11 Japanese Kaiten Sushi Destinations Making Heads Spin Near You

Recently, I learned that Kaiten style sushi – think: the automated sushi-train – was created in the 1950’s. Immediately, I recalled a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant Wasabi in Northern Virginia’s Tysons Corner Mall when we were living nearby. It was a first-floor fixture right under the escalator—so that as my feet moved up, my eyes moved side-to-side as I watched the dizzying, captivating and beautiful belt in motion!

Kaiten style sushi (aka, Kaiten-zushi), known for its low cost but satisfying (and fun!) fish-fare, is served off the moving belt and is usually available ‘all-you-can-eat’ for a set fee, or the color or type of plate determines the price. Want to give it a try locally? There are several other US sushi bars and restaurants offering a similarly authentic Japanese Kaiten sushi experience in NYC, Miami, Houston, Austin, and San Francisco.

Here are some ideas for enjoying Kaiten style sushi near you.

NEW YORK CITY

East Japanese Restaurant
366 3rd Avenue
New York, NY 10016
212.889.2326
Website

Kido Sushi
90-15 Queens Blvd.
Queens Center Mall
Elmhurst, NY 11373
718.271.3688
Website

WASHINGTON DC

Wasabi
Tysons Corner Center
1961 Chain Bridge Rd.
McLean, VA 22102
703.388.0646
Website
@SushiByWasabi

Matuba Japanese Restaurant
4918 Cordell Avenue
Bethesda, MD
301.652.7449
Website
@MatubaSushi

MIAMI

Katana Japanese Restaurant
920 71st Street
Miami Beach, FL 33141
305.864.0037
Website

Blue Ginger
15791 Sheridan Street
Southwest Ranches, FL 33331
954.680.9998
Website

HOUSTON

Sushi Choo Choo
1675 S. Voss Road
Houston, TX 77063
713.783.1368
Website                                 

Sushi Sakura Express
1014 Wirt Road
Houston, TX 77055
713.263.7552
Website

AUSTIN

Korean Garden
6519 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78752
512.302.3149
Website                                         

          

SAN FRANCISCO

Katana Japanese Restaurant
920 71st Street
Miami Beach, FL 33141
305.864.0037
Website

Blue Ginger
15791 Sheridan Street
Southwest Ranches, FL 33331
954.680.9998
Website

Go out and try this fun sushi soon. In the meantime, be inspired by the Kaiten sushi eye candy that Erika Owen features in her article which highlights successful Japanese restaurant Muten Kuraszushi in Tokyo. 

P.s., the image is courtesy of rakratchada torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
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Six 2017 International Film Festivals You Gotta Catch in America

Spring and Fall brings with it several international film festivals in America, especially in metropolitan and culturally diverse cities like New York, Washington DC, Miami, Houston, Austin, and San Francisco. During these international film festivals, goers will be treated to the best in cinema from more than 80 countries in some cases. These festivals offer a glimpses into the cultures, life experiences, and visual artistry of people from around the world.

Below is a list of upcoming international film festivals that you don’t want to miss if you like- or are curious about international cinema. If you love to travel or are curious about the way of life of people from around the world, you’re bound to find so many ways to live vicariously through the beautiful and compelling stories in these international movies.

New York City, NY

New York City International Film Festival, April 3-7, 2017

Known nationally, as well as internationally, the two-week long New York City International Film Festival (INYFF) brings world cinema to NYC from filmmakers around the globe. You’ll find movie showcases with artistic merit and scope from several countries and regions, including two days reserved for films from Latin American countries and China. For more information on tickets, the awards night, and schedule, visit the NYC International Film Festival site.

