The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Opinion

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.

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