Pearl and Culinary Institute of America to host benefit for Foodways Texas

Foodways Texas

August 30th, 2011



All Star Chef Line-Up Dinner plus Molly O’Neill to Speak

The Pearl, in partnership with The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, to sponsor benefit for Foodways Texas an all-star evening of chefs including Jason Dady chef and restaurateur of The Lodge; Elizabeth Kossick, Latin Cuisines Specialist for The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio; Tan Nguyen of Central Market, San Antonio; Jesse T. Perez, Burbank graduate and executive chef, consultant for Alamo Cafe; Rebecca Rather restaurateur of Rather Sweet Bakery & Café and author of “The Pastry Queen”; and Andrew Weissman, restaurateur of Il Sogno & Sandbar and CIA grad on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 7 pm to 10 pm.

 “We’re thrilled that Pearl Brewery and The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio are helping to introduce us to San Antonio. Both Pearl and the CIA are in tune with the food cultures of the area, so forming this relationship is ideal for Foodways Texas and we hope it continues well into the future,” said Marvin Bendele, executive director of Foodways Texas. “There is a rich culinary history in the city and surrounding areas and we hope to document that history and emerging food cultures through our oral history program.”

 During the event, Molly O’Neill author of One Big Table; A Portrait of American Cooking, will speak about immigrant foodways, while guests enjoy a meal celebrating a variety of cuisines focused on the San Antonio region. Copies of the book signed by the author will be available for purchase courtesy of The Twig Book shop.

 Keeping with Foodways Texas mission, the dinner highlights Texas products with Texas crafted cocktails, wine and beer with a Master Sommelier pairing Texas wine. Tickets are $150 per person including beverages and dinner. All proceeds to benefit Foodways Texas, which preserves the vibrant foodways of Texas through oral history projects, documentary films, recipe collections, and scholarly research.

 To purchase tickets, go to




Foodways Texas is an organization founded by scholars, chefs, journalists, restaurateurs, farmers, ranchers, and other citizens of the state of Texas who have made it their mission to preserve, promote and celebrate the diverse food cultures of Texas. By joining and supporting Foodways Texas, you become part of a movement to preserve the vibrant foodways of Texas through oral history projects, documentary films, recipe collections, and scholarly research. You will join us in highlighting the state’s distinctive foods and food cultures at our annual scholarly symposium, supporting educational food-based seminars, promoting local food networks, and partnering with universities and other non-profit organizations to educate future generations about healthy and sustainable food practices. For more information on Foodways Texas, go to




Pearl, a former brewery that operated from 1883 until 2001 and a landmark just north of downtown, today is a groundbreaking culinary gathering place where you can eat, live, learn and play on the banks of the San Antonio River.

The 22-acre Pearl site is home to the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio and Aveda Institute San Antonio, the year-round Pearl Farmers Market. Pearl restaurants include Il Sogno Italian Osteria and the Sandbar Fish House and Market, both by CIA graduate and James Beard Award-nominated chef Andrew Weissman, and La Gloria Ice House by CIA graduate chef Johnny Hernandez.  Pearl is also known for the Melissa Guerra Latin American kitchen store, the Twig book shop, Adelante Boutique, Run Wild Sports, The Synergy Studio and Bike World.  The Center for Architecture houses the AIA San Antonio and the Architecture Foundation of San Antonio.  Office tenants at Pearl include the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber, the Nature Conservancy, the CE Group, WestEast Design Group and other creative firms.  Event space includes the Pearl Stable, the Pearl Studio and the newly completed Pearl Park, a community gathering space, which includes amphitheater seating overlooking a stage alongside the San Antonio River Walk.



Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering bachelor’s and associate degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, and certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies.  As the world’s premier culinary college, the CIA has a network of more than 40,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Chiarello, Cat Cora, Steve Ells, Todd English, Duff Goldman, Sara Moulton, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi.  The college has campuses in New York (Hyde Park), California (The CIA at Greystone, St. Helena), and Texas (San Antonio), and an international location in Singapore.  In addition to its degree programs, the CIA offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services for the foodservice and hospitality industry.  For more information, visit

BBQ Oysters

Fresh, plump oysters from the Texas gulf are carefully scrubbed and briefly shocked in iced salt water before being grilled over a wood fire (cup side down, about 8 minutes cooking time depending on size).  Quickly and carefully opened so as not to lose the precious liquid inside, then given a shot of tangy BBQ sauce and a little crumbled bleu cheese.  Back on the grill for a minute or two, seasoned with a little sea salt & freshly-ground pepper and served piping hot..

BBQ Oysters

Corpus Christi gave birth to a tall Texas tale adding to the state’s oyster lore. As the story goes, Texas Rangers chased a band of marauding Indians onto a beach jutting into the bay. Knowing the Indians were surrounded by water and couldn’t escape the Rangers decided to camp until morning. When the sun rose, the beach was empty. All they found were footprints leading into the water.

Some say the story marked the discovery of Reef Road, a series of oyster shell beds between Corpus Christi and Nueces bays. Reef Road could be crossed by horse wagon at low tide, and for years locals used the submerged route to cut travel time between Nueces and San Patricio counties. Meanwhile, other enterprising Texans were reaping a harvest that would develop into the country’s second-leading oyster industry. By 1890, four years before the Grand Opera hall opened in romantic Galveston, oystermen harvested more than 2 million pounds of meat. Fourteen years later, as Galveston rebuilt from the devastating hurricane of 1900, the figure had climbed to a record-breaking 3.5 million pounds.”  –