2014 International Festival Celebrates Australia...But Hold the Vegemite, Please

1959413_10152166001501236_2127269955_n.jpg
Image courtesy International Festival
This year's poster was designed by local artist Carlos Hernandez. You can buy one online!
I'm excited about this year's International Festival highlighting Australia for two reasons: One, it gives me an excuse to post the music video for Men At Work's brilliant 1980 song "Land Down Under" (see the next page), and two, I honestly don't know much about Australian food.

Being that the festival is hosted here in Houston, a number of local chefs will be coming out to showcase their cuisine, but there will also be Australian chefs and vendors introducing Texas to the wonders of food from Down Under.

Hot on the heels of Houston's Second Annual BBQ Festival, the International Festival is hosting a "Texas vs. Barbie Cook-Off" competition on May 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Hermann Square Park featuring local chefs and restaurants. The festival will also have a concession area with food from more than 40 restaurants, some of whom will be trying their hand at Australian cuisine.

So far, the barbecue competition plans to welcome Kevin Bryant of Eleven XI, Donald Chang of Nara, Dwayne Carrington of Fiesta Mart, Susie Jimenez of Trenza, Soren Pedersen of Sorrel Urban Bistro, Bob Iacovone of Fish & the Knife, Joe Gerardi of Fleming's Steakhouse, Staci Davis of Radical Eats, Patricia Alvarez-Burdette of Mr. Peeples and Jason Gould of Cyclone Anaya's. Gould is actually a native Australian, so he might be a tall poppie at the event. I read that's Australian slang for successful. I have no idea if that's accurate.

Anyway! Fiesta Mart will be providing Lone Star Legacy Beef, as well as other meats and seafood options, for the grilling competition. Australian wines will also be available for sampling.

I'll be there judging the event along with Peter Remington, the publisher of Houston Modern Luxury; Lance Zierlein, host of the morning show on Sports Talk 790; Eric Sandler, food writer at CultureMap (and the man I like to refer to as the Perez Hilton of the Houston food scene); Ron Jenkins, a board member of the Houston Festival Foundation; and Daniel Vaughan, who last year was hired as barbecue editor at Texas Monthly.

Tickets start at $75 and are available online.

If music is more your thing but you still want good eats, check out the festival concessions. There will be more than 40 vendors at the event, ranging from local restaurants including Boheme and Menchie's Frozen Yogurt to traveling vendors, non-profits and religious groups.

Mark Lacy, executive director of the Houston Institute for Culture and the man in charge of concessions at the International Festival, notes that in past years the featured country has also had a number of restaurants in Houston that serve their native food. He points to Brazil and India as examples.

"But there aren't lots of Australian restaurants in town," he says, so we'll be munching on truly multicultural cuisine. No vegemite here. We hope.

And now, without further ado...

Location Info

Map

Hermann Square Park

900 Smith Street, Houston, TX

Category: General

Eleven XI Restaurant & Bar

607 W. Gray St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Nara

2800 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Trenza - CLOSED

2800 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sorrel Urban Bistro

2202 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Fish & The Knife

7801 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Radical Eats

507 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mr. Peeples Seafood & Steak

1911 Bagby St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
5 comments
yourdad
yourdad

I think vegemite is foul.

But, in its defense, De gustibus non est disputandum.


electramummy
electramummy

Vegemite makes life tolerable. Period. 


Claire Richards
Claire Richards

I'm bringing my giant inflatable aussie finger!!!! I hope there's gonna be some cherry ripes and violet crumbles somewhere!

LaMariposa
LaMariposa

Vegemite is the tits. You don't know what you're missing -- spread a pea-sized bit of it on toast with butter, top with cheddar cheese and you're in snack heaven. 

KaitlinS
KaitlinS topcommenter

@yourdad  I didn't even have to read the name of the commenter to know that was you haha

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...