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5 th Anniversary! No. 23 Summer 2012

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season

The Beverage Issue Raise a glass to Central Texas. Member of Ed ib le Commu n ities



What a difference three days make. At Blue Baker, our artisan baking process takes three days. It’s a process that requires small batches, traditional techniques and simple, honest ingredients to craft remarkably flavorful bread. Stop by our artisan bakery caf´e for pastries. Sandwiches. Soup. Salads. Stone-oven pizza. And, of course, our made-from-scratch breads. Learn more about artisan baking at And while you’re there, download our daily specials calendar.

Open daily 7AM–10PM

10000 Research Blvd.

Free Wi-Fi

Delivery and catering for groups large and small: 512.346.BLUE

Summer Market Hours - Every Sunday 10-2! What’s In Season?

Vendors & Produce at the market now

At the Corner of East 5th & Waller St.

6 Publisher’s note 8

notable Mentions


13 notable Edibles  Texas Distilled Spirits Association, NAO: New World Flavors, Wunder-Pilz, Hillside Farmacy, Woerner Feed & Garden Supply.


21 Neighborhood Farms  Urban Patchwork.

22 Imbibable La Cruz de Comal

26 people Kate Payne.

 Lewis Dickson and Tony Coturri are making natural Texas wines.

29 Edible Endeavor Argus Cidery. 38 Farmers Diary Mill-King Market & Creamery.

32 Edible Ag The State of Texas Milk

45 Pairings Pint to plate.

48 Cooks at Home Lisa Byrd. 56 Responsible Shopping  Good fish. 72 Edible Endeavors Sustainable spirits. 74 Edible Gardens Ktchen composting. 78 Behind the Vines Pedernales Cellars. 80 LA CASITA DE BUEN SABOR Let them drink punch—with Tequila! 83 SEasonal Muse Thirst. 84 ROOT CAUSES Gone for good. 85 Eat Wild Yerba Tex-Maté tea. 86 DEPARTMENT OF ORGANIC YOUTH Making a stand. 89 back of the house Midnight Cowboy and 400 Rabbits. 92 THE Directory 98 art de terroir Texas Prize.

Getting small is the alterative to getting out of the milk business.

42 people Christian Remde Capturing a story of hope.

51 Cooking Fresh Liquid Ingredients Break out the good stuff and let the liquid ingredients in our dishes be the stars.

60 Edible destination To Market in Houston Exploring Houston’s markets where there’s plenty to tempt the taste buds.

65 Edible Endeavors in dry times

Innovations make local food production possible in times of drought.

Cover: Picante Galia Melon Ice Pops (see page 54). Photograph by Whitney Arostegui.

Publisher’s Note: FIVE YEARS OLD!


t’s been an exceptionally rewarding five years as we’ve grown our local food magazine from 52 pages for our debut issue in the summer of 2007 to this 100 page-issue in your hands today. We’ve watched and cheered as our local food community has swelled as well. One thing for certain is that there has never been a lack of fascinating and deserving stories to tell. We’d like to thank all of our hardworking contributors, our advertisers, our subjects and our readers for making us what we are today and giving us the motivation and inspiration for publishing Edible Austin for many more years to come.

Publisher Marla Camp

Associate PUBLISHER Jenna Noel


Copy Editor Christine Whalen

edible Austin edible Austin

edible Austin

Celebrating local, fresh foods in Austin and the Texas Hill Country, season by season. No. 2 Fall 2007

Celebrating local, fresh foods in Austin and the Texas Hill Country, season by season. No. 1 Summer 2007

Celebrating local, fresh foods in Austin and Central Texas, season by season. No. 3 Winter 2007

edible Austin Celebrating local, fresh foods in Austin and Central Texas, season by season. No. 4 Spring 2008


Editorial Assistants Whitney Arostegui, Melinda Barsales, Claire Cella, Dena Garcia, Michelle Moore, Aurora Porter

Advertising Sales Curah Beard, Lis Riley

Distribution Manager Homemade Ice cream • Local or Organic? SummerTime Greens • Damian Mandola’s next big thing

Brenton Johnson’s backyard Garden • School lunches Vinteur Lewis Dickson • a Local thanksgiving feast

cooking with chocolate • Praise the lard holiday cocktails • The gospel of living soil

Goat Cheese 101 • FLight oF the honeyBee INto the Gulf: stoops & soN • CookING for two

Member of Edible Communities

Member of Edible Communities

Member of Edible Communities

Member of Edible Communities

edible Austin edible Austin ®

Celebrating local, fresh foods in Austin and Central Texas, season by season. No. 5 Summer 2008


Celebrating local, fresh foods in Austin and Central Texas, season by season. No. 6 Fall 2008

edible Austin


Celebrating local, fresh foods in Austin and Central Texas, season by season. No. 7 Winter 2008


No. 8 Spring 2009

Austin ®

Jude Diallo


Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season

Full listing, bios and contact information online at

Advisory Group

The Joys of pickling • the future of food • summer Drinks eDible bamboo • a parTing conversaTion wiTh m.f.k. fisher


No. 9 Summer 2009

Austin ®

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season

The Future of Texas Wine • Well-Preserved Viva La Dolce: Alternative Sweeteners • Tea's Time Member of Edible Communities


Local Thanksgiving Supper Marble Falls

Secrets of Salt

Texas Wine: Return of the Natives Member of Edible Communities

Member of Edible Communities



No. 10 Fall 2009

Austin ®

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season

On the Market with Diana Kennedy Saving Our Soil

Wine Bars

Back of the House: Olivia

Cupcakes Unwrapped • Farm to Market Water in Texas: The Crisis Underground

Going Whole Hog • The Pursuit of Fruit Middlemen on a Mission • Cooking Gluten-free

Member of Edible Communities

Member of Edible Communities


Sweet Holiday Delights

No. 11 Winter 2009

Austin ®

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season

Paula’s Texas Spirits

Farmers Diary: Twin County Dorpers Member of Edible Communities

Member of Edible Communities


A Raw Deal

Terry Thompson-Anderson, Dorsey Barger, Cathryn Dorsey, Jim Hightower, Toni Tipton-Martin, Mary Sanger, Suzanne Santos, Carol Ann Sayle

CONTACT US Edible Austin 1415 Newning Avenue Austin, TX 78704-2532 512-441-3971 Edible Austin is published quarterly by Edible Austin L.L.C. All rights reserved. Subscription rate is $35 annually. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. © 2012. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us.

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Farm-direct shopping

notable Mentions HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US! Join Edible Austin in celebrating our 5th Anniversary on Saturday, June 2 by supporting our local farmers, ranchers and food artisans at the SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown. Stop by our market booth to enjoy a special birthday treat. 9 a.m.–1 p.m., 400 W. Guadalupe. And bring a friend to a farmers market all summer long in our honor! To find a farmers market near you visit our Resources pages at


Sunday 9am-1pm Come out and taste the experience! Fruits Vegetables Eggs Bread Jams Cookies Fresh Meats Honey

Salsa Seafood Tamales Specialty Foods Jewelry Plants Shirts and much more

Now accepting new sustainable market basket members! @ The Corner of 620 and Lakeway Blvd. 8



Celebrate the opening of the Blanton Museum of Art’s new exhibition, The Human Touch with the rhythmic sounds of Austin’s favorite Latin Jazz band, The Brew. Learn new, sensuous moves from local salsa dancing instructors, cool off with a cocktail and Latininspired snacks provided by Whole Foods Catering and help Edible Austin continue to celebrate our 5th Anniversary in style! Free for Museum members and $12 for general admission. For details go to

HOt oFF THE GRILL, Saturday, June 16 Join us for Hot Off the Grill on Father’s Day weekend, our annual sizzling summer celebration of backyard living and grilling presented by Breed & Co. and Edible Austin featuring a Weber Grill giveaway, summertime food and beverages tastings and more. This year’s event will showcase Chef Joel Welch of Kerbey Lane Cafe grilling up tasty summer sliders featuring Niman Ranch meats (sourced through local meat producer Lonestar Foodservice), summer farm produce, Amity Bakery custom-made buns and artisanal condiments. Stop by the Breed & Co. store on 29th Street between noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, to enjoy seasonal craft brews provided by our friends at Brooklyn Brewery, thirst-quenching cold-brew beverages by Zhi Tea and Kohana Coffee and chillin’ treats from Lick Honest Ice Creams and Delysia Chocolatier. It’s free and a fun opportunity to stock up on summertime cookware and backyard accoutrements, too!

Local Artisan Food Favorites showcase at Williams-SOnoma Artisans’ Market Edible Austin is pleased to partner with Williams-Sonoma to present their monthly Artisans’ Market in Austin and Houston stores this summer. Save the third Saturdays of the month, June 16, July 21 and August 18 from noon–4 p.m. to visit the Williams-Sonoma stores in the Arboretum and Barton Creek Mall in Austin and at Highland Village in Houston for a local artisan food market, meet-and-great and sampling experience. Visit the store location websites for details! Local food artisan vendors include Dos Lunas Artisan Cheese (Austin and Houston), Texas Olive Ranch (Austin and Houston), Gourmet Texas Pasta (Austin), Zhi Tea (Austin), Edis’ Chocolates (Austin), Dad’s Granola (Austin), Slow Dough Bread Co. (Houston) and Brown Paper Chocolates (Houston).

1 bottle 1 cup 2

Sauvignon Blanc or Dry White Wine St-Germain Fresh Peaches*


Fresh Strawberries*


Fresh Raspberries*

1 small bunch

Fresh White Grapes*

Stir ingredients in a pitcher or carafe. Allow fruit to soak in the mixture for 15 minutes (or longer, if desired). Serve in an ice-filled glass, then telephone your physician and regale him with stories of your exemplary fruit consumption. *Merely suggestions - be creative!

SUmmer Nature Nights at the Lady bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Heart of Texas Green Expo, June 8–9

Bring the family to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildfower Center every Thursday evening this summer beginning on June 21 from 6–9 p.m. for Nature Nights, a fun, weekly explorations of native plants, animals and the ecology of Central Texas. Each evening features interactive presentations, hikes with experts in their fields and nature crafting for kids of all ages. Topics include butterflies, hummingbirds, plants, birds of prey, bats and snakes. Free. More information at

AMOA-ARTHOUSE and Edible Austin present Hot Spots, Cool Drinks, Thursday, July 12 In honor of the competitive Texas Prize exhibition, join us for Hot Spots, Cool Drinks, our signature summer community event copresented by Edible Austin and AMOA-Arthouse at the Jones Center from 7:30–10 p.m. View the art by the three finalists and celebrate their accomplishments, then join us on the rooftop deck for food and cocktails by three hot Austin chefs and mixologists who will create cool pairings from the cuisine of hot places. Try them all and vote for your favorite. Tickets $20 (or $15 for AMOA-Arthouse members) and available at

The first annual Heart of Texas Green Expo will be held at the Bastrop Convention and Exhibit Center on Friday and Saturday, June 8–9. The Green Expo weekend will feature more than 50 speakers, panels and demonstrations, including a presentation by city managers and mayors of Bastrop, Elgin and Smithville on their newly developed sustainability programs. Friday’s keynote speaker is John Ikerd, followed by talk show host Howard Garrett (“The Dirt Doctor”) from Dallas. Details and ticket information at

8th Annual Blanco Lavender Festival, June 8–10 Visit beautiful Blanco in the heart of the Texas Hill Country for the 8th Annual Blanco Lavender Festival. A Lavender Market will be held on the grounds of the Old Blanco County Courthouse featuring arts and crafts and local lavender products. Tour more than 10 local lavender farms where you will experience the beauty of lavender blooming in the fields and the unique vision of each farmer. Download a map of the participating farms and get more festival details on speakers and artisan vendors at

PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS WHISKEY TEQUILA VODKA RUM GIN STRAWBERRY SIPPER 1½ oz. Paula’s Texas Lemon 1½ oz. vodka 1 Tbsp. lime juice 3 fresh, ripe strawberries

Premium Lemon Liqueur

Muddle strawberries in mixer glass. Add Paula’s Texas Lemon, vodka, lime juice, and ice. Shake and strain into martini glass.

MAZATLAN 1 ½ oz. anejo tequila 1 oz. red (sweet) vermouth ½ oz. Paula’s Texas Orange 2 dashes Angostura bitters Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Recipes at 10



Premium Orange Liqueur


OF WINES IN TEXAS. Need we say more?

Since 1962, Spec’s Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods

has taken pride in supplying an ever-increasing selection of Texas’ favorite drinks and gourmet fare. With wines from around the world—from Napa to New Zealand—walk-in humidors, and an amazing selection of rare spirits and hard to find beers, Spec’s has something for everyone. CHEERS TO SAVINGS







FSM.Edible Austin.Euell_5-12_Layout 1 5/9/12 11:06 PM Page 1

Save the Date! 22nd ANNUAL Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest, October 25–27 Join us for the 22nd Annual Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest, a full-course celebration of Texas food, wine, music and fun on Marketplatz in downtown Fredericksburg. Festival day is October 27 from noon–7 p.m. Enjoy tastings from 28 Texas wineries and over 40 Texas specialty food and beverage booths, a Cooking School featuring chef demos and more. The weekend kicks off at Messina Hof Winery for a Locavore Evening on Thursday, October 25 and a Celebration of Texas Food and Wine on Friday, October 26. For details and tickets visit

Edible Austin Spring 2012 correction: We would like to correct a statement in our Notable Edible story that described 5 Mile Farms as the first hyperlocal, neighborhood gardenbased Community Supported Agriculture program in Austin. In fact, Urban Patchwork predated them with a similar mission and purpose and we are pleased to report their story in this issue on page 21. We applaud 5 Mile Farm, Urban Patchwork and the many new efforts underway for bringing locally raised food to our tables in neighborhoods all over Austin. If you have a neighborhood gardening story to share, please contact us at


Created by BILLY CARUSO Beverage Director 24 Diner | Easy Tiger

No matter how you mix it, my handmade vodka beats those giant “imports” every day.

Wine Enthusiast ratings



Ketel One



Grey Goose










89 84 84 84


Handcrafted to be savored responsibly.

1½ oz. Tito’s ★ Handmade Vodka ★ ¾ oz. Campari ½ oz. St. Germain Liqueur Combine ingredients and shake with ice. Top off with soda and serve on the rocks in a highball glass. Garnish with lemon or lime wedges. Photo ©2012, Elizabeth Bellanti

Fifth Generation, Inc., Austin, Texas. 40% alcohol by volume. ©2012 Tito’s Handmade Vodka. TitosEdibleAdB0412.indd 1




4/17/12 4:12 PM

notable Edibles Raise your glass to a spirited new association


id you know there are at least 16 Texas distillers with products available on liquor store shelves? You might know of a number of vodkas and rums, but the variety extends to gin, bourbon, corn whiskey, single-malt whiskey, orange and lemon liqueurs and even an agave spirit. Producers of these products have experienced heartwarming local support along with hard knocks competing in the world of Big Distilling. With astounding growth over the last five years and no end in sight, Texas spirits producers have elected to band together to form the Texas Distilled Spirits Association. “We felt the time was right to establish Texas spirits as its own brand to be marketed in its own right,” says Paula Angerstein, founder of Paula’s Texas Spirits. “We are all little guys compared to the national brands, and we shouldn’t waste energy competing with each other. We needed to pull together to grow the market for Texas spirits as a whole—then we all win.” The new Texas Distilled Spirits Association is a trade association, initially dedicated to education and marketing efforts that will bring more brand awareness to Texas spirits. “Most people are flabbergasted to learn there are so many locally made spirits,” says Angerstein. “But after sampling them, they are almost universally impressed with the quality and are likely to purchase them.” Ultimately, the group will tackle efforts to make Texas spirits a critical component of Texas tourism; several producers already have tourist-friendly distilleries with tours and sampling, though Texas law prohibits sales of spirits at distilleries. Tito Beveridge of Fifth Generation, Inc., maker of Tito’s Handmade Vodka and the original distiller in Texas, envisions the association having a role in a broader context. “I see a great opportunity to expand recognition of Texas as the premier American craft-distilling state,” says Tito. “The quality of spirits being produced in Texas has no rivals nationally or internationally. The American craft-distilling movement started here and continues to expand with an assortment of beautiful products across the spectrum of spirits. It’s really exciting to nurture it and watch it grow.” Members of the inaugural board of directors of the Texas Distilled Spirits Association are Paula Angerstein of Paula’s Texas Spirits, Daniel Barnes of Treaty Oak Distilling, Jason Malik of Spirit of Texas, Kelly Railean of Railean Distillers and Chip Tate of Balcones Distilling. While the group is still in its very early stages, initial members have all expressed a sense that the time is right to start unified efforts. Though some of the group’s goals are ambitious, Angerstein notes that “you gotta start somewhere.” For more information on the Texas Distilled Spirits Association, contact Paula Angerstein at or call 512-636-6389.

IDEAL DINNER GUESTS No matter the season, these Brooklyn neighbors will be the life of the dinner party.

Brooklyn Brewery 79 N 11 th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249 • @BrooklynBrewery




NAO: New world flavors


he Culinary Institute of America (CIA) established a San Antonio campus in 2010 thanks to a $35 million donation from local entrepreneur and philanthropist Christopher “Kit” Goldsbury. Goldsbury made his fortune in salsa—initially making it from scratch and bottling it on the line before he became the CEO of Pace Foods, then selling the company to Campbell Soup years later. His generous gift came in an effort to give back to the same industry where he found profit, to support domestic ties to Latin American cuisine and to assist kitchen workers who may not have the resources to attend culinary school (roughly two-thirds of the money is designated for need-based scholarships). The San Antonio campus was the third CIA location, following the main campus in Hyde Park, New York, and the Greystone campus in Napa Valley (and now there’s a fourth location in Singapore). It is the first culinary program of its kind to offer a certificate program in Latin cuisine, with the first class of students beginning this March. The 30week program is an in-depth curriculum for those who have already earned associates degrees in culinary arts, which are also offered, and want to study the foods of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and more. The campus is located at the site of the historic former Pearl Brewery, which has been restored and transformed into a cultural epicenter and is already home to such restaurants as Il Sogno Osteria, La Gloria, Sandbar and the CIA Bakery Café. But an exciting new addition recently emerged with the opening of NAO: New World Flavors—a CIA teaching restaurant focusing on New World, pan-Latin flavors. “A restaurant where our students can serve the public is a part of CIA’s core educational offerings,” says Stephan Hengst, director of marketing, communications and public relations for the CIA. “As a not-for-profit college, our primary focus is education. We reinvest in facilities and our faculty to make it the best experience for our students.” Hence, campus-run restaurants such as NAO [pronounced “nay-o”] are created not as a means for generating profit, but as experiential labs. “Any public offering that we provide there, the proceeds will be reinvested in the education of our students,” explains Hengst. NAO’s menu is focused on small plates and tapas with a variety of entrée-style offerings, as well. Set along the famous River Walk, guests may choose to dine indoors or out. One side of the restaurant is a casual 24-seat tapas lounge, while the other is a formal 78-seat dining room with an open kitchen. In addition to all the standard equipment




found in a fine-dining establishment, NAO’s kitchen is home to a number of pieces of Latin American specialty equipment, such as a six-foot parrilla grill, a wood-fired comal and a wood-fired hearth oven for mastering open-fire cooking techniques. NAO’s executive chef, Venezuelan-born Geronimo Lopez, will do a majority of the teaching, but an exciting array of visiting chefs from around the world will act as guest instructors. While the visiting chefs might be well-known in their own countries, Hengst points out that this might be the only opportunity many people in North America will get to try their food. A limited number of tickets will be offered to the public for these special dinners. “We’re really excited about this opportunity,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity for students to work for [the chefs], but also a great opportunity for the general public—to learn more about these chefs and taste their cuisine.” Some upcoming guest chefs include Peru’s Pedro Miguel Schiaffino (July 2–7), Brazil’s Yara Castro Roberts (August 6–11) and Almir Da Fonseca (August 27–September 1), Bolivia’s Eric Calderon (September 10–15) and Argentina’s Huberto O’Farrel (October 9–13). —Veronica Meewes  AO is currently open for dinner and seats are available by N reservation only. For more information visit NAO 312 Pearl Pkwy., San Antonio 210-554-6484


Healthy eating is a lifestyle. It’s what inspired Agrarian—our fresh approach to connecting with food through planting, preserving, beekeeping, cheese making and more. We’ll show you how to transform home grown into home made for the everyday table. For our complete Agrarian assortment, including over 250 new products, please visit us online at You’ll also find Agrarian products in select Williams-Sonoma stores.

NOw On Tap: Wunder-Pilz


he first time Bill Nadalini tried kombucha, it was anything but love at first sip. “My older kung fu brother had me drink a bottle,” he remembers. “I was not a vinegar guy and I didn’t like it at all.” He committed to finishing it, though, because he’d heard such good things about the beverage. “It took me about a day to get through the one bottle.” Though not particularly enthralled by the taste of the fermented tea, Nadalini was very impressed with what he calls the “super-profound effect” it had on his digestion. He decided to make it his goal to create a kombucha he actually wanted to drink, and having 15 years of home-brewing experience under his belt, he felt confident that his ability to brew a decent beer might carry over into the world of tea. He set out to create a more fully fermented kombucha—closer in carbonation and taste to a dry wine. “I experimented for probably four years with varying degrees of success,” says Nadalini. “It took a couple years for my friends to even drink what I was making!” But those days are behind him now as Nadalini is the busy proprietor of Wunder-Pilz kombucha—brewing 200 gallons of the tea each week from the back of the Daily Juice Cafe. Instead of relying on the sweet fruit juices that many makers use to produce kombucha, Nadalini creates his four drink varieties using organic, Fair Trade tea and combinations of herbs, flowers and spices. A student of a traditional system of kung fu called 7-Star Praying Mantis




under Sifu Jeff Hughes, Nadalini drew inspiration for the four flavors from a Taoist martial artist and herbalist named Li Ching-Yuen who, when asked the secret to his longevity, advised: “Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon, sleep like a dog.” “I took those different combinations…those answers,” explains Nadalini, “and found what I thought was the energetic core to those things and formulated four different teas I thought would address them.” Heart combines antioxidant-rich white tea with reishi mushroom, hibiscus and hawthorn for coronary health; Energy matches green tea with detoxifying lemon juice and circulation-boosting ginger; Strength mixes mildly energizing yerba maté with plant superpower spirulina, dandelion root for digestion and gotu kola for mental clarity; and Calm blends low-caffeine kukicha tea with the natural sedatives skullcap and mugwort for lucid dreaming. “I’ve been a fan of herbs and Eastern medicine for a long time,” says Nadalini, “but I’m…just an amateur admirer.” After reading stacks of books and hypothesizing on what herb blends he would assign for each flavor, he went to an herbalist friend for help restructuring the combinations and quantities. Now Wunder-Pilz (German for “kombucha,” literally translating to “miracle mushroom”) can be found on tap in 16 different places around town and at four different farmers markets a week. And Nadalini encourages his customers to reduce waste by receiving a twodollar rebate for refilling their glass growlers. Wunder-Pilz will be relocating to a larger brewing space this summer and won’t take on any new clients until then. “We’re working around the clock to just keep up with orders from our existing partners and want to make sure we can keep pace with those existing accounts before expanding further,” says Nadalini. “I work twelve- to fourteenhour days now, but I’ve never been so content or felt like I was actually contributing something so worthwhile.” —Veronica Meewes

For more information visit

As fresh and local as it gets Join us for a day of exploration and discovery at our Artisans Market. We’re supporting the local food community by showcasing growers and specialty food producers in our stores. Taste and enjoy the freshest handcrafted foods. Explore the market and meet the artisans—learn the unique stories behind each product.

