Eat chili, hang out at Jo’s, help people: what’s not to love?

jo's Coffee House Chili Cook Off PosterJo’s is one of the coolest spots on South Congress. Yummy meat, dessert and vegetarian menu choices, all kinds of coffees and teas, and a chance to people watch from a shady spot. It’s also close to the Pets Alive trailer, so I can get some puppy visits in (but that’s a story for another post!)

And now there’s another reason to love Jo’s.  I just found out that Sunday January 26 it’s going to be the site for the 8th Annual Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by Shiner. The cook-off benefits  the Sustainable Food Center, a wonderful local Austin charity working hard to make it possible for more people to have access to nutritious, affordable food through education, access to gardens and more.

So all in all, that means South Congress, Jo’s Coffee Shop, chili, music (live music will be provided by Jeff Hughes & Chapparal, the Jo’s House Band and DJ Ben Nuhn), beer for those who love it (and I know a LOT of Austin folks do!) and a chance to do something really good for people who are struggling to put healthy food on their family dinner table.

The festivities (including chili tasting!) start at noon and run until 3. And there are even prizes!  Yes, some of those chili chefs will walk away with great prizes, so not only do you get to eat, you get to vote and help your fave cooks win some good stuff!

It’s $20 to join in the event, and that includes samples of all 14 chili entries, plus all the great music and atmosphere you want to enjoy. Beer and other drinks will be for sale, so you can safely go ahead and take a bite or two of that habanero-spiked chili, then put out the fire.

Jo’s is located at 1300 South Congress in Austin.

Austin Food and Wine Festival frenzy begins early

Austin Food & Wine FestivalIt’s no secret that the annual Austin Food and Wine Festival has quickly become one of the highlights of the culinary year here in the Capital city. But I had no idea the fight for tickets to the coveted event started so early!

This year’s Festival will be April 25th-27th at Butler Park and Republic Square Park in Austin. The strictly 21 and over event attracts foodies and chefs from around the globe, who come together to sample amazing creations, show off their masterpieces and gather inspiration for feasts they’ll just have to make in the coming year.

Tickets for this year’s fest go on sale January 21st…that’s next week! That’s also when you can find out who’s going to be featured, and get a first peek at the schedule.

It’s gonna be a yummy weekend in Austin! See y’all there!

(This Taste of Austin Tuesday is making me hungry! Come on, April!)