We are constantly on the prowl for great food products…and events!

The Mighty Rib is proud to be covering next week’s Edible Texas Wine Food Match held in Austin, Texas. One of our contributing writers will be there, and if you feel like attending, check out the ticket information below.

Press Release excerpts from Edible Austin:
Austin, Texas, (May 24, 2011) – Fifteen Texas appellation vintages from eight Texas wineries are featured matches with each of the three courses from the five competing chefs for the Edible Texas Wine Food Match, being held on Friday, June 3, 2011 at the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, Tejas Room on the campus of The University of Texas. The 150 guests include national media professionals attending the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Annual Conference in Austin.

Distinguished judges are: Jacques Pépin, world-renowned chef, television celebrity, cookbook author and culinary educator; Francois Dionot, founder and director of LʼAcademie de Cuisine; John Besh, chef, restaurateur, cookbook 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.

Tickets are $100 and available for purchase on the event website.

The Edible Austin magazine, was nice enough to answer some of my questions regarding the event and their publication.

1. How were the five chefs selected for the event?
An open call went out across Central Texas to chefs to enter this first-ever wine and food pairing competition. The chefs were instructed to create 3-course tasting menus pairing Texas appellation wines (using Texas-grown grapes, produced in Texas) with each of their courses (using iconic Texas regional ingredients). The entry form required that they be (or become) members of the Texas Department of Agriculture GO TEXAN program, and that they include recipes for each of the dishes, tasting notes for the wines they selected and a statement of intent, or their thoughts behind their pairings. They were encouraged to reach out in person (i.e. visit) Texas wineries to make the most effective pairings possible. Help with this (and sourcing local ingredients) was provided by Terry Thompson-Anderson, myself and members of our Advisory Group, such as Texas wine authority, Dr. Russell Kane. We assembled a Preliminary Judging Panel comprised of 12 pre-eminent Texas wine and food professionals (see listing below) and they were charged with ranking each of the courses of each of chef’s menu (over two dozen entries this first year), resulting in a composite ranking score for each chef. The top five ranked chefs made it to the Final Round which will take place on June 3.

2. Is this the first time Edible Austin has hosted this event?
The event was conceived and is presented by Marla Camp, publisher of Edible Austin and Terry Thompson-Anderson, author and publisher of The Texas Food and Wine Gourmet. This is the first time for an event of its kind (anywhere). It is also the first of a five year program that we are rolling out to raise the bar on excellence in Texas winemaking and to better connect Texas wines with Texas chefs and restaurants, as well as bring national media attention to the chefs and the wineries. The first four years will match regional Texas chefs (this year was Central Texas chefs, to be followed by Northeast Texas, East / South Texas and West Texas) with appellation wines from around the state (wineries statewide are eligible each year). The fifth year will be a showdown between all of the regional winners at a special grand slam event, to recognize the top chef / winery pairing in the state.

3. Any possibility of it spreading to other regions of the country?
We hope that Edible Texas Wine Food Match becomes a model for regional wine and food pairing competitions that can be held in regions around the country. We have already received interest in helping with a Southwest Regional Wine / Food Pairing Competition.

4. Could you give a quick description of your publication to The Mighty Rib readers?
Edible Austin is an independently owned quarterly publication that celebrates Central Texas food culture and is a member of Edible Communities, 2011 James Beard Foundation Award winner for Publication of the Year. Through print, electronic media and community events, we celebrate local, seasonal foods with the goal of transforming the way we shop, cook, and eat. Texas Food and Wine Gourmet is a website devoted to supporting the unique culture of food and wine in Texas. The event benefits the newly launched non-profit Center for Wine and the Culinary Arts in Fredericksburg.

Image, press release, and Q/A provided by Edible Austin.