Houston, TX

Houston WorldFest, April 21 – 30, 2017

Houston’s International film festival, WorldFest Houston, is happening as I write. At WorldFest this year, you can catch more than 50 feature films and 100 short film premiers, at the City’s AMC Studio 30 Dunvale Theaters. The film festival emphasizes American and international independent feature films and features an annual spotlight on an individual country and it’s films–this year it’s China. For tickets, schedule of films and more information, click here.

cinema by caixa de luz, on Flickr
cinema” (CC BY 2.0) by  caixa de luz 

Miami, FL

GEMS Festival of Miami International Film Festival, March 3-12, 2017

The city of Miami’s International Film Festival took place March 4-13, 2016, but international film enthusiasts can catch the GEMS Festival in the Fall. Among its goals, the mission of the Miami International Film Festival has been to bridge cultural understanding through film. The four day film event, GEMS, will be held at MDC’s Tower Theatre Miami, and is slated to feature a specially curated program of new international movies, las joyas de la corona (the crown jewels) as it says, ahead of the Spring festival in 2017. For tickets, schedule and more information, visit the Miami Film festival site.

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco International Film Festival, April 5 – 19, 2017

This is longest running film festival in the Americas, and features a wonderful showcase of over 150 films. It’s rooted in an appreciation of film as both art and agent of social change for world citizens in the Bay area, and treats festival goers to narratives, action and animated shorts, as well as documentaries and more from over 80 countries. More than 70,000 people attend this international film festival each year. For more information, tickets, and film guide visit the San Francisco International Film Festival site here.

seeing is believing at sunset : castro, by torbakhopper, on Flickr
Castro Theatre where San Francisco International Film Festival is held “seeing is believing at sunset : castro,” (CC BY 2.0) by  torbakhopper 

Austin, TX

Austin Film Festival, October 26 – November 2, 2017

The Austin Film Festival (AFF) takes place in mid-October, and will feature 8 nights of international, short and feature films. Festival goers will enjoy over 150 regional, national and world premieres and advanced screening, from Hollywood to wonderful independent cinema, in the form of narratives, animations, documentaries and more.  For badges, passes and more information, visit the Austin Film Festival site.

Washington, DC

Washington DC International Shorts, December 9, 2017

Washington DC International Shorts is a year round film festival that collects and then screens selected movies at the end of each season. You can explore world cultures through comedy, drama, and animations collected, and then watch them when the festival launches in December. For more information on tickets and schedule of events, visit the festival here.

(Feature photo: “AMC Theaters” (CC BY 2.0) by  pasa47).

Austin’s Ristorante Il Forte Shares Homemade Flavors of Tuscany

When Cesar Navari and his wife Renata decided to open Ristorante Il Forte in downtown Austin, they brought a taste of their small coastal town of Forte Dei Marmi, Italy with them to share with the Long Horn Nation. Walk into their authentic northern Italian eatery on 8th street between Brazos and Congress Ave., and you’ll find the restaurant decorated with beautiful Italian-marble tables, paying homage to both their new home and the old-world Italian tradition they share. As MezzeCulture cultural hosts the Navari’s hosts a group of travel enthusiasts for a monthly event series, A Northern Italy Homemade Pasta Tour.

The Navari’s use their own Tuscan family recipes to create a range of specialties that patrons have come to love. From panini to pastas and a selection of wonderfully traditional antipasti and insalate, to small plates and salads, as well as a range of meat-rich dishes and sauces that accompany house-made ravioli and pastas. Of course, no generous Italian meal would be complete without an offering of several decedent Italian desserts, and that’s just what Il Forte does to delight guests with selections such as a custard-based Mascarpone Mousse and homemade Tiramisu that is Renata’s specialty.

il-forte-pasta-austin-italian-food

Attend the next Northern Italy House Made Pasta Tour at Ristorante Il Forte. Tickets »

When it comes to their family recipes from Tuscany, the team at Il Forte proudly shares the classic taste of their regional Italian fare from the small town of Forte Dei Marmi on the western coast of Italy in the Province of Lucca, about an hour and a half from Florence.

