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

September 2014

Learn the secrets of preparing and enjoying deliciously healthy cuisine and take the Lake Austin Spa Resort experience with you. Join us September 15-21, 2014 with a Sarma Melgalis cooking demo and our first ever Green Chile Fest!

Monday, September 15, 2014
Cooking Session
With Special Guest Chef: Sarma Melgailis
Sarma Melngailis is owner and co-founder of NYC’s premier raw and vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine, opened in 2004.  She is also the founder of One Lucky Duck, a brand that includes her company’s two juice and takeaway shops as well as her online boutique,, which offers carefully selected products all in support of living a raw, vegan, organic and eco-friendly lifestyle. One Lucky Duck also produces its own line of snack products all made and packaged by hand in Brooklyn, NY.
Sarma is the co-author of Raw Food/Real World (Harper Collins, 2005), a book of recipes, practical advice and the story of how she made the change to a raw and vegan diet. Her second book with Harper Collins, Living Raw Food, was published in June 2009, and includes even more raw vegan recipes, as well as information and advice on how to successfully maintain a raw food diet.
Sarma is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute. She holds a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She worked in investment banking and private equity before beginning her career in the food world.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Special Guest Chef/Blogger/Cookbook Author: Jessica Merchant

Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food by Jessica Merchant, creator of the popular blog How Sweet Eats (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $29.99, September 2, 2014)
Jessica is a full-time recipe developer, food writer, and blogger who is intensely passionate about food and writing, and especially sharing her food through her writing. She is madly, outrageously, inexplicably in love with food. Bacon makes her beam. Chocolate makes her shout from the rooftops with joy. Vegetables are her biggest frenemy. She started the blog How Sweet Eats ( in 2009, and to date it has been read by over 69 million people. The website, focused primarily on lifestyle and food, has attracted men and women of all ages and interests.  How Sweet It Is averages about 180,000 unique visitors a month, and ranks as #2 in competitive rank. Jessica is a contributor to Ree Drummond’s Tasty Kitchen, as well as Relish magazine. Her work has been featured on TheKitchn, Bon Appetit, Food52, the Huffington Post, Shape, Fitness, Women’s Health, Southern Living, and elsewhere.

September 19, 20, 2014
Savor Flavor- Green Chile Fest
With Special Guest Chef from Santa Fe: Johnny Vee
Chef John “Johnny Vee” Vollertsen is director and creator of the Las Cosas Cooking School in Santa Fe, New Mexico- now celebrating its 15th year under his direction. John’s career in the hospitality industry has taken him from New York, through Sydney, Australia, and finally Santa Fe. He has taught cooking for over 16 years and enjoys a second career in food writing as a regular columnist for Local Flavor Magazine and as Dining & Food Editor for The Santa Fean magazine. John has hosted a Food Radio talk show called “Bits and Bites with Johnny Vee” on 1260 AM-KTRC. He regularly participates in food events around the country including a recent stint at the Palm Springs Modernism Week where he presented a seminar called, “Those Fabulous Foods of the 50’s and 60’s”.