Visit our featured stores for details. Williams-Sonoma Austin Arboretum Market Williams-Sonoma Barton Creek Williams-Sonoma Houston Highland

The responsibility of sustainability.

We believe in using locally grown foods in our Culinary Arts and Pastry Arts Programs. We provide individualized hands-on instruction with the classic Escoffier foundation, a Farm-to-Table experience, and a focus on sustainability.

Visit our campus and learn more about our professional programs today. 6020-B Dillard Circle Austin, Texas 78752 Ph: 512-451-5743 /

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit

FOOD is the medicine at HIllside


ypically, a restaurateur starts with a menu concept and builds the space and decor around it. The creative minds behind Hillside Farmacy, however, did things a little differently. Co-owner Mickie Spencer—the proprietor of East Side Showroom—was putting finishing touches on her last creation, Swan Dive, when she discovered Jones Drug Store, an abandoned 1920s pharmacy in Elgin. When the business closed its doors in 1975, it was boarded up with everything still sitting on the shelves—leaving behind a gold mine of vintage display cases, antique cash registers and even untouched medicine bottles and a delicate book of old prescriptions. “Pharmacy stuff is like my dream; I love old bottles,” says Spencer. And soon an idea for a new restaurant and bar began to gel. “The whole business plan was built around opening up a pharmacy-esque bar/restaurant,” she says. Spencer brought on East Side Showroom head chef Sonya Coté as a partner, as well as longtime friends Greg Mathews and Jade Place-Mathews, owners of El Diablo Taco Truck in Brooklyn. Soon a space on East 11th Street became available for lease. They learned it, too, had once housed a pharmacy. In the 1920s, Hillside Drugstore was owned and operated by Doc Young, Austin’s first African American pharmacist. Young’s daughter, Yvetta Turner, still lives down the street and owns the building where she used to pull the soda fountain as a child. It only made sense to pay homage to the historic building—while also giving a nod to the planned farm-to-table menu—by naming the establishment Hillside Farmacy. The concept, and intentional spelling, notes Cote, is that the food is the medicine because it’s healthy and fresh. Cote prefers to piece together the menu from whatever she can source

or forage locally. “It’s more ingredient-driven food,” she explains. “The menu itself doesn’t dictate to us; I find the ingredient and then build the menu from that.” She tries to source from smaller producers first, which include Boggy Creek Farm, Fruitful Hill Farm, HausBar Farms, Countryside Farms, Richardson Farms, Springdale Farm and San Miguel Seafood. The Farmacy’s focus is on small, shareable plates featuring the comfort foods that Coté grew up on. Besides their regular menu, which includes sandwiches, salads, soups, charcuterie, breakfast items and snacks, there is a list of four to five hot specials that changes nightly. An old-fashioned soda counter offers alcohol- and ice cream-optional liquid elixirs. One of the charms of the Farmacy is the market-like accessibility of all the items on the menu; most anything can be bought à la carte, such as local cheese or housemade pâté. A pastry case at the front displays confections from Pie Fixes Everything, Cake and Spoon, Cakemix and Luxe Sweets, as well as breads from Sweetish Hill Bakery, bagels from Rockstar Bagels and gluten-free breads from Misty Morning Bakery. Coté acts as culinary curator—using the space to showcase all of her favorite local purveyors, many of whom were only found previously at the farmers markets. A variety of local hygiene products are available for purchase as well, including Wild Spirit Botanicals tinctures made from foraged herbs, South Austin People laundry soap and Alchemy’s Apothecary herbal cough syrups. And a produce stand holds fresh vegetables in front of the shop. “I feel that Hillside has brought life back to that corner on East 11th,” says Place-Mathews. “Our space is for the community to enjoy and celebrate the local food and homemade products that Austin offers.” —Veronica Meewes Hillside Farmacy, 1209 E. 11th St. 512-628-0168,

“We source Dos Lunas cheeses because respect for the freshest, local, artistan ingredients is the cornerstone of the Wink culinary philosophy.”—Chef Eric Polzer, Wink

Photo by Alice Rabbit

Ask for Dos Lunas Artisan cheeses at your favorite markets, restaurants or order online. Visit us at the Williams-Sonoma Artisan Market in Austin and Houston June 16, July 21 and August 18! • 512-963-5357 EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



We’re jammin’ more than just jelly in these jars!

Family Owned & Operated

General Store

501 Bastrop Hwy, Austin 512-385-3452 Monday-Saturday 8am to 6pm

The New Run of the Mill


ane and Anne Beckmann, owners of Woerner Feed & Garden Supply since 2006, are on a mission to offer their customers choices in how they feed their livestock and care for their crops and gardens. The company was first opened as a general store on Fredericksburg’s Main Street in 1928 by founder Elwood Woerner, but it was eventually moved to its present location on South Lincoln Street, where it now operates as a feed store. Over the years, two more generations of the Woerner family kept the business alive. Zane had worked for the Woerners during his high-school years, and in 2001, he returned to Fredericksburg and was hired by Bruce Woerner to manage the store. Customers, including one who owned a large chicken operation, soon began asking for organic chicken feed. At the time, Zane was unfamiliar with the concept of organic anything. But as more people inquired, he began to research the issue. The research proved to be an eye-opening look into the world of biotechnology, where techniques have been developed over the last handful of years that alter the genetic makeup of animals, plants and bacteria. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology and results in “genetically modified organisms,” or GMOs. Products made using GMOs now include medicines and vaccines, foods and food ingredients, fibers and feeds. And though the full effect of GMOs moving into our foodways is currently unknown, one thing is clear: if GMO products are fed to our livestock, we, in turn, eat them too. These concerns so moved Zane that he began stocking organic products and offering healthful, sustainable choices for feeding livestock and caring for crops and gardens. It was a move that was eagerly embraced by customers, but challenging for the Beckmanns. Finding a consistent supply of organic feed was difficult, and they often had to source from as far away as Ohio. After purchasing the business, the Beckmanns began making plans to build their own mill to produce non-GMO chicken feed for their store and their eager customers. They recently reached their goal, and the finished mill—located five miles south of Llano—is up, running and churning out all-natural chicken feed using non-GMO corn and alfalfa. A full line of non-GMO livestock feed will follow. In keeping with their shared German heritage—and to pay homage to the region of Texas in which they reside—the Beckmanns have named their new line of feeds Hügelland, which means “hill country” in German. —Terry Thompson-Anderson  oerner Feed & Garden Supply W 305 S. Lincoln St., Fredericksburg 830-997-2246

From Farm to Pharmacy North 219-9499 • South 444-8866 • Central 459-9090 • Westlake 327-8877 20



Other producers of non-GMO feed in Texas Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill H and H Old Fashioned Chicken Feed

Neighborhood FarmS

Photography of Paige Hill by Whitney Arostegui

URBAN PATCHWORK b y Ver o n ic a M eewe s


rban Patchwork (UP), Austin’s first nonprofit neighborhood farm network, launched three years ago, very appropriately, on Independence Day. “We wanted to claim independence on our food systems,” says Paige Hill, founder and director, with a smile. The program works to connect neighbors by turning yard space into sustainable farmland through collaborative efforts. “Our intention is to make well-grown, healthy, organically grown food accessible and affordable for folks,” Hill says. The notion for UP came about when Hill started a front-yard garden at her Crestview house on Taulbee Lane. Her neighbors become curious— passing by and admiring her progress or asking her to identify various plants. “That was really inspiring,” Hill remembers. “[I saw] that people have this interest and want to connect with food and want to learn about it…but it’s really overwhelming. That’s why everybody’s learning out here together.” The program’s format is basic and inclusive, allowing for gardeners with 30 years of experience to work alongside novice dirt diggers. UP follows the community-supported agriculture (CSA) model, and members can choose to pay for a full share ($15 to $20 a week) or volunteer their time for four hours every other week while paying half a share. Those who offer their yard space share their land and use of water in exchange for a full share. In the past three years, UP has grown into a sprawling edible quilt that has branched out into three networks: the Violet Crown Farm Network— which consists of 40 members tending 10 plots in Brentwood, Crestview and Allendale; the Wooten Farm Network in North Austin near Highway 183; and the Cherrywood Farm Network, compromised of 15 members tending five plots, including the newly dug plots at in.gredients, the first package-free and zero-waste grocery store in the United States. “We farm a little bit differently,” explains Hill. “Everything we do is with a focus on creating a balanced food forest that takes care of itself after a couple years. Our methods are highly focused on a balanced ecological system.” UP’s permaculture-style approach is inspired by Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka, who encouraged a slower, more natural farming method by working with, rather than against, nature. “Like in a regular forest, you have many layers,” Hill describes. “You’ve got the canopy, you’ve got the middle layer, you’ve got some ground stuff and you’re also paying a lot of attention to the soil richness underneath. In a forest, everything’s seed-to-seed—something grows up, some of it gets eaten, some of it doesn’t, it goes to seed and the seeds drop wherever they’re going to drop.” This method of letting seeds germinate freely not only maintains a good balance in the soil, but ultimately reduces the amount of work to be done. In fact, Fukuoka’s method is commonly referred to as “do-nothing farming.” Rather than designating rows and pathways in their garden spaces, UP

digs each plot into a series of berms (high points) and swales (low points). “We consider the whole garden growing space, and we configure the contours of the land to help capture and hold water,” notes Hill. They install buried drip-irrigation systems through the swales to prevent water waste via evaporation or runoff, and they enrich the soil and conserve space by composting in the garden. This spring, UP led a workshop on hugelkultur gardening, an Eastern European method of filling raised beds with decaying wood in order to enrich the soil with nutrients and retain water. “This is a more regenerative horticulture rather than a sustainable agriculture,” says Hill. “What we’re trying to do is regenerate and give back more than what we take.” And it’s not just the earth they’re giving back to; UP gives back to the community by connecting neighbors with every potluck, public workshop and dig-in they host. On any given day, you might find senior citizens working with local elementary school students alongside college students learning about permaculture. UP also offers an intensive apprenticeship program that allows aspiring farmers to gain experience and build clientele before investing in their own land. “The goal,” says Hill, “is that every neighborhood has their own CSA program, volunteer program and farm stand so people in the neighborhood can bike or walk to where their food is grown and buy [it] fresh.” Hill says UP has encountered an overwhelming amount of interest from people wanting to offer their unused yard space for farming, and she looks forward to establishing additional urban farm networks all over the city. There are many factors that go into choosing a spot, such as containing areas of both shade and sun, proximity to other plots and homeowners who are open to non-synthetic soil amendments and pest control, rainwater catchment, a diverse collection of plants in the garden and creative use of vertical space. First and foremost, she notes, it’s important to mobilize a group of active and interested gardeners within a neighborhood to ensure that weekly seeding, weeding and harvesting can get done. Though they have a waiting list of people who want to use their yards for community food production, Hill says, “we need more people jumping in, gettin’ dirty and makin’ it happen!” For more information visit EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM




La Cruz de Comal by Jessica Dupuy • Photography by Andy Sams

Lewis Dickson and Tony Coturri are making natural Texas wines. But what does this mean?


here’s a little winery near Canyon Lake that’s turning heads among Central Texas’s top wine experts. La Cruz de Comal, nestled in a small valley just beyond New Braunfels, is fast becoming known for producing crisp, delicate wines that reveal an authentic character for the place in which they were made. One sip, and you’ll taste an inherent uniqueness—something a little different about these wines. There’s a faint sense of earth, acid and texture on the palate that reveals a quality that can only be defined in one way: all natural. But that’s not just some marketing gimmick; it’s actually the process. The term “natural,” when applied to winemaking, refers to what happens to the grapes after they’re plucked from the vine.




Fermentation happens from the yeast already growing in the grapes or inside the winery. These natural yeasts are believed to reveal the most pure expression of the wine, which means each vintage will have its own distinct flavor. In more conventional winemaking, things like strains of yeast, tannins, sugar, enzymes, proteins and even acid are typically added to the wine during the process. In natural winemaking, these things are not done. And most conventional winemakers also add sulfur (producing sulfides), but that’s something La Cruz de Comal owner Lewis Dickson will avoid at all costs. The result is that the wines he’s producing might be the most terroir-authentic wines in the entire state.

“I think in this day and age, it’s difficult to make a bad wine; technology has helped us avoid it,” says June Rodil, certified advanced sommelier and beverage director of Congress restaurant. “You know what’s easy? Making boring wines. And Lewis’s wines are definitely not that. They have a voice and character as unique as their maker.” A native of Houston, Dickson spent his first career in law, but he’d always been an admirer of wine. In the ’80s, he toured California wineries and found himself regularly returning to Coturri Winery in Sonoma County where natural winemaking pioneer Tony Coturri has been making wine for more than four decades. But it wasn’t until the late ’90s—when Dickson took a two-year sabbatical in the South of France—that he decided to make a dramatic career change. In 1992, Dickson decided to buy property in Startzville, and he persuaded Coturri to help him establish a vineyard. “I’ve always thought that Tony’s wines were not just good but, interesting…full of personality,” says Dickson. “What he does is wonderful: you pick grapes, crush them, let them ferment, press them. But after that, you essentially let the wine make itself.” While Coturri and Dickson may be forging a new path by their commitment to making only natural Texas wines, it’s important to note that

there’s also controversy swirling around natural wines. The primary concern is the lack of added sulfur, which not only could allow the wine to oxidize and brown, but could invite potential bacterial problems or the chance of a second fermentation in the bottle. For most traditional winemakers, it’s an expensive risk they’d rather not take. “The fiction is that if you don’t add sulfites to the wine they won’t hold up with age,” says Dickson. “That’s nonsense. If they’ve got acidity, that’s all the natural preservative you need. I like to make aciddriven wines that are more Old World-style, but you have to have the right level of acid to start with. Our fermentation process is slow, cool and long, and creates a nice backbone for acidity.” Once the wine is ready to bottle, Dickson is committed to hand bottling—making for a gentler process for these already-delicate wines—as opposed to using a conventional bottling line. Throughout the entire process, Dickson adds absolutely nothing to the wines. For aging, he uses lightly toasted barrels to help manage tannic structure, but not to impart flavor. “What interests me,” notes Dickson, “is to take the raw materials and the best possible package that can be harvested and see what I can do with it without doctoring it up or messing with it to manipulate




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“You know what’s easy? Making boring wines. And Lewis’s wines are definitely not that. They have a voice and character as unique as their maker.” —June Rodil, Congress restaurant its natural expression. There’s a lot of good wine out there, but to me, wine can, and should, be more than just good. It should be interesting—alive with personality.” Though not necessarily an advocate of natural wine, per se, The Austin Wine Merchant co-owner and general manager John Roenigk admires Dickson for his commitment. Natural wines are a rare and unique find these days—especially by American winemaking standards—though there are more than a few Old World producers in France and other parts of Europe. “What Lewis is doing is important for our part of the world,” says Roenigk. “Especially for what he’s doing out of his home vineyard in choosing grape varieties that he thinks will work. I respect him from that standpoint, and he’s putting as good a wine in the bottle as he possibly can.” “I have people who buy these wines because they’re unique,” Roenigk says. “Others buy because it’s Lewis, and they just like him. And others who say they want something from Texas that says ‘Texas’… and I can’t think of a better wine to offer them. It’s artisanal and it’s good. It’s an honest effort and he’s a man doing something with conviction.” Notable wines from La Cruz de Comal include the 2011 Pétard Blanc (made from blanc du bois), the 2010 Du Petit Lait (a rosé of merlot and Black Spanish grapes) and Cohete Rojo (“red rocket”), a blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, Black Spanish and a few other red grapes.  or more information visit or contact Lewis F Dickson at 830-899-2723.

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“This was initially about being frugal and concerned with what I put in my body. But it became about the politics.… Am I going to buy cheap crap, or am I going to do this stuff myself?”—Kate Payne 26




KATE PAYNE b y S h a n n o n O e l r i c h • P h o t o g r a p h y b y j o a n n s a n ta n g e l o


lfie, an orange and white tomcat, saunters onto the kitchen table and inspects the offerings: orange vanilla buttermilk muffins (gluten-free) and a bounty of homemade jams, jellies and preserves. He doesn’t seem impressed, but then, he sees it all the time. Kate Payne, author of The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking, lays out a fine spread, but it took her years to be confident doing so. “I didn’t grow up with a domestic bone in my body,” she says, “but over time, I’ve allowed myself to pick and choose what home projects are fun, which ones are essential and unavoidable and which take the back burner.” In other words, she’s not into self-imposed domestic tyranny; she’s simply into managing the daily tyranny of being human. “If you don’t want to make jam, don’t make jam,” Payne says. “But you have to live somewhere, you have to eat, you have to wear clothes.” Her book and blog are helping people, especially beginners, learn facets of these things in easy, practical and healthy ways. She advocates cleaning with vinegar and baking soda, for example, repairing clothes and household items rather than acquiring new ones and buying local and organic food when at all possible. These concepts aren’t new, of course—in fact, they’re quite established—but it’s Payne’s clever spin on the domestic dance that has really caught people’s attention. In places where her fans gather, be it her Facebook page or a book signing, they comment excitedly on their favorite tips like using diluted Dr. Bronner’s soap in a spray bottle to repel pests from plants, putting vanilla extract in the vacuum cleaner, making refrigerator pickles and following Payne’s illustrated instructions on how to fold fitted sheets. This desire to instruct others in better ways to approach the mundane chores of life put her in the spotlight of a recent Washington Post article titled, “The New Domesticity.” Payne felt a little skewered by the author’s conjecturing about whether the trend of young, hip women embracing domestic arts is antifeminist. Payne is quoted in the article as saying, “This was initially about being frugal and concerned with what I put in my body. But it became about the politics.… Am I going to buy cheap crap, or am I going to do this stuff myself?” And that’s exactly where she’s coming from—she wants to make the world a better, safer, healthier place by starting with herself and her home. Payne’s home is not a showplace for her domestic flair; rather, it’s a home first, with cozy places to sit, interesting art on the walls and decor that springs from usefulness. “Be smart and decorate with your tools,” she writes. With cooking implements scaling the wall on a pegboard above her stove, her kitchen invites you to get to work. Indeed, you don’t have to make homemade jam—but if you want to, Payne can help. Besides publishing a book, updating her blog, writing a new column for Edible Austin (see page 58) and a little grant writing on the side, she teaches canning classes at venues like Central Market, Whole Foods Market, the Natural Epicurean and, sometimes, her house. “I like having people over,” she says. In fact, she had her

book-release party at her own house—a mere 16 days after moving in. She admits it was a challenge, and a little crazy, but, she says, “the best way to test yourself is to have a party.” Payne’s impetus for learning to manage a household came from setting one up when she moved to Brooklyn in 2008. She knew she’d need to work from home, so “a careless attempt at home just would not do,” she wrote in the introduction to her book. “Not with the chaos of bigcity life lurking just on the other side of my door.” She started cataloging her efforts in a blog with the hopeful intent to make it into a book. “Everybody has to do these things [eat, clean, be clothed], but nobody was talking about the basics.” To clarify, Martha Stewart was talking about it, but to many, her version is so complex, so mountainous in its perfection, that a normal person, not to mention a flat-out beginner, is more likely to run from the idea of doing more things for oneself than to embrace it. Payne wanted beginners to know that it isn’t that hard, and that anyone can master—or at least tackle—home care. Instead of the next Martha Stewart, Payne strives to be a realistic, helpful resource for people who simply want to find their comfortable level of a homey groove. She has more Hip Girl’s books in the works, and further down the road she sees herself and her partner owning a bed-and-breakfast with a communal feel. “We hosted people in our home for [the South By Southwest festival]…people we didn’t know who rented our rooms. It was great,” she says, and smiles contentedly at the thought while spreading more jam on her muffin.  o find out more about Kate Payne visit her blog at T And read her new column in this issue of Edible Austin on page 58.

