Lake Austin Culinary Experience® /spa-resort/special-programs-events/lake-austin-culinary-experience

April 2014

Learn the secrets of preparing and enjoying deliciously healthy cuisine and take the Lake Austin Spa Resort experience with you. Join us April 14-20, 2014 with special guest chefs Elizabeth Karmel, Dzintra Dzenis and  Robin Miller.


Elizabeth Karmel

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
  • Cooking Session

North Carolina native Elizabeth Karmel was raised on barbecue—at roadside stands, neighborhood cookouts and county fairs—but it wasn’t until she moved away from home that the barbecue love affair began.  When it wasn’t at her fingertips, she had to learn how to smoke it herself and a pit-mistress was born.
Karmel, a.k.a. Queen of the Grill, is a nationally respected authority on grilling, barbecue and Southern food.  She is the Executive Chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market in NYC and Washington, DC, and NYC’s Hill Country Chicken.  She developed the award-winning concept, menu and flavor profiles from the meats to the sides and desserts for all three restaurants.
As a sought after media personality, Karmel writes for, and is frequently featured in an array of national magazines from Saveur to Better Homes & Gardens, and appears regularly on all three network morning shows.  She writes a bi-monthly column for the Associated Press called The American Table.  She is also the author of three acclaimed cookbooks, the designer of an innovative line of outdoor cooking and kitchen tools, and the founder of the gender-breaking

Follow her @GrillGirl and like her fan page!/pages/Elizabeth-Karmel

Dzintra Dzenis

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014
  • Cooking Session

Dzintra has an unconventional story filled with surprise and adventure.  Born in New Jersey from Latvian immigrant parents, she learned to cook alongside her Mom, starting at the age of six.  After graduating high school, she started a catering business, with a specialty in desserts, which she prepared for prestigious restaurants in New Jersey and New York City such as la Cote Basque.  However, hungry to further her education, she moved to Paris, France to pursue her college degree.  Little did she know at the time, Paris would become her home for the next twenty years.

In Paris, after earning both undergraduate and master’s degrees in International Affairs and International Business Communications, Dzintra Dzenis worked at the Latvian Embassy and headed a multi-million dollar distribution firm. Despite her successes, she felt compelled to embrace the profession that truly inspired her and made her happy: She wanted to become a Chef.  After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu—receiving her Grand Diplôme in cuisine and pastry—she and her family moved to one of the hippest and fastest growing cities in America, Austin, Texas, to launch her culinary career.  She was soon cast on Food Network’s highest rated program, “The Next Food Network Star.” Her deepest dream came true, however, when she founded her restaurant and culinary center, Plate by Dzintra.

Robin Miller

  • Friday, April 18, 2014
  • Cooking Session

Robin has been a TV personality, food writer and nutritionist since 1990 and she is the author of ten books, including Robin Takes 5 , Robin Takes 5 for Busy Families and the bestselling cookbook Quick Fix Meals. Her popular show, “Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller” aired on Food Network for 5 years and she has multiple weekly blogs, Robin’s Healthy Take, on “Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller” is currently airing on Great American Country Channel. 

Robin’s recipes and nutrition features can be seen regularly in a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Clean Eating, Health, Cooking Light, Parade, Shape, Woman’s Day, Guideposts, Experience Life, Fit Pregnancy and Fitness. 

Robin has been a guest on hundreds of local and national television and radio programs.  She has hosted home videos (for Jane Fonda), cable television vignettes (for Food Network and a variety of food companies) and spoken at media events in various markets nationwide. Currently, she appears regularly on local, network and cable television. Programs of particular interested include: The Early Show (CBS), Regis & Kelly, The View, The Today Show (NBC), Good Morning America (ABC), CNN, Fox News Channel, Food Network, Discovery Channel, the Hallmark Channel and HGTV.

She has written ten books: Robin Takes 5 for Busy Families (Andrews McMeel, August 2013), Robin Takes 5 (Andrews McMeel, 2011), Robin Rescues Dinner (Potter, 2009), Robin to the Rescue (Taunton, 2008), Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller (Taunton, 2007), Picnics (Potter, 2005), Verdure (Potter, 2001), The Newlywed Cookbook (Sourcebooks, 1999, 1991 and 2013), The Daily Soup (Hyperion, 1999) and Jane Fonda, Cooking for Healthy Living (Turner, 1996). 

Robin has a master’s degree in Food and Nutrition from New York University, 1998.