“When someone goes to [dine] at a restaurant in Italy, you’ll find small restaurants are run by the family and they take pride in everything they do, from the wine to the dishes to the experience,” Navari shared. These sentiments are what lay behind his and Renata’s own enthusiasm to share an authentic and warm experience that’s as quintessentially Italian with their own guests.

il-forte-austin-italian-food-2
MezzeCulture.co guests exploring Italian culture through the Northern Italy Homemade Pasta Tour event series hosted by Ristorante Il Forte in Austin

At the downtown eatery some dishes are a surprise to diners more familiar with popular Italian-American cuisine, but after stepping out of their comfort zones and giving these traditional Italian dishes and ingredients a try, they absolutely love them—the intense flavor of a meat-based ragù simmered like a familiar Bolognese sauce but a bit longer, for example, has become a favorite after being recently added to the menu.

fettuccine-with-mushroom-ragu-austin-italian-food-il-forte
Fettuccine with mushroom ragù

Step into the restaurant and you’ll feel a kind of joy as you walk into family-owned Italian hospitality that you’re drawn to  become a part of.  From a large photo of Forte Dei Marmi that decorates the wall above the entryway, to the marbled tables celebrating the locally beloved University of Texas Long Horns, and the warm scents of a large pizza oven baking favorites, the Navari’s and their Austin patrons always feel at home at Ristorante Il Forte.

Austin’s Houndstooth Coffee Event Pairs World Brews, Cheese and Chocolates

Here, MezzeCulture’s guests enjoyed our coffee and food pairing class hosted by Scotland-inspired Houndstooth Coffee—we learned about and tasted coffee, cheeses, and chocolate from several countries, including France, Kenya, Tanzania, Honduras, Colombia, and Guatemala. Below are some photos.

Daniel, the shop’s director of coffee and education took us through an hour long palate class, where he introduced us to the basics of how our senses affect our ability to taste different sensationssweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami flavors.

We tasted coffees from Colombia, Guatemala, Burundi, and Kenya. Houndstooth Coffee also explained how the elevation of these countries affects the acidity of the coffee. The higher the elevation, the more acidic the brew. The coffee from Kenya, for example, was paired with two different cheeses from France (a soft cheese and a hard cheese).

Our gathering was also treated to pairing of a combination of apples that we learned actually worked to complement the flavors of the Colombian coffee they were paired with.

houndstooth-mezzeculture-large2
Two types of apples paired with coffee from Colombia

It was fascinating to learn how aroma, acidity, flavor, body and mouthfeel all described the experience as we explored these foods and coffees from different countries. We also paired chocolates from Honduras and Tanzania with coffee from Guatemala, and learned how elevation was important to cocao farmers. The Tanzanian chocolate, for example,  had a vanilla and strawberry flavor, and higher acidity which resulted in a sweeter flavor. The chocolate from Honduras had a more cherry flavor and heavier mouthfeel. I’ll bet you didn’t know that flavor is heavily linked to your sense of smell!

Subcribe to MezzeCulture.co for other exclusive events for exploring cultures in your backyard.

Go See These 11 Texans Rockin’ International Music

A few months ago, the SXSW Music Festival and Conference took over Austin, Texas, and 11 Texan performers joined over 150 internationally-inspired acts that converged from more than 30 countries to showcase their music. Plus, the city enjoyed live performances from several Texan musicians and performers of international music.

But, world music lovers in Texas don’t have to wait for next year’s music festival to enjoy live performances from these Texan musicians and their ensembles. Take a journey into numerous cultures through music in your backyard through the sounds of the world near you. Here are the bands to check out from across Texas and several international music genres.

1. 1001 Nights Orchestra, Austin, Texas, describes itself as a “buffet of colorful music showcasing Middle Eastern cultures’ diversity and unity,” and beyond; known for music including Arabic, Greek, Turkish, Armenian, Russian, and more.


1001 Nights Orchestra, Austin, Texas


2. Atash
, Austin, Texas, creates a powerful, worldly and original sound through it’s use of musicians from around the world, as part of spreading it’s message of love and peace.

3. Eddy Kenzo, Dallas, Texas, a Ugandan native, music was a safe haven for Eddy, whose life story was short of magical, and bred a talent that led him to an international audience of thousands.


4. Gina Chaves
, Austin, Texas, Gina’s band has won audiences throughout the U.S. and abroad, as a multi-ethnic Latin pop artist, who is also Austin’s 2015 Musician of the Year.


