About Town: Austin
Escaping the Heat with The Big Chill

The stately rotunda of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum was recently the setting for The Big Chill, hosted by the Austin FoodBlogger Alliance to benefit Meals on Wheels and More.

An enthusiastic crowd of the culinary community’s biggest fans had the opportunity to cool their well-turned heels while enjoying live music, sipping innovative cocktails and nibbling the best bites the city offers.  The spacious venue allowed sampling without lines, and the opportunity to mingle and converse with several local chefs, who proudly presented a collection of impressive, ample nibbles.

“It was a privilege raising money for an Austin institution like Meals on Wheels and More.  All of our tasting sponsors were outstanding, and we were especially privileged to get the exclusive first taste of St. Philip (opening soon),” shared AFBA Philanthropy Chair, Christy Horton.

Those tastes came from some top hot spots and favorite local products including The Carillon, Celtic Seafare, Dolce Neve, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Finn & Porter, NadaMoo!, Noble Sandwich Company, No Va Kitchen & Bar, Pleasant Storage Room, The Soup Peddler Real Food & Juice Bar, St. Philip, Swift’s Attic, Thai Fresh, and Trace.  

Sweet and savories, alike, were paired with chilly cocktails—“The Dude”, an Orange White Russian with Chameleon Cold-Brew  Coffee, and “Pop”tails , featuring Good Pop’s   Strawberry Lemonade and Hibiscus Mint flavors.

Sponsors of the event included Central Market, HCB Health, Greenling, 505 Southwestern, Chameleon Coffee, Cooking Planit, Kruger Diamond Jewelers, Byte, and Uptown Modern.

Guests also had the opportunity to bid on a variety of artistic, experiential, and service-related Silent Auction items donated by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Arro, Austin Eats Food Tours, BeeHive, Benjamin Beau Salon, Benold’s Jewelers, Calvin’s Fine Jewelers, East Side Café, Esty Skin Studio, Fail, Finn & Porter, Froyoyo Frozen Yogurt, Let’s Gel, Inc (makers of GelPro), Greenling, Hotel St. Cecilia, Lick, Posh Foodie, T1 Tequila, Ranch Road Design & Printing, Inc., Ritual Salon + Spa, Savory Spice - North Austin, Serve Gourmet, Skorpil Photography, Smudge Publishing, Solid Gold, Tecolote Farm, Twin Liquors, Uncle Julio's, Uncommon Objects, and Urban Betty.

Kathryn Hutchison, president of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, had this to share about the group’s philanthropic involvement in the community, and Meals on Wheels and More, the benefactor of the organization’s most recent event:

AFBA has a strong history of supporting philanthropic organizations, through fundraisers like The Big Chill, volunteer days, and social media awareness campaigns. Since the group was founded in 2011, our bloggers have supported the Capital Area Food Bank, the Sustainable Food Center, ARC of the Capital Area, Bake a Wish, Safe Place, Slow Food and many other organizations.

Meals on Wheels was a natural choice for partnership for our 2014 fundraising gala, since they are doing such important work here in Austin. As food bloggers, we have a unique voice and role in the larger Austin community. It's a privilege to use the collective clout of our members to benefit organizations like Meals on Wheels and More.

Meals on Wheels and More seeks to “nourish and enrich the lives of the homebound and other people in need through programs that promote dignity and independent living.”  Volunteer and donor opportunities can be found by visiting their website at http://www.mealsonwheelsandmore.org/

Tickets are now on sale for the Austin Food Blogger Alliance upcoming conference, Byte of Texas, September 27 -28.  Information can be found on their website, at http://austinfoodbloggers.org/conference/.


  1. That looks like lots of fun. Are there any other events coming up?

    1. It WAS a lot of fun. Check out the AFBA website link, above, to learn more about upcoming events. Thank you for stopping by, Toni!


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