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Events at Lake Austin Spa Resort

In addition to the daily activities at Lake Austin Spa Resort, we offer special programs and events to enlighten, entertain and excite. These outstanding programs are offered exclusively to overnight guests with no additional fees.

Spice up your stay with the Lake Austin Culinary Experience®

We provide opportunities for you to learn from award winning chefs and other experts in our unique casual environment. This fun and informative program on all things culinary is offered the second full week of every month. Take a look at some our guest chef recipes.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Mediterranean Roasted Sea Bass -served with Linguine with Spinach Pepita Pesto
  • Cod in Crazy Water
  • Golden Seared Salmon with Quick Moroccan Tomato Relish

Monday May 14, 2018
Culinary Experience May


Clean and Simple: Healthful Fish Dinners for Any and Every Night with Special Guest Chef from New York Marge Perry


Marge Perry is an award-winning writer who also broadcasts, teaches and speaks about food, nutrition, travel and cooking. She is the Contributing Health Editor for Racheal Ray Every Daya long-standing Newsday columnist; health columnist for AllRecipes magazine, and Ask the Expert columnist (written and video). She also writes for TheKitchnFood NetworkThe New York TimesFine CookingEating WellBetter Homes & GardensPrevention, and SelfShe is a frequent guest on television (including news segments, QVC, and a regular feature on News 12) and radio. Her blog, A Sweet and Savory Life, allows her to exercise the depth and breadth of her writing.

Marge is the recipient of the Folio award for Best Travel Writing; in the same year she received the Best Essay award from the Association of Food Journalists.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Marge has ghost and co-written nearly 20 other chef and celebrity food and nutrition books, including a number of New York Times best sellers. She is currently hard at work on a cookbook with her husband, Chef David Bonom.

Marge teaches cooking and media classes at the Institute of Culinary Education and Food Writing at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, and producers; recipe development; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; and teaching cooking and nutrition in under-served neighborhoods. Marge is an authoritative and accessible guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Grilled Romaine Lettuce Wedges with Caesar Dressing and Grated Parmesan
  • Grilled Avocado Guacamole
  • Shrimp and Chorizo Tacos with Grilled Corn Salsa
  • Grilled Pound Cake with Warm Strawberries

Wednesday May 16, 2018
Culinary Experience May

Grill Pan Magic with Special Guest Chef from New York David Bonom


If you love to cook, chances are good that you have seen David’s recipes. His work appears regularly in Rachael Ray Every Day, Cooking Light, Better Homes & Gardens (where his recipes often grace the covers), Fine Cooking, Weight Watchers, Eating Well and many others. David is the recipe genius behind many New York Times best selling cookbook titles, including the Flat Belly Diet (and its many spin-offs), the Virgin Diet Cookbook (and subsequent Virgin Sugar Impact books) two Atkins cookbooks, and over thirty books for Weber Grills, Weight Watchers and more. His passion for grilling and smoking is put to good use when creating recipes for the Weber cookbooks.
David travels to unusual places like Albania, Macedonia and Peru to give seminars/demonstrations to chefs and restaurateurs, and also gives demos to non-professionals closer to home.
David began his culinary career working at some of the most prestigious New York City restaurants including Union Square Café, and catering for such notable clients as the Tisch family, Robert Rauschenberg, Bette Midler, (then) First Lady Hilary Clinton, Sotheby’s and more. He is one of only a handful of culinary professionals in the country to have earned the prestigious CCP (Certified Culinary Professional) designation, but he is happiest when standing in front of one the eight grills/smokers in his back yard.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Seafood Crudo
  • Sea Bass with Orange Saffron Reduction & Steamed Bok Choy
  • Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Fresh Cream and Berry Coulis

Saturday May 19, 2018
Culinary Experience May


Modern American Table with Special Guest Chef Shaun O’Neale

Shaun O’Neale exploded onto the culinary scene in September 2016 when he claimed the title of America’s best home cook and was named Season 7 Champion of MasterChef on FOX.  He graduated from reality star to culinary star in May 2017 with the release of his debut cookbook “My Modern American Table”.

During his season of MasterChef, Shaun won over the palates of Gordon Ramsay, Christina Tosi, Daniel Boulud and Wolfgang Puck with his bold flavors and flawless presentation.  He carried the same techniques that earned him a record-setting eight wins in the MasterChef kitchen through to the completion of his cookbook.  “My Modern American Table” teaches other home cooks how to recreate Shaun’s upscale, modern American dishes like his lobster ravioli and salted caramel chocolate tart.

