On the Rivard Report: Merit Roasting Bringing World-Class Beans to the Southside

Check out my coverage of Merit Roasting, a venture by Robby Grubbs on Local Coffee on The Rivard Report:

Five years ago, Local Coffee owner Robby Grubbs changed the landscape of the coffee business in San Antonio when he opened the doors of his first Local Coffee shop. Local found its niche as a multi-roaster shop – a coffee shop brewing small batches of different, high-quality beans in what is called the “third wave of coffee.”

The third wave is a relatively new culinary movement characterized by its commitment to high-quality, specialty coffee – coffee as an art, not a bitter, murky brew to perk you up on your morning commute.

This spring, Grubbs will once again transform the San Antonio coffee scene with the official opening of Merit Roasting Co., a high-end roasting operation located in a historic Southtown building on 2001 S. Presa St.

Read more on the Rivard Report: http://therivardreport.com/merit-roasting-bringing-world-class-beans-southside/

If you haven’t had a delicious coffee drink made with a Merit roast at Local Coffee — go now!!

Farm-to-Table Goes Mainstream at Whiskey Cake

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Ranger Creek .36 Bourbon

To me, the words “farm-to-table” conjure up images of a chef in a small kitchen painstakingly preparing the freshest of meals… something like Restaurant Gwendolyn or The Clean Plate. I was intrigued when I heard about Whiskey Cake, a farm-to-table concept restaurant based in Dallas, opening in La Cantera. I wasn’t sure how this slow food type concept could possibly fit in a large, chain-based shopping mall. After three visits, I still don’t get the warm and fuzzies I get from the small, locally-owned farm-to-table spots, but I do like larger restaurants supporting local farmers — and the food is pretty good, too. Continue reading

Domesticity: A Gastronomic Evening of Love with Bob Shacochis

The “Domesticity: A Gastronomic Evening of Love with Bob Shacochis” event is the first in a series of events curated by Pearl and Trinity University Press featuring writers and cookbook authors in conversation. Held at Pearl Stable, doors open at 6:30 p.m. with a cash bar, followed by the event at 7 p.m. and a dessert reception and book signing.

The event is free, but tickets are required. Get them here.

More details about the event:

“Bob Shacochis, author of the National Book Award–winning Easy in the Islands and the critically acclaimed novel The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, will be at Pearl Stable at 7 p.m. Monday, January 12 for an evening of food and conversation. The free event, featuring Shacochis’s book Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love, is sponsored by Pearl, Trinity University Press, Culinary Institute of America San Antonio, and True Flavors. Guests are invited to listen in on a lively, on-stage conversation between Shacochis and his wife (and culinary muse) Barbara Petersen moderated by Patricia Sharpe from Texas Monthly. Incredible recipes from the book prepared by CIA students and True Flavors will be available to sample.

Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love is an irreverent culinary memoir exploring the sweet and sour evolution of the romance between author and lover. In the now forty-year-long relationship with his wife, Shacochis stays at home and cooks, reflecting on the ups and downs of romantic partnership, the connection between heart and stomach, and how the crazed lust of youth evolves into settling down and simply making dinner.

The evening is the first in a series of events curated by Pearl and Trinity University Press featuring writers and cookbook authors in conversation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with a cash bar, followed by the event at 7 p.m. and a dessert reception and book signing.”

Tamahli: Not Just for Christmas

The holidays are over, but I can’t stop thinking about the tamales I had at Tamales! Holiday Festival at Pearl back in December. One tamale vendor stood out above all the rest – Tamahli.

I had the good fortune to briefly interview Michelle Manon, the owner of Tamahli, for a festival preview for The Rivard Report. Manon was one of the vendors at the first Tamales! Festival five years ago.

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Quick & Casual Indian Fare at Tarka

chicken tikka

chicken tikka masala

We were spoiled in Houston. The Hillcroft area offered endless authentic Indian food and even the random little Indian restaurants around town were pretty darn good. Just down the street from our apartment, there was a great little place to pick up take out.

We didn’t realize just how much we would miss that little local spot when we moved to San Antonio. While there are several options around town, none are quite close enough or yummy enough to measure up to the memory of Houston Indian food.

Enter Tärka, a new casual Indian restaurant somewhat reminiscent of Pei Wei.

Continue reading

Rivard Report Preview: Tamales! at Pearl

Tamales! Holiday FestivalIn San Antonio, it’s not Christmas without tamales. Whether they are given as gifts or part of Christmastime meals, tamales are central to the holiday season.

This time of year, many families across the area gather together for an annual tamalada to make tamales from scratch using recipes handed down over generations. Others put in their order at a local tamale shop.

Whether you make or order these delicious bundles of masa and meat, tamales are a must-have holiday treat and are part of many a Texans’ holiday memories.

Inspired by this local holiday tamale tradition and all the memories that come with it, the fifth annual Tamales! Holiday Festival will be from noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at Pearl. In past years, the festival has attracted up to 20,000 people for food, fun, music, culture, and activities for kids.

Check out the rest of the preview on The Rivard Report: http://therivardreport.com/tamales-pearl-san-antonio-tradition/

On the Rivard Report: Chef State of Mind

Check out my coverage of the Best of Boot Camp at the Culinary Institute of America on the Rivard Report.  http://therivardreport.com/chef-state-of-mind-off-to-cooking-school-i-go/  I finished Day 1 today and it was pretty intense.  We focused on fundamentals – sauteing, pan frying, deep frying, roasting, braising, simmering, etc.  Looking forward to Italian cooking tomorrow.  We are going to make garganelli.  Don’t know what that is? Neither did I until today.  It’s a handmade pasta!  Yum!