Orange vanilla buttermilk muffins Makes 12 muffins ¾ c. brown rice flour ½ c. white rice flour ½ c. tapioca starch 2 T. potato starch 2 T. gluten-free oat flour (I make my own by grinding oats in my food processor.) ½ t. xanthan gum 1 T. baking powder ½ t. baking soda

½ t. salt 2 eggs 1 c. buttermilk ½ c. sugar ¼ c. fresh-squeezed Valencia orange juice 4 T. unsalted butter 1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix the flours and starches (or use 2 cups prepared gluten-free flour) with the xanthan gum, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine, but don’t overmix. It’ll be a little lumpy. Dollop the batter into greased muffin tins or prepared paper muffin cups. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, rotating the pan midway through, until a toothpick comes out clean. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



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Edible Endeavor

Argus Cidery by Veronica Meewes • Photography by Dustin Meyer


ou might say that Argus Cidery founder Wes Mickel likes a challenge. The 27-year-old moved to Austin knowing the apple supply was so limited that nobody else had ever attempted to produce a hard cider here. Rather than discourage him, though, this news had the opposite effect. “I talked to three growers,” Mickel says, “and no one was making any wines out of their apples. That really excited me because I knew, with the climate, they were just going to be exploding with sugar. And they were.” Mickel knows a thing or two about taking advantage of a ripe opportunity. After graduating from college in Arkansas, he attended culinary school at Napa’s Culinary Institute of America at Greystone before landing a gig in San Francisco as culinary rock star Tyler Florence’s

right-hand man—opening three restaurants with him and working on several cookbooks. He also had stints as a wine blender at San Francisco’s Crushpad and as chef de partie at Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood and Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc. “I love food just as much as I love wine,” says Mickel. “I think at the time when [my wife and I] moved down here…this was ‘hey, let’s have fun,’ whereas food was ‘let’s pay bills.’ And now it’s kind of switching to this paying the bills and food being fun. But both of them are definitely hobbies that I’ve tried to figure out how to turn into a full-time job. That’s kind of the goal here—to do what we want to do on a daily basis.” And it appears as though Mickel is succeeding, as fermenting apEDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



“Because we have such a limited supply of apples, and we make the cider the way we do…we’ll have a release and everyone will go out and try it and—being that it’s a small production—we’ll be out…. What’s the next solution to that? Plant a lot of trees!” — Wes Mickel ples at the Dripping Springs cidery just officially became his day job. He had been a senior chef instructor at Whole Foods Market, teaching and writing curricula for classes in the culinary center, but just recently went part-time to focus his efforts on the cidery. Whole Foods Market coworker Jules Peterson assists Mickel in developing new blends and perfecting the barrels of liquid gold. Made from apples sourced at Bat Creek Farm out of Bertram, Love Creek Orchards in Medina and Lubbock’s Top of Texas Orchard, among others, the brew Argus is producing is more complex than commercial ciders on the market. In lieu of traditional cider yeast, Mickel has been experimenting with different types of wine yeast— whether it be Champagne or garnacha strains. “That’s why, flavor-wise, all of our ciders are completely different from everyone else’s,” says Mickel. “Usually people use some kind of British cider yeast that gives it that muskiness. Our thinking was: do a grape yeast, and that would give the cider more of a clean flavor—more straightforward apple. So far it’s done a really great job.” They also use various blends of American and French oak during the fermentation process, which they incorporate by infusing the cider with bags of the oak chips with toast levels ranging from white to charred. The yeast and oak variables allow for flavor experimentation and help balance the flavor of the mostly sweet apples found in Texas. “Whatever we get on a yearly basis, we have to figure out how to make the best wine out of what we have,” says Mickel. “There are only so many apples. That’s why we try to use all sorts of different yeasts. And we have tons of oak profiles that we pair to the flavors of the apples, as well. It gets very convoluted, and we’ve got these sheets with lines and arrows drawn all over them!” True to Mickel’s Napa roots, the process he uses closely resembles 30



a winemaking format. The apples are juiced and the juice is stored in large barrels according to apple type. From there, the sugar level is measured, the temperature is regulated and the yeast is monitored to make sure it stays healthy. Next, the barrels are oaked and the different types of apple juices are blended together. The cider is bottled and primed by adding sugar, then the bottles sit for at least five months. The result is a crisp, dry cider with fine bubbles that are, according to Mickel, a step higher than very carbonated beer and a step below Champagne. With Argus Cidery’s tasting room scheduled to open this fall, cider lovers will be able to sample Mickel’s brews at their peak, as well as Argus’s still wines, which have been aged in oak barrels for over a year. The long-awaited 2011 Bandera Brut (Gala, Early Fuji, Mutsu and Jonathan blend) was released in April, and the new Malus Opus blend (Gala, Cameo and Jonagold blend) will be available starting this month. By late summer, the Lady Goldsmith (Pink Lady, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith blend) will be on shelves, but Mickel suggests that enthusiasts move quickly. “Because we have such a limited supply of apples, and we make the cider the way we do, it’s hard to keep a constant stock,” he says. “We’ll have a release and everyone will go out and try it and—being that it’s a small production—we’ll be out…and we can’t refill orders simply because we can’t source enough apples here in Texas. What’s the next solution to that?” He pauses, then answers his own question with a smile. “Plant a lot of trees!” Argus Cidery 12345 Pauls Valley Rd.



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Edible Ag

The State of

TEXAS Milk Story and PHotography by Kelly Yandell


here is a certain pastoral simplicity conjured up by the idea of drinking a frosty glass of milk; perhaps nothing evokes such a wholesome and nostalgic image in our minds. But the dairy industry is incredibly large and complex, and contends with supply-and-demand variables that are hard to fathom. When considered as a monolithic industry, the state of milk in Texas is good. Driven by incredible growth in the High Plains region, Texas is beginning to dominate an increasing share of the national dairy game. Eight of the top ten milk-producing counties in Texas are located in this region, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, dairy products constitute the fourth-largest agricultural commodity produced in Texas in terms of value. Yet, while large dairies are producing more milk from bigger herds, smaller conventional dairies are closing, struggling or dramatically changing to deal with the challenges of commercial dairy farming. Conventional dairy business in Texas is well documented. The milk market administrator for a region keeps detailed records on how much milk is produced, and what portions and grades are used for differing purposes, such as fluid milk, cheese, whey, butter and dry milk. Just over a century ago, a glass of milk was obtained from a family cow or the cow of a neighbor. But massive and laudable efficiencies have been incorporated into the business, ensur-

ing that dairy farmers can get their milk to market, and people who are living many miles from the nearest dairy farm can still obtain milk. Of course, the perishable nature of fluid milk creates unique challenges. It is harvested daily and must be processed quickly. Farmers created co-ops to pool and streamline milk production. Co-ops negotiate with processors and wholesale buyers to sell the milk and its component parts, and farmers are all paid one price (per hundred pounds of milk). Trucks travel to dairy farms and pick up one to two days’ worth of production. The milk is pooled in the tanker truck with milk from other farms and then delivered to a central processing facility. It is subject to quality standards, but it is all combined. The fluid milk and components are routinely shipped across state lines to larger facilities that package and brand the products for retail sale. Depending on the packager used by the retailer or distributor from whom you purchase milk, the liquid inside could have originated from almost any state in the United States. Today, some of the most challenging aspects of dairy farming in Texas are the heat and recent drought. Heat distress can lower milk production in cows, and the use of fans, evaporative coolers and other cooling devices is costly. Additionally, the drought has made it very difficult to pasture feed cows on uncultivated land, and the high costs of the constant irrigation necessary to cultivate forage are taxing. Farmers have to EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



look elsewhere for supplemental feed at increasing costs, and as any business owner knows, administrative, payroll, health care and insurance costs have continued to rise. Dairy farming is also exceptionally labor-intensive. The workdays begin early, and there’s not a single day when the cows don’t require tending and milking. In light of this, some dairy families simply make a switch to beef cattle. According to former dairy farmer Ella Goebel in Cuero, “beef cattle take care of themselves.” Faced with the decision to “get bigger or get out,” she and her husband chose the latter in the mid-1990s. She estimates that 80 percent of the dairy farmers in her county made the same decision. Dips and spikes in prices paid to dairy farmers abound, but in 2009, the price paid to farmers for milk fell far below the cost of production. The economic downturn caused people to eat out less, to consume less dairy generally and to economize. International demand patterns changed, as well. The supply of milk was high, the demand fell and prices plummeted. This sustained period of low prices was cataclysmic for small dairy farmers. Highly leveraged operations, in particular, were extremely sensitive to a period when the price obtained for their milk barely covered the costs of production. Dairy farmers are price-takers, meaning they are paid after delivery at a price set by the markets. They do not individually set their milk prices to reflect the costs associated with producing milk. It’s a squeeze. Farmers in catastrophic debt, of advanced age or sitting on land prized for its recreational value have very difficult decisions facing them in these situations. Overall, though, the milk business in Texas is expanding in terms of production—a benefit to the dairies that are thriving and to the counties in which they operate. But Texas is trading one type of conventional dairy industry for another. The trends indicate that the larger dairies in the High Plains will continue to grow—barring an unforeseen catastrophe that could substantially reduce demand for milk and milk products—but the loss of smaller dairies is consequential. A 2006 Tarleton State University study of Erath County’s dairy industry estimated that the loss of a 1,000-head farm leads to a loss of 61 dairy and dairy-related jobs. Independent and organic dairies are alternatives to the conventional milk route and all that it entails, though hard numbers are difficult to come by because these dairies aren’t monitored to the extent that conventional milk co-ops are. There is an entire, albeit smaller, version of the conventional milk market for organics, and the price paid for

Dairy farming is exceptionally laborintensive. The workdays begin early, and there’s not a single day when the cows don’t require tending and milking. the milk is substantially higher—allowing organic farms to operate on smaller scales. Independent dairies forgo the traditional marketing routes and bring their own products to market in varied ways. Even some conventional dairies, after struggling through the inevitable pricing cycles, have determined that allowing the price of milk to be set entirely by the processors was not a viable business model and transitioned out of conventional milk to organic or independent or both. Over the last few years, those dairies seeking an alternate path from commercial production and distribution have spawned a groundswell of local quality milks, artisanal cheeses and yogurts and quality meats that are highly sought after. Prior to 2002, Full Quiver Farms, in Kemp, milked 150 cows com-

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Mill-King Market & Creamery dairy herd heading to the milking barn.

mercially. “We were going broke in the commercial dairy business. We had no choice,” says owner Mike Sams. “We just had to do something else.” They sold down the herd to 50 cows and switched to selling raw milk from their farm store. They also diversified their business to include the production of handmade cheeses now carried by both Central Market and Whole Foods Market, as well as by Wheatsville Food Co-op. In addition, they participate in farmers markets in Austin, where they sell their cheeses in addition to grassfed beef, whey-fed pork and eggs. “For a small producer,” says Sams, “this is the only way to go.” The Sams family includes nine children. Prior to their transformation into an independent dairy, their margins were so slim that none of the family’s grown children were able to work on the farm. However,

the business is now stable and profitable, and several of them are currently part of the family business. “[Before], there was no way to bring the kids into the business,” Sams notes. “Now it is profitable enough that we can. And they are more than happy to come back to the farm.” Alysha and Ben Godfrey run Sand Creek Farm and Dairy in Cameron. They’ve never sold milk through the conventional system, and they were the first Texas dairy licensed to sell raw milk directly to the public. Both Alysha and Ben have degrees from Texas A&M University, in scientific nutrition and agricultural development, respectively, and they have taken a very purposeful approach to raising healthy cows and selling wholesome food. They currently have 32 milking cows that are grassfed on 170 acres. According to Alysha, farmers have

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to educate consumers on “what good food really is,” and consumers need to know what it costs to produce good food. To this end, one of the unintended benefits of raw-milk regulations that require consumers to buy directly at the farm, is that customers actually see how the cows are raised and witness the care that goes into their upkeep. The Godfreys are vigilant about testing their animals frequently to make sure that they are selling—and feeding their own five children— the safest and highest-quality milk possible. Their raw milk is currently sold at their farm store, and they sell their cheeses to Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Austin and to Houston Dairymaids. They also sell

TEXAS Family-owned COW milk DairIES Sampling of family dairy farms who sell their products in the Austin-area markets. For a comprehensive list of Texas family dairy farms visit Dyer Dairy 7801 E. Hwy. 29 Georgetown 512-638-0415

Miller Farms Raw Milk 12730 FM 471 S., LaCoste 210-508-1733 Sand Creek Farm and Dairy Ben and Alysha Godfrey 1552 CR 267, Cameron 254-697-2927

Four E Dairy The Chaloupka family 784 CR 251, Moulton 361-596-7292

Stryk Jersey Farm Bob and Darlene Stryk 629 Krenek-Stryk Rd., Schulenberg 979-561-8468

Full Quiver Farms Debbie and Mike Sams 6238 FM 3396, Kemp 903-498-3884 Lavon Farms Todd and Deanna Moore 3721 N. Jupiter Rd., Plano 972-423-8080

Texas Daily Harvest Ramy and Kent Jisha 275 CR 1455, Yantis 903-335-1761

Mill-King Market and Creamery The Miller family 1410 Coyote Ln., McGregor 254-486-8999

Veldhuizen Cheese Connie and Stuart Veldhuizen 425 Private Rd. 1169, Dublin 254-968-3098




other value-added products, such as beef and lamb from a neighboring farm and dried blueberries and cranberries sourced from Oregon. “We only sell food we have diligently searched for and are willing to serve to our family,” explains Alysha. One commonality with all of the independent dairy families interviewed is that they feel that they are offering a truly superior product by working with fewer animals. They are feeding them grass and natural forage, relying very little or not at all on commercial grain. Several have chosen to forego organic certification, not only because of the cost and cumbersomeness of the process, but because they have personal relationships with their customers who visit the farms and can see for themselves the way the cows are raised. These farmers tend to run operations that are technically organic in nature, and in many cases exceed the minimum standards for organic certification. But the rapport they have with their customers obviates the need for a marketing badge, and lacking the certification allows them flexibility in making care decisions for their animals that are ethical, but might not comport with the one-size-fits-all nature of certification. Interestingly, all of these farmers emphasize that there is plenty of room in the independent Texas milk and cheese market for dairies to switch to this model. “We were in trouble, and this has been the way it opened up for us,” adds Mike Sams. “There is room for other people to do the same thing. I just like to see people succeed.” Kent and Ramy Jisha of Texas Daily Harvest, in Yantis, sold 1,000 conventional milk cows in order to pursue the independent route. They were fortunate enough to make the transition in 2008, before the price of conventional milk went down dramatically. They started over with organically raised cows and now have a herd of around 150. They produce low-temperature pasteurized milk, which they sell through outlets like Whole Foods Market, and also produce drinkable yogurt, Greek-style yogurt and cheese in addition to beef and pork. Kent notes that even with the transition, the drought has been a challenge for dairies this past year. “Normally we don’t have to feed hay to our cows until November,” he says. “This [past] year, we had to start in June. Usually, we make our own hay. This [past] year we had none and had to go to northern Nebraska for organic hay. The trucking cost more than the hay.” The Chaloupka family of Four E Dairy, in Moulton, has found another way of supplementing their conventional-milk income. In addition to having 48 of their 400-head herd devoted to raw-milk production, they’ve started an “agri-tainment” venture that provides farm tours for school field trips, as well as seasonal farm activities such as corn mazes, duck races and hayrides. Owner Elyse Chaloupka notes that during the pricing crisis of 2009, dairies didn’t know where to turn, and that the “agri-tainment” portion of their business let them focus on other things. “It gave us hope,” she says. “When I married into [the dairy], there were at least 20 dairies in the county, and now we are the only one left.” Whether a dairy is conventional, independent, raw or organic— there’s something for everyone, and at every price level, in the Texas milk market. And with smart diversification, value-added products and alternative thinking, even the smallest of dairies seems to have a fighting chance. While conventional milk meets the needs of many in the market, alternatives to mass-produced milk and associated products are holding their own, and the farmers who produce them are anxious to find a market for their goods so that they can operate outside of the conventional-milk loop.

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Mill-King Market & Creamery Story and PHotography by Kelly YandelL


aco, like many growing Texas cities, is ever expanding into the countryside. But just west of Waco, away from the bustle, in the small town of McGregor, sits a still-bucolic, beautiful parcel of land dotted with grazing cows and owned by some of the nicest people you’d ever care to meet. Mill-King Market & Creamery is one of a growing number of Texas dairy farms on the road to abandoning the conventional route to marketing milk. Along with his parents, wife and sister, Craig Miller operates this third-generation Texas dairy farm with a lot of hard physical work, as well as great attention to detail.

“We are shrinking, not expanding like a conventional dairy has to do to survive,” says Craig. He’d love to see the dairy at 60 cows, which would allow his parents to slow down a little. “Seven days a week for twenty years is just too much.” To that end, the Millers have developed a select herd of animals that produce premium milk with the highest milk fat and protein content. They still have a conventional herd, but are in the process of slowly reducing it in favor of having a smaller, exceptional herd. The conventional herd still produces milk, which is sold through a co-op, but the premium milk is reserved as a house brand, and is being marketed

When you drink a cold glass of Mill-King milk, or nibble on their exceptional Asiago cheese, you know precisely what you are getting: day-in, day-out

Charlotte “Shorty” Miller

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through select retailers. The premium milk is also used to make the several in-house varieties of Mill-King cheeses. The Millers know where their premium milk ends up because it is processed on the farm. Mill-King sells some raw milk at the farm store, and markets low-temperature pasteurized milk at farmers markets, as well. They are working to increase their distribution without sacrificing the quality of their products. Along with their cheeses, they also sell beef and eggs. “We control one hundred percent of the process,” Craig says. When asked about the rarity of a start-to-finish, independent dairy where a consumer could actually document the exact origin of their glass of milk, he says they’ve been moving to keep tabs on, better control of, and make available that high-quality glass of milk for 30 years. Mill-King also closely manages their breeding program—working to preserve and enhance the traits of their best cows. “Right now, our Holsteins are producing milk of 4.5 percent butterfat—richer than your average Jersey.” Charlotte Miller, affectionately known as “Shorty,” is the matriarch of the family. Craig boasts that she takes care of the baby calves until they’re six weeks of age—teaching them how to drink out of a bucket and doctoring them. “It is the hardest job on the dairy,” he says. She can also be found in the cheese-production room where she packages milk and prepares for the next round of cheesemaking. Billy Miller, Craig’s father, oversees the herd’s feed intake, the health of the herd and personnel issues. Craig’s wife, Rhianna, manages cheese production and handles the accounting and scheduling. And, Casie Velin, Craig’s sister, helps out at the farmers markets and whenever the dairy needs a spare hand. Craig not only manages the reproductive and genetic health of the Mill-King herd, but also consults with other dairies on genetic and reproductive issues. The entire family lives on, or around, the dairy. Although Mill-King has not sought organic certification—an expensive and lengthy process—they have chosen to reduce their presence in the conventional-milk chain of commerce, where all of the milks from various dairies, regardless of quality, are combined. Craig says that in the conventional system, a dairy is not rewarded for producing a premium product. “If I’m producing a premium product, I still get paid the same.” Nor does he believe that a certified-organic label necessarily guarantees a better product. The Millers have chosen to pursue the independent route in order to have complete control over the premium milk-production process—from breeding to bottling. When asked what makes Mill-King different from an average conventional dairy, Craig responds that it has a lot to do with how they take care of their cows. The cows have clean bedding and their overall cleanliness is monitored, as well. They are pasture fed, their nutrition is closely documented and the dairy runs heat-abatement systems to keep the cows comfortable in the hot months. “A defining difference,” notes Craig, “is simply the general day-to-day care of the animals that my parents give from birth on.” A smaller herd, a full-cycle dairy, excellent animal care and quality products are the priorities of this Texas dairy. When you drink a cold glass of Mill-King milk, or nibble on their exceptional Asiago cheese, you know precisely what you are getting: day-in, day-out attention to detail. In sum, you’re getting the passion and dedication of three generations. For more information visit

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CHRISTIAN REMDE by Megan Myers • Photography by Marc Brown


n a muggy, overcast Thursday in the middle of Austin’s South By Southwest film, interactive and music festival, filmmaker Christian Remde sets up for an interview shoot. We’re at the calm oasis of Springdale Farm, and the quiet of the morning is broken only by the dull roar of the farm’s Gator truck and jets traversing the flight path. This is Remde’s third shoot among Springdale’s picturesque garden rows, and at this point, he’s a familiar friend—during the shoot, one of the farm cats comes out and lounges nearby, as though the camera is simply additional farm equipment. Certainly, Remde feels comfortable in his role as interviewer; he patiently preps his interviewee, Judith McGeary of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, for the onslaught of questions to come. McGeary, who worked with Remde in December of 2011 on his short film, SB-81–The Texas Cottage Food Law, isn’t fazed by the questions or the noise that interrupts filming every few minutes. “Inability to talk has never been my problem,” McGeary says with a laugh as they wait for yet another airplane to fly over the farm. Remde has worked in film for more than 15 years—creating music videos and DVD title screens and working for such corporate clients as Citigroup, MetLife and MasterCard. In 2011 he decided to challenge himself and push the boundaries of what he knew about filmmaking by creating an assignment he dubbed the Twelve Films Project. Suddenly Remde had to create one film per month, and he realized that he had a perfect subject when it came to the Austin food scene. His profile of Chef Bryce Gilmore in Farm to Trailer was his first foray into documentary work—an idea he hit upon after he and his wife Julie first tasted Gilmore’s food. “I thought it was really ballsy and cool to do something totally local,” he says, talking about Gilmore’s former food trailer and now brick-and-mortar restaurant. Remde decided it was important to show the alternatives to the standard American diet and the good being done in communities like Austin. “It’s just so easy to eat [processed] food and that’s the problem—we haven’t made it easy to eat the right way.” It turned out that Farm to Trailer was only the tipping point in a life that was already tilted toward working with food. “If I hadn’t gotten into film I would have gone to culinary school,” Remde says. That interest in food helped connect him to charcuterie experts Lawrence and Lee Ann Kocurek, and their developing friendship led to a natural choice for the next documentary.

Charcuterie, the result of that friendship and filming, is the most popular of Remde’s shorts from the Twelve Films Project—earning mentions from the Austin Chronicle, Grub Street and Food & Wine, among others. Remde has developed a faithful audience for his collection of food shorts—with more than 10,000 views on the Twelve Films Project website for the four films combined—and the short film Local recently screened at the Hill Country Film Festival. Yet, he’s modest about his success and prefers to stay focused on his current work of turning Local into a full-length film. Remde’s filmmaking setup is tight. Instead of a large video camera and multiple assistants, at this shoot Remde relies instead on two small Canon 7D cameras on tripods and one person, Paul Toohey, to manage sound levels. Interviews typically last two hours, but in editing get cut to about five minutes of screen time. Remde says that the length of filming helps get the subject “revved up,” especially as farmers are often not used to trading in their tractors for interview chairs. Fortunately for Remde, some interviewees don’t need such prepping. “Kris Olsen [of Milagro Farms] just turns it on,” he says. Despite the onslaught of recent documentaries examining the dire state of America’s food system, Remde believes Local, like the film Fresh, offers some ways to fix the system. The Sustainable Food Center (SFC) was more than eager to be a part of the film. Susan Leibrock, SFC’s community relations director, was filmed at Springdale Farm in March. “[We’re] addressing the root causes of issues ranging from hunger to childhood obesity, ecological impacts of conventional agriculture and, of course, strengthening our local economy,” says Leibrock. While the Local short focused on Austin, Remde is getting some of his footage in San Francisco for the longer film. Austin is known nationwide as an upstart in the local food scene, and by comparing it to the well-developed food community in San Francisco, he hopes to be able to point out where Austin can improve. “Christian’s feature is making a case…that this isn’t a time for bench-sitting and handwringing about what’s wrong with the system,” Leibrock says. “He is telling a story of hope.”  hristian Remde’s films can be viewed at, and C for more information on Remde and his Twelve Films Project visit

Watch Christian Remde’s short film Local at EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM




Pint to Plate by Kristi Willis • Photography by Jenna noel


t’s not unusual to be offered a wine pairing with a particular dish at a restaurant, and increasingly, servers are also suggesting a preferred pint for each plate. Beer and food pairing isn’t new, of course; chefs in the classic brewing regions of Germany, Belgium and France have been fashioning menus to complement their beers for centuries. Special brewer dinners and pairing menus have become more common stateside, though, with the explosive growth of the craft-beer industry. With brewers adding elements like pecan, chocolate, jalapeño and Jamaican spices to their products, beer now presents even more room for experimentation than wine. The Great American Beer Festival—held in Denver each fall—features a tasting pavilion offering dozens of small plates from chefs around the country that were created to highlight the uniqueness of particular beers. This past year, the room was packed with attendees intently exploring the diversity and complexity of the matchups and peppering the chefs with questions of how and why they chose certain elements for their dishes. Closer to home, several restaurants have begun featuring dinners focused on a handful of beers from one brewer, and often include rare beers that are only available in small quantities. 24 Diner hosted 11 beer dinners just last year. “The thing about beer is that it is so complex and there are even more flavors involved than in wine,” says Chef Drew Curren. “There are so many things that you can play with in a beer, from alcohol level to carbonation to what style it is. There truly is a beer for every food and a food for every beer.” Chef Curren first considers matching the intensity of beer and food. If the beer is light and crisp, like a hefeweizen or pilsner, he pairs it with a light, refreshing course. Serving a subtle beer with a heavy dish, such as a braised lamb shank, would overwhelm the beer and mask its taste. Similarly, a stout or porter matched with delicate oysters would squash the flavor of the food. The trick is to find the balance.

