James Beard-winning Alon Shaya to talk about new cookbook at Central Library on Monday

We’re seeing more and more chefs and cookbook authors booked at the downtown library, and tonight, food lovers have a chance to hear from  esteemed chef Alon Shaya.

Chef Alon Shaya will be in Austin on May 14 for an appearance at the Central Library downtown. Contributed by Rush Jagoe.

The James Beard-winning Shaya, who was born in Israel and immigrated to Philadelphia when he was four, gained U.S. fame in New Orleans, where his restaurant Shaya, won the Beard award for Best New Restaurant in 2016, a year after his 2015 award for “Best Chef: South.”

But these days, Shaya has pivoted away from New Orleans after a trademark dispute with the Besh Restaurant group left him without a job at his eponymous restaurant. (Shaya has said he was fired after speaking out about sexual harassment allegations within the Besh group, which also fired its namesake chef John Besh, amid the allegations.)

Even though there’s a trademark lawsuit pending over the use of his name at the New Orleans restaurant, Shaya is keeping his eyes focused on the future with a new restaurant in the works in Denver. He’s also in the middle of a book tour for his debut cookbook, “Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel” (Knopf, $35), which includes a stop today at the Central Library downtown, 710 W. Cesar Chavez St.

RELATED:  ‘Wicked Healthy’ author to host plant-based cooking demo at new library

At 7 p.m., Shaya will chat with CultureMap writer Adam Boles about what modern Israeli-American cuisine looks like and Shaya’s journey from Israel to Philadelphia, Italy, back to Israel and then New Orleans. Before opening Israeli restaurants, Shaya specialized in Italian cuisine, which is why you’ll find this recipe for gnocchi and tomato sauce in the new book. It’s the perfect way to use up some of those summer tomatoes that are starting to show up at the farmers markets and in CSA boxes.

GNOCCHI WITH FAST TOMATO SAUCE

Despite my angst over the failed gnocchi in St. Louis, I did eventually learn how to make them well. The lesson I took from them is: face your fears and conquer the food that intimidates you most; you may not win the first battle, but you’ll win the war! The key is to commit to the process. Be precise about the weight of your peeled potatoes (too much or too little will alter the final texture); use a potato ricer or food mill, and work rapidly, while everything is warm, since the starches get gummy if you beat them up or allow them to cool. Therefore, it’s crucial to get your ingredients and equipment ready to go before you start. Take those little steps, be sure not to overwork the dough, and you’ll get the lightest, fluffiest gnocchi you’ve ever had.

Because time is of the essence whenever you cook potatoes, you get the best results when you make a relatively small batch — this recipe makes four portions. But because the gnocchi can be made in advance, you can make two or three batches, then sauce them all at once. Each batch will get easier, as the process becomes more intuitive. For all that focus, I like to pair this with something effortless that allows the gnocchi to really shine. Look no further than my fast tomato sauce (recipe follows). Other great options would be brown butter or even a really good olive oil.

— Alon Shaya

This gnocchi in a fast tomato sauce is from “Shaya” by Alon Shaya. Contributed by Rush Jagoe.

 

1 gallon plus 2 quarts water, divided
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon Morton kosher salt, divided
2 or 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes (18 ounces peeled)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup all- purpose flour, preferably White Lily, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 recipe fast tomato sauce (recipe follows)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Fill a pot with 1 gallon water and 2 tablespoons salt, and let it come to a boil. Cover the pot and leave it on low heat, so it’s ready when you need it.

Peel the potatoes, and measure out exactly 18 ounces. Cut them into eighths, place them in a large ovenproof pot or saucepan, cover them with 2 quarts cold water, and put the pan over high heat. Once the water boils, decrease the heat to medium, and simmer until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, and place them back in the ovenproof pot. Bake until they’re rid of excess moisture, 4 to 5 minutes. While they bake, use a fork to beat together the butter and yolks until they’re as smooth as you can get them; set the bowl aside.

As soon as the potatoes are out of the oven, pass them through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl, making sure you scrape the bottom. Fold in the butter mixture until it’s incorporated, then add the flour, nutmeg, and last
1⁄2 teaspoon salt all at once, using your spatula to cut these ingredients in with minimal stirring. It’ll look crumbly, almost like pie crust.

