Okay, this post is going to be exclusively about dinner last night. Yes, it was that epic that it gets a whole post on it’s own!
I met Fran Costigan (@goodcakesfran) on the plane last Thursday on the way to Austin. Immediately, it felt like we’d known each other for years. I love it when that happens!
Anyway, she invited me to a pop up dinner that was held last night by a group called Supper Friends here in Austin. It’s a multi-course plated dinner that’s served in a lovely place called the Swoop House. They have rotating guest chef’s, and in honor of our vegan bloggers conference, the dynamic brother duo of Chef Chad Sarno (@chadsarno) and Derek Sarno (@wickedhealthy) were the hosts of last night’s Supper Friends.
Fran, Colleen (co-founder of VegNews magazine), and I uber’d it over to Swoop House to begin our dining adventure.
First – the location. It’s a house in an older neighborhood that has been repurposed to be a pop-up dining location. The grounds were gorgeous, and the inside was adorable as well.
As soon as we walked in, we were each given a glass of white sangria and the canapés were passed around.
After hors d’oeuvres were served, we were all invited to find our way to our assigned seats to begin the meal.
The first course came out, and it was simply amazing. Called Golden Beets, it was beets three ways with a merlot gel, candied pecans, grapefruit, vegan cheese and horseradish.
The second course came out, which was a Ricotta & Tomato dish paired with a 2012 Sangiovese wine from Italy.
The third course was called Wicked Nicoise. I think this may have been the most talked about, because Chef’s Chad and Derek managed to make something that looked and tasted like a hardboiled egg – from tofu and potato! The olive dirt on the bottom (which isn’t dirt, by the way!), green beans, and mustard seed vinaigrette made this so perfect. It was paired with a 2014 Sauvignon Blanc.
The fourth course was my favorite! A Spring Ravioli stuffed with spring peas fava beans, mint, and other herbs, with a sherry parmesan cream sauce. It’s one of those dishes that feels creamy and indulgent – but not heavy. Which was really the whole meal, now that I think about it! It was paired with a 2012 Seven Hills Riesling.
The fifth course was a King Scalloped Mushroom. It was served with asparagus, corona beans, and sorrel pesto. It was paired with a very yummy 2012 Pinot Noir.
The final dessert dish – called Drunk Fruit – was also completely life altering in it’s yumminess. An amaretto gelato with berries, melon, fennel, white balsamic and pistachio. Paired with a 2012 Moscato.
So that was the food! The company was also completely amazing, and I admit to feeling star struck more than a few times. At my table, aside from Fran, Colleen, and Whitney, was Miyoko Schinner – who revolutionized vegan cheese. Here’s a link to her three books if you’re interested. I can tell you that I’ve EATEN her cheese all week, and you should be interested! (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=mikoyo+schinner&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Amikoyo+schinner). She also started Miyoko’s Kitchen, a wonderful vegan business that is making and marketing vegan cheeses to establishments and groceries. I’m hoping it’ll be at a Whole Foods near me very, very soon!
Oh, and there was Ellen Kanner, author of Feeding the Hungry Ghost, Allison from Seed Food and Wine in Miami, Betsy from Delicious TV and Vegan Mash-Up. I also got to talk to the lovely couple behind Olives for Dinner.
Of course, I had to get a picture with the Chef’s! I tried to convince Chad to move to Virginia, but I don’t think he’s interested. He has an culinary course that I just may have to take!
After dinner, it was an Uber ride back to the hotel with Fran and Colleen, and a lovely feeling of having one of the most satisfying meals of my life. So yea. GREAT time! This was my first pop-up dinner experience, but hopefully not my last!