“There are so many things that you can play with in a beer, from alcohol level to carbonation to what style it is. There truly is a beer for every food and a food for every beer.” — Chef Drew Curren Along with their team, John and Kendall Antonelli, owners of Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, have matched over 200 beers and cheeses since opening in 2010. “What’s really fascinating with the whole thing of pairing is that everyone’s palate is different. What is very intimate for my palate could be very off-putting for others,” John shares. “In a perfect pairing, neither the beer [nor] the cheese overpowers the other.” As with wine, when serving multiple beers, it’s important to let the flavors progress in strength so as not to overwhelm the taste buds in the beginning. Starting with lighter lagers and ales, then working up to stronger porters and stouts, ensures that the diner can enjoy the special qualities of each course. It’s also important to consider whether the flavors complement or contrast each other. A cheese with a nutty element can complement a nutty beer—like a brown ale—while a beer with a higher acidity can contrast a fatty food and cut through the heaviness of the dish. “We are trying to take two independent, unique flavors where the summation is greater than the parts,” says John. “It’s hard, but it is so rewarding when it comes true.” EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



Chef Curren treats the beer like an ingredient in a recipe. “The thing for me is to use a little restraint and let the beer be the main focus,” he explains. “If there is a citrus or lemon characteristic in the beer, I will purposefully leave out acid or leave out a citrus component in a dish that normally wants one, and let the beer be that component.” The Antonellis also suggest allowing for the element of texture added by the carbonation. “Beer brings with it effervescence,” says John. “It forces some of that air and carbonation up into your nose, which is where the pairing takes on a new level. The nose is where something magical happens.” Of course, the carbonation can also cause unwanted results by intensifying some flavors in a potentially unpleasant way. Bay Anthon—coowner of Hopfields restaurant, which has over 40 beers on tap—warns that the bubbles can make spice more intense and amplify heat to an undesirable level. He suggests serving spicy food with a lighter beer, or one with a sweeter note to contrast the heat. Don’t hesitate to experiment. “Because beer and cheese pairing is fairly new, there are no built-in assumptions like there are with wine,” says John. “There’s no specific way to do it. People are willing to experiment more because there are fewer preconceived notions.” Kevin Brand of (512) Brewing Company shares that he is often surprised by what works well together. “We tried a washed-rind goat cheese from Twig Farm that is smelly, dark orange and runny—gorgeous in so many ways. It’s so strong and pungent that I was shocked to find that it went well with our wit, which is a delicate citrus beer.” When Brand initially started pairing beer and food, he also thought their hefty India Pale Ale (IPA) would be the best beer with spicy dishes. But when they tried it, the IPA was too overwhelming. “The wit to me is more of our food-pairing champion,” says Brand. “There are so many things that it seems to go well with, including spicy food.” Anthon also discovered a few pairing-related surprises of his own along the way. “The Tarte aux Tomates has a nice, buttery crust and it works great with a stout. The butter comes out like crazy in the tart when you taste it with the beer. I actually leave the crust until the very end so I can enjoy it almost like coffee and dessert.” Another of Anthon’s favorites is enjoying an IPA with the Salade Niçoise, as the floral notes in the IPA complement the strong flavors in the vinaigrette. Kendall Antonelli enjoys matching unexpected beers and cheeses. “It’s really fun to pair lambics [a Belgian wheat beer that often has a fruit or cider flavor] with cheeses because sometimes people don’t even know what a lambic is, or they don’t know how the fruit will play well with the cheese.” 46



Ultimately, Anthon urges beer lovers not to be weighed down by convention. “We want it to be a personal experience for our customers. I don’t want it to become white wine with fish and you have to have this beer with that. It’s your preference and your taste.” With more than a dozen craft breweries in Central Texas, there are plenty of opportunities to explore dishes and pairings that elevate the food and the beer to new heights.

Pairing Cheese with Local Beers by John Antonelli Valdeón (Spain) with Draught House Pub Weizen Heimer Hefeweizen Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (Vermont) with Jester King Craft Brewery Black Metal Imperial Stout Landaff (New Hampshire) with Adelbert’s Brewery Dancin’ Monks Ascutney Mountain (Vermont), especially the rind, with (512) Brewing Company Whiskey Barrel Aged Double Pecan Porter Hopelessly Bleu (Texas) with Live Oak Brewing Company HefeWeizen Caveman Blue (Oregon) with Real Ale Brewing Company Coffee Porter Le Maréchal (Switzerland) with Independence Brewery Bootlegger Brown Comté (France), aged 16 months, with Thirsty Planet Brewing Company Thirsty Goat Amber

Resources Brewers Association’s Brief Beer & Food Matching chart includes suggestions for matching 28 styles of beer with foods, cheeses and desserts, as well as the recommended glassware and temperatures for serving the beers. The guide is a handy tool for the novice testing out pairings at home. Go to and search for “food matching.” Beer and Food Pairing specifics: and search for “food pairing.” Beer Advocate Food & Beer Pairing guide: Epicurious How to Pair Food and Beer, by James Oliver Cury:

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LISA BYRD b y L ay n e Ly n c h • p h o t o g r a p h y b y M a r c B r o w n


s is typical with busy, overly scheduled people, it had been three or four years since Lisa Byrd had visited her doctor for a checkup. The former executive director of the ProArts Collective—a local nonprofit that also produces the Black Arts Movement (BAM) festival—assumed that despite occasional indulgences in sweet potato pie and fried fare, all was well with her health; no high fevers, odd chest pains or other worrisome maladies indicated otherwise. The results of her delayed appointment, though, were a wake-up call. Byrd’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels were too high. “It usually takes a dramatic situation to shake me up and see the light,” she confesses. The doctor advised her to embrace the paleo diet, a nutritional plan based on eating plants and animals consumed during the Paleolithic era—before the development of modern industrial agriculture. The plan is heavy in fruits and vegetables, grassfed meats, fish, nuts and roots, but excludes grains, dairy, salt, refined sugar and processed oils. “I have to admit, I feel one hundred percent better,” she says. A transplant from the cheesesteak capital, Byrd studied her mother’s cooking while growing up and learned to replicate quick-fix family meals such as chicken and dumplings and navy bean soup. “My mom came into adulthood in the fifties, when it was a lot of canned food and frozen dinners,” says Byrd. “It was all the promise of modern life. Funny how things have changed.” Her maternal grandmother’s Virginia farm was a welcome juxtaposition to Philly. Byrd would work in the two-acre garden, harvesting and picking potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and corn. For dinner, her grandmother would cook a roast or fry chicken on a worn wood-fired stove with generous portions of lima beans and fresh whole milk from the cow grazing outside. Back in the city at her paternal grandmother’s house, Byrd indulged in fish dinners followed by family bingo games. The most potent memory from those years, however, was waking to the smell of preserves wafting from the farm kitchen. “When my grandma would make grape jam, the smells would just blow you away,” she says. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Byrd progressed through the ranks of Austin’s theater, dance and cultural communities—working for places like Dance Umbrella and Ballet Austin. “Black arts and culture aren’t very accessible in Austin, and yet there’s this whole legacy of work being done here,” says Byrd. “I wanted to change that.” She cites the addition of “culinary performances” to the BAM festival as one of her career highlights at ProArts Collective. Such performances that spotlight and celebrate underrepresented black chefs and culinary stars provoked discussions of modern cuisine and its role in the black community. She was fiercely passionate about the addition of culinary topics—hoping it would address issues such as

the accessibility to fresh, homegrown produce in East Austin and the historical roots of soul food. Byrd recently left ProArts with a plan to embark on a new, yetto-be-determined chapter in her life. However, she plans to continue her mission of developing East Austin’s access to farm-fresh food. “I’m leaving at the right time,” she says of the decision. Her newly invigorated passion for cuisine lends itself well to her eclectic East Austin kitchen decorated with colorful vases, weighty glass jars, delicate floral dishes and hand-painted tiles. With her son, Langston—named after poet Langston Hughes—by her side, Byrd loves to prepare her favorite paleo dish, vegetable-coconut stew, made with cauliflower instead of rice. It took a while for Langston to get used to Mom’s new diet, she notes, but he is quickly learning— like his mother—that change is life’s only constant. “I now see cooking as this finite thing and, at the end of it, you taste it, feel it, look at it and realize you’ve created something,” says Byrd. “I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I’m excited by that.”

Vegetable-Coconut Stew Courtesy of Mark Sisson and chef, food writer and photographer Jennifer Meier. Mark Sisson is recognized as a leading authority on low-carb and evolution-based health, fitness and nutrition.This recipe and many more can be found in the Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals Cookbook at 1 large shallot, roughly chopped 1 c. shredded unsweetened coconut 2 garlic cloves 1 jalapeño, seeded and cut in half 2 T. coconut oil 1 large cucumber or several small, peeled, seeded and sliced 1 small head of cauliflower, broken into florets 1 carrot, peeled and cut into rounds 2 c. green beans 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 t. turmeric ½ t. cumin 1 13½-oz. can coconut milk (about 1½ c.)

In a food processor, process the shallot, shredded coconut, garlic and jalapeño for about 1 minute, until very fine. In a deep saucepan, warm the coconut oil and add the shallot mixture. Sauté several minutes. Add the cucumber, cauliflower, carrot, green beans, tomatoes, turmeric and cumin. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes, then add the coconut milk and bring to a rapid simmer. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked but still crisp.




Your Baking Headquarters

Texas Grown, Estate-Bottled Extra Virgin Varietal Olive Oil Texas Flavor-Infused Olive Oil: Roasted Garlic, Mesquite, Sweet Basil, Orange, Lime, Meyer Lemon, Rattlesnake Pepper, Rosemary, Cilantro Texas Flavor Infused Balsamic Vinegars: Blackberry, Rio Orange, Figalicious Fig, Black Cherry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Pecan

Tools & Supplies

for making cakes, cookies and candies


Whole Foods Market, Wheatsville Co-Op, Central Market HEB Grocery,, Farmhouse Delivery, SFC Downtown Farmers Market, Sunset Valley Farmers Market, Barton Creek Farmers Mkt

Decorating Classes


NB Farm to Market, Gruene Market Days, Grapevine

beginner to advanced


Whole Foods Market Central Market HEB Grocery Legacy Farmers Mkt

New Location! 9070 Research Blvd. (512) 371-3401

We Ship!







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4201 S. CONGRESS AVE. AUSTIN, TX 78745 512-797-7367 50






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Liquid INgredients b y E l i z a b e t h W i n s l o w • p h o t o g r a p h y b y W h i t n e y AR o s t e g u i


ou’ve no doubt heard the sage advice handed down from cook to cook that you should never cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink. As someone who likes to sip while I stir, I couldn’t agree more. The same can also be said about the many other liquids we use for culinary purposes—their quality, too, should be given attention. Think rich and creamy local milk, spicy and complex handcrafted root beer, bright and hoppy German-style pilsner

beer, puckery handmade citrus liqueur, fresh summer-melon juice, sun-brewed peach tea and locally distilled small-batch whiskey. Here, we break out the good stuff and let the liquid ingredients of our dishes do the shining. These delicious do-ahead summer recipes are a great excuse to gather friends on the porch for a lazy evening of conversation, dining and sipping—and all the more reason to pop open a bottle or a can of something new while you’re cooking!




Chocolate Root Beer Cake Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking © Stewart, Tabori & Chang (2008) by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito For the cake: 2 c. Maine Root root beer 1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder ½ c. unsalted butter, cut into 1-in. pieces, plus extra for the pan 1¼ c. sugar ½ c. firmly packed dark brown sugar 2 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan 1¼ t. baking soda 1 t. salt 2 large eggs For the frosting: 2 oz. dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 1 t. salt ¼ c. Maine Root root beer 2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder 2½ c. powdered sugar

Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan and knock out the excess flour. In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. The batter will be slightly lumpy—do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes—rotating the pan halfway through the baking time—until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a thin knife, gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack. Make the frosting. Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse in short bursts until the frosting is shiny and smooth. Use a spatula to spread the fudge frosting over the crown of the Bundt cake in a thick layer. Let the frosting set before serving. Serve with or without vanilla ice cream.




Lemon Pound Cake Courtesy of Jeanne Chauvin For the cake: 1 c. butter, softened, plus extra for the pan ¼ c. vegetable oil 3 c. sugar 5 eggs 3 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra for the pan 1 c. milk 1 t. Paula’s Texas Lemon liqueur For the glaze: ½ c. sugar ½ c. water 1 t. grated lemon zest ¼ c. Paula’s Texas Lemon liqueur

Preheat the oven to 300°. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Using a handheld mixer at medium speed, beat the butter in a large bowl—gradually adding the oil and beating until well blended. Gradually add the sugar and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Alternately add the flour and milk to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour—mixing just until blended after each addition. Stir in the liqueur. Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan and bake for 1½ hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and place directly on the wire rack. Combine the glaze ingredients—stirring until the sugar dissolves. Brush the lemon glaze on the sides of cake and spoon over the top a little at a time. Let the lemon pound cake cool completely.

Beer Batter Bread Courtesy of Stephan Pyles, Chef/Owner, Stephan Pyles Concepts 3 c. all-purpose flour 1 T. baking powder 3 T. sugar 1 t. salt 1 12-oz. local beer (We used Pearl-Snap from Austin Beerworks.) ¼ c. butter, melted, plus extra unmelted butter for the pan

Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside. Place the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to blend. Add the beer all at once and stir just until mixed (do not overwork the batter!) Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out, then pour melted butter over the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Serve with pimiento cheese and pickled chow-chow.

Quick-Pickled Chow-Chow 1 medium zucchini, diced 1 medium yellow squash, diced 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced 1 ear of corn, kernels removed 1 bunch green onions, sliced into thin rings (white part only) 1 c. rice wine vinegar 2 T. sugar

Combine the vegetables in a large bowl, then pack them into a quartsize jar. Heat the vinegar and sugar until the sugar dissolves, then pour over the vegetables in the jar. Allow to sit for at least 1 hour before serving.

Peach Tea RUMBLE Courtesy of Jessica Evans, Zhi Tea Serves 8 4 c. water 4 c. Zhi Tea’s Fredericksburg Peach Iced Tea, brewed and cooled 12 oz. tangerine juice with pulp 6 oz. peach nectar (or homemade puree) 3 c. bourbon or Rumble (Rumble, from Balcones Distilling is made from Texas wildflower honey, organic turbinado sugar and dried Mission figs.) 4 oz. Paula’s Texas Orange liqueur Splash of agave syrup Fresh mint, to garnish

Mix all of the ingredients in large pitcher and place in the freezer a day before enjoying. When ready to serve, thaw until slushy and pourable. Garnish with mint.





Picante Galia Melon Ice Pops

Reprinted with permission from Jamie Oliver: Happy Days with the Naked Chef

Adapted with permission from Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker and Dabney Gough, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Serves 4 1 4-lb. organic chicken Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 stick of butter Olive oil ½ cinnamon stick

1 good handful of fresh sage, leaves picked Zest of 2 lemons 10 cloves of garlic, skin left on 2 cups milk*

Preheat the oven to 375°, and find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken. Season it generously all over, and fry it in the butter and a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even color all over, until golden. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil and butter left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan, which will give you a lovely caramel flavor later on. Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce that is absolutely fantastic. To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. *Texas Daily Harvest and Mill-King both offer low-temperature-pasteurized milk at Austinarea farmers markets.

Kitchens, baths, closets and eco furniture for a greener home. 512-323-6633 54



Makes 8 3-ounce ice pops 1 small Galia melon (about 2¼ lb.), peeled, seeded and cut into chunks ½ c. simple syrup (equal amounts of water and sugar, heated until sugar dissolves), cooled and divided 2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice, strained ¼ t. kosher salt 1/8 t. cayenne pepper Special equipment: 8 3-oz. ice-pop molds (or shot glasses) and popsicle sticks

In a food processor or blender, puree the melon until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium-size bowl. Add 6 tablespoons of the simple syrup, then the lime juice, salt and cayenne and taste. It should taste just a bit too sweet (once frozen, it will lose some of its sweetness). Add the remaining simple syrup if needed. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup and pour into ice-pop molds (or shot glasses as shown in our photograph). Insert the sticks and freeze until completely solid, about 4 hours. Unmold just before serving.




30 locations in Central Texas

BRD-081-Edible-Summer-120426.indd 1


SUMMER4/30/12 2012

1:41 PM


responsible shopping

good fish b y k ri s ti wi l l i s i l l u s tr ati o n s b y b a mbi E d l u n d


hopping for seafood can be a dizzying experience as sustainability ratings change based on the location or manner in which a fish is caught. Pacific halibut is a good choice, but Atlantic halibut is bad because of overfishing, for example. And it’s okay to buy wild-caught salmon, but skip the farmed salmon because of water cross-pollution concerns. Keeping it all straight is difficult at best, but the outcome is critical. “The United Nations reports that fifty-three percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited,” explains Carrie Brownstein, seafood quality




standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “Meaning that there is no room for further expansion or more catches, and that they are at their maximum sustainable production. An additional thirty-two percent are overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion.” While those numbers seem dire, thanks to retailers like Whole Foods Market and awareness programs like Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, fisheries are implementing new techniques to reduce the impact on the health of fishing populations and the oceanic ecosystem.

Gulf Wild, a program that tags targeted species so that buyers can trace when, where and how they were caught, requires their fishermen to agree to strict conservation covenants. “We have to have a quality product, and that starts with a quality fisherman,” says T.J. Tate, executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance, the founders of Gulf Wild. Austin’s Quality Seafood Market owner Carol Huntsberger researches the market’s suppliers extensively and relies heavily on the relationships they have built with fishermen over their 75 years of working together. “When drum comes up from the Gulf, I know that fisherman,” she shares. Carol goes so far as to accompany her vendors periodically on their fishing trips to inspect their operations and ensure they are using responsible catch methods. Several nonprofits certify or rate seafood based on its scarcity, the method by which it is caught and how harvesting it impacts ocean health. Consumers can do their part by choosing seafood that is certified, or highly ranked, by these groups. But despite the fact that these entities often work closely together and support one another, there can still be discrepancies between their grades. For example, Environmental Defense Fund lists red snapper as an Eco-Worst, but snapper caught under the Gulf Wild program is considered a good choice.


Alison Barratt of Monterey Bay Aquarium offers this advice to shoppers: “We are humans with busy lives. The best you can do is figure out which tool works best for you and apply it when you can.” Fortunately, area retailers are implementing new programs to make the fish-buying process more straightforward. As of Earth Day 2012 (April 22nd), Whole Foods Market is no longer carrying red-rated seafood. All seafood in the case is either from a Marine Stewardship Council-certified fishery or rated green (best choice) or yellow (good choice) by Monterey Bay Aquarium or the Blue Ocean Institute. “Now people can go and see that anything in the seafood department is a responsible choice,” explains Brownstein. “You can rest assured that you are making a good choice no matter what you pick.” Gulf Wild markets its catch through all of the Central Market locations, and 12 H-E-B locations. Participating stores display a Gulf Wild sign on the seafood case and shoppers can scan the bar codes to trace the origin of their fish. Gulf Wild is expanding their Texas program to restaurants later this year—training the servers and chefs on why serving Gulf Wild seafood makes a difference. If deciphering the various programs feels overwhelming, the experts recommend asking the fishmonger or server for help and voting for sustainable fish with your pocketbook.

What they measure

Tools available

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

Certifies fisheries that meet their strict requirements for sustainability. An MSC certification is considered the gold standard for seafood.

Online guide of where to buy MSC-certified products in retail stores and restaurants.

Aquaculture Stewardship Council

Certifies fish-farm programs that use sustainable practices.

Retailers and restaurants can label their products as responsibly farmed.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Provides a green (best), yellow (good) and red (avoid) ranking system based on a complex evaluation of fisheries.

Online seafood search tools, downloadable regional seafood and sushi pocket guides and a free mobile app for the iPhone and Android.

Blue Ocean Institute

Offers a five-level (green [best], light green, yellow, orange and red [worst]) ranking for seafood based on scarcity, habitat impact, management and effect on other species.

Online seafood and sushi guides as well as FishPhone, a program that sends the ranking of a fish and better alternatives by text message.

Environmental Defense Fund

Evaluates seafood based on both its environmental and human-health impacts and includes warnings concerning contaminants such as mercury and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl).

Online seafood and sushi guides with downloadable PDF files. (search for Seafood Guide)

Gulf Wild

Tags and tests fish at the point of catch so that buyers can trace their purchases back to the supplier.

Online Track Your Fish program that reports, based on the tag number, the type of fish, where it was caught and by whom.




spirited infusions

Photography by Jo Ann Santangelo

b y K ate Pay n e


he spark that set me in the direction of infus-

was to pour alcohol over it and ignore it for two weeks.

ing liquor and simple syrups was a stockpile of

The best kind of two-for-one arrangement! This project is

trash—preservers’ trash, that is. I always ended

beyond easy—you can’t kill anyone (the alcohol prevents

up with all sorts of things that didn’t go into a jar of

bad stuff from growing), and you can’t really mess it up.

preserves, but might be (as I learned) used for other de-

Using a high-proof booze and either adding or not add-

licious projects: pits, juices, skins, various bits of still-

ing sugar during the process results in a sippable liqueur

useable ingredients from the perspective of any smart

or cordial in the former, or in a basic bitters in the latter.

