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All-Star Female Chefs Are Throwing an Epic SXSW Dinner

Ashley Christensen, Sarah Grueneberg, Alex Raij, Ashleigh Martin, and Christina Tosi will cook up a five-course SouthBites meal

Ashley Christensen
Ashley Christensen
Nick Pironio
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

South by Southwest’s SouthBites, the festival’s food-focused branch, announced its latest collaborative dinner. This time, it’s a single five-course dinner featuring the country’s best female chefs for one evening on Monday, March 12 at Olamaie on 1610 San Antonio Street in downtown Austin.

The all-star SXSW dinner team includes Ashley Christensen (North Carolina chef, who was also named Eater’s chef of the year last year), Chicago chef Sarah Grueneberg (James Beard Award-winning chef of Chicago’s Monteverde), Alex Raij (chef of New York Spanish restaurants El Quinto Pino, Txikito, and Michelin-starred La Vera), Ashleigh Martin (culinary assistant to Vivian Howard), and Christina Tosi (pastry maven behind Momofuku Milk Bar). As for drinks, Alba Huerta (bartender at Houston bar Julep) and Carla Rza Betts (co-winemaker of An Approach to Relaxation) will mix cocktails and pour wines, respectively.

Tickets are $250, and are open to non-SXSW badgeholders as well. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour and passed hor 'd oeuvres. Olamaie chef and owner Michael Fojtasek is hosting the evening, but he isn’t cooking.

Christensen, Grueneberg, Martin, and Betts are speaking on an SXSW panel discussing being females in the culinary industry, dubbed “Cook Out Loud: How to Create the Shift for a Better Restaurant Culture.” Tosi is speaking about how she continues to build the Momofuku Milk Bar brand with the help of collaborations on “Better Together: Cult Brand Collaborations.” She is also recording an episode of the Women Rule podcast with Wendy Davis and Politico’s Anna Palmer. Huerta and Raij are hosting a meet-up with female chefs called “Changing Restaurant Culture.”

Last year’s SXSW SouthBites dinners grouped DC superhero chef José Andrés with Aaron Franklin and Andrew Wiseheart at Chicon, and a second with Kevin Fink, Portland chef Naomi Pomeroy, and New York’s Michael Chernow.


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