For the past 20 years, Shaun has been orchestrating dance floors as a DJ with the highlight of his career culminating on New Year’s Eve 2011 as he became the first DJ to perform on Las Vegas Blvd in front of over 100,000 people.  Beginning in Tampa, FL and now calling Las Vegas, NV home, Shaun has taken the same skills and determination that helped him to become a successful DJ and used them to start the next phase of his life as the next up-and-coming culinary star.

Shaun is a self-taught chef who educated himself by reading cookbooks, studying the history of food and traveling the globe to absorb different cultures and flavors.  As he continues his world-wide travels promoting his cookbook and building his brand as DJ/Chef/Author, Shaun will continue to work hard for his fans and the people who support him and look forward to joining him on his culinary journey.

Chef Johnny Vee

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Cumin & Chile Baked Jicama Chips
  • Tomatillo Apple Salsa
  • Achiote Marinated Quail
  • Poblano Posole Verde
  • Lime Mousse Parfait

Monday June 11, 2018
Culinary Experience June


The Lighter Side of New Mexico Cooking with Special Guest Chef Johnny Vee


Chef John “Johnny Vee” Vollertsen is director and creator of The Las Cosas Cooking School in Santa Fe, New Mexico- now celebrating its 21th year under his direction. His career in the hospitality industry has taken him from New York, through Sydney, Australia, and finally Santa Fe. He has taught cooking for over 20 years and enjoys a second career in food writing as a regular columnist for Su Casa Magazine and The New Mexican seasonal magazines, and as Dining & Food Editor for The Santa Fean magazine. John has hosted a Food Radio talk show called “Bits and Bites with Johnny Vee” on 1260 AM-KTRC. He also teaches regularly in Las Cruces, New Mexico at Kitchen Kraft.


John takes his show on the road and frequently participates in food events around the country including a recent stint at the Palm Springs Modernism Week where he and Victoria Price, daughter of Vincent Price, presented a seminar called, “Those Fabulous Foods of the 50’s and 60’s”.  His first cookbook Cooking with Johnny Vee has just come out in its 2nd edition in hardcover with enhanced fonts. John is also a “Super Chef” mentor for the Cooking with Kids program in local elementary schools. John also mentors teenagers through the Teen Access program, an offshoot of the Teen Shelter USA, and recently set up a cooking program for the Boys & Girls Club of Hobbs, New Mexico.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • TBD

Wednesday June 14, 2018
Culinary Experience June


Culinary Class with Special Guest Chef Brian Moses


Executive Chef Brian Moses’ culinary career began in Austin and he has stuck true to his roots. His first position after culinary school was at Parkside, a foreshadowing to the present. During his time at parkside, Moses developed the crucial culinary foundation that he has since expanded upon. His eagerness to learn and adaptability led to an exclusive position to work as chef de partie for the prestigious French bistro, Bouchon by Thomas Keller, in Napa, Cali. Missing his Texas roots, he moved back to Austin where he worked as the Chef de Cuisine at the ranch­ inspired Contigo. Moses participates with a variety of Austin-centric culinary events, such as Austin’s Food & Wine Festival.

Armed with that comprehensive kitchen experience, Moses returns to puts his culinary talent to work as the executive chef at Olive & June. His return to the Parkside Projects family is an appropriate homecoming. Moses is now applying his many years of culinary education and vast experience to manning the kitchen and overseeing all aspects of the Italian restaurant’s menu, food ordering and kitchen staff.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Seared Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Yogurt
  • Balsamic Orange Salmon with Fresh Herbs
  • Grilled Scallops with Asian Vegetable Slaw

Friday June 15, 2018
Culinary Experience June


Fabulous Fish with Special Guest Chef Amanda Cushman


Amanda Cushman of Chapel Hill Cooking Classes is a culinary educator, cookbook author, writer and recipe developer who has cooked professionally for over thirty years. She teaches privately for groups of two to twenty students in their home as well as having taught in venues such as Sur La Table, The Institute of Culinary Education, The Natural Gourmet Cooking School and Williams Sonoma. She has hosted corporate team building classes for companies such as; Fitness Magazine, Exxon Mobile, Hugo Boss, Yahoo, Nike, Google, Guess Jeans, Direct TV and Toyota.