Depression-era granny. Imagine my delight, then, when discovering that one of the answers to my post-preserving pile predicament




No booze at your house? No problem. Try infusing simple syrups, instead. Add club soda to infused syrups to make your own local, homemade soda!

Stone Fruit Liqueur Makes about 3 cups My peach, plum and nectarine escapades last year left me with a pile of pits. I learned that stone fruits are related to almonds, and my hunch that the pits would make a tasty cordial was correct. I added a cinnamon stick, which is optional. If you don’t have enough pits, toss in a handful of raw and lightly chopped almonds. 1 c. stone fruit pits, picked clean and left whole or lightly crushed 2 c. grain alcohol (Everclear) or a 100-plus-proof vodka 2/3 c. sugar ½ c. water 1 whole cinnamon stick (optional)

Combine the pits and alcohol in a quart-size jar, seal and let sit for 2 weeks in a dark cabinet. Swirl it around every few days. After 2 weeks, make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan and dissolving the granules over medium-low heat. Raise the heat to medium-high to bring the syrup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool completely before adding 1 cup of syrup to the pits/ alcohol jar. Add the cinnamon stick (if using) and seal the jar again, and let it sit for 2 more weeks. Strain the solids from the liqueur and sip over ice or add to a cocktail for an almondy twist. Store liqueur either at room temperature or in the freezer, tightly sealed.

Blackberry Bitters Makes 1 cup I’m not much of a bitters connoisseur but I’ve sipped fancy cocktails made by the hands of bearded men in Brooklyn—drinks that touted rhubarb and blueberry bitters. Our early summer berries inspired the experiment that resulted in a tart and tangy bitters that bearded men and all others would proudly drop into cocktails or gladly drizzle over a warm peach cobbler. 6 oz. blackberries (about 1½ c.) Peel, including pith, from 1 organic lemon, minced ½ t. whole allspice berries 5 white peppercorns 1 c. grain alcohol (Everclear) or a 100-plus-proof vodka 2 T. sugar 1 T. water

Lemongrass Simple Syrup Makes about 1 pint 1½ c. sugar 1 c. water 1 lemongrass stalk (or any fresh herbs), minced

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and dissolve the granules over medium-low heat. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemongrass or fresh herbs. Cover the pan and cool to room temperature. Muddle with a potato masher or wooden spoon to release any extra oil from the lemongrass, then strain and refrigerate. Syrup will keep for up to 3 weeks.

Combine the berries, lemon peel, allspice berries, peppercorns and alcohol in a quart-size jar and lightly mash the berries with a wooden spoon. Cover with a lid and let the mixture sit in a dark, cool place for at least 1 week. The day before you plan to complete the bitters, make a syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir to keep the sugar from scorching. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat, pour into a small jar with a lid and let sit overnight at room temperature. Strain the berries and solids first through a fine wire mesh sieve, and again through a coffee filter. Add the simple syrup to the strained bitters—omitting any sugar crystals that formed overnight. Store the bitters at room temperature in a tightly sealed jar or bottle.

The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking is available at all major booksellers and locally at BookWoman and BookPeople. For more information about classes and future projects, visit Payne’s blog at or her website at




EDIBLE Destination

To Market in Houston by Kristi Willis • photography by Jenna Noel

Above from left: produce from Atkinson Farms and fish from Airline Seafood at Eastside market.


ouston boasts many enticing attractions and activities—from its world-class museums and the Johnson Space Center, to cheering at the Astros and Texans games or dining on exquisite cuisines from the corners of the globe—there’s a lot to see and do. And now, a collection of burgeoning farmers markets and food artisans spotlighting local culinary treasures have been added to the list, giving lovers of food, community and culture even more reasons for a road trip. On any given weekend, bustling farmers markets stretch from The Woodlands to Clear Lake City to Sugar Land. Urban Harvest, a nonprofit organization that supports growing food in the city, hosts five area markets alone, including “the largest direct-producer farmers market in greater Houston.” Tucked in between two office complexes not far from the West University neighborhood, Eastside market is an oasis of local food in an otherwise unremarkable parking lot. Booths packed with produce, meats, cheeses and chocolates beckon shoppers to linger and sample. Two seafood vendors bring their catch up from the Gulf and several vendors, including acclaimed chef Monica Pope’s Green Plum Kitchen, sell prepared foods and bakery items to enjoy at the market while listening to live music. Local chefs have been known to elbow in for a chance at the peak produce, as well—coming to the market to stock their kitchens and establish relationships with the farmers. On a recent visit, a chef from 60



Backstreet Cafe scooped up all of the kumquats for a weekend special, and Chef Justin Yu of Oxheart—who recently did a cooking demonstration at the market—met a farmer whom he now contracts with directly. On the other side of town, one of Houston’s newest markets, the Farmers Market at Imperial, is another great success story. Housed at Sugar Land’s now-defunct Imperial Sugar refinery, the market on the soon-to-be-redeveloped property is returning a vibrant pulse to this sleepy area of the suburban community. When finished, the Imperial Sugar property will provide mixed-use residential and commercial spaces including a boutique hotel, condominiums, retail outlets, restaurants and a baseball stadium for a new minor league team. While waiting for the various phases of construction to be completed, the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce wanted a way to engage the community and get people excited about the project. They planned a 10-week farmers market starting in October 2011, and invited 70 vendors to participate. When they launched the market’s Facebook page, 1,000 people showed quick support with a page “like” within the first two weeks, and it was clear that the community was looking forward to the kickoff. Even so, organizers were unprepared for the 5,000 people who showed up the first Saturday. Most of the farmers sold out of produce within an hour. “Everyone who came afterwards was walking through disappointed,

Whether it’s exploring the flourishing Houston farmers markets or the retail markets and restaurants working with and celebrating local farms and foods, there’s plenty to tempt the taste buds.

Above from left: Morgan Weber of Revival Market, Houston Dairymaid cheesemonger Nicole Buergers and owner Lindsey Schechter, Imperial Sugar farmers market.

asking where the vegetables were,” recalls Keri Schmidt of the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. “The next week the farmers showed up with trailers full of produce and said they wanted the market to be year-round.” With a diverse group of vendors selling to a growing crowd of regulars, the Imperial Sugar silos towering over the stalls are the only things casting a shadow on this market, which now runs weekly, indefinitely, in response to popular demand. Shoppers stroll between booths in the large outbuilding and the covered walkway that stretches up to the old Imperial offices—listening to music, sipping coffee and snacking on tamales and sandwiches. “This historic site means a lot to our community,” says Schmidt. “One of our original vendors came to the first planning meeting and had tears in her eyes. She said that she remembered coming to this factory when she was a little kid and that it’s amazing that she is now working on a brand new farmers market in the same place.” Aside from hitting the markets while in town, be sure to explore Houston’s farms and food artisans in the Heights neighborhood just northwest of downtown. With a slew of new restaurant openings and two retail stores promoting local food, the Heights is quickly becoming a key stop for food enthusiasts. The earthy aroma of cheese permeates the air just inside the door of the district’s Houston Dairymaids warehouse, while a tasting list greets

customers with a selection of the featured cheeses of the day. The coolers are packed with prime cheeses from around the world, including a half-dozen from Texas dairies. The Dairymaids warehouse also sells cheese-friendly bread, honey, beer and wine. Just a few miles away, on Heights Boulevard, is Revival Market, a butcher shop and market specializing in local and artisan foods. The brainchild of rancher Morgan Weber and Chef Ryan Pera, the store brings together the popular meats from Weber’s Yoakum ranch and Pera’s deft culinary and butchery skills. Shoppers can order from the daily menu, buy prepared dishes from the case or purchase the ingredients to whip up a gourmet meal at home. The butcher case is filled with cuts from Weber’s heritage-breed pork and beef, Gulf Coast lamb, rabbit, chicken, ducks and eggs, and the store shelves offer an ample selection of dried goods and produce from around the state—even salt from Galveston County. Whether it’s exploring the flourishing Houston farmers markets or the retail markets and restaurants working with and celebrating local farms and foods, there’s plenty to tempt the taste buds. Don’t forget to pack a cooler to bring home some of the bounty.  See following page for selected markets and local food-friendly restaurants in the Houston area. Markets are located in Houston unless noted. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



Houston Local FOod Source Guide Retail stores featuring local foods Georgia’s Market 420 Main St. 713-225-0990

Grogan’s Mill Village Saturdays, 8 am–noon Grogan’s Mill Center 7 Switchbud Pl. The Woodlands HCC Southwest Campus Fridays, 3–7 pm 5601 West Loop Freeway

12171 Katy Freeway 281-940-0990 Houston Dairymaids 2201 Airline Dr. 713-880-4800

Highland Village Sundays, 10 am–1 pm Highland Village Shopping Center 2720 Suffolk Dr.

Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen 4526 Research Forest Dr. The Woodlands 281-203-5650 Hubbell & Hudson Market & Bistro 24 Waterway Ave., Ste. 125 The Woodlands 281-203-5600 Revival Market 550 Heights Blvd. 713-880-8463 Williams-Sonoma Highland Village Shopping Center Artisan Marketplace 4060 Westheimer Rd. June 16, July 21, August 18, noon–4 pm

Houston-area farmers markets

Imperial Saturdays, 9 am–1 pm 198 Kempner St. Sugar Land Kingwood Thursdays, 3–7 pm 8 N. Main St. Kingwood Nassau Bay Saturdays, 10 am–2 pm Erma’s Nutrition Center 18045 Upper Bay Rd. Nassau Bay Pearland Old Town Site 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 8 am–noon Zychlinski Park 2243 Grand Blvd. Pearland

City Hall Wednesdays, 11 am–1:30 pm 901 Bagby (across from City Hall)

Rice University Tuesdays, 3:30–7 pm. 2100 University Blvd.

Clear Lake Shores Saturdays, 8 am–noon 1020 Marina Bay Dr. Clear Lake

Spring Branch Wednesdays, 2:30–6:30 pm Southeast corner of Wirt and Westview

Eastside Saturdays, 8 am–noon 3000 Richmond Ave. 62 SUMMER 2012

Sugar Land Town Square Thursdays, 4–7 pm 2711 Town Center Blvd. Sugar Land EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

Tomball Saturdays, 9 am–1 pm Corner of FM 2920 and Cherry St. Tomball Wild West Richmond Sundays, noon–4 pm. 5005 FM 359 Richmond

restaurants sourcing from area farms and ranches Backstreet Cafe 1103 S. Shepherd Dr. 713-521-2239 Beaver’s 2310 Decatur St. 713-864-2328 Benjy’s 5922 Washington Ave. 713-868-1131

Local Foods 2424 Dunstan Rd. 713-521-7800 Oxheart 1302 Nance St. 832-830-8592 Pondicheri 2800 Kirby, Ste. B132 713-522-2022 Prego 2520 Amherst St. 713-529-2420 Reef 2600 Travis St. 713-526-8282 Roots Bistro 507 Westheimer Rd. 713-524-1000

2424 Dunstan Rd. 713-522-7602

Roost 1972 Fairview St. 713-523-7667

Down House 1801 Yale St. 713-864-3696

T’afia 3701 Travis St. 713-524-6922

Feast 219 Westheimer Rd. 713-529-7788

Underbelly 1100 Westheimer Rd. 713-528-9800

Haven 2502 Algerian Way 713-581-6101

Bars serving seasonal craft cocktails

Hay Merchant 1100 Westheimer Rd. 713-528-9805 Hugo’s Restaurant 1600 Westheimer Rd. 713-524-7744

Anvil Bar & Refuge 1424 Westheimer Rd. 713-523-1622 Prohibition 5175 Westheimer Rd. 281-940-4636

Food to Dine for...

Uptown Blanco Restaurant Enjoy Chef Nathan Stevens’ exciting culinary specials using many of the local ingredients found throughout the Hill Country. These include cheeses, olive oil, produce and meats. Also our private dining room is available for any festive or intimate gathering. RESTAURANT

On the Town Square in Blanco . 830 833-1579

EvEry Saturday • 9:00am - 1:00pm

UB AD Edible Austin Summer 2012.indd 1

FrESh LocaL producE • LocaLLy Grown FruitS & vEGEtabLES • dairy GoodS & chEESES • bakEd GoodS • SELEct mEatS handmadE itEmS • pLantS & GardEn itEmS FrESh & driEd hErbS • EntErtainmEnt

nExt to FriESEnhauS on S. caStELL


baked goods specialty coffee creative wedding cakes

Downtown New Braunfels 300 139 Castell Avenue

weet | (830)387-4606





8th Annual

Blanco Lavender Festival June 8 - 10, 2012

Friday: noon - 6pm . Saturday: 9am - 5pm . Sunday: 10am - 4pm Visit beautiful Blanco in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.

Free Tours of Local Lavender Farms . Lavender Market Check website for schedule & directions . Blanco Chamber of Commerce • 830.833.5101 Image courtesy of artist David Busch

Hill Country Lavender blanco, texas

Texas 1st commercial lavender farm Soup, Salads, Sandwiches, Local Beer & Wine Featuring Blanco’s Real Ale beers on tap

Local and Seasonal Specials F

Mon. - Thur. 10:30 am - 3:00 pm Fri. - Sat. 10:30 am - 9:00 pm Our food is made fresh using premium products, local and organic whenever possible. On the north side of the Blanco town square

830-833-0202 /

Farm Store Open Weekends May 18th - July

fri - sat 10 am - 4 pm / sun 12 am - 4 pm Come enjoy the beauty of our lavender field and shop the fully stocked farm store with our complete line of lavender products, including soaps, lotion, linen spray, essential oil & more. For information about our year round location at Brieger Pottery call 830.833.2294 or check our website.

Brew Pub & Restaurant A Place to Visit with Old Friends and Make New Ones!

106 E. Pecan Johnson City (across from the Historic Courthouse)

1705 Ranch Rd. 165 Blanco,Texas 78606

830-833-5115 open year round

We are in the heart of the Texas Hill Country in beautiful Blanco, just a few miles from Wimberley, Fredericksburg, and Marble Falls. While you are here, take a day trip to the beautiful wineries that are nearby.

Home of Wimberley Valley Gourmet Specialties Locally made gourmet treats • Delicious roasted nuts Handcrafted culinary oils • Mexican vanillas Natural soaps made from our very own avocado oil Our tasting bar is always open!

Luxury cabins • RV sites • Gift shop weddings • reunions • birthday parties • family get-to-gethers are welcome. Call for information or email at

13500 Ranch Road 12, Ste A, Wimberley 512-560-3809/


In Dry Times b y J e r e m y Wa lt h e r • P h o t o g r a p h y b y H o l ly H e n d e r s o n

Artichokes growing on five-acre Millberg Farm


hen traveling east to west along Interstate 10 somewhere near Sonora, the transition is sensed more than observed. The color of the spring-fed woods and rolling grasslands gradually dissolves, quietly and subtly, like a loved one aging. The ashe junipers still blanket the hills and the prairie grasses still sway in the breeze, but something just feels different about the land. It’s older, more weathered, and the desperate, harsh reality of the land’s true self is slowly exposed. This meandering swath of a transition zone connects Brackettville to San Angelo along U.S. Route 277 during normal years. It inches east toward U.S. Route 83 during dry years and west toward Texas Route 163 in wet years. Here, the soft beauty of the Hill Country ends and the rugged, cosmic attraction of the Chihuahuan Desert begins. This land is the front line of the effects of drought in our part of the state. Last summer, at the peak of one of the worst droughts on record, even the most characteristic plant of Central Texas, the ashe juniper, experienced excessive die-off. Some say that the desert didn’t inch into the Hill Country that year, it exploded.

The Highland Lakes dropped to their lowest levels since their construction in the 1940s. For the first time in the history of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), rice farmers in South Texas will not receive their annual surge of river water this summer to irrigate their fields. Agricultural customers use 60 percent of the water available from the Highland Lakes and the Colorado River, and farmers pay lower rates for water under contracts that are classified as interruptible (subject to rationing or curtailment) by LCRA in times of extreme drought. A similar interruption was predicted for urban backyard gardeners throughout Central Texas, as lake levels, and the directly related trigger points for mandatory water reductions, continued to drop last summer. But as we approach a new summer season, the threat of the dreaded Stage 3 water restrictions from the City of Austin—which would outlaw most forms of outdoor watering—doesn’t loom as close, partly because of recent spring rains but more from the sacrifice of rural water users like rice farmers in South Texas. The summer of 2011 was a wake-up call, and all signs point to similar crises in future years. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



Lanelle Montgomery’s view of Lake Travis from her backyard garden

Are we moving toward the desertification of Central Texas? What does this mean for the future of local agriculture? How can our region balance increased pressures on resources and the protection of regional food security and sustainable local agriculture? 2011 DROUGHT—FROM OUTLIER TO AVERAGE “Last summer was rather warm,” understates John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist. “Austin’s October-to-September rainfall and June-to-August temperature last year doesn’t match the average of any place in the United States. You have to go to west-central Pakistan to find the closest example.” But was last summer simply an outlier, a fluke, something that the old-timers of 2061 will talk about as a year to remember? “Not exactly,” says Dr. Kerry Cook, climate-systems scientist with the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas. Dr. Cook has collaborated with other climate-prediction experts to develop state-of-the-art weather projections for Central Texas through 2050. “Projections like these are starting to be done on regional spaces scales of about twenty miles,” says Cook. “They provide a resolution that takes supercomputers months to generate—giving information that is useful for thinking about current and near-future impacts of climate change…. Climate simulations are never perfect because the climate system is so complex, but we are confident that the model projections are about as accurate as they can be.” Cook’s results suggest we can expect more summers like last year’s in the coming half-century. “Within the next fifty years, we predict that Central Texas will experience an increase of almost fifty percent in the number of one-hundred-plus degree days in July and August…in June and September, more than twice as many,” says Cook. In other words, if Austin currently averages about 42 days that exceed 100 degrees, last year’s record 89 days above 100 will become more and more common over the next half-century. 66



Projections for precipitation seem less apocalyptic. “Our models do not show increases in intense precipitation events for our region, but they do indicate that precipitation amounts will decrease by five to ten percent annually, with ten- to fifteen-percent decreases in spring and summer,” says Dr. Cook. “But if we combine these precipitation decreases with the increases in evaporation associated with warmer temperatures, water availability is projected to decrease by twenty percent.” These changes for mid-century are significant, but they don’t exactly predict that Austin will turn into a Phoenix by 2050. By mid-century, the average annual temperature of Austin is predicted to increase 2.7 degrees, and annual precipitation is predicted to decrease from about 32 inches to 30 inches. “These changes will be felt by everyone,” predicts Cook, “and will affect local agriculture, ecosystems and people.” She concedes that we would still experience cold enough winters and enough rain to preserve our terrior for the most part, but emphasizes that climate change is serious and imminent and stresses the importance of modifying our behavior to deal with it. “Beyond 2050, trends [in temperature and precipitation] will continue unless greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are reduced. We all have a part to play in making this happen, and in keeping Austin cool.” THE CITY OF AUSTIN—GROWTH puts Pressure on WATER Resources and local food production The future of Central Texas might not be tumbleweeds and saguaros, but periodic drought and increased pressure on water resources are—and will continue to be—a hard reality. The City of Austin projects Austin’s population to almost double from 2008 levels by 2040— to about 1.5 million straws in an already taxed water resource. “The Austin Water Utility (AWU) definitely plans for that population growth in water policy,” explains Jacob Johnson, conservation program specialist for AWU. “And we’re prepared for that increase in water use.” That policy of being prepared means making sure we all have enough

“As demands to increase local food security rub against increased pressures to our local water supply, we will see people come up with innovative, brilliant, creative ways to deal with drought.” —Jake Stewart, City of Austin water to drink and bathe with, though not necessarily to grow food with. “When the current water policy was developed, Stage 3 water restriction was reserved for catastrophic events, like a treatment-plant shutdown, not necessarily severe drought,” says Johnson. So when lake levels last summer were approaching those seen during the worst drought on record, the entire city was facing a ban on all outdoor watering, and an end to almost every vegetable garden in the city, including those whose very existence was a direct result of a 2009 Austin City Council mandate to establish community gardens on public lands. “Obviously, severe watering restrictions don’t exactly encourage local food production, so AWU responded by offering a variance specifically for vegetable gardeners in Austin,” says Johnson. The variance was a quick fix—a solution to allow AWU customers to water areas of food production anytime with drip systems or soaker hoses. It also eased restrictions on aboveground watering systems for food gardens. But since weather models show more summers like that of 2011 in our future, and as more water users flood into Austin, quick fixes will only go so far. “The City of Austin is not the biggest user of LCRA water,” says David Greene, climate program coordinator for the City, “but we are

the most conservative municipal water user. The City is offering aggressive rebates right now on residential and commercial rainwatercollection systems—for example, up to one dollar per stored gallon.” These kinds of programs can help change the culture of how Austinites use water, which is needed as the local food system of Austin matures. As Austin experiences denser growth and reduced water availability, it will require increased resilience by all of us who use water. This includes gardeners and farmers growing our food. To Jake Stewart, who helped launch the Austin Climate Protection Program and now leads the City’s Sustainable Urban Agriculture and Community Garden Program (SUACG), the pressure on local producers to feed a fast-growing Austin population will only increase as fuel prices and other influences force up global food prices. Compounded with hotter, drier summers and regional water issues, gardeners and farmers will have their work cut out for them. “As demands to increase local food security rub against increased pressures to our local water supply, we will see people come up with innovative, brilliant, creative ways to deal with drought. It’s already happening,” says Stewart. Put into place on the recommendation of the Sustainable Food Policy Board (which advises the City of Austin and

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Travis County) in 2010, the modest SUACGP program lacks budget resources but is working to support more than just community gardens and urban farming on City-owned land; other projects are in the works, from a food-forest initiative to a veteran training program that integrates returning military personnel into the urban agriculture workforce. “The City of Austin is a place of innovation,” says Stewart. “There are current members of the local agricultural community who are already way ahead of their time. They’re the ones innovating in a tough climate. They’re the ones who will lead us into the future. We need to do all we can to support them.” MEET SOME INNOVATORS Lanelle Montgomery got serious about water last summer. She lives in Hudson Bend on Lake Travis, with a backyard view of the lake and a front-row seat to the effects of drought. “I’ve always tried to conserve water as much as I could, and have used small rainwater barrels to supplement my vegetable garden for a long time,” says Montgomery. “But watching the lake drop inspired me to take it to the next level. My main motivation was environmental reasons.” In addition to shade cloth, mulch and organic soil-building practices to help keep her garden as water-efficient as possible, Montgomery had a 5,000-gallon system installed that collects rainwater from the roof of her home. She currently has onions, tomatoes, squashes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, herbs, artichokes, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and grapevines all irrigated with rainwater. “I just recently am able to use the system; it was several months after installation until it actually rained—those big tanks just sat empty,” recalls Montgomery. “I hope I’ll never need to use tap water on my vegetables again.” Rainwater-collection systems do have one pesky need: storage. Austin tends to experience heavy precipitation events spaced far apart, which makes tanks with large capacity a must for most large gardens. Montgomery’s rainwater tanks take up about as much space as a twocar garage, space that many urbanites don’t have. Aquaponics is another water-conserving system gardeners can consider. A combination of two other production systems—hydroponics, where plants are raised in a soilless environment (usually water) and are completely dependent on the input of nutrients, and aquaculture, where fish are raised in a closed system that is vulnerable to excessive by-products from the fish—aquaponics uses the waste products from fish as a nutrient source for the growing plants, thus closing the loop. Food-producing aquaponic systems produce very little waste and require very little input, including water. “Aquaponics are super-efficient systems that are applicable for both small- and large-scale production,” says Arturo Arredondo, who builds these and other water-conserving food systems for residential and commercial concerns throughout Central Texas. At first glance, aquaponics might not seem like an appropriate variable in the food-water-growth equation since these food-growing systems replace soil with water as the growing medium. But the water is recirculated and used over and over again, often through a series of small plots stacked several feet high and connected by pipes filled with water. “Aquaponics uses two percent of the water needed for inground food production,” says Arredondo. “That’s ninety-eight percent less water. Since there is no soil involved, there is less labor required. No weeding, fertilizer spreading, composting, irrigating and no fuel-powered tractors required for plowing or tilling. And because of the concentration of nutrients available to the plants at all times, planting densities are four to six

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Lanelle Montgomery with her newly installed rainwater collection system

Arturo Arredondo in his aquaponic greenhouse

times as dense as inground crops and production cycles are cut in half.” Arredondo and members of the Texas TransFarmers Group (which Arredondo organizes) specialize in other creative permaculture techniques that dramatically increase water conservation. “Wicking beds are simple structures based on a raised-bed garden that incorporate a reservoir underneath the bed to store water,” Arredondo says. “The garden is watered through an exposed pipe that

wicks water upward through the soil to the roots.” This upside-down watering technique results in minimal water loss due to evaporation. The Texas TransFarmers Group also employs a type of raised-garden approach called hugelkultur, which essentially relies on a large brush pile as a planting bed. As the brush in the pile breaks down over a five- to seven-year period, it provides a slow release of nutrients for the plants, and absorbs water. “It’s really a miniature forest,” explains Arredondo.

