AFBA\’s the Big Chill Benefit for Meals On Wheels & More

Central Market bouquet
The Austin Food Blogger Alliance did an outstanding job making the Big Chill a memorable culinary event. But they couldn\’t have pulled it off without the amazing turn out from the areas best chefs, participation from the restaurants, generous donations from local businesses, event volunteers and the community who came out to experience this one of a kind event. AFBA hosts a food related benefit each year and the recipient of this years event was Meals On Wheels & More. Guests sampled cuisine from some of the best restaurants in the Austin area while enjoying cocktails and live music at the Bob Bullock Museum.

St. Philip made their debut at the Big Chill. Chef Speer made a savory cherry tomato salad in a creamy yogurt, cucumber, a light herb dressing and crisp lavash.

St. Philip – Cherry Tomato Salad

Chef Speer later treated guests to a sweet dish of s\’mores chocolate mousse with a torched meringue on a graham cracker crust.

St. Philip – S\’mores Chocolate mousse
Celtic Seafare out of San Marcos served hors d\’oeuvres of soda bread topped with dill butter, traditional smoked salmon and tangy picked mustard seed. 

Celtic Seafare – Irish Soda Bread with Smoked Salmon

The skilled students of Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts clearly have a future in the kitchen! They prepared one of my favorite bites of the evening, a shrimp ceviche with a creamy coconut and lime sauce.

Auguste Escoffier – Shrimp Ceviche

Noble Sandwich Co. served bierchiken, a German style bologna made with ground beef, pork and studded with chunks of ham served with a sweet corn relish.   

Noble Sandwich Co. – Bierchiken

Who knew grilled watermelon tastes so good?! NoVa made a surprisingly savory grilled and chilled watermelon skewered salad with lemon, pistachios and basil.

NoVa – Grilled & Chilled Watermelon Salad

The Carillon made a refreshing chilled cucumber-avocado soup with jumbo lump crab, crisp wontons and yuzu-koshu.

The Carillon – Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Soup
Pleasant Storage Room, a popular new rum bar in the warehouse district, brought their snapper ceviche with a twist by topping the ceviche on savory tostones.
Pleasant Storage Room – Snapper Ceviche
I was excited to finally meet of Jam Sanichat of Thai Fresh. I admire Chef Sanichat for her many contributions to the community. She also offers Thai cooking classes. Chef Sanichat made a spicy green curry with grass-fed beef from Bastrop Cattle Company and Thai eggplants.
Thai Fresh – Green Curry

Dolce Neve did their part at keeping the event cool with two seasonal offerings. They brought their gelato cart in tow and served a refreshing watermelon sorbet along with a rich fromage blanc and fresh peach gelato.

Dolce Neve – Watermelon Sorbet and Fromage Blanc Gelato

There was a silver fox loose at the Big Chill and Swift\’s Attic was to blame. They served a silver fox snow cone made of white chocolate, almond granita, with vanilla bean sherbet and caramelized peaches.

Swift\’s Attic – Silver Fox Snow Cone

Trace was the over achiever of the event. Chef Angel Begaye made three bite sized desserts for guests to sample. I overheard several foodies struggling to pick a favorite between the citrus and berry mousse shot, nutty passion fruit cake and the coffee custard mandarin creme with streusel crunch.

Trace – Citrus Berry Mousse

Trace – Coffee Custard Mandarin Creme with Streusel Crunch

Trace – Nutty Passion Fruit Cake

Cocktails were provided by Good Pop and Chameleon Coffee. They both got creative with Chameleon Coffee serving an orange white and Good Pop made \”pop\”tails with strawberry hibiscus mint.

Good Pop \”Pop\”tail

These were just some of the wonderful restaurants and contributors to the Big Chill Benefit. Make sure to follow AFBA to find out about future events. You can learn more and donate to Meals on Wheels here:

Austin Food Blogger Alliance website
Austin Food Blogger Facebook page
Twitter: @atxfoodblogs

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