Menu Sneak Preview

Middle Eastern Favorites

  • Persian Chicken Kebobs with Sumac
  • Jeweled Rice with Saffron
  • Pistachios and Almonds
  • Chermoula Eggplant with Bulgur

Saturday June 16, 2018
Culinary Experience June


Simple Real Food Hands on Lunch and Learn with Special Guest Chef Amanda Cushman 


Amanda’s food career began in Manhattan where she worked with some of the top NYC caterers; Martha Stewart, Panhandlers and Glorious Foods. While in NYC

Amanda worked in the test kitchens of; Food and Wine, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, Fine Cooking and Ladies Home Journal. She was a private chef to a number of clients including James Robinson; CEO of American Express and Amy Levin the Editor in Chief of Glamour. Her private classes were a big hit in Los Angeles where she taught for ten years, with clients such as Neil Patrick Harris, Molly Sims, Anne Archer and Randy Newman.


She has made her name in cities such as Boston, NY, Miami and Los Angeles and relocated to Durham, NC where she continues to teach in private homes as well as developing recipes for food start ups such as Deep River Snacks. Her highly popular public classes are featured at Southern Season, Cooks Warehouse, Duke Diet and Fitness, The Kitchen Specialist and ICE in NYC.


Her cookbook Simple Real Food is on its third printing and focuses on clean, global recipes that are easy to follow and prepare in the home kitchen.


Amanda is a member of IACP and Southern Foodways Alliance.

Lake Austin Spa Resort Culinary Experience image 2

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Pea Buttermilk Soup with Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Peas
  • Cold Southwestern Cucumber, Avocado, and Corn Soup
  • Three Melon Soup with Balsamic Strawberries and Sour Cream

Monday July 9, 2018
Culinary Experience July


Summer Soups Cooking Class with Special Guest Chef Sara Moulton

When Sara Moulton kicked off her sixth season as host of public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals,” in 2015, it was the latest milestone in a storied career that stretches back more than 30 years. A protégée of Julia Child, Sara was the co-founder of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, executive chef of Gourmet magazine, Food Editor of ABC-TV’s ”Good Morning America,” and the host of several well-loved shows on the Food Network during that channel’s first decade.

Sara is the author of several cookbooks including Sara Moulton Cooks at Home (2002), Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals (2005) and Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners (2010). In March of 2016, Sara released her latest book, Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How To Make Everything Taste Better, a cookbook and teaching manual aimed at making readers more confident and efficient in the kitchen. She is also the author of the Associated Press column “Kitchen Wise.”

A teacher at heart, Sara’s mission has remained the same for decades — to help the home cook land a tasty dinner on the table every night.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Italian Tomato Bread Salad
  • Tomato Tart with Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Fresh Tomato Soup

Wednesday July 11, 2018
Culinary Experience July


Savory with Song with Musician Kimmie Rhodes


Join local favorite musician, Kimmie as she cooks up some delicious recipes and shares some stories and songs.

Singer-songwriter Kimmie Rhodes is a native Texan who calls Austin home. Kimmie’s multi-platinum selling songs have been recorded by such stellar acts as Willie Nelson, Wynonna Judd, Trisha Yearwood, Amy Grant, CeCe Winans, Joe Ely, John Farnham, Waylon Jennings, Peter Frampton, Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris. A creative and prolific artist, she has recorded and released a total of sixteen solo CDs, written and produced three musical plays and a catalogue of hundreds of songs, and published a novell/cookbook.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Pickled Beet Dip and/or Butter Bean & Hearts of Palm Dip with modern crudités
  • En Papillote, A Love Letter: Salmon with Haricot Verts & Tomatoes
  • Gluten-Free Chocolate-Cherry Peanut Butter Cookies

Friday, July 13, 2018
Culinary Experience July


Cooking Class with Special Guest Chef Justin Chapple  


We’ve all heard of spa food, which can sometimes mean as little fat and calories as possible. My menu focuses on showcasing simple–but insanely brilliant techniques–for eating a little bit healthier at home, that way you still have incredibly delicious food but can feel great about eating it.

As the Deputy Editor at FOOD & WINE, Justin tests and develops hundreds of recipes a year for the magazine, and other digital projects, and their branded cookbooks. He has also tested and developed recipes for Real Simple, Instyle and All You magazines. Justin teaches wonderfully oddball kitchen hacks—including peeling hard-boiled eggs with a spoon and, making perfect cake layers using dental floss—in a video series, Mad Genius Tips.

