6 (Virtual) Texas Book Festival Foodie Sessions

by Bebe Brown on October 20, 2020 in Entertainment, Living Texas, What I'm Reading,
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Good news! It’s never been easier to attend the Texas Book Festival. To keep readers and authors safe this year, TBF has shifted its two-day in-person festival to a two-week virtual event for its 25th anniversary.

One thing hasn’t changed about TBF this year: The lineup is full of the literary world’s biggest stars. With 150 authors and more than 100 sessions, this year’s virtual festival has something for everyone. Every festival session is free and open to the public, plus ticketed opportunities to see Matthew McConaughey and Jodi Picoult.

Even though you won’t be in the cooking tent to smell the delicious aromas floating through the air, TBF’s virtual event is still bringing plenty of cooking demos and food-related discussions to the virtual table, sponsored by Central Market. You can see the full lineup and schedule at texasbookfestival.org.


Saturday, Nov. 7 | 10 am CT

Every hour, the Gulf of Mexico consumes a football-field-sized chunk of Louisiana — and Melissa M. Martin’s mission is to share recipes from her hometown of Chauvin before it’s gone. Divided into chapters by ingredient, her captivating cookbook is sprinkled with stories about Louisiana’s cooking and community. Help bring those stories to life as she teaches you to craft a delicious Cajun meal from Mosquito Supper Club: Cajun Recipes from a Disappearing Bayou.Register here.

Jam Sanitchat (right) is the author of “Thai Fresh: Beloved Recipes from a South Austin Icon.”
Photo courtesy Texas Book Festival

Wednesday, Nov. 11 | 10 am CT

Jam Sanitchat has been cooking since age five, so it’s no surprise that her restaurant and learning center Thai Fresh is a South Austin staple. But flavor is only part of the equation: from her days cooking for friends at UT to the relationships she’s built with local growers and producers, Sanitchat knows cooking is all about connection. Experience the magic for yourself with a cooking demonstration from her new cookbook, Thai Fresh: Beloved Recipes from a South Austin Icon.Register here.

Join Esteban Castillo at the Texas Book Festival to see him create a delicious Mexican-American meal that incorporates ingredients and techniques from both sides of the border. Photo courtesy Texas Book Festival

Thursday, Nov. 12 | 2:30pm CT

Esteban Castillo grew up in a Mexican-American family in the majority-Latino city of Santa Ana, Calif. — but the Mexican food recipes he saw online didn’t have much in common with the cuisine he knew. Based on his popular blog of the same name, his new cookbook Chicano Eats rectifies that problem. Join him to create a delicious Mexican-American meal that incorporates ingredients and techniques from both sides of the border. | Register here.


Saturday, Nov. 7 | 2 pm CT

Texas Monthly taco editor José R. Ralat (American Tacos) and journalist Augustine Sedgewick (Coffeeland) follow the histories of the taco and the coffee bean across time and space, revealing valuable insights about culture and power along the way. Register here.

Journalist Marie Mutsuki Mockett, author of “American Harvest,” is just one of the many food-related speakers at the 2020 Texas Book Festival. Photo courtesy Texas Book Festival

Monday, Nov. 9 | 2 pm CT

In their new books, journalists Marie Mutsuki Mockett (American Harvest) and Tom Philpott (Perilous Bounty) peel back the curtain on the American agricultural industry. Mockett’s journey across America with a group of wheat harvesters shows where our food really comes from, and Philpott explores how the climate crisis threatens food’s future. Join them as they discuss the food that sustains us, the people who produce it, and how the industry can adapt to a changing planet. Register here.

Friday, Nov. 13 | 10 am CT

In poignant new memoirs from Momofuku founder and Ugly Delicious host David Chang (Eat a Peach) and prize-winning pastry chef Lisa Donovan (Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger), the James Beard winners share their struggles and successes on their paths to becoming acclaimed chefs. Each explores how their craft helped them face and battle personal and systemic challenges, from sexism and mental illness to impostor syndrome. Register here.


Cover photo courtesy Andy Chilton on Unsplash

This article is a sponsored collaboration with The Texas Book Festival