Sel et Gras, French of for Salt and Grass, was the name of the amazing Austin Food and Wine Festival post party at Trace at the W Hotel. Chef Lawrence Kocurek is the new head honcho in the Trace kitchen. Previously of Kocurek Family Charcuterie, this man knows his animal products. At the party and Food Republic's Interview sessions, the offerings were amazing. The sliders, sausages, and pates were all well-executed.
My favorite offering was the foie gras torchon. The Sel et Gras party
was very dimly lit, and I had to keep looking down to make sure that I wasn't
eating straight up butter. Words can't really describe the awesomeness,
but I'll try. The torchon had the flavor of foie gras (utterly delicious),
and the smooth creamy texture of butter. Every single morsel seemed to
melt right into your mouth and coat it with rich unmani that makes you glad
someone discovered foie gras. You must try it. If you have not tried
Chef Lawrence's foie gras torchon, you have not truly lived. Also, my
pants barely fit now. Thank you, Torchon.
Chef Lawrence Kocurek. Photo courtesy of Cultivate PR.
Chef Lawrence isn't the only big person who can make my cry tears of joy at
the W Hotel. Chef Janina
O'Leary's a magician in the kitchen. I've had many, many, many of her
desserts (again, note my pants comment), and I won't bother making my own
truffles because of her. I had truffles, plain truffles, that were much
like the torchon in behavior. The truffles had stability and they held
their shape. Once they hit your mouth, they melted like a rich chocolate
cream sauce. I don't make my own truffles anymore. I'll just stuff
my face with Janina's truffles, and macarons, and cookies, and chocolate
Chef Janina O'Leary, Magician
in the Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Cultivate PR.
Here's some photos of the after party fun. I'll reiterate that the
party was very dimly lit. Please enjoy my stylized photos.
Some meats if you please.
The party at Trace also featured a special guest:
Pichet Ong, the Godfather of
desserts. Self-taught, Pichet Ong has won many awards and accolades. This
man can also outrun and outeat me. I have to try hard to keep up with him.
Chef Pichet and Janina make
absinthe cotton candy.
The tray of chocolate desserts ready for presentation.
Pichet was probably tweeting about this dessert extravaganza. I know I
did. Thank you to Chef Janina O'Leary for having me at this fantastic
party. And to think I was going to go home early that night!