We work with leading animal care experts to ensure our raising practices are the most humane in the industry. All our livestock are raised outdoors or in deeply bedded pens where they are able to root and roam just as nature intended. To find out how humane animal care helps create the finest tasting beef, pork, lamb and cage-free eggs, visit us at

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Of course, these techniques are hardly new. The aquaponic method is thought to have been used by Aztec farmers over 500 years ago, and compost-centered practices like hugelkultur were used during the early Roman empire. But when faced with the impossible challenges of drought, increased population and limited water resources, could the ancient ways provide new answers for Central Texas? Standing just about anywhere at the five-acre Millberg Farm in Kyle, it’s hard to compare this Certified Organic vegetable farm to any other farm, ancient or present-day. There are no tractors or plowed rows nor any sign of irrigation devices. Random plastic jugs filled with water dot the wood-chip trenches and pathways that meander through thick patches of diverse and mostly edible vegetation. Beans, potatoes, okra, squashes, asparagus, basil, melons, radishes and other vegetables mingle with native grasses and herbaceous plants throughout the property. Despite the seeming agri-chaos, there’s a feeling that every square inch of the farm is absolutely intentional. “For twenty-two years I have never pumped a drop of water from the aquifer,” says owner Tim Miller. “I started out running community gardens in Austin in the ’80s. Working [at] gardens at senior centers, I met mostly low-income people who were only one generation removed from the farm. I learned a lot from those people.” Millberg Farm is funded largely by its 40-member communitysupported agriculture (CSA) program, for which Miller delivers twice weekly. He has no employees, and almost every single piece of infrastructure and farm input is from reclaimed, free material. He’s not running on a shoestring; it’s a micro-weight fishing line. “It would be easy to tap into the two-inch water line that runs along the street, or buy a couple of 25,000-gallon rain-storage tanks, so I won’t do it. Could someone on very low income afford it? Then I won’t either,” says Miller—choosing to prove that a profitable farming business can be started from, literally, nothing. “I brought in my hundred-and-seventy-sixth load of free wood chips from local tree-trimming companies this year, ” Miller says as he looks through old notes. “As the wood chips age, I screen out the decomposed material to use in the beds. Without wood chips and Blackland clay, there’s no way I could do this without irrigation—especially in dry years. Wood chips are also great habitat for beetles which are a prime predator insect which lessens my cutworm problems.” Instead of underground irrigation pipes and valves, Miller uses the natural grade of his land to make the most of every drop of rain that lands or flows onto the farm. Tomatoes are planted at mounded intersections in a grid of one-foot furrow dikes designed to hold water after rains without rotting plants. Miller also uses terracing and trenches to control how the water flows and collects on his property. When he bought the land in the early 1990s, one of the first things he did was pile up sycamore leaves on the front part of the property, which grades slightly toward the back. After a heavy rain, he observed how the water flow deposited those leaves throughout the property. “Those areas became my trenches since I knew rainwater would be flowing through anyway. I dug them to direct water to specific areas on the property. Those areas become my beds. Most plants are placed on mounds within those beds, so when it rains, the low spots between mounds fill with water, which the compost and clay absorbs and holds for long periods.” Un-composted wood chips are used on the soil surface, which helps reduce the need for tilling to keep the soil surface loose. “Keeping the

To learn more about what it takes to create the finest meat I use a lot of heirlooms,” says Miller. “I experiment withtasting a wide selection of varieties—we have seventeen varieties of tomatoes alone.visit TheusSilvery in the world, at Fir Tree tomato is exceptional. The Golden Pearl and Yellow Perfection

tomatoes are good, too. I also use three-lobed bell peppers instead of four-lobed—they seem to do better in dry-land conditions.” Miller doesn’t own a mower, a result oftaghiswithperspective on weeds. Scan the your mobileisphone “This foxtail grass growing in the potatoes on purpose; I let those to discover why seed pretty much wherever they want. Painted buntings love the seeds, top chefs trust Niman Ranch. I have some CSA and they do absolutely no harm to my potatoes. Get the free app at members who eat the nut grass over there, so that’s a good weed, too,” Photo Courtesy of Red Rock Casino, Resort, & Spa · Las Vegas, NV points out Miller. “Too much mowing along the beds removes windbreaks, and makes the grasshoppers move to areas where they can do damage. I don’t have many problems with pest insects.” Miller’s former clients at the senior center farmed and gardened during times that required resilience and resourcefulness for survival. He farms the same way because he wants to, and he’s proving that the future of sustainable farming in Central Texas is not gloom and doom. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy. “It might be easy to just turn on the water now, but it might not be so true in the near future,” Miller says. “Let’s get some creativity going Tim Miller of Millberg Farm and talk about ways to deal with current and future challenges.” Whether people engage in that conversation or not, Miller is well presurface loose helps promote capillary action in my clay soils, which pared for the future. Last fall, before the rains returned and after the worst moves water up and down and is great for plants,” explains Miller. summer on record, the farm had its best season in 22 years, and the waitThose hundreds of old milk and juice jugs lying about are used to ing list to join the Millberg Farm's CSA program grew even longer. hand water any high-need plants with rainwater collected from the For more information on water and local food production resources roofs of the house, barn and other structures on the farm. visit “Hybrid [plant] varieties generally need more water and fertilizer, so

Our family farmers understand the importance of preserving agricultural resources for future generations. That’s why they utilize responsible farming practices such as restorative crop rotation, which helps prevent soil erosion and encourages agricultural biodiversity. To find out how sustainable agriculture helps create the finest tasting beef, pork, lamb and cage-free eggs, visit us at

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Esprit de Corps


hen opening a distillery, there’s a lot more to consider than simply the resulting spirits to be made. Processes and ingredients used and waste and environmental impact, among other things, are facets that require attention and careful thought. And for many Central Texas distillers, sustainability is playing a key role in planning. Chad Auler of Savvy Vodka is one such distiller. Instead of creating his own corn mash and fermenting it on-site (which creates a significant amount of physical waste at the end of the process), he opted to source a high-quality, corn-based neutral grain spirit from South Texas. “We source this from Texas because it doesn’t make sense to have it trucked in from halfway across the country, which isn’t good for the environment,” says Auler, whose Savvy and Deep Eddy vodkas are now sold in more than 16 states. “To make vodka, you need the neutral grain spirit, heat and water. Our water is spring water from my family’s property in the Hill Country, so it’s local as well.” Auler notes that it takes about 3,000 gallons of water to to distill 400 gallons of neutral spirit. To preserve water, he built a two-tank system that allows the distillery to use the same 3,000 gallons repeatedly, without taking anything from the city water supply. “We could take it from the city and pump it down the drain, but when I put this system together, we spent tens of thousands of dollars to put a water-reclamation system in place, which will save money in the long run,” says Auler. “Water is a precious resource in Texas and it was just the right thing to do.” And instead of using a traditional pot still, Auler opted for a column still, which—especially when producing vodka—can be approximately 200 percent more energy efficient. “The only waste we really create with our vodka is the vapor that vents




into the atmosphere,” Auler notes. “We call that the ‘angel’s share.’” Decisions get a little more complicated when you run a distillery that makes everything in-house— including the alcohol itself—as is the case with Bone Spirits in Smithville and Balcones Distilling in Waco. Bone Spirits founder Jeff Peace recently launched the fullscale commercial craft distillery with a firm commitment to sourcing corn locally. The biggest hurdle for distilleries wanting to make their own spirit using Texas corn is avoiding the fungus-produced toxin known as aflatoxin—a blight for grain growers in this area. Using grain that contains the fungus makes the grain not only harmful, but illegal to dispose of as anything other than toxic waste. To address the aflatoxin concern head-on, Peace developed a relationship with Coyote Creek Farm near Elgin, which tests and guarantees the organically grown corn for production. Peace also forged relationships with other area farmers who use his postproduction grain by-product or used mash as feed and fertilizer for their farms—a benevolent, though not rare, effort on behalf of local farmers and the environment. Even behemoth distilleries like Scotch producers in Europe and American bourbon makers such as Maker’s Mark, Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam have been repurposing their production by-products in this manner for more than a century. “When we started this company, we really wanted to figure out how we can give back to the community throughout our process,” says Peace, whose Smiths Premium Vodka, Fitch’s Goat Moonshine and Fitch’s Goat Whiskey are available in retail outlets, with his Moody June Gin set to be released this summer. “Sourcing locally and having our byproduct used as a valuable resource for other farms is how we were able to close that loop.” But according to Chip Tate, president and head distiller at Balcones

Photography of Balcones Distilling still by Dustin Meyer

b y J e s s ic a D u p u y

“We all need to be looking at how we’re addressing the use of water and power.” —Chip Tate, Balcones Distilling Distilling, it goes way beyond sourcing local ingredients. To avoid the aflatoxin potential altogether, Tate opted to source his corn from outside of the state—making it less of a decision about the environment and more about quality control. “We wanted to be able to source our corn from Texas,” says Tate. “But we didn’t want to take any risks that our production could get in a bind if we ended up not being able to get certified aflatoxin-free corn. That would just leave us with thousands of gallons of toxic waste in the end.” For Tate, who has a background in nuclear physics and sits on the board of the American Distilling Institute, the bigger environmental issues for local distillers are water and energy. “We all need to be looking at how we’re addressing the use of water and power. We don’t need to use a bunch of water because it’s Texas. We’re not a desert, but let’s keep it that way. But we also don’t need to die of heat. And if we’re releasing energy into the atmosphere during out our production, then we’re doing exactly that.”

Tate figured out a way to harness both. Through a hand-built condenser system, he’s able to contain the heat he produces during distillation and use it to keep the liquid warm, which cuts down on the energy needed to bring the water to a boil for distilling his whiskey. “By doing this,” notes Tate, “we’re using less water in multiple senses because the condensers help reduce the energy we’re using to heat the water for distillation, but [we’re] also reusing the water itself,” says Tate. “It’s either going into a mash, then a ferment, which means it’s going into a barrel or into the fields. It’s being pulled out of a useful system and put back into the overall cycle. We all want to minimize the problems when it comes to our carbon footprint. It’s not only environmentally responsible, it’s also more economical for us in the end.” Whether its purely out of environmental concern or driven by economic incentive, the good news is that there are leaders in the burgeoning Texas distilling industry who are trying to set a standard in the spirit of sustainability.

Sustainable agriculture, humane animal care and the support of U.S. family farmers are the guiding principles upon which we’ve built our reputation. Each of these philosophies, working together, consistently delivers the highest quality, all-natural meats. To learn more about what it takes to create the finest tasting meat in the world, visit us at Photo Courtesy of Red Rock Casino, Resort, & Spa · Las Vegas, NV

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Edible Gardens


CompostING B y L a u r a M cKi s s a c k


any gardeners have a compost pile or bin at home that serves to break down their yard waste and plant-based kitchen waste. For this type of compost to work, you need carbon (brown, dry material such as raked leaves), nitrogen (wet, green material like veggie scraps), water and oxygen. The right balance of these elements is necessary to ensure each component serves its purpose. The ideal blend is about one part nitrogen to four parts carbon, and the pile should maintain the consistency of a damp sponge. A good example of this method is an old hardwood forest floor. Scrape aside the layers of accumulated leaves and you’ll find soil that’s rich, moist and dark in color from the years of composted leaves and other organic matter. Acceptable materials for your home compost pile are plant-based kitchen scraps (no meat or dairy), egg shells, unbleached paper products, coffee grounds and tea leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste. An alternative to the pile method is composting using insects such as black soldier fly larvae, night crawlers or grubs. In warm and humid climates, black soldier fly larvae exist naturally in compost piles. The flies themselves live most of their lives out of sight in the trees, but the larvae can fully compost food scraps in 24 to 36 hours. Red wigglers (a type of earthworm) can be kept in a bin designed for a method of composting called vermicomposting. It’s difficult to get just right, but can be very effective. The result is a rich soil additive commonly referred to as worm castings, and a tea from the castings can also be poured from the bottom of the bin if there is adequate moisture. Bokashi composting is another alternate form, and uses materials such as bran that have been inoculated with composting organisms called “effective microbes,” which ferment and accelerate the breakdown of the organic matter. The anaerobic (without oxygen) nature of this type of composting reduces the rotting odors typical of aerobic composting. And because the fermentation process happens without oxygen, meat and dairy products can be included in a Bokashi bin. Kitchen scraps go into a bucket along with the inoculated material, and as they break down, about a cup of nutrient tea can be drained off every few days. When the bin is full and a thin layer of mold is present (indicating the fermentation is complete), it’s time to bury the contents. Dig a shallow trench in a fallow area and empty the bucket into the trench. Cover, and in two to four weeks, the organic matter will have fully broken down into rich soil. Both the nutrient tea and the pulp are immediately beneficial to all plants, including lawns. The tea adds microbial life to the soil and helps plants retain moisture. The Bokashi method eliminates the need for adding yard waste, allows for composting a wider range of food scraps and, best of all, in the summer heat can be done primarily indoors. Patrick Van Haren, the founder and owner of Microbial Earth who sells Bokashi systems locally, 74



Bokashi bins

has his bin on an enclosed back porch. According to Van Haren, the resulting compost is like “sauerkraut for the soil.” He likes to puree his scraps when possible in a Blendtec blender along with a little water to speed the process along and get more compost tea out of the bin. The Bokashi method is ideal if your home doesn’t produce enough kitchen or yard waste to achieve the right balance for pile composting, but it doesn’t produce a large volume of new soil. Instead, it produces a nutrient-dense soil additive that builds the soil that is already there. It also saves the water needed to keep a compost pile moist during the dry, hot months and it reserves leaves and grass clippings so they can be used as mulch or simply left on the lawn where they will enrich the soil and help the lawn hold moisture. This method is a much quicker path from kitchen to compost, and preserves the greatest amount of nutrients that can be returned to your own garden. According to Van Haren, the liquid tea provides for 17 times more frequent cycling of nutrients (an exchange of organic and inorganic matter back into the production of living matter) than traditional composting, thereby building nutrient density in the foods grown in treated soil. And because oils, greases and animal tissues can be included, those things are removed from the sewage system, saving taxpayers money. Whichever method is right for your home, consider starting a composting system this summer. You’ll have a great head start on the fall growing season and you’ll be contributing to the health and sustainability of your community and planet.

RESOURCES The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, by Barbara Pleasant and Deborah L. Martin. Lewis (Storey Publishing, LLC, 2008) Microbial Earth (Be sure to watch the impressive demonstration of black soldier fly larvae destroying a whole fish in a few hours.)

Capital Area Foodbank

Summer Meals B y J o h n T u r n er


NATURE NIGHTS At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

June 21, 28 and July 5, 12, 19, 26 6 to 9 p.m. • admission free Sponsored by H-E-B


ike most children, when I was growing up, I looked forward to summer with feverish excitement. It was a time to play, tear around on our bicycles, enjoy endless games of soccer and generally work up a good sweat and healthy appetite. I was a fortunate little boy; I always had a meal waiting for me when I returned home— food that satiated the growl and empty feeling in my tummy. The unfortunate reality this summer, though, is that many children will go home to an empty plate at mealtime. More than one in four children in Central Texas are currently at risk for hunger. To be clear, that means that they’re not sure where their next meal will come from. That’s where Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (CAFB) and partners step in. CAFB participates in a program that fills the lunch gap for thousands of children who might otherwise go hungry all summer long. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded program that provides free meals during the summer to children ages 18 and under when National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program meals aren’t available. CAFB operates SFSP from a number of sites across Travis County, and the program ensures that children have the nutrition they need to make them ready to learn when school starts in the fall. Monday through Friday, children are welcome to enjoy nutritious lunches at any SFSP site. The program starts on June 4 and runs until August 24; it’s free and no registration or identification is needed. Most health experts and pediatricians agree that a hungry child’s academic achievement, health and future workforce participation can be endangered if the child is deprived of essential nutrients— especially in the critical early years. Hunger is unacceptable, and ending a child’s hunger should be a priority for all of us. If you’d like to help CAFB provide summer meals that matter and put a smile on a hungry child’s face, please get involved.

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John Turner is the senior director of marketing and branding for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. For more information visit 6th Annual

FARM AND FOOD LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE This unique conference focuses on the policies affecting our farms and our food. Topics include the 2012 Farm Bill, genetically modified foods, corporate control of our food system and much more. Register by August 1, for best rates! WHEN: Monday–Tuesday, September 10–11 WHERE: Bastrop Convention Center, Bastrop DETAILS: • 254-697-2661

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Taste of Fredericksburg Natural Foods and Supplements

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If you come to Fredericksburg anticipating authentic German cuisine, we will not disappoint. But further exploration will reveal restaurateurs that offer decidedly more diverse menus. Escolar and lobster. Seared duck breast with ginger/orange glaze. Tender steaks. And very naughty desserts. All complemented by awardwinning cabs, zins, chards, rieslings and merlots from our numerous vineyards and wineries. Incidentally, “Zauber” is the German word for “magic”. Guten Appetit. H | 866 997 3600




Behind the vines

Pedernales Cellars b y T e r ry T h o m p s o n - A n d e r s o n • P h o t o g r a p h y b y s a n d y w i l s o n


plans are in the works for an overhead here’s no question that the Texas fermentation facility that will use a wine industry is growing at an gravity-flow system to move wine to amazing pace—Texas now boasts the tanks below. over 200 wineries. Our wineries have Their commitment to sustainability become so popular that many of those extends to the winemaking practices, as located in remote areas are opening sepwell. There’s an emphasis on open-bin arate tasting rooms in the Hill Country fermentation, which requires less active or other metropolitan areas. But the true cooling and relies primarily on manual marker of a strong and enduring indusmanagement, and refurbished barrels try is when the second generation steps (in addition to new) are used providing in and takes the reins at the older firms. new-barrel quality without consumWe are certainly seeing this happen as ing new wood. Pedernales Cellars also many of the pioneer Texas wineries are uses many winemaking by-products now either being completely operated for vineyard compost—minimizing by the second generation of the families, water use through ground-cover manor the grown children are actively inagement, and they recycle the majority volved in the day-to-day operations and of tasting-room glass and cardboard are being groomed to take over comwaste. pletely. One such winery is Pedernales Fredrik describes the Pedernales Cellars, located in Stonewall. philosophy as a basic one: “Keep it The original estate vineyard was Winemaker David Kuhlken inspects his vines. simple, keep it traditional and proplanted and tended in the mid-90s duce quality wine by working with the varietals best suited to the Texas by Larry and Jeanine Kuhlken, with the help of their son, David, and terroir.” From the beginning, the grapes have dictated the focus of the daughter, Julie. The elder Kuhlkens both worked in the tech industry winery. All wines produced by Pedernales Cellars are Texas appellation, until 1991, when they retired and bought the vineyard property. The meaning grapes grown in Texas. winery’s tasting room was opened in 2008 by David and the Kuhlken’s Fredrik and David chose the 146-acre site in Stonewall because of son-in-law, Fredrik Osterberg. its proximity to the family’s estate vineyard and its access to FredericksThe original vineyard—which was planted in Willow City in 1995— burg—arguably the epicenter of the Texas wine country. Often referred consisted of five acres of Mediterranean varietals; another twelve acres to as “the winery with a view,” Pedernales Cellars is perched atop a parwere added the following year. David and Fredrik both left successful ticularly spectacular rolling hill. The tasting room and adjacent outdoor careers in software and banking, respectively, with the goal of expanddeck offer a panoramic view that invites visitors to linger over a glass of ing the family-owned and -operated vineyard into a small, high-qualwine. In the spring of 2012, the tasting room was expanded to better ity commercial winery. Both were inspired by the vision of Larry and serve the growing number of visitors. Jeanine working part-time in the vineyard and learning viticulture. They Pedernales Cellars released its first vintages in 2006. In its first five also gleaned knowledge from other growers and winemakers and foryears, the winery has built a strong reputation among wine lovers and mulated a realistic approach to making wine. By the time they began to industry insiders for consistently producing high-quality wines in small plan the winery facility, they had over 10 years’ experience behind them. lots using both a hands-on, traditional winemaking process and the latest Larry and Jeanine retired from involvement in the vineyard when David technological advances. The wines are fermented and barreled in small miand Fredrik opened the winery. David now provides viticulture leadercro-lots in order to arrive at more nuanced flavors for distinctive blending. ship together with vineyard manager Jim Brown. “We’re committed to one thing,” notes David, “making consistently From the initial planning stages of the winery, David and Fredrik engreat wine. We do that by taking extra care in our process and letting visioned a sustainable facility. The pair contracted with Dallas architect each vintage speak for itself. As a smaller producer, we have the luxury of and winemaker Gary McKibben to design their underground producdoing that. We are committed to spreading the word about the quality tion/barrel room—the largest in the state. The facility uses a geothermal of Texas wine—one medal at a time.” temperature-control system to reduce its environmental footprint, and




Noteworthy Vintages

Texas Tempranillo Reserve 2010: This excellent wine is yet another indicator that the tempranillo grape is an important focus in Texas winemaking. The grapes for this vintage came primarily from the Kuhlken family’s estate vineyard, with two small lots from Bingham Family Vineyards and Farm and Reddy Vineyards added in the final blend. This reserve blending reflects the best of the 2010 tempranillo harvest. Traditional Rioja yeast strains were used and fermentations lasted for seven to ten days, followed by gentle basket pressing. The wine was aged in a mix of American and French barrels for 15 months, then racked, blended and bottled in February 2012. This reserve vintage delivers tempranillo’s characteristic notes of cherry with underlying notes of our Texas minerality matching those of Rioja with a subtle, but sensual, layering of fine dark chocolate. The long finish is rich and smooth.

