AFS Cinema Announces Head Chef; Previews Menu

May 8, 2017 (Austin, Texas) – Austin Film Society’s AFS Cinema, the two-screen arthouse theater featuring a café and bar, has released an exclusive first look at their menu and announced the hiring of head chef, Peter Klein. Peter joins the consultants from WHM Hospitality, Bill Mann and Jorge Hernandez, in developing a fresh, Austin-centric menu for the AFS Cinema, a place where cinema audiences will be encouraged to gather before and after the films for drinks, snacks and café fare.

Peter Klein, who was raised in a Jewish and Italian household and learned traditional cooking from his family, began his culinary career at Mas (farmhouse) in New York. Working under James Beard Award winning chef Galen Zamarra, the tiny kitchen at Mas exposed Peter to classic technique and market driven cuisine, which laid the groundwork for his career. He served as Culinary Director at Bark Hot Dogs, an ingredient-driven fast food restaurant based in Brooklyn. In Austin, before joining AFS, Peter worked at Olamaie, where he refined his detail-oriented work ethic, and also garnered a deeper respect for and understanding of sustainable sourcing practices.

The AFS Cinema menu will feature clean, fresh, and unexpected offerings that are as easy to order and grab on the way into the theater as they are satisfying to sit with and enjoy in the lobby before or after screenings.

Chef Peter noted, “Good, honest food is a powerful way to bring people together. I’m thrilled to join the team at the AFS Cinema, which will be a community hub and gathering place for film lovers. We’ve crafted a menu to complement that, with offerings focused on local and regional products and ingredients, nourishing comfort foods and a twist on the classics.”

Some of the grab-and-go cinema fare, available to eat in the theater and pre or post show in the theater’s lobby, will include:

· a menu of sausages and hot dogs from East Austin’s Smokey Denmark, one of Austin’s original smoked meat purveyors;

· an Antontelli’s Cheese Plate, with selections showcasing both domestic and imported cheeses, ranging from a bloomy-rind, sheep’s milk cheese from Spain, to a Texas cow’s milk offering smoked over three different hardwoods. Cheeses will be paired with various accoutrements, such as pickles and grainy mustard;

· AFS Popcorn, a small batch specialty made with heirloom kernels.Fully loaded the popcorn will come dressed in clarified butter, nutritional yeast, and our AFS spice blend, a savory combination of dried herbs and spices. An olive oil and sea salt option will also be served;

· heartier savory items such as Classic Egg Salad Toast with hickory smoked trout roe, served on a white Pullman bread from Houston-based Slow Dough Bread Co, dusted with pimento and finished with a fresh mix of chives, parsley and dill;

· a variety of sweet options, including seasonal fresh fruit with a honey crême fraîche and a selection of nostalgic boxed theater candies.

The bar will feature a variety of draft and canned beer selections that centers around Texas breweries, such as Austin Beer Works, Live Oak, and Adelberts. The bar will also feature a list of AFS signature cocktails including the AFS Gin Tonic made with dry gin, Lillet Rose, lime and Mediterranean tonic, garnished with lime, juniper berries, mint and basil.

A full espresso bar featuring Stumptown Coffee, Stumptown drip coffee will also be available.

The AFS Cinema is being redesigned by architect teamMichael Hsu Office of Architecture and Designtrait; Hsu says the space is designed to be “a hub for Austin’s vibrant arts community to share the film experience and engage with each other.”