“Masters of Craft” Culinary Series Debuts at Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Complimentary cooking classes, wine tastings and more for fall guests

October 1, 2019,
Austin, U.S.A

Autumn is the ideal time to fall for Austin, with sunny skies and mild temperatures providing the perfect backdrop for a variety of seasonal activities and events. Plus, new this year, guests at Four Seasons Hotel Austin can enrich their visit with a variety of complimentary culinary classes, all led by the Hotel’s talented craftspeople.

“More and more of our guests are asking for interactive activities, and specifically, ones that will connect them to Austin long after they leave,” says General Manager Rob Hagelberg. “As a downtown urban resort, we’re uniquely positioned to provide such experiences, and I can’t think of anyone better to do it than the team members leading our culinary efforts.”

Dubbed the “Masters of Craft” series, the complimentary offering takes place each Saturday afternoon starting at 3:30 pm. The craftspeople behind each class, as well as some of their planned topics, include:

Amanda Pallagi-Naim, Executive Pastry Chef

Growing up cooking alongside her grandma in rural Texas, Amanda Pallagi-Naim’s natural prowess in the kitchen turned into a full-fledged business in high school. Despite this early success, she didn’t consider culinary school until 2008 when a Four Seasons pastry chef encouraged her to train professionally. Since her promotion to the top pastry position at Four Seasons Hotel Austin in 2015, she’s produced a stream of innovative and playful desserts for the Hotel’s many outlets.

Amanda’s demonstrations will focus on the sweeter side of the kitchen, with a gingerbread decorating class for kids along with a variety of topics for adults as well.

Alexandra Azrak, Lounge Manager

Alexandra delights in crafting cocktails that provide a taste of Austin, both literally and figuratively, from her taco-inspired Campana Roja – recently named “People’s Choice” in the 2019 Official Drink of Austin contest – to the Honey Bee-Vo, a liquid homage to UT served in a boot glass. She began her career at Four Seasons Hotel Miami as a cocktail server and was promoted through the ranks to Assistant Manager by 2016. She added to her experience working at the famous Broken Shaker in 2016 and 2017, but would return to Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach in late-2017 to help open Florie's with Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco.

A dynamic presence in Live Oak, Alexandra will captivate guests with mixology classes that examine the fun and science that goes into each glass, whether classic cocktails or seasonally inspired drinks.

Joe Pena, Ciclo Manager

Educated in Paris at Ferrandi, The French School of Culinary Arts, Joe is a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. In addition to two years overseeing dinner service at the Hotel's restaurants, Joe’s food and beverage background includes a position as director of wine and service at The Driskill Grill in Austin, as well as roles at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, Michelin-starred L20 in Chicago and the Halekulani Hotel at Waikiki in Honolulu.

Known for his ability to make wine approachable, Joe will lead the Masters of Craft wine tastings, including an introduction to Texas wines and tips on how to choose the best varietals for traditional holiday dishes.

The Masters of Craft series at Four Seasons Hotel Austin is expected to continue into spring 2020, with new topics debuting each season. Though complimentary, guests are required to sign-up at least 24 hours in advance due to limited class sizes.  Check in at the Hotel's concierge desk for details.