Our Snailblazer Award is the highest honor given to recognize individuals that exemplify the Slow Food movement’s ideals of “Good, Clean, and Fair.” In honor of his considerable and distinctive work as one of Austin’s most treasured local food pioneers, Eric Polzer of Wink received our 2014 Snailblazer Award. The award was presented at our Grub Trivia event held on Sunday, August 17. Carol Ann Sayle and Larry Butler of Boggy Creek Farm, our 2013 Snailblazer honorees, presented the award.
Eric acts as the chef de cuisine and forager of Wink, an Austin dining institution for more than a dozen years and one of the first area restaurants to embrace local sourcing.
“Chef Eric Polzer was one of the first Austin chefs to realize that fine dining relies on quality ingredients – fresh and organic – to be truly ‘fine,’” said Carol Ann Sayle, Boggy Creek Farm co-owner and recipient of the 2013 Snailblazer Award. “Once he discovered our tomatoes, he was at the farm five days a week because Wink’s very popular shrimp-stuffed tomato appetizer depended on the flavor of the tomato as well as the shrimp. Through the years, Eric remains a staunch supporter of local farmers, ranchers, and dairymen.”
Actively sourcing sustainably and locally, Eric visits Boggy Creek Farm, among many other local purveyors and suppliers, twice a week to create the restaurant’s changing daily menu. He’s been a major driving force and influence in gaining awareness around the Slow Food movement and creating a dining culture in Austin that supports it. As Carol Ann puts it, he’s one of the first Austin chefs to “really ‘get’ the connection between the soil and the plate.”