5. Hard Proof, Austin, Texas,
an Afrobeat ensemble that’s become known for its great sense of rhythm and melody, this group is internationally-inspired from Nigeria to Ethiopia in its adventurous jazz.

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#Austin its your own fault if you missed this magic.

A post shared by Hard Proof (@hardproof) on


6. Intocable, Zapata, Texas, 
creates music because of its belief in it’s power to transcend boundaries- of genres, of borders, of languages, and that’s what we love to hear. You can catch the Mexican-inspired band play Norteño Tejano style of music.

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Coqueta desde Bryan, TX. Gracias por un #llenototal

A post shared by INTOCABLE (@grupointocable) on


7. Joel Laviolette & Rattletree, Austin, Texas,
 takes electronic music onto the live stage, featuring giant wooden marimbas (xylophones), customes, lights, video, and more in his trance inducing music of Zimbabwe.


Joel Laviolette & Rattletree


8. Khali Haat, Austin, Texas
, is a seven-piece collective that recently self-released its debut album of afro-beat, afro-pop and psychedelic-funk.


9. Los Skarnales, Houston, Texas
, performs a true-to-the-root mix of ska, cumbia, and rockabilly, with a punk attitude, throughout the U.S. and Mexico.


10. Henry Brun & The Latin Players
, San Antonio, Texas, a native of Puerto Rico, Henry is a Grammy award-winning Latin Jazz artist, and master at congas, bongos, timbales, and percussion instruments of Africa, Brazil and the Middle East.


Henry Brun & The Latin Playerz


11. The Chamanas, El Paso, Texas,
is a 5 member Latin Indie pop fusion ensemble possesses a unique combination of styles and genres from traditional Mexican folkore to pop, Brazilian Bossa Nova, Indie, Danzon, and more.

Chef Julio-Cesar Florez Shares a Taste of Peru in Austin Pop-up Dinner

When you’ve gathered together a group of Austin’s international culture and travel enthusiasts to discover Peruvian cuisine, on the day of the country’s independence and at a table in a Spanish restaurant, it’s going to be nothing short of an extraordinary juxtaposition—and celebration.

MezzeCulture teamed up with Austin-based Executive Chef Julio-Cesar Florez in August for a ticketed 4-course introduction to Peruvian cuisine, and how it’s been inspired by Spanish culture. During the exclusive meal guided by Chef Julio, sixteen MezzeCulture guests greeted one another across a communal table and then listened intently to a story as each plate was described, during a unique two-and-a-half-hour Peruvian experience.

For a bit of a history lesson, it was in 1542 that the Spanish extended their rule over the Inca Empire and the Viceroyalty of Peru was established, of course only after a long campaign that took many years before the Incas, the mightiest empire in the Americas, could be subdued. Peru gained it independence from the Spanish in 1821.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner

It’s now been over 500 years since the Spanish first occupied Peru, and with it left numerous cultural influences from architecture to food. Over the centuries, Peruvian culture has also been shaped by its indigenous populations, including pre-Incan and Incan cultures, as well as influences from Japanese, African, and Italian cultures. We learned from Chef Julio that all of these influences were taken and mixed to form a modern-day creole, or criolla, culture in Peru.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner 2

For our diners, the dinner was an opportunity for Austinites to discover in their backyard why Peru is the gastronomic capital of the Americas and has been the number one culinary destination in the world for the past 5 years.

The menu was more than about eating good food, but rather and more importantly it was to learn about Peruvian culture through the food. The menu was culturally inspired by Chef Julio’s own experiences as a kid growing up in Lima, Peru’s capital city. “Lima was the viceroyalty of the Spanish empire in the 1500’s and it was referred to as ‘the city of kings,’ and each dish on the menu has direct Spanish influences whether it’s from ingredient or preparation,” he shared with us.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner

Attend the next Peruvian Pop-up Dinner with Chef Julio presented by MezzeCulture. Subscribe »

Many times, the cuisine is a person’s first venture into a country’s culture. For all but one guest, who at one time had even hiked to the top of Peru’s acclaimed Incan citadel Machu Picchu, this pop-up dinner was the first time our diners had ever experienced Peruvian culture through food. It was clear from first seating that everyone was excited to try each dish—and some were surprised by some really new flavors. Austin doesn’t have a lot of places to experience Peruvian culture through its food, so the dinner was the perfect opportunity for curious palettes.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner 3