Generously our an unrimmed baking sheet and your work surface. Dump the dough onto the surface, and gently press it into a ball. Cut it in quarters, and work with one piece
at a time, leaving the rest covered with a dish towel to stay warm.

Roll each piece of dough into a long, skinny log, about 3/4-inch wide; dust with our as you work, to prevent it from sticking. With a floured paring knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 3/4-inch dumplings, keeping the blade clean as you work. Add all the dumplings to the baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the dough, working quickly so the potatoes don’t get too starchy as they cool.

Shape the gnocchi, one at a time, by pressing the dumpling between the pad of your thumb and a gnocchi board or the back of a fork. Roll it steadily, parallel to the board’s ridges or the fork’s tines, so it curls around itself.

Gently drop the gnocchi from the baking sheet into the boiling water. A bench scraper or wide spatula can help you make sure they aren’t misshapen in transit. Watch for them to oat—should be about 1 minute—then cook for another 30 seconds. They’re done when the centers resemble pound cake, with the same consistency throughout. Drain, and toss with the olive oil.

At this point, you can add the gnocchi to the sauce and eat them, or refrigerate them in an airtight container for a day or two. To reheat: Drop them into boiling water for about 20 seconds, just until they’re warm all the way through, before adding sauce; reheating them this way restores the light, fluffy texture. Top with plenty of Parmesan to serve.

Fast Tomato Sauce

This is my go-to pasta sauce, as fast as it is delicious. Make it with the best in-season tomatoes you can find—the screaming-hot oil allows you to hold on to their fresh, raw sweetness and acidity while concentrating them into a thick sauce. Needless to say, this sauce is good on any pasta you feel like making, so don’t limit it to showstoppers like gnocchi. Just be sure you wear an apron, so you don’t get tomatoes and oil splattered on your clothes!

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
9 fresh basil leaves, torn
3/4 teaspoon Morton kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Pour the olive oil into a large skillet with high sides or a Dutch oven over high heat, and cook until it’s smoking-hot. Being extremely careful, add the tomatoes and garlic; they will give off a lot of smoke as soon as they hit the oil, so it’s easiest to have the tomatoes on a flexible cutting board or in a bowl that you can dump from.

Use your spoon to spread the tomatoes in a single layer, then add the basil, salt, and red pepper. Give everything a good stir, and cook another 4 to 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. 
Serves 4.

— From “Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel” by Alon Shaya (Knopf, $35)

 

‘Wicked Healthy’ author to host plant-based cooking demo at new library

In 2008, brothers Derek and Chad Sarno, who grew up in New England, founded Wicked Healthy, a website with recipes and videos for making their signature “80 percent healthy, 20 percent wicked” lifestyle. They are “plant pushers, not meat shamers” with years of chef experience in restaurants and global grocery chains.

Derek, ,left, and Chad Sarno are brothers and chefs who work in the grocery industry, and they have a new plant-based cookbook called “Wicked Healthy.” Contributed by Eva Kosmas Flores

Derek Sarno, the former senior global executive chef for Whole Foods who is the director of plant-based innovation at the U.K. grocer Tesco, has also farmed and worked at a Buddhist monastery, and Chad Sarno, who is based in Austin and also used to work for Whole Foods, is the VP of culinary at Good Catch Foods, a plant-based seafood line that will launch later this year.

These “scallops” from “Wicked Healthy” are made from king oyster mushrooms. Contributed by Eva Kosmas Flores.

Chad Sarno had previously written a cookbook, “Crazy Sexy Kitchen,” with Kris Carr, but “The Wicked Healthy Cookbook: Free. From. Animals.” (Grand Central Life & Style, $30) is the first Wicked Healthy book. The book is a compilation of somewhat sophisticated recipes for chef-worthy vegan dishes, like king oyster mushroom “scallops” with shaved asparagus or these corn dumplings in a coconut corn broth (recipe below), but the authors and editors tripped up by including “Crack Corn,” an insensitive play on the addictive nature of the infamous drug.

Chad Sarno will be hosting several local book events in the coming weeks, including a cooking demo at the Austin Central Library downtown at 6:30 p.m. May 21, a book signing at BookPeople at 7 p.m. June 5 and a Father’s Day event from 10 to 3 p.m. June 17 at Skull and Cakebones Craft Bakery in Dripping Springs. (Tickets to the Father’s Day event cost $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 5 to 12.)

