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Social Hour: Junior League of Austin Hosts Their 8th Annual Austin Entertains Event

This unique culinary event celebrated Women’s History Month through its focus on female chefs and industry leaders in the food and beverage scene

AE 8-Melissa Constantinides, Courtney Edwards, Carrie Humphreys, Kelley Clark, Allison Edwards
Melissa Constantinides, Courtney Edwards, Carrie Humphreys, Kelley Clark & Allison Edwards

On Thursday, March 7, the Junior League of Austin (JLA) hosted the 8th Austin Entertains Event at the organization’s headquarters in Northwest Austin. Austin Entertains has served as the spring fundraising event for JLA since 2017 and has become the “who’s who” for women in the Central Texas food and beverage scene.

This unique culinary event kicks off Women’s History Month through its focus on female chefs, bartenders, spirit purveyors, and industry leaders from the Austin area’s most recognized and awarded restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

AE 7-Fellowship Winner Tara Godby & Duane Godby of Teakeasy
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Fellowship Winner Tara Godby & Duane Godby of Teakeasy

AE 16-Krystin Gresham, Kelly Jerden
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Krystin Gresham & Kelly Jerden

AE 5-Chad Cantwell, Sara Jane Cantwell
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Chad Cantwell & Sara Jane Cantwell

AE 17-Shivani Kamboj, Jeff Bryant
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Shivani Kamboj & Jeff Bryant

AE 18-Melissa Constantinides, Allison Edwards, Rachel Holland
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Melissa Constantinides, Allison Edwards & Rachel Holland

AE 4-Junior League President-Elect Courtney Dickey, Mary Quin Moore, and Paige Morgan
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Junior League President-Elect Courtney Dickey, Mary Quin Moore & Paige Morgan

AE 11-Emcee Jala Washington
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Emcee Jala Washington

AE 15-Austin Entertains Chair, Elizabeth McCormick and Austin Entertains Chair Elect, Jordan Wat
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Austin Entertains Chair, Elizabeth McCormick & Austin Entertains Chair Elect, Jordan Wat

At the event, JLA announced the winners of Austin Entertains’ annual Culinary Fellowship, including two monetary grants and a professional services package to help develop and advance the winner’s career in the culinary field. A total of $12,500 was awarded to Anna Claire Eddington of Open Eye Chai and Jen D. Rodriguez of 3 Small Plates Catering. Tara Godby of Teakeasy received the professional services package (valued at over $12,900).

Guests helped award an additional $1,500 through on-site fan favorite voting. The winners were Krystyna Cibelli-Pettus for Best Savory Bite, Patricia Bedford with Suga’s Cakery for Best Sweet Bite, and the inaugural Best Sip was awarded to Marisa Williams of Momo’s Michelada. 

Proceeds from the event will benefit JLA’s signature programs including Food In Tummies (FIT), which combats food insecurity in the Austin area by distributing bags of food to elementary-aged children in Del Valle ISD. The fundraising impact is equivalent to 24,000+ backpacks of food or 24+ weeks of FIT backpacks!

AE 9-Fer Candil, Paellas, Tapas & More & Team
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Fer Candil, Paellas, Tapas & More & Team

AE 1-Lupe Barragan, Corina Barragan & Team of Simar Seafood Cocina
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Lupe Barragan, Corina Barragan & Team of Simar Seafood Cocina

AE 2-Michelle Klopp of Love & Cookies & Team
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Michelle Klopp of Love & Cookies & Team

AE 3-Shelley Davis, Junior League President, Haley Gardiner
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Shelley Davis, Junior League President & Haley Gardiner

AE 6-Lauren Reed, Graham Reed
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Lauren Reed & Graham Reed

AE 10-Champagne Lady Artisan Oddities Entertainment
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Champagne Lady Artisan Oddities Entertainment

AE 13-Jen D. Rodriguez & Team of 3 Plates Catering
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Jen D. Rodriguez & Team of 3 Plates Catering

Along with sampling incredible food and beverages throughout the night, the 450+ guests experienced many exciting activations and entertainment.

The event left no one out with options to “Take Home a Slice of Austin Entertains” which included fun take-home dinner kits. The Primrose School sponsored dinner kits included a make-at-home 14″ pizza from Suds Monkey, a cookie paint kit from Blue Goo Bakery, flavored SmartWater, popcorn, and a children’s activity from Art of Dough for a night at home with the whole family.