Justin joined FOOD & WINE in 2010 as an Assistant Event Coordinator, helping produce the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. Before joining FOOD & WINE, he graduated from the French Culinary Institute and worked under chef Alain Allegretti in New York City.

Justin appears regularly on NBC’s Today Show and has represented FOOD & WINE on The Meredith Vieira Show, FOX 5’s Good Day NY and VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, among others.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • TBD

Wednesday August 15, 2018
Culinary Experience August


Oasthouse Favorites with Special Guest Chef Amir Hajimaleki 



Amir Hajimaleki, Executive Chef and Owner of District Kitchen & Cocktails and Oasthouse Gastropub, comes from a strong line of cooks. His middle eastern heritage combined with diverse experience has helped him both as a chef and restaurateur. At Oasthouse, Amir and Ali focus on European elevated pub cuisine with a Texas spin – combined with a large variety of craft beers and truly craft cocktails while keeping the
philosophy of supporting local farms and businesses.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • TBD

Saturday, August 18, 2018
Culinary Experience August


Cooking Class with Special Guest Chef Gerard Thompson   

Rough Creek Lodge has received innumerable accolades since opening its doors in 1998, and much of its success is attributed to Executive Chef Gerard Thompson.  In fact, Thompson was the first employee hired at the Lodge in 1997, reflecting the Lodge’s commitment to culinary excellence.


Since being named Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director, Thompson has risen to the top, not only in Texas but in the U.S. as well.  The prestigious James Beard Foundation tapped Thompson as a rising star chef in the 21st century.  In 1999, he also had the honor of cooking for the James Beard Foundation Awards Dinner.  In the Dallas/ Fort Worth Zagat Survey, Rough Creek Lodge was the only restaurant to receive scores of 29 for food, décor and service (out of 30). Gerard and his culinary team have also received the prestigious DiRôNA award from Distinguished Restaurants of North America, been named to the top 50 hotels in North America (26th) and 88th in the world from Condé Nast Traveler reader poll and the MOST OUTSTANDING LODGE IN NORTH AMERICA” by CONDE NAST JOHANSENS.

Monday September 10, 2018
Culinary Experience September

Bellwether Favorites with Special Guest Chef Ted Hopson


The Bellwether’s eclectic New American menu takes inspiration from Co-Owner and Executive Chef Ted Hopson’s nostalgic memories of cheerful family meals. Growing up in a large Italian household in the Los Angeles suburbs, he developed a reverence for food at an early age, assisting his Italian-born grandmother in the garden and kitchen practically as soon as he could walk.

Thursday September 13, 2018
Culinary Experience September

Chocolate! with Special Guest Chocolatier Tracy Anderson


Tracy Wood Anderson began her cooking career early, showing a natural gift for food. She was only five years old when her parents came home to find a completed lime meringue pie and a spooked babysitter pointing to Tracy saying, “She just did it, I didn’t have anything to do with it!” She’s never looked back. Tracy went on to receive a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College and a culinary degree from the California Culinary Academy. Following her studies she spent 15 years working alongside her husband at his family’s winery, S. Anderson Vineyard.


Over the past twelve years, Woodhouse Chocolate has earned the respect of its peers as well as the regard of the press. Appearing in magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, InStyle and several times on Oprah’s O list, Woodhouse has also been names first in the country by Consumer Reports. Most recently, the Huffington Post gave Woodhouse the distinction of the best chocolate shop in America.

Menu Sneak Preview

  • Mexican Street Corn Salad
  • Miniature Venezuelan Arepas with Carne Asada and Chimichurri
  • Mango Ceviche with Ground Pumpkin Seeds and Chile

Monday October 15, 2018
Culinary Experience October

Latin American Street Food with Special Guest Chef Sandra Gutierrez


Sandra Gutierrez is a food personality, expert on the subject of Latin American cuisine, a journalist and a food historian. Her work has been published in The Oxford American, People in Español, Cooking Club of America, Cooking Pleasures, InStyle, USA Today, NBCLatino, Mamiverse, FOX Latino, Southern Living, and in newspapers across the country.

She’s is credited with discovering a new culinary movement and her book on the subject matter, The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes that Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America & The American South, is on exhibit at The Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.

Her other books: Latin American Street Food; Empanadas: the Hand-Held Pies of Latin America, and Beans and Field Peas, A Savor the South Cookbook have received rave reviews from both that national and international press, including The Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.


Recognized as a leading expert on Latin food, Sandra has presented at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), and for Book and Food Festivals across the country. She is a regular judge for the James Beard Awards.