Corn infuses the dumplings and the broth of this summer dish from “Wicked Healthy.” Contributed by Eva Kosmas Flores

Corn Dumplings in Coconut Corn Broth

Dumplings are hands-down my favorite finger food. They’re also perfect as a first course in a small bath of flavorful broth. Save these dumplings for the height of summer when sweet corn is super fresh. Some fresh corn shows up in the creamy filling and some in the corn broth, which you make by simmering the corncobs in coconut milk with lemongrass and other aromatics. When you nestle the dumplings in a small bowl of broth with a few drops of chile oil and some Thai basil leaves, they make a sensual little starter.

A tip: When the corn on the cob is tender, after 10 to 15 minutes of simmering, you could just take the cobs out of the broth and gnaw the corn off the cobs. But you want the naked cobs to go back in the broth for more flavor. So…if it’s all in the family and you don’t mind re-using the gnawed-down cobs, give them a quick rinse, then add them back to the broth. Or simply cut the tender kernels from the cobs as directed and serve the corn as loose kernels. You’ll get about 5 cups corn kernels. You can keep them in the fridge for a few days or cool completely and freeze them for several weeks.

Look for freeze-dried corn in the grain aisle of your market. We’re partial to the taste and texture of Karen’s Naturals freeze-dried corn. If you can’t find it, the recipe works fine without the freeze-dried corn—it’s just a little lighter on corn flavor.

—Chad

 

1/4 cup raw cashews
2 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen sweet corn
3 tablespoons plant-based butter
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup freeze-dried corn (see tip in headnote)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
1 teaspoon minced or thinly sliced red chile
2 teaspoons sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 1 1/2 packages (12 ounces each) round eggless dumpling skins, about 3 1/2-inch diameter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Spray oil for steaming, or cabbage leaves or bamboo leaves
1 1/2 to 2 cups Coconut Corn Broth (see recipe below)
Chile oil, for garnish
Several small Thai basil leaves or more sliced green onions, for garnish

 To make the filling, soak the cashews in water to cover at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and rinse. You’ll add these later to the filling.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Set up a bowl of ice water. Drop the fresh or frozen corn in the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. Use a spider strainer to transfer the corn to the ice water. Let cool for a minute or two, then transfer 2 cups of the corn to a blender (set aside the remaining 1/2 cup kernels).

Add the butter to the blender and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the drained cashews and garlic and blend until smooth. The puree should be nice and thick. Scrape it into a mixing bowl.

Grind the freeze-dried corn in a clean spice mill or coffee grinder to a somewhat-coarse texture, similar to cornmeal. Add to the cashew cream in the mixing bowl along with the reserved corn kernels, green onions, lemongrass, chile, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

To assemble the dumplings, set the bowl of filling, a small cup of water, your dumpling skins, and a baking sheet on a work surface. Scatter some cornstarch over the baking sheet (to help keep the dumplings from sticking to the pan).

For each dumpling, mound about a tablespoon of filling in the center. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the entire edge of the dumpling skin. For a shumai-style fold, bring all the sides up to the top and twist gently to make a small round purse. Pinch just under the top opening of the purse to gently close it. You should have enough filling to make 30 to 40 dumplings.

These dumplings are best steamed: Spray a steamer basket with oil or line with cabbage leaves or bamboo leaves to prevent sticking. Put the dumplings in the steamer in batches, place over simmering water, cover, and steam until the dumplings are tender, about 3 minutes.

Gather 6 to 8 small serving bowls and place 4 or 5 dumplings in the center of each. Pour about ¼ cup broth around the dumplings in each bowl so a little broth comes up the sides of the dumplings. Anoint each bowl with a few drops of chile oil and a couple of basil leaves (or sliced green onions).

Coconut Corn Broth

6 large ears corn, preferably organic and in season, shucked
3 quarts water
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk or coconut cream
1 jalapeño chile, halved lengthwise (remove the seeds for less heat)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
1/4 cup garlic cloves (8 to 12 cloves), crushed with the flat of your knife
10 fresh mint sprigs, stems and all
1 bay leaf
1 star anise, optional
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 lime, juiced

Snap or cut the ears of corn in half. Bring the water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add the corn and everything else except the lime juice. Cut the heat to medium, then bring the liquid to a slow simmer. Let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the corncobs and cut the kernels from the cobs (see headnote). Return the naked cobs to the broth along with the lime juice. Continue simmering gently over medium heat for another 30 minutes. The liquid will reduce in volume by about one-fourth, which is fine. Shut off the heat and let everything cool down a bit in the pot. Strain the warm broth through a fine-mesh strainer into quart containers, then use immediately or refrigerate for a week or two before using.

