine’s Table Kerrville

Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon Culinaria Becker Vineyard Luncheon

Chef Dean Fearing at Nao for Book Signing

Nao, the CIA restaurant at the Pearl Brewery, is partnering with The Twig Book Shop, to welcome Culinary Institute of America graduate Chef Dean Fearing who is behind the James Beard Award nominated Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas. Honoring the debut of Chef Fearing’s long-awaited cookbook, The Texas Food Bible. Join Chef Fearing for a book signing and reception, along with a three-course dinner featuring recipes from The Texas Food Bible, Thursday, May 8th starting at 5:30pm!

Click to add a blog post for Nao on Zomato

Chef Dean Fearing at Nao for Book Signing | The Texas Food Bible

“What a joy to celebrate the launch of The Texas Food Bible here in Texas, alongside fellow students and alumni of CIA,” said Chef Fearing. “CIA has been a guiding light for me throughout my career, and I am grateful and honored to share this time with you.”

Known as “the father of Southwestern cuisine,” Chef Fearing will hold his book signing and reception in the Nao Lounge from 5:30 to 7:00pm. Guests will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with Chef Fearing during the reception, and will be able to enjoy wine and passed Hors d’Oeuvres including Mango, Poblano, and Caramelized Onion Quesadillas with cilantro-lime sour cream, and Smoked Chicken Nachos from Chef Fearing’s cookbook.

Chef Geronimo Lopez and the Nao team, with guidance from Chef Fearing, will prepare a three-course dinner using recipes from The Texas Food Bible. The dinner will start at 7:00pm, and the menu will begin with Dean’s Tortilla Soup with south-of-the-border flavors. The dinner will continue with Grilled Lamb Chops with baked chuck wagon black beans and sweet potato rajas. Guests will end their night on a sweet note with Caramelized Apple Buckle.

“It is such an honor to welcome Chef Fearing to our kitchen at Nao,” said Executive Chef Geronimo Lopez. “Our students will be able to experience a unique mix of flavors and colors from Texas and Mexico, that come together to create one tasty voice.

The Texas Food Bible features a collection of traditional and contemporary recipes from Texas. Chef Fearing takes readers through Texas culinary heritage, the classic preparations involved, and the expansion and fusion of the food that have combined to develop an original Southwestern cuisine.

Tickets are $80 per person, and all dinner proceeds go to The Culinary Institute of America, the world’s premier not for profit culinary college. Ticket price includes a signed copy of The Texas Food Bible, Hors d’Oeuvre Reception, meet and greet with Chef Fearing, and the three-course dinner. For ticketing information and to purchase tickets, please call 210.554.6484.

Nao at the Pearl

Nao is a restaurant and CIA classroom dedicated to the exploration, preservation and celebration of the authentic cuisines, cultures and bounty of Latin America. Nao is located at the Pearl at 312 Pearl Parkway. For more information, please visit Follow Nao on Facebook @NaoRestaurant and on Twitter @NaoRestaurant.

2014 Culinaria San Antonio

2014 Culinaria San Antonio

Since my favorite things in life involve food, it’s no surprise that my favorite month in San Antonio, TX is May. Not only was my daughter born in this month, but Culinaria also conducts its annual festival of culinary events! This year Culinaria will run from Wednesday, May 14 through Sunday, May 18, 2014. During this time there will be TWELVE amazing chances to understand why San Antonio is a wine and food destination! Not only does the not-for-profit organization pronounced “COO-linaria” showcase our local chefs that make San Antonio a city on the rise where food is concerned, Culinaria also helps support the local community by providing culinary scholarships and aid to local chefs enduring personal hardships (through their “Chefs 4 Chefs” program.)

Culinaria’s fabulous weeklong festival of food isn’t just for 21+. I bring my daughter to the Food Truck event where we sample food from tons of different local food trucks, wines and beers from both local and out of state purveyors (a lot of time the family owners pouring you a glass at the booth), play games in the field, and cool off with free ice cream being passed out by HEB. Another family friend event that she personally requests is the Burgers, BBQ, and Beer at the Pearl where we enjoy going from restaurant booth to restaurant booth, sampling the over the top dishes, comparing notes, and then sitting at a table to enjoy our food. I won’t spoil the surprise for a future post but just like a good family meal, Culinaria brings people together over great food, great chefs, and great times.

2014 Culinaria San Antonio  Food Truck Event Presented by H-E-B, Domingo at Casa Hernan "The Sunday Morning Brunch", Taste Test Education by Chris Ware at Arcade, barrels in Becker Vineyard wine room.
From left going clockwise: Food Truck Event Presented by H-E-B, Domingo at Casa Hernan “The Sunday Morning Brunch”, Taste Test Education by Chris Ware at Arcade, barrels in Becker Vineyard wine room.

These events will sell out. They will be more expensive at the door.

Check out all the events here, the hyperlinks below take you directly to purchase tickets and learn more about this awesome experience!

