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San Antonio Cocktail Conference
The new year means you get to pick up a new hobby, why not make it expert cocktail-making? In its fourth year, the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, now under the scope of director Cathy Siegel, will host more than four days' worth of dinners, seminars, parties and, of course, cocktail competitions. The festivities begin January 14 with a bourbon and barbecue kickoff at Two Bros. BBQ Market and prix fixe, spirit-focused dinners throughout the city; followed by a glammed-up opening party at the Majestic Theatre on Thursday; a throwback soiree that recalls the St. Anthony's former days as the Waldorf on the Prairie; a Stroll on Houston Street with curated snacks along the way; and a fierce cocktail throwdown to end the weekend. Prices vary, January 14-18, sanantoniococktailconference.com.
Culinaria's Spring Restaurant Week
Why have one week devoted to the city's burgeoning culinary scene when you can have two? Kick off the year with a tour of your favorite eateries or line up new joints you've yet to savor. The organization, which supports students going into culinary fields, will once again feature two price tiers ($15, $35 and $10, $25) at dozens of restaurants throughout San Antonio. Multiple locations, January 19-24, culinariasa.org.
To put it simply, you're going to want to attend this event. Put on by chef John Russ and friends, the gathering centers around a boucherie, or group butchering of heritage hogs, in this case provided by the folks at Vintage Hearts Farm in Stockdale. Russ and co. will showcase their Louisiana roots with a day's worth of eats, demos and more. Enjoy the picturesque drive and celebrate locally raised pork while you're at it. Tentatively set for February, vintageheartfarm.com.
The Institute of Texan Cultures celebrates the year of the ram with the 28th annual Asian Festival. Stop in for dance and martial arts demonstrations, performances, arts and crafts, and more than 15 food vendors doling out Japanese, Korean, Thai, Laotian and Indian fare. $5-$10, 10am-5pm February 21, texancultures.com.
Flavor: The Event
In 2013, we introduced a food-driven event that combined restaurants with foodies and chefs with their biggest fans. We're doing it all over again at the San Antonio Museum of Art for a night of bites, booze and tasty debauchery. March 5, stay tuned to sacurrent.com for details.
San Antonio Beer Festival Spring Edition
We did such a good job this fall we're doing it all over again with chingos of beers, from big-name brands to craft brews from all over the country. We carve out a special place in our beer-loving hearts for local breweries and pile on the beer snacks with local food trucks making tacos, funnel cakes and more. Stop in, sample the day away and lounge around to get through that hoppy buzz. March 28 (to coincide with Beer Week), stay tuned to sacurrent.com for details.
Culinaria 5K Wine & Beer Run
Burn off all those food event calories with this easy 5K through the hills of La Cantera (15900 La Cantera Pkwy). The finish line features wine, beer and breakfast via your favorite eateries and chefs. $45, 8am March 21, culinariasa.org.
Alton Brown Live!
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts welcomes the best-known food nerd while on The Edible Inevitable Tour. The two-hour show combines food science, goggles, a multi-media lecture and live music performed by Brown himself. $55 and up, 7:30pm April 3, tobincenter.org.
Fiesta San Antonio
Our favorite time of the year means donning our most bedazzled chanclas and brightest guayaberas while taking in as many foods on a stick as possible. The chances are plenty as the party starts with gator on a stick at Taste of New Orleans at Sunken Garden, followed by oyster shucking at St. Mary's University's Oyster Bake, which makes way for gorditas, bratwurst and Maria's Tortillas in La Villita for A Night in Old San Antonio. We can't wait. Prices vary, April 16-26, fiesta-sa.org.
Twisted Taco Truck Throwdown
What's a little friendly competition? The city's best taco trucks, from classics to underground newbies, face off to find out which truck makes the best al pastor tacos around at VFW Post 76. Wash down all the taco research with a cool cerveza or two. Tentatively set for May.
Culinaria Festival Week
Roll up several badass foodie events into one four-day span and you've got Culinaria's signature Festival Week. Dinners across the city's fine dining joints, a gathering of mobile kitchens on wheels for the Food Truck Event, a luncheon at Becker Vineyards, more than just tacos at The Best of Mexico, a splurge of a Grand Tasting and a laid-back Burgers & Beer make for satiated bellies at every price point. Prices vary, May 13-17, culinariasa.org.
Cocktail: The Event
The Current celebrated the roaring '20s and glitter-happy '70s for our previous two Cocktail parties. Regardless of theme, the night promises boozy drinks via your favorite bartenders, live local music, bites from the hottest restaurants and a chance to show off your costume collection. Tentatively set for July, stay tuned to sacurrent.com for details.
The Food Truck Throwdown
Boardwalk on Bulverde, the grandfather of SA food truck parks, hosts an annual bash that celebrates mobile fare in a family-friendly setting that features a playground, arcade and activities for all. Tentatively set for July.