Lake Austin Culinary Experience®
Monday, March 10, 2014
Cooking Session with Angelo Sosa
“Coupled with his elegant approach, Angelo’s cuisine is utterly unique. One can feel his passion for Asian flavors, his talent for combining them harmoniously, and his uninhibited creativity in each and every of his recipes. They all tell a story—the story of a chef who lives for cooking.” - Alain Ducasse
After graduating with top honors from the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Sosa worked his way through some of the country’s best kitchens. Forging ahead with his passion for food and service, he was taken under wing by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten early in his career. Currently, Angelo serves as the chef owner of the Michelin Recommended Añejo in Hell’s Kitchen NYC and Poppy Den in Las Vegas. Serving modern takes on traditional Mexican tastes, the menu at Añejo is engineered to complement the tequila list -one of the city’s best- from top to bottom. The cuisine at Poppy Denis at once familiar and new, achieved through Chef Sosa’s extraordinary ability to extract simple ingredients and build them into complex layers of flavor. In 2012 he also released his first cookbook, Flavor Exposed, guiding readers through the culinary philosophy and approach to flavor and ingredients that are found across his menus.
In 2010, Angelo was cast as a Season 7 "Cheftestant" on Bravo's hit reality show, Top Chef. He was then invited to compete on "Top Chef All Stars.”
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
All About Olive Oil!
Founded in 2009 Con’ Olio Oils and Vinegars is the first premium olive oil tasting bar to set up shop in Austin. The Con’ Olio experience was influenced by Europe’s unique food culture, street markets and small-town cafés.
Inspired by the highly sophisticated oils and vinegars, they sampled while traveling throughout Europe, Jeff & Tabatha Conarko left their corporate careers for a business venture in fine-food retailing. Since its opening over four years ago, Con’ Olio — meaning “with oil,” and a play on the couple’s last name — has been committed to quality, providing an in-store experience that educates patrons as well as enlivens their senses.
Jeff & Tabatha are also part of an elite handful of individuals in North America to earn their certification as expert olive oil sensory evaluators by the oldest & most accredited olive oil tasting school in the world! ONAOO (Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio Di Oliva) is located in Imperia, Italy. You can read more about this accredited school here: www.oliveoil.org.
Friday, March 14, 2014
With Guest Chef: Dzintra Dzenis
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.