Starting this summer, some of the most-lauded chefs from around the country will come to Austin to cook for a good cause: providing grants to local culinary organizations and individuals. The Wine & Dine series by the Austin Food and Wine Alliance—a nonprofit that promotes Texas food, wine, beer, and spirits—brings celebrated names to top local restaurants to create a special dinner. Tickets to each of the four events went on sale this week.
Matt Jennings of Boston’s The Townsman will be first on the lineup, doing a dinner at Olamaie on June 28 with chef-owner Michael Fojtasek. Jennings wrote Homegrown: Cooking From My New England Roots, and as part of the dinner’s price of $225 per person, each guest will receive an autographed copy.
Next up is Hugh Acheson, who has founded five Georgia restaurants, including Empire State South in Atlanta. The cookbook author and former Top Chef judge will cook at Emmer & Rye with chef-owner Kevin Fink. The date for that dinner is July 30, and the cost is $250 per person.
The series returns to Emmer & Rye September 10, this time with chef Alon Shaya, chef-owner of Shaya and Saba in New Orleans. Shaya’s eponymous restaurant was named the Best New Restaurant in the country by the James Beard Foundation in 2016. The price of admission, $250, includes his memoir/cookbook, Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel.
For the final dinner, November 8, acclaimed chef and author Lidia Bastianich, who was recently in town for the Austin Food & Wine Festival, will cook at L’Oca d’Oro with chef-owner Fiore Tedesco. In a career that spans decades, the expert on Italian cuisine has hosted national television shows and racked up several James Beard awards. A copy of her new memoir, My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food, comes with the $350 per person cost of admission.
In previous years, nationally acclaimed chefs Jacques Pepin and Emeril Lagasse have cooked for the Alliance’s popular series, which is sponsored by Whole Foods Market.