Food Chick Blog

Global Food Tourism Awards Food Chick Tours

It’s hard to believe I started Food Chick Tours only two years ago. In that time I have personally hosted more than 1,500 hungry, adventurous people and shown them just how creative and daringly delicious San Antonio’s food scene really is.

At the recent Global Food Tourism Conference in Montreal, the Global Food Tourism Association surprised me with the Rookie of the Year award. The award recognized my business growth and my focus on maintaining boutique, customized, small-group culinary tours of San Antonio.

I am honored and deeply grateful to the chefs, bakers, restaurateurs, GMs, servers, bartenders, cooks, busboys, back-of-house administrators, artisinal food producers, farmers, ranchers, professional drivers and dishwashers who support every step of my San Antonio food tours. I am also grateful to Audrey Benadum, the “other chick” who helps me provide outstanding care to guests on large group food tours and special corporate events.

I take pride in each custom food tour I create, and am thrilled that my guests enjoy themselves every time. If you haven’t taken a tour yet, come join me! If you have already taken a tour, please come back for another. No two food tours in San Antonio are the same when you join a Food Chick Tour. I guarantee it.

Wicked Crispy Treat

Wicked Crisps Taste Test

I agreed to taste-test and review new Wicked Crisps manufactured by veteran-owned KLB Enterprises in Greensboro, NC. I resisted opening the four colorful bags until I had time to give them my full attention.

Writing deadlines are funny things. They demand we focus on the stories we are telling, yet they also encourage us to walk away periodically so we can remain focused.

That’s where Wicked Crisps come in. I was writing about insurance and needed a break from that serious business.

So I walked away from the computer and filled four small bowls with the recommended serving size of each of the four test flavors of Wicked Crisps: Spinach Parmesan, Cheesy Cheese Pizza, Red Curry Hummus, and Sweet Potato Soufflé. Each 1 oz. serving delivers about 120 calories and about 22 g of carbs, but the package clearly boasts I was about to get “deliciously deceptive nutrition” too. Armed with a caffeine-packed iced tea, I was ready for my writing deadline enhancer.

The crispy treats hit the high notes of super crunch and salt – with the exception of the Sweet Potato Soufflé chip that cranked up sweeter notes. And while I chomped on my first Cheesy Cheese handful, fully expecting to want to eat the whole bag, I instead found myself full after the suggested serving size of 21 chips. That NEVER happens with Fritos!

Wicked Crisps are certified gluten free, made with all non-GMO ingredients, and free of meat (but not dairy). The compound mixtures contain a host of flours, starches, fibers, oils, spices, salt and sugars. While filling and generally tasty, the promised nutrition was hard to pin down. Was that a reference to the 12% RDA of Calcium in three of the four varieties? Or was it the 11% RDA of Iron, 4 grams of protein, and 3 grams of dietary fiber in the Red Curry Hummus? Perhaps it’s also a reference to the mere 3 grams of total fat per serving – with no Saturated or Trans-fat.

Compared to Original Fritos, at 160 calories and 10 grams of fat (including 1.5 grams of Saturated fat) per 1 oz. serving, Wicked Crisps are a clear winner. In order of my taste preference, I suggest the spicy curry hints of the Red Curry Hummus first, followed by the subtle Cheesy Cheese Pizza and Spinach Parmesan, and finally the dulcet tones of Sweet Potato Soufflé.

Julia Celeste is owner/host of Food Chick Tours in San Antonio, Texas. A journalist, food enthusiast and traveler, The Food Chick enjoys all facets of the culinary world. Book her fun, filling, fantastic food adventures at www.foodchicktours.com.

Great artwork on the Wicked Crisps bags!

 

THE FOOD CHICK IS FULL OF IT

9/29/17

Opinions. Insight. Information. Food history. Enthusiasm. Love.

That’s because I’ve been writing about San Antonio’s food and dining scene, officially and formally, for more than 11 years. My assignments have given me liberty to chat freely with chefs, bakers, restaurant owners, artisanal food producers, farmers, chicken ranchers, plus cattle-men and cattle-women. I feel close to many, intimate with only a few.

I recently stepped down as the monthly restaurant reviewer for San Antonio Magazine. Yet because I still operate Food Chick Tours, an active boutique food tour business, I intend to stay just as embedded in the food world as I ever was. I plan to keep exploring foods from around the world, tasting new products, developing my own kitchen skills. Because knowing what’s going on makes my tours more interesting. And in the end, fascinating content is the most important component of a food tour.

I look forward to sharing my opinions, insights, information, food history, enthusiasm and love with you on a semi-regular basis. I hope you’ll find some of it fun, and much of it enriching.

Until the next course,

J.

Here’s a prime example of a dish that was served on one of my tours: Buttered radishes with crunchy sea salt from Chef Heather Nanez. I loved it so much I learned to make it. Now it’s a staple for my own parties. (But hers is still better.)

Exploding Food!?

More accurately, exploding food scene. That’s what’s happening in San Antonio as more media outlets cover our creative chefs and what they’re plating. The explosion has also sparked a fire in the hearts of many who choose to strike out on their own to follow their food-focused dreams. It’s a fluid burst where some make it, and some don’t. It can be hard to wrangle the news and tough to stay on top of. But that’s why I’m here.

So what has made San Antonio blow up? Talent. Drive. Passion. And the fact that visitors and locals alike are willing to try new dishes, experience unique flavors, support independent businesses and appreciate what goes into every venture.

In the 35+ years I’ve lived in San Antonio I’ve seen nothing but change – from road expansions to the opening of ethnic grocery stores. In this blog spot, The Food Chick will attempt to tour you through San Antonio’s ever-developing culinary world and give you a heads up on what’s new and special. Some of these places may be added to upcoming Food Chick Tours, others will be available upon request for customized tours.

As always, let me do the work for you. I love discovering new places, talking to the chefs about their techniques, trying new cocktails and exploring everything from dives to diva-haunts. I go out of my way to find connecting threads and contrasting philosophies. I find it all fascinatingly invigorating.

Join me on a Food Chick Tour soon. And if you can’t, join me here as I take you on a virtual tour of San Antonio’s exciting flavors.

Bon appétit!

Julia

Upcoming Events:

  • Bourbon dinner featuring small-batch, Texas-made Garrison Brothers Bourbon
    • February 19th, 6:30 p.m. – 18 Oaks at the JW Marriott – Contact Megan Rowley at 210-483-6625