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San Antonio’s Award Winning Cinco Vodka

Local craft distiller gets the gold at the L.A. International Spirits Competition 

 

By Angela Covo

Last May, local entrepreneurs Trey and Kimberly Azar hit a milestone when their Cinco Vodka took top honors at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, the Academy Awards of cocktails. Getting the gold medal for best vodka validated the enormous effort and extra expense they undertook to create a premium American vodka.
 
The Azars co-founded the company and Mrs. Azar is director of public relations. From the beginning of the journey, Mr. Azar said the goal was to make “the highest quality vodka in the world.”

During a tour of the pristine Azar Distillery, just 10 minutes southeast of downtown San Antonio, the 42-year-old craft distiller shared some background about the industry.

“About 60 million cases of vodka are sold every year and consumption is growing at 3 percent annually – one in every three bottles of liquor sold is vodka,” Mr. Azar said.

Together, the Azars launched Cinco Five Star Vodka a little more than two years ago at Fiesta 2011. For almost 10 years before they founded the company, Mr. Azar worked in the oil and gas industry. He explained moving back to

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Bar manager Andy Hack chats with Edible San Antonio and to share the details of Che Weissmans's upcoming absinthe party. (Photo by Sophie Covo)

Chef Andrew Weissman’s absinthe party on Feb 15!

                      Bar manager Andy Hack chats with Edible San Antonio to share the details of Chef Andrew Weissmans’s                                   upcoming absinthe party. (Photo by Sophie Covo) 

By Sophie Covo

Have you ever danced with the green fairy? Would you like to? Green fairy refers to absinthe, a green spirit made from wormwood, fennel and anise used years ago as a muse for the likes of Picasso and Hemmingway.

Edible San Antonio tries to keep up with the latest and greatest wonders our local chefs dream up for us … and we uncovered some wonderful news.

Thanks to Chef Andrew Weissman and Minnie’s Tavern Bar Manager Andy Hack, San Antonio is about to have its very own amazing absinthe party — complete with tableside drips! Minnie’s Tavern will be the site for this glorious night of interactive table tastings and testing at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15. 

Mr. Hack anticipates some delicious tastings to go with the absinthe too.

BONUS! At 10 p.m., Chef Stephen Paprocki,  San Antonio’s local resident absinthe expert and enthusiast, will give a very special “Absinthe Seminar”  upstairs at Minnie’s Tavern. Note that the organizers tell us you must have a reservation to attend the seminar Read More

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Chef Johnny Hernandez hosts Fifth Paella Challenge at the Pearl

 

 Chef Flor Vergara’s stunning rendition of paella won the 2013 Contemporary Paella Winner at the Paella Challenge. (Courtesy photo)

By Chris Covo and Delia Covo                                                                       

Paella, Spain’s iconic rice dish, combines vegetables and meats, seasoned with saffron. Considered the culinary union of Spain, Roman and Arab cultures, it may well have been the dish to introduce rice to the region.

The origins of the dish may have been humble as well: some think Moorish kings’ servants created rice dishes by mixing leftovers from royal banquets in large pots to take home. Even the name of the dish may have Moorish roots: it’s possible the word paella originates from the Arab word “baqiyah,” which means leftovers, although technically, paella refers to the pan the meal is cooked in. Over time, the size of the pan grew wider instead of deeper to allow more even heating and maximum evaporation.

In San Antonio, for the fifth March in a row, Chef Johnny Hernandez and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber will host the Corona Paella Challenge. Culinary celebs from all across the country and Mexico will join fellow foodies for an afternoon of food, live entertainment, Spanish wines and sangria at the Pearl. … Read More

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DINNER, DESSERT AND A TABLESIDE SHOW

Patrick Frasier flames up the Strawberries Imperial (Photo by S. Covo) 

There’s no need to leave your seat to enjoy a fiery spectacle when you visit Bohanan’s. Well known for their prime steaks, legendary seafood and fabulous service, the restaurant also serves flaming desserts, tableside. The well-appointed dining room is the setting for this culinary adventure. Upon ordering Strawberries Imperial, a fancy cart topped with luscious fresh strawberries, an enormous bowl of ice cream and all the necessary ingredients are rolled right up to the table.

  

 Voila! Bohanan’s Strawberries Imperial. (Photo by S. Covo)  

There are three dramatically delicious varieties, Strawberries Imperial, Cherries Jubilee and Bananas Foster. And while the decadent flavors may be fleeting, the memory of the sensational scene will last forever — making these desserts the perfect ending for Valentine’s Day or any celebration.

Ingredients for flaming desserts are rolled up to the tableside. (Photo by S. Covo)

In our case, under Chef Heather Nañez’s watchful eye, the impeccably trained Patrick Frasier carefully added juices and liqueur to a copper pan over a medium flame. (Did we say this was right at our table?) Within seconds, Mr. Frasier created a majestic flame that caramelized the sugar creating … Read More

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Local legal: Texas gives the nod to local craft distillers

 

Rebecca Creek Tasting Room at 281 and Bulverde Road. (Courtesy photo)

New law sure to make spirits soar 

By Amanda Venable

For most of us, Sept. 1 was just an ordinary day, but for Texas distillers, it was triumphant. A new state law, Senate Bill 905, went into effect that day, and now they can sell their specially crafted brews on site.

