On Wednesday, I attended a dinner event at Parkside Austin sponsored by Chobani! A 5 course Chobani-inspired menu? You don’t have to ask me twice ;). I left my house extra early in anticipation of the madness that is SXSW. And of course… I got lost and arrived 30 minutes late. In my brief moment of weakness, I considered giving up and just going back home, but my growling tummy and curious palate helped me stay the course. Lucky for me, the dinner hadn’t started yet. I had only missed the cocktail time, but there wasn’t any Chobani in the drinks so I was fine with that ;).
(Photo via courtesy of Lindsay)
To start, we had a chilled avocado soup with blood orange, smoked trout caviar, and calabrese chili (?). Quiet fancy, eh? I had no idea what calabrese chili was, and I didn’t want to ask anyone as I was in the presence of some amazing foodies. Regardless, the soup was delicious! So refreshing and creamy without feeling too heavy. A beautiful way to start the meal.
The soup was followed by a local beet salad which had celery root, mache (?), coriander, yogurt jerky (!), and puffed mustard seeds. First of all, the presentation was gorgeous! Well actually, all the dishes were quite the lookers, but this one especially, thanks to the vibrant red from the beets. The first thought that crossed my mind was, “ooh this bottom layer looks like a fruit roll-up.” I’m sure that was the last thing on everyone else’s minds…I probably should’ve eaten everything together, but I picked at the beets first and was left with the rest which, as a result, looked quite lonely. Oh and the yogurt jerky was very fun to eat. Tasted like cheese.
For the second course…hello, grilled prawns! They were served with caramelized yogurt, carrots, and Ras El Hanout (?? as you can see there was one component in every dish that was a head scratcher for me). It’s been such a long time since I last had prawns so this was quite a treat. They were cooked and seasoned perfectly! What else was exceptional was the caramelized yogurt. I absolutely loved the distinct citrus note.
The last savory dish was braised beef short ribs with yogurt farina, morello cherries, and green garlic. I couldn’t help but think of Tim and wish that he could’ve tasted it. I contemplated taking it to go for him, but I didn’t think it’d be very classy to ask for a to go box at an event like this. Sorry hun. I’m not a huge fan of short ribs as they are a bit too rich for me. However, the tartness from the cherries and a slight tanginess from the yogurt made the experience truly enjoyable.
Now, for the grand finale…what I’d been waiting for since the beginning (we, women, always have room for dessert, right?)… Yogurt custard served alongside Texas strawberries, compressed mango, almond, and basil ice cream. I will have to say that my favorite from the whole entire meal was this yogurt custard. It didn’t scream out, “eat me!” like the rest. It looked like a white log that jiggled like…custard. But with one bite, I was sold! It just tasted… so smooth. light. clean. with just the right amount of sweetness. The crushed almonds accompanied it nicely with their subtle saltiness. Everything on that plate was remarkable, but I found myself longing for more of that custard. So that concludes the 5 course meal. So I ask again, did the chef deliver? Heck Yea!
The three lovely ladies from Chobani, Emily, Emily, and Hillary (who all flew in from New York and are returning with their bellies full of tacos and more tacos) did such an amazing job coordinating the event and making all of us feel comfortable and welcomed. From the conversations we shared, their love for the company and the products was unmistakeable. There were about 15 of us food bloggers who were invited, along with respected guests. It was my first time meeting other Austin bloggers, and boy I tell you, I was in the presence of some seriously talented food bloggers! Delicious recipes, gorgeous photography, eloquent writing…I have a lot to learn from all of them. Everyone was so friendly and down-to-earth that I felt more and more at ease as the night progressed. To be honest, I was quite nervous at the beginning.
Great company. Exceptional food. Unforgettable experience.