Over the course of the dinner, guests were also treated to a Pisco Sour and Chilanco de Pisco, the most popular cocktails in Peru. While pisco is considered a South American classic, especially in Peru, the Pisco Sour was actually invented in the early 1920’s by an American bartender in Lima named Victor Vaughen Morris. Over the next few years it underwent some changes before settling into the modern Peruvian recipe we know today.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner 4

The first course served was Cebiche Criollo, a fresh seafood dish made from Hamachi, a type of fish, octopus and fried calamari, with choclo, cancha, and aji limo leche de tigre. “I wanted [this dish] to represent the bounty of seafood the Pacific Ocean provides Peru,” the chef shared. One of the main reasons Peruvian food is so amazing is because of the importance of using very fresh and high quality ingredients. The Spanish octopus and Japanese Hamachi were both delicious and tender, well prepared and presented in this Peruvian dish.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner 5

Chupe de Camarones was the second course, a contemporary presentation of the chef’s favorite childhood dish, this was a chowder of gulf shrimp, potatoes, queso fresco, aji panca, and fried egg. As the chef explained, the dish originated in the Peruvian city of Arequipa which is known for having exceptional langoustines, little prawns. We also learned that there are many kinds of Chupe, or chowders, served in Peru but this is the most popular version of the dish we learned. “My mom used to make this when I was kid. [In fact,] I’d even ask her to make this for me on my birthday,” Chef Julio shared.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner 7

austin peruvian food pop up dinner presented by mezzeculture

Next the team served up a dish called Aji de Gallina, a plate layered with pulled chicken, aji amarillo, potatoes, pecans, and an alfonso olive. The dish literally means, “chicken braised in aji peppers,” in Spanish. Chef Julio explained that it was was during his studies of Spanish cuisine that he also discovered an interesting fact about sauces like those used in this dish.

He shared with us that, “[while] going over the use of bead and nuts as a thickener of sauces, I realized the direct connection that Aji de Gallina, an emblematic Peruvian dish, had with Spanish tradition. I imagined Spanish immigrants in Peru cooking using their own techniques but with Peruvian ingredients, [essentially] coming up with different concoctions that [would lead] to the creation of Peru’s most popular dishes…”

He also explained that we could see the natural progression of the depth of Spanish influences on Peruvian cuisine when we looked at other modern-day Peruvian recipes like Romesco, Salmorejo, and Ajo Blanco, which are essentially all Spanish dishes thickened with bread and nuts.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner mezzeculture

While bread and nuts are commonly used as thickening agents in the Peruvian sauces, we learned about other similar techniques when making sauces like Huancaina, thickened with bread or crackers, or Ocopa, which uses animal crackers and peanuts rather than bread, as well as a sauce called Uchucuta, which includes a variation that is sometimes thickened using peanuts.

Lastly, our Peruvian explorers enjoyed a decadent dessert called Suspiro de Limeña made with manjar blanco, or vanilla custard, and a port meringue. While the introduction of ingredients like milk, nuts and honey date back to the times of the Spanish Empire, as the story goes the name for this dessert was given by poet Jose Galvez when it was invented by his wife a couple hundred years ago. In Spanish, the name literally translates to “A lady’s sigh” because, like the sound the dessert is sweet and light Galvez is credited to have said. Today, it is known as one of the most loved Peruvian desserts.

austin peruvian food pop up dinner mezzeculture 1

Within just a couple hours over dinner, Chef Julio took us on a culinary journey through coastal Peru. The end of dinner left us with more than full bellies—we received our first impressions of how a capital city like Lima and country not only won its independence, but also embraced the influences left behind to shape the distinct flavors and culinary style that make up the charming seaside nation it is today.