— From “The Wicked Healthy Cookbook: Free. From. Animals.” by Chad Sarno and Derek Sarno (Grand Central Life & Style, $30)

Farm-to-table dinner to feature the reveal of a tiny house made from a dairy truck

Green Gate Farms has always been known for the historic farmhouse that sits on its far East Austin property, but now its River Farm, located at 176 Howard Lane in Bastrop, has a unique home that is literally one-of-a-kind.

Green Gate Farms, which recently celebrated 10 years in Austin, has a second River Farm property near Bastrop that will host a farm-to-table dinner on May 12 that includes the reveal of a tiny home created from old dairy trucks. Contributed by Green Gate Farms.

This weekend, the farm will reveal its new tiny home, which was created using repurposed dairy trucks for a television show called “You Can’t Turn That into a House.” The solar-powered, off-grid home will be part of a larger farm tour that takes place before a farm-t0-table dinner on Saturday night. They will also screen part of the TV show.

The event is from 5 to 9 p.m. and tickets cost $100. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit the event page.

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit New Farm Institute, Green Gate Farms’ educational non-profit organization, and the farm dinner is in partnership with Escoffier Culinary School, Native Solar, Hannah Bakery, Copper Shot Distillery and other local food artisans.

“Red Arrow Productions did an amazing job creating an innovative, sustainable tiny house that we want to share as part of our new farm-based education programming,” says Green Gate co-founder Skip Connett said in a release. “Escoffier’s Farm-to-Table Program has been a long-time partner in our farm-based education efforts and we are excited to celebrate this five-year relationship with a unique culmination dinner prepared by the school’s chefs and students using Green Gate products.”

Concha feel the love: Where to find a heart-shaped pan dulce for Mother’s Day

Heart-shaped foods aren’t only popular around Valentine’s Day.

For Mother’s Day, Fiesta is selling these heart-shaped pan dulces, also known as conchas or, as Fiesta puts it, “corazonchas.” Contributed by Fiesta

To celebrate Mother’s Day this week, Fiesta is selling heart-shaped conchas — those colorful pan dulces found at Mexican bakeries and many everyday grocery stores alike — at both its Austin locations along Interstate 35, one near 38th Street and another at Stassney.

RELATED: What moms really want for Mother’s Day can’t be bought

Mother’s Day 2018: Which restaurants offer moms deals or freebies?

Starting today through May 13, you can buy these “corazonchas” for 65 cents each or an 8-pack for $2.99 at all the Fiesta stores in Texas. You’ll remember that Fiesta got a new owner a few months ago, and this is the latest in a series of new marketing initiatives to expand the supermarket’s consumer reach.

Contributed by Fiesta

 

 

New Austin dinner club features wild edibles (not those edibles)

Barr Mansion hosts dozens of weddings, parties and even a festival or two at its stunning property in Northeast Austin.

Jessie Ximenes, left, will prepare the meal for Barr Mansion first dinner series, Tastefully ATX. She’s seen here with Barr Mansion farmer Eli Young. Contributed by Barr Mansion.

 

But starting this month, Barr Mansion, 10463 Sprinkle Road, will launch Tastefully ATX, its first dinner series to benefit Austin-area nonprofits. The series starts on May 17 with a dinner from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. featuring food from Barr Mansion chef Jessie Ximenes.

RELATED: With tacos, lucha and live music, Taco Libre returns to Austin on May 12

Best part of this 5K on June 23? The food stops along the way!

The theme is Flower Power, so Ximenes will be sourcing many of the flowers and other edible plants from Barr Mansion’s sprawling organic garden. She’ll also have special guest Scooter Cheetham, president and founder of Useful Wild Plants, to share some of his wit and wisdom on the power of plants.

Tickets cost $125, and you can find them at barrmansion.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With tacos, lucha and live music, Taco Libre returns to Austin on May 12

Tacos, live music and lucha libre wrestling will return to Austin on Saturday, May 12, when the second Taco Libre takes place in Republic Square park downtown.

