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World's best chefs cook up can't-miss dinner series for Austin foodies

World's best chefs cook up can't-miss dinner series for Austin foodies

Emmer and Rye Hennessy Dinner
Kevin Fink's Emmer & Rye will host both Hugh Acheson and Alon Shaya during the series.  Photo by Sara Marjorie Strick

It's already brought you visits from Emeril Lagasse and Jacques Pepin, now the Austin Food & Wine Alliance is upping the ante by bringing four more superstar chefs to Austin.

The nonprofit, which supports the food community through culinary innovation grants, is bringing back its Wine & Dine series in June, a lineup of intimate dinners from some of the most recognizable names in the food world.

The series kicks off at Olamaie on June 28 with Matt Jennings, the four-time James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef: Northwest. His Boston restaurant, Townsman, is known for innovative takes on New England classic like clam chowder, taking full advantage of the region’s produce and plentiful produce. He will be joined by Olamaie chef Michael Fojtasek, a James Beard nominee himself for Best Chef: Southwest in 2018.

Following that dinner, Hugh Acheson will be in the kitchen July 30 with lauded Emmer & Rye chef and Beard semifinalist Kevin Fink. Acheson (and his notable eyebrows) will be familiar to viewer’s of Top Chef Masters and Top Chef, but he is also the chef and owner of five of the South’s best restaurants: Five & Ten and The National in Athens, Georgia, and Empire State South, Achie’s, and Spiller Park Coffee in Atlanta. Speaking of Beards, he has two of them: Best Chef: Southeast and Best American Cookbook.

New Orleans' Alon Shaya comes in September 10 for another dinner at Emmer & Rye. The Israeli chef (you guessed it) has his own set of James Beard Awards, including a nod for Best Chef: South and a huge Best New Restaurant win for his namesake restaurant, Shaya. (His newest eatery, Saba, is already drawing raves.)

Rounding out the powerhouse lineup is living legend Lidia Bastianich at L’Oca d’Oro on November 8. The television host, cookbook author, and restaurateur will be cooking with StarChef’s Rising Star chef Fiore Tedesco for an intimate dinner exploring Italian traditions and hospitality.

Tickets went on sale May 15 and traditionally sell out quickly. In addition to the dinner, the ticket price of the Jennings, Shaya, and Bastianich dinners includes a signed copy of their latest books.