Prelog’s European Kitchen & Bar Creates Authentic Moments in Austin

Chef Florian Prelog and his wife Romana believe the best version of ourselves come out in places where we can relax—at their restaurant, it’s in the freedom of things like charting the pace of your meals, lingering over coffee and truly savoring the experience that European cultures value. When the couple came from Austria to open their upscale restaurant in downtown Austin last Spring, they paired the best in European food and drink with its relaxed way of life—for dining that reaches beyond our bellies and into our spirit. From the murals of European landmarks inside, to open-air patio dining reminiscent of Europe’s busiest squares, guests can truly sink into the artful cuisine and experience at Prelog’s, beautifully perched alongside a serine view of Austin’s Shoal creek.

It’s a place that reminds us of why we travel to explore Europe’s best experiences—offering a place to eat, rejuvenate and unwind, and all the while in our own backyard. In fact, everything about this European getaway in downtown Austin is about savoring the moment without needing a reason to. “There is a European style to hospitality that we strive to translate across the food, décor, kitchen, location and especially our team, that’s a reflection of our culture,” said Romana. “It was important to create a presence that truly carried an authentic European vibe, along with the passion and promise we want guests to come away with in our restaurant,” she explained.

 Credit: Prelog’s (Facebook)

From the eclectic menu and careful preparation to even the pace, Prelog’s maintains a European authenticity while appealing to Austin’s overall vibe. “Taste is like a heartbeat, and we wanted to create an unexpected experience beyond satisfying the desire for good food,” explained Chef Florian as he describe how they wanted the perception, or taste, of European cuisine to resonate in the whole experience guests come away with. Several of the servers have come from as far as Italy, Spain and Germany, contributing to the experience of feeling transported to regional Europe.

Largely inspired by his training in classic French technique, Chef Florian’s cuisine features a revolving menu, today displaying traditional and eclectic takes on Austrian, German, Italian, Spanish, and French food culture.  “In our ingredients and preparation, we try to add an element of surprise layered on top of each classic taste of the European cultures we represent,” he told us. “For example, in Spain, you’d expect good pork, in Italy great cheese and olive oil, and in Switzerland amazing chocolate, and so forth from other countries, so we try to give a taste so that our guests feel like they could be sitting there or in Belgium, or Croatia,” he continued.


Credit: Prelog’s (Facebook)

His team treats the preparation of customary dishes like true artists, wielding dishes as their canvases and food as their colorful palettes. Whether its their Austrian rollad served with red cabbage or a dish of pork prepared the Spanish way, French-style croquettes and vegetables in herb-butter or classic ingredients like Italian prosciutto, you’ll be presented an artful masterpiece while being encouraged to sit back and savor it.

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In a city known for its live music and constant motion, guests can truly take the time to slow their pace at Prelog’s. From peaceful conversations, to courteous servers who don’t simply assume everyone’s in a hurry, you’re encouraged to enjoy your picks and then give your own cue for the check, which is customary in Europe. Whether you opt for a candle-lit table near the open kitchen, a family outing in its beautiful kid- and pet-friendly patio lounge, or for a coffee break with a friend, lunch or dinner, you’ll be treated to handcrafted meal or beverage at your leisure.

“In Austria, family and hospitality is very important, and so we want our guests to know us and to feel like a part of our family through the love and good vibes that we hope comes across,” Chef Florian shared of their desire for guests who dine with them, as they take each experience to heart. It’s that type of genuine concern that carries through from the products they use to the dedication in giving them a great culinary experience. In fact, family is so important that the whole Prelog’s family came from Austria to celebrate the opening of the restaurant last March.

“It’s important that people know there is no rush here, and that want them to enjoy their time and relax,” Romana explained. She also shared that it brings them joy when diners come not just for the food and drink, but to linger with their friends and family, for 2 or 3 hours, to disconnect from the daily rigor of work and responsibilities. “It’s so easy to feel under pressure to rush all the time, from work lunches to meetings five days of the week, so if Saturday’s, Sunday’s and the evenings are for recovering while you can, treat yourself well,” she encourages.