Beautiful lamb cuts from free range Dorper lambs raised in the Texas Hill Country

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After you’ve tasted the rest, come to us for the best!


Texas GSM 2010: Released in April 2012, this small-batch (285 cases) wine is crafted in the tradition of a classic Rhône red. The blend is 54 percent syrah, 30 percent Mourvèdre and 16 percent grenache. The 2010 blend is predominantly Texas Hill Country fruit from the Kuhlken estate vineyard, and Tallent Vineyard in Mason County. 2010 was a notable year for growing conditions with cool, wet weather throughout the winter and an early spring followed by consistent summer sunlight. The results were high yields and wellbalanced fruit. The wine, aged in American oak for 15 months, shows a good balance of the traditional fruity notes of syrah over a distinct but well-integrated nuance of black pepper and roasted almonds. On the palate, the wine exhibits well-integrated acidity and tannins—resulting in an excellent mouthfeel and a long, satisfying finish.

Twin County Lamb photo by Jody Horton

Texas Viognier Reserve 2011: Grapes from the Bingham Family Vineyards and Farm and Reddy Vineyards in the Texas High Plains were used to craft this first reserve vintage of viognier. 2011 was a memorable year for all Texans as it brought a historic drought. The dry, hot conditions reduced vine yield drastically, but at the same time produced small concentrated berries brimming with flavor and high fermentable sugars. The vintage provided many lots of grapes with intense varietal aromas and elevated alcohol levels— prompting the winemaker to produce a reserve offering. The fruit was pressed near the vineyards immediately following the harvest to limit skin contact. Fermentation was done at Pedernales Cellars, initially in stainless steel, and a portion of the grapes were finished in new French Allier barrels for three months. The final blend provides a compelling marriage of the intense fresh-fruit qualities of the vintage found in the stainless-aged lot with the tannins of the barrelaged lot. Aromas of tropical fruit with notes of vanilla seem to burst from the glass. On the palate, the wine is supple and smooth with mild tannins. The brilliant flavors remain through the clean finish.








Downtown Austin, Texas 3rd & Lavaca • 4th & Nueces 6th & Congress EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



La Casita de buen sabor LET THEM DRINK PUNCH—WITH TEQUILA! B y l u ci n d a h u t s o n


began my Mexican agave adventures over 30 years ago, in quest of the formidable sword-leafed plants and the potent inebriants that derive from them: tequila and mezcal. I traveled alone on buses to rustic distilleries in small towns in Jalisco, and to primitive and remote mezcal stills in Oaxaca. Speaking fluent Spanish allowed me to experience and collect recipes, traditions and culture, which I’m excited to share in this column and in my forthcoming book, ¡VIVA TEQUILA! Cocktails, Cooking and Other Agave Adventures, due out in the spring of 2013. Mexicans take great pride in their beloved national spirits, tequila and mezcal. They sip and savor them in caballitos (small “pony” shot glasses), often accompanied by a shot of sangrita, (diminutive for “blood”)—a tasty, nonalcoholic, bright red chili salsa and citrus chaser that piques all of the taste buds at once. Mexican bartenders showcase tequila in simple drinks made with fresh fruit juices and lots of lime—to enhance, as opposed to detract from, the flavor of agave. They make a very popular and refreshing cooler called a paloma by simply mixing tequila (blanco or reposado) with grapefruit soda and ice (I like adding fresh pink grapefruit juice, a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt). In my opinion, some of today’s mixologists and bartenders concoct newfangled cocktails that mask the agave’s intrinsic flavor; those peppery, bright citrus and herbaceous notes become veiled with too much agave syrup, bitters, flavorings and injudicious amounts of foreign liqueurs. Some of these drinks taste like dessert before dinner instead of an invigorating cocktail. Where’s the essence of the agave? One of my favorite drinks found throughout Jalisco sings of fresh fruits and citrus and celebrates tequila. It has a fun presentation and is meant for sharing, too. Known as a cazuela, it’s served out of a wide, glazed earthenware bowl and is brimming with natural fruit juices as well as wedges of oranges and pink grapefruit that are meant to be picked up and eaten or squeezed into the drink. Partakers also pop chunks of watermelon and fresh pineapple into their mouths and sip the tequila-laced libation through straws for two. It’s called a cantarito or jarrito when imbibed from clay mugs for one. I often serve it, instead, in jumbo, long-stemmed margarita glasses with plenty of spiked fruit. I also serve a slightly different version of the cazuela in large glass jars for fiestas—borrowing from the way Mexican street vendors present their colorful fruit punches. They ladle their colorful concoctions into cups




from large, five-gallon glass agua fresca jarros (glass jars with lids, resembling old-fashioned pickle barrels). You can find agua fresca jars at Mexican specialty markets, import stores or online, or you can use another large, clear glass vessel to reflect from within the jewel-like splendor of the punch and its tropical fruits, citrus and fragrant herbs. Tequila ponches (punches) make perfect party libations because guests serve themselves, allowing the host to mingle and have a good time. They serve as spectacular centerpieces—transforming parties into memorable celebrations. Wreathe the base of the punch jar (or bowl) with clusters of whole fruits—lemons, oranges, limes and strawberries with green hulls; fill in gaps with sprays of greenery and fresh flowers; embellish with seasonal ornaments, folk art, colorful garlands or strings of lights; and surround the jar with long-stemmed margarita glasses piled high with sliced lemons, oranges, limes and strawberries. Guests can choose their own garnishes!

Choosing TEQUILAS FOR PUNCHes and more As when making any tequila drink, opt for a 100 percent agave tequila (check the label)—one made exclusively from fermented sugars of the blue agave. “Mixto” tequilas are blended with 49 percent added sugars and flavorings and colorings, giving them a “gold” color that’s often mistaken as a result of aging, though usually they are not aged. 100 percent agave tequilas are more expensive than mixtos, but moderately priced 100 percent agave tequilas are available and perfect for party punches. There are five types of tequila: blanco, joven, reposado, añejo and extra añejo. Use tequila blanco (aka “white” or plata “silver”) or tequila reposado (gently reposed for a minimum of two months, but less than one year in oak) in punches to complement, not overwhelm, the flavors of fresh fruit and citrus. Reserve tequila añejo (aged for a minimum of one year, but less than three years in government-sealed oak barrels) or extra añejo (aged for three years or longer), for snifters or cocktails that call for aged brown spirits. 100 percent agave blanco tequilas are as versatile as vodka or white rum, yet much more flavorful, in my opinion, than those other white spirits. Tequila blanco stands as a substitute for gin in refreshing coolers, too. Use it in punches, classic Mexican margaritas, fruit drinks and refreshing spritzers. Premium silvers stand alone for sipping; I keep a bottle in the fridge or freezer for hot Texas nights. Reposado tequilas temper the harshness of unaged tequila by adding hints of oak and subtle spice, without overwhelming with oak, as in some añejos. Reposados range in hue from very pale straw to amber and are excellent for slow sipping in shots, as well as for mixing in punches, margaritas, mixed drinks and spritzers. ¡Salud!

Cazuela Guadalajara

(Guadalajara Punch)

Serves approximately 20 A guest once called this drink “the quintessential finger bowl.” I call it the ultimate fruit cocktail! 1 fresh pineapple, cut into bite-size chunks 1 L. tequila blanco 2 c. tequila reposado (try some Wahaka Mezcal, based in Austin) ½ c. freshly squeezed lime juice 6 c. freshly squeezed orange juice 46 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice 4 oranges, cut into bite-size wedges ½ medium watermelon, cut into bite-size chunks or triangles with rind 3 lemons, sliced 6 limes, quartered 3 small ruby-red grapefruit, cut into bite-size wedges 2 star fruit, sliced (will make star shapes) 4 cans (12 oz. each) Squirt, Fresca or other grapefruit soda Fresh mint sprigs, optional

-  www.g

Place the pineapple chunks in a large wide-mouth glass jar. Add the tequilas, fruit juices and sliced oranges and chill overnight. Add the watermelon, lemons, limes and grapefruit, and chill several more hours—stirring occasionally. Add the star fruit slices, soda and mint just before serving. Note: The flavor of this punch improves with age. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator, but the watermelon will lose its texture and should be stored separately (if there’s any punch left!). Also, lemons, limes and grapefruit become bitter when left in the punch too long.

Verano Tropical

(Tropical Summer Punch)

Serves approximately 20 Thai one on! Serve this exotic and exceptionally refreshing cooler on a sultry summer evening. 4–6 fresh stalks of lemongrass 3-in. piece of peeled ginger, cut into matchsticks 2 large ripe pineapples, cut into chunks 1½ L. of tequila reposado 92 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice (or part other tropical juice) 2–4 large bunches fresh mint, lemon verbena, lemon balm or a mix ½ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice ½ c. freshly squeezed lime juice Diluted agave syrup, to taste 2 lemons, sliced 6 limes, sliced 2 12 oz. bottles Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew or your favorite local soda Fresh mint sprigs and peeled sugarcane stalks, to garnish Long, unpeeled sugar cane stalk for stirring punch

Remove and discard the outer leaves of the lemongrass and cut the stalks in half lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch segments and lightly bruise to release their flavor. Lightly bruise the ginger to release its flavor. Place the pineapple chunks in a 2-gallon glass jar and cover with the tequila. Add the lemongrass, ginger, pineapple juice, fresh herbs and lemon and lime juices, and chill overnight. Sweeten to taste with agave syrup. A few hours prior to serving, remove the herbs and wring them to release their flavor (replace with fresh ones, if possible). Add the lemon and lime slices. Before serving, splash with the soda. Ladle the punch into tall glasses with plenty of fruit and ice. Garnish and serve.


west austin bistro

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needs YOU! b y R ebecc a S a lt s m a n


ooking back over the past year, Sustainable Food Center (SFC) has provided support for 150 community and school gardens through our Grow Local program—resulting in nutritious and fresh produce being grown and shared all over Austin. SFC promoted Farm to School, now available in 47 schools in Austin, and supplied resources for after-school gardening and healthy-cooking programs. We also ran year-round farmers markets—every Wednesday at the Triangle and every Saturday at both Sunset Valley and Downtown—and opened the new SFC Farmers’ Market East. SFC’s The Happy Kitchen programmed 13 free six-week cooking courses for 279 participants. With a staff of 18 (including part-time employees), plus AmeriCorps VISTA members and a market crew, how on Earth did we juggle all of these projects at all of these different locations? Easy: with volunteers! Volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year to keep the SFC mission’s momentum moving forward. We’ve got folks leading nutrition demonstrations, testing recipes, conducting kids’ activities and monitoring recycling and composting (this year they diverted 20,398 gallons of landfill into compost and recycling at the markets). In 2011, our volunteers dedicated 2,538 hours to the markets alone. “I love volunteering with SFC because it restores hope that together we




can change how our food is grown, shared and prepared,” says market volunteer Dahlia Ture. “I can read an article or watch a documentary on how messed up our food system is and feel discouraged. But then I go to the market and I feel genuinely optimistic that we can change things, one farmer, gardener, cook, volunteer at a time.” SFC has opportunities for adults, families, friends and kids—whether it’s a long-term commitment or a short one. Enjoy cooking? Can’t stay away from farmers markets? Have a predilection for data entry? Love teaching kids about nutrition? We can use you. Just ask Yoshi or her son, Haruka, about the joys of volunteering. Yoshi started at the Taste the Place tent—shopping, chopping and handing out samples—over two years ago. Once she started bringing Haruka (now 14), they quickly became weekly fixtures at the SFC Farmers’ Market Sunset Valley, where they get creative at the tent with fried green tomatoes and unique salads made with figs, beets, greens and whatever else they can find. When asked his favorite thing about being at the market, Haruka answers, “Everything! I like all the fresh produce and making friends here.” Sustainable Food Center invites you to find your favorite thing about growing, sharing and preparing through our volunteer program. For more information on volunteer opportunities visit

Photography of SFC volunteers Haruka and his mother, Yoshi.

Sustainable Food Center

seasonal muse

THIRST b y c a r o l a n n s ay l e


he plants droop in the torrid afternoon sun, hopeful that the day’s torture may eventually fade. Leaves slump to flank stalks—channels of nutrients and moisture— shielding them from scorching rays. It’s alarming to see, especially for farm harvesters Andrea and the Two Marias. They chastise me for not pouring the plants a drink or two—on ice. “¡Tienen sed !” They are thirsty, they explain seriously. I remind them that this is the plants’ natural defense—a parasol, if you will, in Spanish or English— against further desiccation. The ladies shake their heads at my apparently innocent cruelty, and figure their jobs will soon end, for I’m callously denying plants water! It’s a bit hard to bear this guilt as I, too, am horrified at how sad they look. I remind myself that during the night, as the temperatures back off, water will rise from the soil, enter the roots, pulse into the stems and plump even the leaves. I’ve walked out late at night, a big moon lighting my way, and witnessed this magic. Plants earlier stricken are now jubilant and turgid with water—reaching for the sky and even sharing the moisture by transpiration. I kneel, stretch out my arms to them and feel the vibrations of their renewed energy. I’m glad no one sees me doing this. Since the water did not come from irrigation, as the ladies can righteously attest, it must have come from tiny reservoirs in the soil—the pore spaces within the soil material. That moist miracle lasts, however, only until the next day’s sun hits the sky’s ceiling when once again the leaves hang limply. I check the plants in the morning to see if they are still wilted. I wiggle my fingers into the soil. If it is dry for the first five or six inches, I turn on the water. If the soil is very wet, and still the plants are wilted, it’s likely that a “do-gooder” has been overreacting, out of compassion. With overwatering, the plants’ roots suffocate and death is near. This happens often with houseplants, but generally it’s not a problem on a farm except during flood events. In May of 2004, at our Gause farm, 19 inches of rain fell in nine hours. The water

soaked the sand down to the underlying clay, creating, essentially, quicksand. With no air in the soil, the crops drowned before the first tomato was picked. Later, as the weeds returned, dead fruit hung sadly from the stems as the farmers cleaned up the land. Thirst is a tricky thing to manage, especially for farm workers. Like the plants, we are perky in the first few hours of cool morning air—but eventually, we drag our feet around the farm, our shoulders slumped, trying to minimize exertion in the heat, which leads only to more thirst. Farmer Austin’s brow is awash in sweat; Larry pulls up his T-shirt to mop the moisture; we ladies carry dry bandanas, which soon are uselessly wet—Marissa’s rides in her back pocket; mine wraps around my forehead to catch the salty, eye-stinging drops; the Marias wear them as kerchiefs and Andrea flops hers loosely, untethered, over her dark hair. While Marissa, Austin, Larry and I adopt shorts—the better to soak up some vitamin D—the Mexican ladies wear their long sleeves and pants as if it were still winter. But there is wisdom in their style. Like the plants’ leaves, their shirtsleeves act as parasols to keep the sun from honing in on their skin. We all drink copious amounts of water, and juicy fruit in the field gets plucked and eaten. The fig pickers eat the good side of a birdpecked fig; Andrea, the cherry-tomato picker, “drinks” as she goes along the row. A cucumber is suddenly gnawed for its great source of water. In the henhouse, the chickens gang around the water trough and slurp greedily. We wet down the soil in a shady area and they fling themselves, bellies down, upon it, taking in the cool. They pant like dogs, mouths open, their wings raised slightly away from their bodies to catch any breeze. Right before bedtime, we humans and chickens drink a lot (water, of course)—banking the liquid. For unlike the plants, we aren’t directly connected to tiny salvation reservoirs in the soil, and tomorrow promises more oppressive heat.




GreEn Corn Project

The Art of Food b y D av i d H u ebe l


ifteen years ago, Debbie Kizer combined her experience working with the disabled and her interest in art to found Imagine Art, a studio for disabled artists. “I started with a small grant and took eight people with challenges to art class,” she notes. Kizer now serves 75 artists, many of whom are homeless, in a 4,000-square-foot East Austin facility that provides studio space, supplies and a showroom for the art. Adjacent to the facility is a 600-square-foot piece of land that had been cultivated by another Austin nonprofit, Mobile Loaves & Fishes (MLF). This urban vegetable garden was one of the many MLF had used to help feed Austin’s homeless men and women. After buying its own land, however, MLF consolidated production and left behind its individual gardens like the one next to Imagine Art. Kizer and Angelique Catero, a clay artist who runs the kiln at Imagine Art, saw the garden as an opportunity. They were already providing daily lunches for 20 to 50 artists, staff and visitors, but now the nonprofit could provide a homegrown meal. But Kizer soon realized a problem. “We didn’t know anything about gardening!” she says. She’d heard about Green Corn Project (GCP) and applied for a garden. A large, already-established garden is not a typical project for GCP, but a team of volunteers met with Kizer, Catero and three other members to teach them the basics of growing and harvesting vegetables. Welcomed into the studio kitchen by the smell of fresh coffee and homemade tacos, the GCP volunteers and Imagine Art crew shared the missions of the two organizations over a quick breakfast, then spent the next three hours in the garden—a garden that included permanent rows, a large three-segment compost pile, an irrigation system in need of repair and a good crop of weeds. The teams worked together loosening soil, removing weeds and winter vegetables, adding compost and planting spring and summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, green beans, squash, cucumbers and eggplant. They discussed organic methods of fertilizing and controlling pests, which vegetables grow well in the Austin area and when to plant them. As usual, while working in the garden, stories about food were exchanged. Catero talked about spreading seeds around the homeless camp where she lives. “If I dig them in, critters get to them, but if I just scatter them on top of the dirt, they leave them alone.” Mike Walker, another member of the Imagine Art community, shared that after suffering burns from a lightning strike and an allergy to antibiotics, he took frankincense oil, which he says is a “natural antibiotic.” He’s recovered from the burns and now has an interest in the medicinal properties of plants and herbs. Kizer refers to the garden as “not only a way to provide fresh veggies for the daily lunches, but as a way for our community to work together and build relationships as a part of our mission to transform lives through faith and art.” One thing people from all walks of life have in common is the need for a plentiful supply of nutritious food. Green Corn Project helps individuals, families and institutions meet this need.  or more information on Imagine Art visit For more inforF mation on Green Corn Project visit 84




Yerba Tex-Maté Tea b y Am y C r o we l l


hen it comes to caffeine, I prefer coffee for my fix. I’m addicted to everything about it, from the smell of fresh-ground beans and the taste, to the ritual of making it and the way it inspires me in the morning. I even enjoy a good, slow stroll down the bulk coffee aisle at the supermarket as part of the process. Unfortunately though, there’s nothing native or wild about growing, harvesting and processing coffee. When I want to turn toward a local, free and wild caffeine source, I turn to tea. We have our very own native source of caffeine, and it so happens that the small, evergreen tree sometimes called yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria) is a close relative of yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis). I’m no connoisseur, but I do like the taste of tea, and the leaves of the yaupon holly make a darned good cup. While writing this column, I decided to skip my afternoon coffee for several days and replace it with a cup of what I call Yerba Tex-Maté. My afternoons turned out to be as productive as ever, and the yaupon holly buzz was more gentle and settling—much like any green tea. I was hooked and pleasantly surprised by how much better it felt to drink something that I had harvested and processed on my own. It also helped that I knew I was getting a hefty dose of antioxidants. Yaupon holly is a small, fast-growing understory tree that grows wild just east of Austin and throughout East Texas, with some of its range spreading into the Hill Country. It’s multi-trunking, with small, forest-green leaves that are spaced alternately along spindly, white and gray branches. The leaves have gently toothed edges and are tough and leathery. The tree is commonly found growing under pine trees or post oaks and is usually decorated with fallen pine needles or post oak leaves. You can tell the female trees by the toxic red berries they produce. Considered to be an invasive “trash tree” by some, yaupon holly is actually native and drought-resistant—making it a fabulous tree for our landscapes. It received the unfortunate species name vomitoria because early explorers observed ceremonies during which Native Americans would drink excessive amounts of the tea until they vomited.

Green Yerba Tex-Maté The easiest way to harvest yaupon holly leaves is by snipping off branches of the tree and then hanging them in a pantry or another cool, dark, well-ventilated area to dry. Once the leaves are crispy, take them off the branches and store them whole in a glass jar or another airtight container. When you’re ready to drink some green tea, crumble the leaves to make about one tablespoon, place them in a tea strainer and pour one cup of hot water over the strainer in a mug. Let it steep for at least five minutes, then enjoy! And of course if you prefer sweetened tea, add your sweetener of choice.

