With BBQ, Brews and Blues, Smoke Session Kicks Off Foodie Weekend in Austin

by Bebe Brown on November 2, 2018 in Food+Drink, Living Texas, Austin,
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The James Beard Foundation awards are the Oscars of the culinary world. So, on November 15, when the James Beard Foundation Smoke Session event arrives in Austin, that’s something no self-respecting foodie fan will want to miss.

To get you drooling, and clicking for tickets, we’ve got a sneak peek at the menu and entertainment on offer at the Foundation’s 2018 Taste America® cross-country culinary series kick-off tasting event. Entertainment? It’s Austin, so break-out artist Jackie Vinson will perform throughout the evening.

Traveling to ten cities this fall, Taste America celebrates the country’s diverse culinary culture and the important role that chefs play in advocating for a more delicious, sustainable and equitable food world.

Legendary pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow’s BBQ, Lexington, TX co-hosts Smoke Session at The Brewer’s Table November 15 in Austin. Courtesy photo

Co-hosted by legendary pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz of Snow’s BBQ, Lexington, TX alongside host chef Zach Hunter, Smoke Session takes place at celebrated East Austin brewery and locally sourced restaurant The Brewer’s Table. The evening will feature tastings from 11 of Austin’s most popular chefs and an open bar offering beer, wine and cider. Drew Durish, the head brewer at The Brewer’s Table, will be showcasing a commemorative Smoke Session Lager brewed specifically for guests at the kick-off event.

The Smoke Session menu (subject to change) will include these mouthwatering delights from a line-up of Texas culinary talent:

Jesse DeLeon, Rosewood, Austin: Chicharron Guisada with squash agnolotti, queso fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds


JB Gross of Loro, Austin. Photo Mackenzie Eveland Smith

JB Gross, Loro, Austin: Pork Katsu Sandwich, shishito aioli, pickled onion, cabbage

Sarah Heard & Nathan Lemley, Foreign & Domestic, AustinBeef Cheek Pastrami Tartine, sauerkraut, spicy mustard and herbs


Zach Hunter, The Brewer’s Table, Austin. Courtesy photo

Zach Hunter, The Brewer’s Table, AustinFall Squash BBQ, apple-saison marmalade, sunchoke cream, candied seeds and grains

Wayne Mueller, Louie Mueller BBQ, Taylor: Slow Smoked Lamb Chops braised in a tomato/honey base, accented with fresh and pickled jalapeno, garnished with fresh parsley leaf

Fermín Nuñez, Suerte, Austin: Chorizo molotes, charred green onion salsa, avocado, sesame seeds

Mathew Peters, Bocuse d’Or Winner, Austin: Smoked Duck Leg “Takoyaki,” scallion, pickled cucumber, toasted nori tempura

Page Pressley, Emmer & Rye, Austin: Grilled Nukazuke Beet Root, ikra, with trout roe, burnt onion

Angel Castillo, Shore, Austin. Photo courtesy W Austin

Angel Castillo, Shore, Austin: Local sweet potato crémeux, pumpkin cake, maple sugar powder, fermented milk foam, spiced Texas pecans, with Chameleon Cold Brew-pecan reduction

A limited number of tickets for Smoke Session are now available to the public for $75.

Tickets for A Night of Culinary Stars, a complementary gala benefit dinner taking place on Friday, November 16 at W Austin, are also available and start at $250. Taste America benefit dinner VIP ticket holders and table purchasers will also have access to the Smoke Session event and an exclusive meet and greet with the All-Star chefs at the gala.

The Taste America festivities continue in Austin on Saturday, November 17 at Sur La Table— Domain NORTHSIDE, where patrons will have access to free, in-store activities including book signings, up-close and personal access to the 2018 Taste America Austin chefs, tastings from local producers and artisans, and product demos and tastings from national Taste America sponsors.

Click here for the full schedule of events and more information