Credit: Prelog’s (Facebook)

Like you’d enjoy in Europe, Prelog’s patio is the perfect place for downtown Austin’s urban community to enjoy a coffee, have a meeting, or hang out—slow down, let loose, and have an iced coffee or cappuccino, and socialize.  “It’s a mentality in Europe that you can jump in anywhere for an espresso, quick coffee or a glass of wine to socialize a bit, and then go,” shared Romana. “It’s different than the experience at Starbucks which has people lined up, the coffee culture here is about sitting to enjoy it, even for a few minutes, because that down time to yourself is important.”

That knowledge and appreciation of good food started from a very young age for Chef Florian. The family name used for the restaurant goes back many years to a legacy of grocers. His grandparents started what became the first grocery store line and an iconic brand in Graz, Austria, where he and Romana are both from. A passion for cooking and great dishes and restaurants was instilled in him from his mother, and his older brother, Chris, largely influenced his decision to pursue the hospitality industry.  At age 15, the young cook knew he wanted to become a chef. After graduation from hospitality school, he went on to work in the cruise industry for a few years and soak up all he could learn about the industry. That’s where different cultures from around the world started to shape his impressions of food.


Credit: Prelog’s (Facebook)

That’s why the menu at Prelog’s changes frequently, to spur further creativity and enhance the element of surprise. “If the menu stays the same, it’s as if it becomes dead rather than serving as a source of inspiration for guests,” Chef Florian shared. “We use the classics as a baseline to inspire other new dishes, so that when I go to the market and see that tomatoes or the fish is fresh and add it to the menu, the change becomes a part of the pulse that everything here is constantly made fresh and in-house,” he explained.

Before opening his own restaurant in Austin, he worked with well-known chefs from Austria and across western Europe to Scotland, before finishing national military service in Austria, meeting his wife Romana while they both helped to open a fine dining restaurant in Austria, and then returning to the cruise industry together. It was then that their dream for opening their own restaurant began to form. Today, Prelog’s European Kitchen & Bar stands as an impression of those experiences, rooted in the legacy of a good meal, prepared with great care, and ready to delight everyone in Austin with a desire to sit back, relax and soak it all in.

Austin Dishes Four Courses of Peruvian Independence This Week

On the evening of Thursday, July 28th, Austin’s travel enthusiasts will join MezzeCulture and Executive Chef Julio-Cesar Florez Zaplana of downtown Austin’s Tapas bar and restaurant Malaga, for an exclusive 4-Course Spanish-Peruvian Chef’s Dinner at 7:00 pm to explore Peruvian cuisine, and in celebration of Peruvian Independence Day.

This all-inclusive dinner is Austin’s ticket to discover in its backyard why Peru is the gastronomic capital of the Americas and has been the number one culinary destination in the world for the past 5 years.

Guests will experience how the last 500 years since Peru’s independence from the Spanish Empire have influenced it’s food culture, but also how the ingredients and distinct flavors in Peru’s capital Lima have shaped its culinary style, as a seaside city and the only country capital on the coast in all of South America.

 

“The menu is inspired by my own experiences as a kid growing up in Lima, Peru. Lima was the viceroyalty of the Spanish empire in the 1500’s and it was referred to as ‘the city of kings,’ and each dish on the menu has direct Spanish influences whether its from ingredient or preparation,” Chef Julio shared with us.

Travel and culture enthusiasts in Austin will experience quintessential aspects of Peruvian culture through the dishes Chef Julio will present, offering a small taste of Peru’s expansive gastronomy.

 

“Not only is Peru influenced by Spain, but also it’s indigenous population [pre-incan as well as Incan cultures], African, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian cultures. All of these influences were taken and mixed to form a creole culture ‘criolla’,” Chef Julio explained.

The exclusive four-course menu features fresh ceviche and fried calamari, gulf shrimp and a pulled chicken dish, as well as a decadent custard dessert, and 3 drinks will be demonstrated to accompany the meal. If you love to explore, you ought to know that Austin does not have a lot of places to experience Peruvian cuisine, so you don’t want to miss this!

Your $60 ticket includes:

  • 4-course meal guided by Chef Julio
  • 3 signature Peruvian drinks: 2 cocktails and a beer upon arrival
  • Tax and gratuity

RSVP and book your ticket now by Wednesday, July 27th.