I'm fast becoming a foodie! It comes with the territory of being owner of a local events planning company, because good food is a big part of any successful corporate conference or event. Austin's culinary scene does not disappoint and I'm noticing some definite trends on our city's food front:

East Side King
East Side King. Photo by Christian Remde.

Asian Fusion
Authentic Asian fine dining in Austin has been on a slow and steady simmer but the future promises a full rolling boil! East Side King is ruling the domain with Asian-infused classic concepts, herbed rices and savory ramen. Uchiko is taking Japanese cuisine to levels before unimagined (see specialized dishes below) while we wait impatiently for the opening of Wu Chow the next tantalizing venture from the owners of modern American farm to table hot spot, Swift's Attic.

Eat Like a Local
Don't be fooled by some of the national food-chains on our main thoroughfare through town - while our city does enjoy the big chain staples, Austin supports its farmers and is all about the farm-to-table mentality. We eat localeverything from Torchy's Tacos (inquire about its secret menu,) Chuy's (the creamy jalapeno dip is to die for,) and Eastside Cafe (with its own garden and home grown hens out back.) One of my favorites is Second Bar + Kitchen which offers a seasonal menu and dishes made with produce from local farms.

Specialty Dishes
Austin loves, loves, loves specialty dishes. I'm always keeping an eye out for spectacular, unique, unconventional concoctions like Swift's Attic's Charred Edamame starter snack made with pop rocks (which inspired me to create a pop rocks-themed event complete with pop rock-sprinkled salads and martinis.) While Uchiko's Tobacco Cream Chocolate Sorbet may not be for every palate, its a testament to the kind of out-of-the-box creativity youll get at some of Austin's most talked-about restaurants.

Austin will continue to be known for its food trailers, barbecue and Tex-Mex, but we are that and so much more. Get out there and try some of the many signature dishes our local chefs are cooking up!

Contributed by Cindy Lo, Event Producer and Strategist.