2014 Culinaria San Antonio
From left going clockwise: Becker Luncheon, Tequila tasting at Johnny Hernandez’s brunch, Becker Luncheon, Chef Jesse Perez with Bunny Becker at Becker Vineyards.

Social Media:

2014 Culinaria San Antonio Wine glasses needed for Becker Vineyard wine tasting, Burgers, BBQ, and Beer event at the Pearl, White wine tasting with Beckers and Sommelier Steven, Where Y'at Po Boy at Food Truck event
From left going clockwise: Wine glasses needed for Becker Vineyard wine tasting, Burgers, BBQ, and Beer event at the Pearl, White wine tasting with Beckers and Sommelier Steven, Where Y’at Po Boy at Food Truck event

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh

Cured at Pearl may have opened at the end of December 2013 but it has been a dream of Chef Steven McHugh for many years (and even before.) I remember meeting the chef at the opening preview of Luke San Antonio and thinking how personable he was. That it was crazy busy but took a second to patiently take a picture with me! It was easy to follow his career (and food) since he moved here towards the end of 2010 because he supports so many local events and organizations. Understanding that commitment to quality, taste, and locally sourced food led to my ridiculous excitement for Cured at Pearl opening.

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh and chef ashby

Food Highlights from our 12/30/2013 visit (pictured):

  • Charcuterie board selection of apple jalapeno pork rillettes, jalapeno sausage, country style pork pate, chicken liver mousse, hunters sausage, tarragon sausage accompanied by pickled okra, cauliflower, mustards, jams, and crispy flatbreads
  • Griddle burger with onion jam, cheddar, and crispy fresh cut fries (make it a double!)
  • Crabmeat ravigote so fresh with avocado, tomato, citrus, and beets
  • Cabrito Sliders (which we first enjoyed a couple of months previously at a chef demo during the farmers market) on local bread, fresh pickles, and onion sprout
  • Intense desserts during our first visit included:
    • Chocolate Donut Bread Pudding #NOLA
    • Texas Citrus Tarte with deliciously sweet Meyer Lemons
    • Carrot and Cardamom Cheesecake accompanied by an amazing stuffed Lady Apple

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh lunch

I’m sure a lot of restaurants say, “locally sourced”, but Chef Steven McHugh takes it to the next level. When we received our charcuterie plate, I immediately recognized the beautiful, yellow Oak Hills Farm cauliflower (that I just purchased at the Pearl Farmers Market) and he grinned that I noticed. When they were starting to open I remember seeing him walk his kitchen staff (shout out Ashby!!) around the market where I’m sure he was pointing out the importance of basing the menu off what was offered seasonally. As someone who has been there for lunch twice, brunch twice, and dinner once (in the past two and a half months), I can definitely attest to how frequently the menu updates. There are staple dishes of course but the desserts have changed completely already.

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh dessert

Going to Cured for the first time?

Here are my suggestions:

  • Call ahead and make dinner reservations 210-314-3929 (if you use Open Table, make reservations from Cured’s website)
  • Go with a group so you don’t have to be as limited in your choices
  • Bring your phone charger for easy use in the USB outlets for leisurely dining and electronically charging (take foodie pictures without fear of battery drain!)
  • Thank your waiter, chefs, and bartender for the love they drench their food and service in
  • Try cocktails at the bar while you wait for a table if you don’t make reservations ahead of time
  • Perfect place to celebrate anything


Always dedicated to the environment, Cured was sustainably restored around its walls that have stood for 110 years!

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh architecture

  • Original building built in 1904 as Pearl’s Administration Building which included the president’s office
  • Includes interior fashioned with reclaimed or original materials
  • Beautiful exposed brick with layers of history
  • Look DOWN at the beautiful floors, especially by the open kitchen
  • Look UP at the ceilings that match the original pressed patterns
  • Visit the men’s water closet and see the original desk repurposed into a sink and trash can
  • Look at the vault turned walk in fridge by the bar (ask the waiter to peek in, they’re cool)
  • The antique meat slicer at the bar, check out what the bottle of waters are beautifully stored in

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh bathroom and architecture



“We tried to design cocktails we could put our philosophies into, which are being local and handcrafted. Our biggest seller was developed by my wife’s creative suggestion – the Cured Cocktail – meyer lemon, thyme and moonshine infused with ginger that’s mixed with house-made citrus bitters, topped off with Champagne. People can be afraid of moonshine, but then they try it and end up having two or three because it’s just smooth and it’s got that lemon in there. The Champagne adds effervescence. It’s really refreshing.”

Cured at Pearl

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Charcuterie for a Good Cause

One of the driving philosophies of Cured is an appreciation of life, in gratitude and celebration. Chef Steve McHugh survived non-Hodgkins lymphoma and since opening Cured, found a way to give back while doing what he loves – by donating $1 from every Charcuterie Board ordered to a different charitable organization every quarter. From now through March, each dollar from an order will go straight to the Leukkemia and Lymphoma Society.

  • Already nearly $2,000 from char boards has been donated to LLS to fund much-needed research that has helped millions, including Chef Steve, live strong.

Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh charcuterie board