Fantastic events in the horizon

This week is full of exciting events that I am happy to be attending and want to share with you on this, my 100 posting. Two gastronomic festivals are starting tomorrow, and I am splitting my time between the two, all week long.

Miguel A. Torres, President of Torres Wines, one of Spain’s most iconic producers.

To kick things off, I have been invited to a special lunch with Miguel Torres, President of the renowned Bodegas Torres. This is special to me because one of the fist wines I remember my father talking about was the Gran Sangre de Toro, a name that alone conjures a mystique, and one that I have carried along with me affectionately as my wine enthusiasm and knowledge grew.

Founded in 1870 in the Penedès region of Catalonia, today Bodegas Torres has 21 vineyards in Priorat, Ribera del Duero, and Rioja, as well as six single estates and in California under the watch of Marimar Torres. Miguel A. Torres also started producing wines in Chile in 1979. Bodegas Torres has long been known as an environmentally friendly company, producing easy to drink, affordable wines, and was inducted into the Wine Spectator Hall Of Fame in 2001. Miguel A. Torres was recently given the Lifetime Achievement 2011 Award for his commitment to the environment by the British magazine, Drinks Business. The award recognizes his career based on promoting sustainable and ethical practices in the world of wine and spirits. Read more about Torres and their commitment to the environment in their website, Torres & Earth. I am honored and thrilled to be meeting the President of such an iconic Spanish winery.

Mr. Torres’ visits coincides with another special event, Central Market’s two week long Pasaporte España happening May 11-24, with cooking classes at the Lamar location and a bunch of other events at all their stores. They did a similar event to this a while back, with an Argentina theme that was immensely popular. Well, I think this is going to top that.

Jamon serrano, one of my all-time most favorite things to eat, will be featured at all Central Market stores throughout the event.

I am currently signed up for two classes: on Thursday May 12 THE DIVERSITY OF SPANISH SEAFOOD with Quim Marqués, Chef, Suquet de l’Almirall, Barceloneta, & Daniel Olivella, B44, San Francisco and Barlata, Oakland  and on Monday May 16 CATALAN SPECIALTIES with Quim Marques, Adrian Marin & Daniel Olivella.  Most of all, I am thrilled that they will be re-opening the wine bar at Westgate to host wine tastings with tapas and bottle signing events, and I hope that this is the event that will keep the bar open again for good. I used to LOVE hanging out there while shopping between the meat department and the bulk. I am very much looking forward to Pasaporte España and will post my experience, photos, and hopefully some recipes in the days to come.

There is some seriously good food to be found in San Antonio, beyond classic Tex-Mex and Riverwalk legends.

Wednesday is also the start to San Antonio’s premier gastronomic event, Culinaria, formerly known as the New World Wine & Food Festival, continuing through Sunday May 15. With a variety of tasting events, winemaker dinners and luncheons, and stroll-around events, this is always a fun festival that I have enjoyed attending in the past. If you want to know more, I wrote an article about it in this month’s Austin Woman magazine. Will and I are thrilled to be attending Friday’s The Best of Mexico event, which brings some of Mexico’s cutting-edge chefs to showcase their talent alongside some of San Antonio’s best proponents of Mexican cuisine. We are then returning on Sunday for an event at the Pearl Brewery Culinary Complex: Burgers, BBQ, Beer & Texas Spirits. Some events have already sold out, but there are tickets available for a few more including the two I am attending, so take a drive south and find out why San Antonio is shaping up as a worthy culinary destination.

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