Since the 1920s, Texas distillers were unable to sell liquor on their premises.  

You might be thinking: Haven’t Texas wineries and breweries been pouring cups for years now? Texas distillers were asking the same question. And that’s where the story begins. 

Mr. Mike Cameron of Rebecca Creek Distillery in San Antonio and a 20-member coalition called the Texas Distilled Spirits Association sought relief from laws that dated from the prohibition. 

Their goal: to get rid of the old laws and craft a new set that would give consumers and economic growth top priority. 

“There is power in numbers, and no one had challenged those laws in an organized fashion,” Mr. Cameron explained. “It had just never been done before.”

Mr. Cameron talks about his fellow board members as if they are teammates rather than competitors. And this team … Read More

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ANOTHER SECRET SAN ANTONIO FOODIE TREASURE

Scenes from a Saturday morning at Gaucho Gourmet on Isom Road in San Antonio.

By Chris Covo & Delia Covo

The inside scoop is that this is where San Antonio’s top chefs get the goods. Tucked away in an industrial park on Isom Road, a small family-owned com- pany called Ciorciari’s GauchoGour- met is bringing in delicious treats from Europe and South America (think Foie Gras and Black Truffle oil). And this wholesale market is open to the general public.

Here’s just a little taste: until Dec. 31, pick up Prosciutto San Daniele, aged 18 months, for just $12.95/ lb or try some “just cracked” Parmigiano Reggiano for $9.95/lb. Here you can buy olive oil in bulk, pick up a holiday panettone from Italy, arrange for amazing gourmet meat and cheese platters for a party or get a gift basket that shows off the best Texas-made goods.

Better still, these days Ciorciari’s GauchoGourmet is getting into the buy local, eat local spirit.

On Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Johnson’s Backyard Garden, one of the state’s largest organic and sustainable farms, sells their fresh, local produce right in the store – an indoor farmers market. In fact, every Saturday, … Read More

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Edible GADGETS that help ease holiday cooking stress

   

By Chris Covo & Delia Covo

PAPERCHEF PARCHMENT

Pre-cut and folded PaperChef parchment cooking bags “en papillote” make it easy to steam wholesome, healthy meals. This healthier alternative to traditional cooking methods allows the food to hang on to those es- sential nutrients and even tastes better. “En papillote” is a sophisticated cooking technique and the classic gourmet French cooking method is also a great way to cut calo- ries. By using the nonstick parchment to cook, it’s easy to capture more flavor. No need to worry about scorching, either. Visit www.paperchef.com to learn more.

Cooking with parchment is a great way to save on calories. (Courtesy photo)

 

 

THE SOUSVIDE SUPREME

The SousVide SupremeTM is definitely on our wish list for Santa this year. The underwater vacuum-sealed cooking technique is virtu- ally goof-proof, tidy and reduces workload. What’s more, this neat gadget can infuse drinks! A little steep at about $329, but it seems worth it to save so much time and be able to do things we couldn’t do before in our kitchen. For you lucky ones that have this gadget, visit our Website to see the SousVide homemade eggnog recipe. For more information about the SousVide … Read More

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From San Antonio Tidbits: She Eats Dessert First

Heads up, foodies… Edible – one of the nation’s top magazines focused on local, seasonal cuisine – is coming to San Antonio. The mag officially debuts tomorrow and we sat down with editor Angela Covo for a sneak peek of what to expect in the pages, her thoughts on cronuts and why all-things-chocolate remind her of her hubby…
 
What is Edible?
The magazine began in California about 10 years ago, and there are now 80 Edible publications across the country and Canada, with three in Texas: Edible Austin, Edible DFW and (now) Edible San Antonio. The goal is to connect consumers with local producers: farmers, growers, chefs and food artisans of all kinds. 
 
How did Edible come to SA?
We saw Edible Austin at the Pearl Farmers’ Market [earlier this year] and fell in love with the publication. I did a little research because I hoped to write for them and realized they were all over the country and not in our fair city. And so the adventure began … 
 
What can food lovers expect in the pages?
Every other month we will cover a local chef in our Meet the Chef column and a local farmer or rancher in
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From Good Taste with Tanji Patton: Edible San Antonio Launches in SA

EDIBLE SAN ANTONIO LAUNCHES IN SA

by Tanji on September 26, 2013 and posted in Tanji’s TanjentsWeekly Gems

 

There’s an incredible magazine I grab every time I’m in Austin, partly for the spectacular images that pop off the pages but mostly for the wonderful content inside. Edible Austin promotes local food in Austin and Central Texas and now, the publication is coming to San Antonio!

Edible San Antonio will make its debut at The Pearl Stable from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Sept 30. Hosted by The Pearl and the San Antonio Cocktail ConferenceEdible San Antonio will unveil its first cover and release the first 400 copies of the premiere issue at this celebration of local food and spirits. I cannot wait to see it!

Come be a part of the excitement! Ticket sales benefit Houston Street Charities and SA Time Dollar!

All ticket holders will enjoy local food and drinks from the city’s top chefs and mixologists and be first to get the inaugural edition of Edible San Antonio. Limited number of tickets for sale now! See you there!

Tickets available now at https://ediblesanantonio.ticketbud.com/debut.

Read more at: http://goodtaste.tv/2013/09/edible-san-antonio-launches-in-sa/#sthash.yQSvcZnp.dpufRead More

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