Aski the Mayan Warrior is one of the luchadores who will perform at the May 12 Taco Libre event in Austin, which will take place from 3 to 10 p.m. at Republic Square Park. Contributed by Taco Libre.

From 3 to 10 p.m., 15 taco vendors will be selling $2 tacos while guests enjoy wrestling matches between top lucha libre wrestlers and listen to live music from Jenny and the Mexicats, Los Skarnales,  Superfónicos and Gina Chavez. (For those of you wrestling fans out there, the card features matches between Aski the Mayan Warrior and Thunder Rosa versus Kyra Maya and Doctor Muerte, Orquidia Negra versus Astro Latino, Mogambo and Michael Faith versus Gran Tiger and Poder Nocturno, and Titan versus Joe DeMaro.)

All taquerias will have a $2 taco option, while supplies last, event organizers said in a release. Children 5 and under are free, and tickets for ages 6-12 are $10. Participating taco restaurants and food trucks include El Dorado Cafe, Mr. Meximum, Kesos Taco House, Rosarito, Taco Sweets, Tacodeli, Taconmaye, Pakal Autochthonous Mexican Cookery, Vaquero Taquero, Juana Taco, Mr. Fish, Austin Taco Project, El Cruz Ranch, Saint City, Casa Linda, Johnny Joe’s, Compadres and La Fantabulous.

You can buy tickets ($16 for general admission, $70 for early VIP entry at 2 p.m.) here. For more info, go to tacolibrefest.com.

The clouds might be gray, but this mint lemonade will brighten your week

As the annual Lemonade Day returns this weekend to more than 50 cities around the country, hundreds of Central Texas kids are preparing their own lemonade stands.

Through these lemonade stands, which will operate in neighborhoods across Austin on Saturday, May 5, kids how to start, own and operate their very own business, and through the process, they can pick up financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills before they get into high school. You can find the Austin-area stands and sign up to participate at lemonadeday.org/austin.

Limonana is a mint lemonade that’s popular in the Middle East. This version comes from April White’s new book, “Lemonade with Zest: 40 Thirst-Quenching Recipes” (Chronicle Books, $16.95). Contributed by Gentl & Hyers

Kids, if you’re still looking for a recipe for your lemonade stand, here’s an eye-catching option: Limonana, the bright green mint lemonade from the Middle East. It comes from April White’s new lemonade cookbook, which features dozens of variations on this indelible summer drink.

Middle Eastern Limonana

This bright-green combination of lemon and mint is found on tables throughout the Middle East. But the name limonana is borrowed from, of all places, a 1990s advertising stunt. To showcase the power of bus ads, an Israeli advertising firm created a fake product called Limonana — a mash-up of the similar Arabic and Hebrew words for lemon and mint. Soon, everyone was asking for the thirst-quencher by name.

— April White

1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 9 lemons)
3 cups loosely packed mint leaves (from about 20 stems)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups still water
Ice cubes

In a blender, combine the lemon juice, mint, sugar, and 1/2 cup of the water and blend until fully liquid. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids.

In a pitcher, stir together the mint mixture and the remaining 3 1/2 cups water. Serve over ice cubes. Serves 4 to 6.

— From “Lemonade with Zest: 40 Thirst-Quenching Recipes” by April White (Chronicle Books, $16.95)

Depressed Cake Shop returns to Austin in May with the help of seven local bakeries

The Austin chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness has a whole slate of events set up for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, including Nerd Nite at the North Door on May 5 and Testify Austin event at the Spider House Ballroom on May 31.

Depressed Cake Shops started in England in 2013, but now you can find them popping up in Austin. In May, six local bakeries will sell baked goods to raise awareness about mental health. Contributed by Depressed Cake Shop

But sometimes you just need a cupcake. Or a cookie.

That’s why NAMI Austin is expanding its Depressed Cake Shop idea to include seven bakeries all over the city: Sweetish Hill Bakery, Dream Bakery, Cupprimo, Fat Cats, Skull & Cakebones, Sweet Treats and Zucchini Kill. All month, these bakeries will sell baked goods that are cute, funny, sad, uplifting, honest and just OK to represent the many emotions we all go through every day and to remind us that we aren’t alone in feeling them.

RELATED: Depressed Cake Shop comes to Austin to spark discussion about mental health

Photo from Sugar Fashionista.

