This year, the biggest party of the Austin and San Antonio food and beverage scenes came right to your living room. CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards — Virtual Edition brought all the delicious and innovative ideas from our cities' best chefs and bartenders straight to you, courtesy of Tasting Totes that were brimming with goodies.
If you purchased a ticket to the online awards show, hosted by hip-hop legend Bun B, then you also got to indulge in generous samples from nominees. Missed out this year? When you see what you could have enjoyed, you'll be first in line to purchase in 2021, whether the party is virtual or in-person.
VIP ticket-holders had their Tasting Totes delivered right to their door, while general admission attendees swung by 7Co to pick up their swag bags.
Once home, a feast awaited, complete with a bottle of Grandes Vinos Monasteria Reserva or Old Vine Garnacha (read more about their history here), a six-pack of Topo Chico, and a variety of craft beers from Oskar Blues Brewery along with their Wild Basin boozy sparkling water.
The next best thing to having 2018 Bartender of the Year winner Erin Ashford make you a drink in person is to have her show you how to do it yourself, step by step onscreen. Equipped with Dripping Springs Vodka, Topo Chico, and a to-die-for lavender lemonade mix, guests could mix their own cocktails to get the party started.
Guests could also shake things up with the first edition of the Tastemakers Cocktail Book, filled with exclusive recipes by Bartender of the Year nominees from across the state.
As for delicious bites from the nominees, VIP guests could dig into paté from Comedor; an appetizer board from Swedish Hill; house-made salsa and street puffy duros from El Alma; gougeres with black pepper and gruyere from Foreign & Domestic; and a savory trio from Dai Due that included landjäger sausage, liptauer cheese spread, and Alpine-spice rye schüttelbrot.
Chocolate chip, lemon meltaway, and peanut butter milkshake cookies from Paper Route Bakery were waiting for dessert.
GA diners certainly weren't left out in the cold. A seafood ceviche tostada from Comedor joined the aforementioned offerings from El Alma, Foreign & Domestic, and Dai Due, with lasagne alla bolognese from Enoteca Vespaio rounding out the main dishes.
Chocolate chunk cookies from Swedish Hill ended everything on a sweet note.