The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


January 4, 2014

COOKING WITH SIMON: A new year with a new start

PALESTINE — It comes around so quickly and with it comes new food finds and new creations. 2013 was a year of great events at Sabor a Pasion and with 2014 at my door, there are many great changes coming our way.

It's been ten years since I came to Texas and a small town called Palestine, and in that time I’ve seen many restaurants come and go. I have also talked at many schools and local community events to help promote food, travel, healthy eating, and what it's like to be an international chef. Of course, the most popular question everyone wants to know, “Why are you in Palestine?”

But why is not important, it’s more important that I stayed and continue to grow with each passing year.

At Sabor, I try to bring something new each year whether it be cooking classes, the ballroom for weddings, the wood-fired pizza oven, the Tuscan dinning table, and best of all the vineyard.

This year, of course, will be no exception. We have plans to expand the bed & breakfast with two romantic sunrise cabins overlooking a vista of new varietal red grapes.  And there will be the grand opening of Restaurant Aubergine with seating for up to 40 people and a new kitchen dining table that seats six.

The menu and atmosphere will be reminiscent of an Italian osteria, which means the food will be fresh, local, seasonally inspired with simple flair and amazing flavor. Osteria’s are not about Italian food, but rather an atmosphere of rustic elegance with handmade food, fresh sustainable ingredients, a gracious host and a comfortable ambience.

Another important part of an Osteria is the wine. Soon, we may have our own wine to serve – aging in the barrels, as we speak – but letting you bring your own wine means you can enjoy the wine you like the most, without the high prices that typically come with restaurant wine lists.

Also this year, the grapevines will be four years old so the growth will be stronger and the fruit more bountiful. Similarly, is the growth and strength of Sabor a Pasion, as we rebrand the property with the name Sabor a Pasion Estate & Vineyard. The weddings, special events, catering, bed & breakfast and winery will remain Sabor a Pasion, while Restaurant Aubergine will serve as the property’s restaurant.

But I couldn’t have done any of this without the help of the community. Your support has taken me this far and fueled this passion for flavor – Sabor a Pasion.

Thanks for a great ten years. Dream it, live it, eat it. Make your passion for life happen. Have a Happy New Year and make 2014 a year to remember.

Text Only
  • 7-26-simon-slaw.jpg Cooking with Simon: Stomp grapes and eat Texas food

    If you’re picking up the newspaper on Saturday, you still have a chance to come out to Sabor a Pasion and celebrate the grape harvest at the 2nd Annual Charity Grape Stomp.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two decades of storytelling

    For the past 20 years, I have covered everything under the sun while working as community editor at the Palestine Herald-Press. I have covered festivals, banquets, graduations, fires, wrecks, elections, giant vegetables, you name it, I probably wrote about it.

    July 26, 2014

  • At the Movies: 'Begin Again' — Fresh tale creates appeal

    Some people film big pictures.  Others do small pictures.  Writer-director John Carney makes small pictures. 

    July 26, 2014

  • IMG_1373.jpeg COOKING WITH SIMON: Summer produce brings recipe inspiration

    Chefs are always recreating their menus and finding new inspiration for recipes. People ask me how where my new ideas come from and what I do to get inspired. The answer – mowing the lawn – and, by the way, I have a lot of lawn, vineyard and fields to mow.

    July 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • Swiss Chard  & Peach Salad COOKING WITH SIMON: Garden vegetables ready to harvest

    Last month, I was invited to cook for a group of clients at a fishing lodge in Alaska. It was quite an experience – beautiful scenery, amazing salmon, halibut, and great accessibility to some of the best fishing in the world.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • watermelon COOKING WITH SIMON: Red, white and watermelon

    Happy 4th of July weekend! On every street corner the fruit of Texas is being sold from the back of old trucks and roadside produce stands.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMN: Musings about life and the pursuit of happiness

    Yesterday was July 4th, a time we celebrate independence and the truths that all men are created equal and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” to quote Mr. Jefferson.

    July 5, 2014

  • MOVIE REVIEW: 22 Jump Street

    I should have known better.  Just like “Legally Blonde” and “Dumb and Dumber,” a comedy based on a premise as opposed to one based on truly funny characters merged with a clever situation should never have a sequel.

    July 3, 2014

  • 6-28--SIMON-Lamb-Sliders.jpg Cooking with Simon: Celebrate July 4th with lamb burgers

    Being born in one country and raised in another can bring a bit of confusion to one’s life. And then to find yourself living in a third country as an adult, is one reason this kiwi is all messed up.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editor's Notebook: Kids can create their own summer fun

    Things are so different today than when I was a kid. A recent conversation with my 9-year-old son reinforced my belief.

    June 28, 2014