Most of the treats will have an element of gray “to signify the gray cloud that can descend over a beautiful world when someone is struggling with mental health issues. Bright colors inside the dessert represent the hope that always continues,” according to a release.

These events are “designed to educate, entertain, and encourage the community to change the mental health conversation,” says Karen Ranus, NAMI Austin Executive Director.

You can find out more about NAMI’s events this month at namiaustin.org/depressed-cake-shop.

Here’s your chance to learn about herbs at American Botanical Council’s East Austin headquarters

Herbs are fascinating plants. They season our food, they scent our homes and, with the right application, they can heal our bodies.

Since 1988, the Austin-based American Botanical Council has been sharing research and educational resources about beneficial plants. Contributed by the American Botanical Council.

Medical plants have been around for even longer than humans have been using them, but since 1988, the Austin-based American Botanical Council has been sharing research and educational resources about herbs, teas, medicinal plants, essential oils and other beneficial plant-derived materials.

RELATED: How the American Botanical Council made the old Case Mill Homestead home

HerbDay is the American Botanical Council’s annual free event to share knowledge and know-how about beneficial plants. Contributed by American Botanical Council

The organization has called 6200 Manor Road home since 1997, and for the past 13 years, the nonprofit has opened its doors every spring for HerbDay, a free celebration of all things herbs.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 5, you can hear from local botanists, herbalists and teachers about the healing power of plants at Austin’s HerbDay event. (Click here to find other HerbDay events in Oregon, Florida, New Mexico and Pennsylvania.)

In addition to the free talks in the council’s many gardens, they’ll have plants and books for sale, a May pole, art and herb planting activities for children of all ages and free refreshments. You can find out more at herbday.org.

Here’s the schedule for the event on Saturday, May 5:

10:30 – 11:30: Herb walk with JoAnn Sanchez and Beth Ebbing Johnson, herbalist and owner of Sacred Moon Herbs

11:45 – 1:15: Herb talk with JoAnn Sanchez, botanist, herbalist and teacher of herbalism at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, presentation on Nourishing our Nervous Systems.

1:30 – 2:30: Herb walk with Ginger Webb, Owner of Texas Medicinals and Sacred Journey School of Herbalism

2:45 – 3:45: Herb talk with Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, presentation on Humorous Health: Conventional & Alternative Medicine, Pharmaceuticals Drugs, Diet, and Lifestyle as Seen through Cartoons

Feel the buzz: Bee rescue company hosting ‘CBD-infused dinner extravaganza’ on April 25

As bee populations continue to decline, one Austin honey company is trying to raise awareness about bee rescue — and cannabis.

Canna Bees’ parent company, Bee Delightful, is hosting a “CBD-infused dinner extravaganza” on April 25 to raise money for its bee rescue efforts. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman

A few weeks ago, I told you about Canna Bees, which is Texas’ first CBD-infused honey from a bee rescue company called Bee Delightful. You can find the honey at the SoCo Select Farmers and Makers Market on Saturdays and at several area retail outlets, such as Thom’s.

RELATED: Texans could lose access to retail cannabis products

Cuvée Coffee has made cold brew with hemp oil in it, to be released April 20

The honey contains CBD, a naturally occurring cannabinoid extracted from hemp. Marijuana, you’ll remember, is also a cannabis plant that is often sought after — especially today — for its THC levels. Like countless other CBD-infused products hitting the market right now, Canna Bees doesn’t have any THC, so it doesn’t result in a “high.”

CBD does, however, reduce stress and anxiety according to many consumers, which is what draws them to both supplements and infused commercial products.

On April 25 at Barr Mansion, the company is hosting a “pollinator-to-table, CBD-infused, dinner extravaganza” to raise money for its bee rescue efforts.

From the site: You’ll be surrounded by a symphony of scents, live music and delightfully social people, all excitedly awaiting the arrival of a live honey bee colony, rescued just moments before the event. We’ll stage the final act of the rescue at Barr Mansion for all of our guests to see. Our rescue operators and beekeeping experts will be joining us as well, happy to share stories, compelling news and answer any of your questions. During the event, all of our attendees will have access to four complimentary masseuses, henna artists and other live entertainment. Beverages will be infused with hemp including New Belgium’s new Hemperor HPA.”

You can find tickets to the event ($100 for general admission, $150 for VIP) at beedelightful.com.