Roasted Yerba Tex-Maté There are many rituals and techniques involved when roasting yerba maté tea leaves to achieve various flavors and aromas. I never did find an exact recipe for roasting the leaves, but managed to garner enough hints to try roasting yaupon holly leaves on my own. First, I roasted some dried leaves in a 275 degree oven for 20 minutes. The resulting tea did not taste very different from the non-roasted leaves. But after roasting the leaves for about an hour, the aroma of the tea was smokier and the taste was more like a black tea. While I preferred the greener-tasting tea, roasting and mixing the leaves with other herbs might be necessary to achieve a tea that is just right for you. And the nice thing about harvesting and processing your own is that you can experiment and develop your own special roast and blend. … It eases my mind to know that there is a viable, tasty caffeine source abundantly growing in our area. If the price of coffee keeps climbing, I might have to replace my morning cup with Yerba Tex-Maté. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



1,000 Words by jenna noel




department of organic YOUTH

Making a Stand


ne Saturday morning many years ago, I woke up knowing exactly what I wanted to do on that humid summer day. I wanted to make a lemonade stand that included vegetables and flowers from my dad’s garden. Dad and I worked on the signs and the setup. We hauled our table from the backyard to the front of the house, spread a flowered tablecloth over it and set up baskets of fresh tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, chard, sorrel, arugula, beans, okra and basil and other herbs. We included my favorite tomatoes: the small, orange Sun Golds that are as sweet as fruit. The dark Cherokee Purples are also delicious, especially with fresh mozzarella, basil and olive oil. To make the lemonade, I squeezed 10 lemons into a halfgallon pitcher and added some sugar until it tasted about right. Then I filled it with water, stirred it with a wooden spoon and tasted it to make sure it was good. For a special touch, you can put lavender buds to float on the top, or sprigs of mint. I recruited my brother, Henry, and appointed him “ice man.” He and his friend Ford sat on the cooler and waited to scoop ice into the lemonade glasses for customers. I was so proud to be doing this together without much help from our parents. When Henry and Ford tired of sitting on the cooler, they stood on the street corner and waved wildly to each passing car.

It was perfect, and the neighbors stopped by many times to gather tomatoes and greens for dinner and a cool glass of lemonade for the walk home. I like to see people buying new vegetables that they have not tried before. I also believe that it’s much more appealing to make your own lemonade and pick your own greens than to buy from the store. It tastes much better and the buyers always appreciate it. Over the last five years, I have grown to appreciate what is at the stand and that I have a garden to get it all from. I have also come to love the process of tying the greens in little bunches with twine, making little flags to stick in the baskets to identify what they contain. The lemonade stand has become kind of an art project, and the money raised is perfect for picking out nice presents for my family during Christmas. On that first day years ago, as we sat waiting for a customer to arrive, we heard the garbage truck rumbling down the road. We were so delighted when it stopped and each sweaty man hurried over to buy a cup of lemonade. It made us proud to not only be feeding the neighbors, but the hardworking men of our community, too.

Alabel Chapin loves to paint, play the violin, dance, write poetry and swim in ponds. She is a student at the Girls’ School of Austin. She loves her bed, pets and family.

Photography of Alabel Chapin in her dad’s garden, by Jenna Noel

b y A l a be l C h a p i n

Opposite page is reprinted from debut issue of Edible Austin, Summer 2007. Alabel Chapin attends her vegetable and lemonade stand.




Broken Arrow Ranch

Llano Estacado. The Taste as Big as Texas!

An artisanal purveyor of high quality, free-range venison, antelope and wild boar meat from truly wild animals.

Enjoy meat as Mother Nature makes it! • Free-ranging animals humanely field-harvested on local ranches • Extremely low in fat; hormone- and antibiotics-free • The finest, most natural game meat available • Acclaimed nationally, available locally • Order online or visit our store in Ingram 3296 Junction Hwy., Ingram, TX 78025

800-962-4263 •




(806) 745-2258 Lubbock, TX

Back of the House

Midnight Cowboy and 400 Rabbits b y M a r s h a l l W ri g h t


ew things represent the spirit of Austin more than Tim League’s Alamo Drafthouse theaters. From their innovative approach to cinema and dining to their funky preshow movie reels, live events and brazenly bold attitude about talking and cell-phone usage, the Drafthouse has helped shape our Keep Austin Weird ethos. It’s no surprise, then, that League’s approach to the burgeoning craft-cocktail movement would be the same. Joining the ranks of his wildly successful Highball cocktail lounge are two new bars under the Drafthouse umbrella: Midnight Cowboy and 400 Rab-

bits. As League’s beverage director, award-winning bartender Bill Norris (formally of FINO) is confidently at the helm. Midnight Cowboy For over 30 years, the seedy Midnight Cowboy Oriental Modeling Agency operated a questionable personal-service business among the nightclubs and restaurants of Austin’s famed East Sixth Street. But in March of this year, the formerly nefarious spot received a much-needed makeover. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



Just past the red light and unmarked door now dwells a 48seat, reservation-based cocktail lounge featuring a bar menu designed by Norris and Midnight Cowboy manager Brian Dressel (formerly of FINO, East Side Showroom and Bar Congress). The luxurious interior was designed by Joel Mozersky. The rotating bar menu features a mix of original cocktail recipes along with obscure classics and modern twists—all using hand-cut ice, freshly squeezed juices and masterful techniques. “The best part about Cowboy is seeing people walk in and just relax,” says Norris. “It’s such a beautiful, low-key spot.” 400 Rabbits Bringing the cocktail movement to an actual Drafthouse was an important part of what Norris was tapped to do as well. The first of these concepts, 400 Rabbits, recently debuted at the Alamo Slaughter Lane location. After traveling to Guadalajara to study the production and distillation of agave, Norris and General Manager Traci Helton 90



built a unique cocktail lounge with a focus on tequila, mezcal and agave spirits. “I think it’s the most comprehensive agave spirits program in Austin,” says Norris. “There are people with more tequila, but no one with the breadth and depth across the agave category.” 400 Rabbits also offers a selection of classic and new cocktails, beer and wine. The new space serves as a spot for guests to gather before or after a movie, as well as a stand-alone destination for the neighborhood. Previous page: Bar Manager Brian Dressel prepares a Smoke and Mirrors cocktail table-side at Midnight Cowboy (see opposite page for recipe). This page: Dressel hand-cuts the ice used in the cocktails at Midnight Cowboy. Entrance into the cocktail lounge requires knowing which buzzer to push. Dressel serves a Lovebirds cocktail to a bar patron. Opposite page: Alamo Drafthouse Beverage Director Bill Norris in action at 400 Rabbits. General Manager Traci Helton puts the finishing touches on the Lester Burnham cocktail.

Smoke and Mirrors By Bill Norris. See photo on page 89. 1½ oz. Highland Park 12-year-old Scotch 1 oz. Bodegas Gongora Duque de Carmona Orange Sherry ½ oz. Benedictine 3 dashes Bad Dog Bar Craft Sarsaparilla Dry Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Rub an orange peel around the rim of the glass, flame the oils over the drink and discard.




The Directory



4.0 Cellars is a tasting room and event venue serving the wines of Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery and McPherson Cellars. 830-997-7470 10354 E. US Hwy. 290

Lone Star Foodservice

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

We love cheese & everything that goes with it. Taste cut-to-order artisanal cheese for free in our shop, take a class, or host an event in our Cheese House. 512-531-9610 4220 Duval St.

Austin Gourmet Imports, LLC

We are an importer of many rare specialty Dutch-flavored Gouda-style cheeses made of wholesome natural ingredients. Unique in flavor and appearance. 512-465-2265 5212 Cypress Ranch Blvd., Spicewood

Blue Baker

Blue Baker is a local artisan bakery cafe featuring hand-crafted breads, pastries, sandwiches, soup, salads and stoneoven pizza. 512-346-2583 10000 Research Blvd. 979-268-3096 800 University Dr., College Station 979-696-5055 201 Dominik Dr., College Station

Broken Arrow Ranch

We field harvest truly wild animals for high quality free-range venison, antelope and wild boar meat. Diamond H Ranch Quail from Bandera also available. 830-367-5875 3296 Junction Hwy., Ingram

Cackleberry Mercantile

Lone Star Foodservice is a family-owned wholesale meat company, whose mission is to source and deliver the finest cuts of natural beef, pork and lamb to tables across Texas. 512-646-6218 1403 E. 6th St.

Texas Olive Ranch

Fresh Texas-grown extra virgin olive oil from Carrizo Springs, infused olive oil & balsamic vinegar at farmers markets in Austin, SA, NB, Houston, Dallas. 877-461-4708

Whip In

Gastropub, brewery, music, market, organic, local, authentic, unique. South Asian food, South Austin mood. 512-442-5337, 1950 S. I-35

Wines Across Texas

Wine bar, bistro, boutique and art gallery. 830-693-9463 309 Main St., Ste. 6, Marble Falls

Bakeries 2tarts Bakery & Catering

Baked goods, specialty cakes and catering all made from scratch. Locally sourced coffee and tea brewed with love. Located in Downtown New Braunfels. 830-387-4606 139 N. Castell, Ste. 300, New Braunfels

We specialize in locally made culinary oils (pecan, avocado and organic sunflower), roasted nuts, Mexican vanillas and various gift items. 512-560-3809 13500 RR 12, Ste. A, Wimberley

Amity Bakery

Dos Lunas Artisan Cheese

Blue Note Bakery

Amity Bakery is a bakery goods service created to provide fresh, quality breads and pastries delivered to your home or office. 512-573-3503 1208 W.4th St.

Dos Lunas is a specially aged raw cow’s Blue Note Bakery is Austin’s premier milk cheese. Our milk comes from grasscustom cake shop, meticulously fed, free-roaming cows in Schulenburg, creating one-of-a-kind dessert for your Texas. We age our cheese in Austin. special occasion. 512-963-5357 512-797-7367 4201 S. Congress Ave., Ste. 101

Lick Ice Creams

Artisan ice creams celebrating the finest ingredients Texas has to offer! Handmade in small batches in our shop, locally sourced and seasonally inspired. 512-363-5622 2032 S. Lamar Blvd. 92

SUMMER 2012 2012

Wimberley Pie Company

When it comes to pie make Wimberley Pie your destination. Delicious selection of fruit pies, brownies, cookies and more. 512-847-9462 13619 RR 12, Wimberley


4.0 Cellars

Pecan Street Brewing

A brew pub, with a beer garden, in the heart of the Hill Country serving our own fresh, handcrafted beer alongside brickoven pizzas, burgers and more! 830-868-2500 106 E. Pecan Dr., Johnson City

Perissos Vineyards

Austin Homebrew Supply

Since 1991, Austin Homebrew Supply has been helping people craft their own beer, wine and cheese. Come by or visit us online. 512-300-2739 9129 Metric Blvd.

True to Texas. Our commitment and passion is to handcraft fine wines using only 100% Texas-grown fruit, most of which is Estate Grown. 512-820-2950 7214 Park Rd. 4 W, Burnet

The Austin Wine Merchant

Spec’s Wine Spirits and Finer Foods

Locally owned and operated since 1991 - Courteous and Professional Services - Careful selection - Competitive pricing Gift wrap - Delivery within Austin. 512-499-0512 512 W. 6th St.

Brooklyn Brewery

Leading the world in beers made in Brooklyn. 718-486-7422

East End Wines

A locally owned wine retail shop offering a unique selection of wines at an affordable price. 512-904-9056 1209 Rosewood Ave.

Live Oak Brewing Company

We make beers for people who enjoy the flavors of beer. Delicious beers produced in the tradition of and by the methods of classic Old-World style beers. 512-385-2299 3301-B E. 5th St.

Llano Estacado Winery

Llano Estacado Wines is the largest selling premium winery in Texas. The winery is located in Lubbock. 800-634-3854 3426 E. FM 1585, Lubbock

Middleton Brewing

Beer brewing instruction, tap room, brew supplies and more. Bringing a taste of Belgium to the Texas Hill Country. 512-847-3435, 9595 RR 12, Wimberley

Paula’s Texas Spirits

We handcraft Paula’s Texas Orange and Paula’s Texas Lemon liqueurs in Austin. Delicious as a zesty sipper or versatile cocktail component.

Family-owned since 1962, Spec’s offers expert service and Texas’s largest selection of wines, spirits and beers along with gourmet foods and more! 512-366-8260 4978 W. US Hwy. 290 512-342-6893 10515 N. MoPac Hwy. 512-280-7400 9900 S. I-35 512-263-9981 13015 Shops Pkwy. 512-366-8300 5775 Airport Blvd.

A Taste of Wine + Art

Fine Wines & Fine Art in a great setting with a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a great selection of both at this great surprise destination in the Hill Country. 830-868-9290 213 N. Nugent Ave., Johnson City

Texas Coffee Traders

East Austin’s artisanal coffee roaster and one-stop shop offering a wide selection of certified organic and Fair Trade options for wholesale and retail. 1400 E. 4th St. 512-476-2279

Texas Hills Vineyard

Winemaking, wine sales, tasting room, patio for picnics, gifts, award winning wines, fun-loving staff and a beautiful place to visit. 830-868-2321 878 RR 2766, Johnson City

Thirsty Planet Brewing

Brewing fresh local brew since 2010, we are committed enlightening the beer drinking world! Tasting room open every Sat. 11-3. Tickets are free but limited. 512-579-0679, 11160 Circle Dr.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Still handmade, distilled 6 times in old-fashioned copper potstills right here in Austin by Tito Beveridge. Made from 100% corn and naturally gluten free. 512-389-9011

Wide-In-Wisdom Winery

Spoon & Co Catering

It’s our business to delight you with the details, memorable events with mindfully chosen, prepared and presented food and a caring crew! 512-912-6784

Texas Neighbors & Visitors To be more ‘In the Know,’ Get

Authentic Texas Wine & Winery Guide, Lot 050 Learn the lore and lure of our oldest wineries

Culinary Education

We produce a honey wine known as Auguste Escoffier School of mead; a delicious dessert wine that goes Culinary Arts well with almost anything. Made with The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Texas honey and pure Texas rainwater. Arts is teaching the next generation of 512-559-5050 chefs and pastry chefs the importance of sustainable and ethical choices.

Wimberley Valley Spirits

Wimberley’s premier family owned spirits, wine and beer provider. 512-847-2309 1 Brookmeadow, Ste. 1, Wimberley

Wimberley Valley Winery

Founded in 1983, Wimberley Valley Winery has a proud history of producing fine wines in Central Texas with a focus on quality and selection. 512-847-2592 2825 Lone Mountain Rd., Driftwood

Zhi Tea

Indulge! Over 80 rare organic teas and dozens of hand-blended signatures. Retail gallery with table service and food menu. Plus, wi-fi and free tastings! 4607 Bolm Rd. 512-539-0717

Bookseller BookPeople

BookPeople is Texas’s largest independent bookstore, located in downtown Austin. For over 40 years we’ve been proud to be Austin’s community bookstore. 512-472-5050 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

The Natural Epicurean

The place to go for a plant-based, comprehensive professional services training, plus public events and classes. Learn here: change your kitchen; change your life. 512-476-2276 1700 S. Lamar Blvd.

Design And Construction Greenaward Custom Woodworking We make what we believe is some of the finest green cabinetry available locally or anywhere else for that matter. Kitchens, baths, closets and eco furniture. 512-323-6633 5710 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.

Grass Fed Beef, Pastured Pork, Poultry, & Eggs


Interior design services from whole room design to color consultations for your home. Specializing in children’s rooms, living rooms and bedrooms. 512-705-7864

Texas Oven Co.



Thin crust. Fresh & local ingredients. We know what you want. East Side Pies has two locations with a delivery area from Mueller to Downtown. 512-524-0933 1401 Rosewood Ave. 512-454-7437 5312 Airport Blvd. #G

Richardson Farms

Sarah Stacey Interior Design

Catering and Meal Delivery

East Side Pies

512-451-5743 6020-B Dillard Cir.

Experts in designing and building woodburning ovens: Our handcrafted ovens are fire-breathing works of art. We are also a Forno Bravo pizza oven dealer. 512-222-6836

Restaurant-quality prepared meals made from scratch, inspired by seasonal produce and delivered to your door. 512-940-9662

Get your Guide at:

Blanco Lavender Festival

Arts and Crafts, Go Texas Wine and Food Tent, Speakers pavilion, great music and farm tours! June 8, 9 and 10. 830-833-5101

Come visit us on the weekends for a slice of our Farm to Table pizza, with seasonal toppings from our local farms!

Brenham/Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Brenham/Washington County is the perfect location to enjoy affordable events at historic sites, wineries and lush gardens! Great shopping, dining, lodging. 979-836-3696

M-Th 11am to 10pm Friday 11am to 11pm Saturday 12pm to 11pm Sunday 12pm to 10pm


1401 B Rosewood Ave. 512.524.0933 (slices all hours)


North Loop

5312 Airport Blvd., Ste G 512.454.PIES (7437) (take out & delivery only)



Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest A Celebration of Texas Wine and Food! Promoting the best of Texas. October 25–27, 2012 830-997-8515 Marketplatz, Fredericksburg

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets offering local vegetables, farm eggs, dairy, meats, Gulf Coast seafood, dairy, bakery, wine, olive oil, prepared artisan foods, live music. 512-363-5700 11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., 1420 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock

Fredericksburg Farmers Market

Fredericksburg Farmers Market is a sevenmonth long, weekly Thursday market that brings locally grown food to the community. From 4-7 pm. Marketplatz, Fredericksburg

HOPE Farmers Market

Sundays 11-3 (Summer 10-2). A weekly community gathering space in East Austin for local farmers, artisans, community groups, families and urban consumers. 512-814-6736 414 Waller St.

Lakeway Commons Farmers Market

The Lakeway Commons Farmers Market is focused on providing the surrounding neighborhoods with local, healthy, affordable food for children and adults. 512-924-7503 900 RR 620 S., Lakeway

New Braunfels Farm to Market

The New Braunfels Farm To Market is open 9 am–1 pm each Saturday, year round. Located in historic downtown New Braunfels, accessible from I-35. 830-629-2223 S. Castell next to Friesenhaus

Real Farms. Real Food. Live music. Kid’s areas. Weekly tastings. Summer Festivals. Free Parking. Double Dollars Tues. for SNAP/WIC. 512-236-0074 422 W. 4th St. 3200 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley Hwy. 183 and 51st St. 46th St. and Lamar 94

SUMMER 2012 2012

Boggy Creek Farm

One of the first Urban Farms in the USA, BCF offers hyper-fresh vegetables at the on-farm stand, Wed and Sat, 9-1. Stroll the farm and visit the Hen House! 512-926-4650 3414 Lyons Rd.

Hill Country Lavender

Cedar Park and Round Rock Farmers Markets

SFC Farmers’ Markets


Texas’s First Commercial Lavender Farm. 830-833-2294

Indian Hills Farm

Family owned farm for nearly three decades, we offer quality pasture-raised and grassfed beef, chemical-free fruits and vegetables and signature granola. 512-237-4792

Richardson Farms

Our cattle are strictly grassfed. The hogs and chickens are pastured and are never given any growth hormones or antibiotics. 512-446-2306

Shiner Prairie FarmWorks

Located on the Shiner Prairie, we offer grass and/or grain fed heritage Large Black Hogs and Beefmaster Cattle, Seasonal Vegetables and more. Come visit. 361-293-0456 4877 US Hwy 90A W.

Twin County Dorpers

After you’ve tasted the rest, come to us for the best! Beautiful lamb cuts from free range Dorper lambs raised in the Texas Hill Country. 830-864-4717

Grocers Bountiful Sprout

As your online grocery for local goods, the Sprout is the place to find everything you need. One click and you’re there. 507 Calles 14210 RR 12, Wimberley 334 W. Main St., Fredericksburg

Farm to Market Grocery

We offer groceries, specialty items, local products, fresh vegetables and fruits, prepared foods, wine, cheeses, coffee, cold beer, flowers and sundries. 412-462-7220 1718 S. Congress Ave.

Farmhouse Delivery

We bring the farm to your door, offering home or office delivery of local produce, meat, dairy, eggs and local, artisanal products. 512-529-8569



Greenling is a home delivery service of Organic & sustainably produced local food! 512-440-8449

Royal Blue Grocery

Downtown Austin’s Neighborhood Grocer with dairy, prepared foods, beer and wine - Royal Blue has it all, in a convenient and compact format. Catering too! 512-499-3993 247 W. 3rd St. 512-476-5700 360 Nueces St. 512-469-5888 609 Congress Ave.

Wheatsville Food Co-op

Serving up local, organic, sustainable and humanely raised food since 1976. Full Service Deli, Hot Bar, Salad Bar, Espresso Bar and eating area with wi-fi. 512-478-2667 3101 Guadalupe

Whole Foods Market

Founded in 1980 in Austin, TX as one small store, Whole Foods Market® is now the world’s leading retailer of natural and organic food. 512-476-1206 525 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-345-5003 9607 Research Blvd. 12601 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave 4301 W. William Cannon

Housewares and Gifts

The Herb Bar

Best place to cure what ails you and healing resource center since 1986. Our Optimal Health Advisers are highly trained, knowledgeable and compassionate. 512-444-6251 200 W. Mary St.

Kiss the Cook

Kiss The Cook makes cooking an enjoyable adventure. The highest quality cookware, bakeware, tools, gadgets and gourmet foods. Love to cook today! 512-847-1553 201 Wimberley Sq., Wimberley 830-249-3637 113 E. Theissen, Boerne

Sunset Canyon Pottery

We are the location for handmade Texas fine craft. Dinnerware, kitchenware and decorative one-of-a-kind pieces. Gallery and working studio, visit anytime! 512-894-0938 4002 E. Hwy. 290, Dripping Springs

Landscape and Environmental B. Jane Gardens

B. Jane Gardens is a full-service Landscape and Environmental Design + Build Group providing custom design, installation and estate management services in Austin. 512-296-2211

Breed & Co.

This locally owned business sells everything from French cookware and fine china to plants and paint. All you need is Breed! 512-474-6679 718 W. 29th St. 512-328-3960 3663 Bee Cave Rd.

Blue Gold Engineering

Callahan’s General Store

Austin’s real general store! From hardware to western wear, from feed to seed...and a whole lot more! 512-385-3452 501 Bastrop Hwy.

The best of everything for your garden. Best plants, best selection and the best staff to help you. Come see what we offer! On SoCo. 512-448-2992 2730 S. Congress Ave.

Der Küchen Laden

It’s About Thyme Garden Center

Der Küchen Laden is for the little chef in all of us. We have gourmet kitchen ware, tools, gadgets, coffees and teas (just to name a few). Come check us out! 830-997-4937 258 E. Main St., Fredericksburg

Blue Gold Engineering offers sustainable water management solutions including design/build services for residential rain, storm and greywater systems. 512-912-1366

The Great Outdoors Nursery

Top quality culinary herbs for chefs, and native plants for gardeners. A nursery with expert staff and pocket-friendly prices. Free lectures most Sundays. 512-280-1192 11726 Manchaca

John Davis Garden Design Build

Designing and building gardens as unique as our clients for 17 years. Artisan quality masonry, decks, pools and gardens that will exceed your expectations. 512-693-0923

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

279-acre native plant botanic garden and University of Texas at Austin research unit. 512-232-0100 4801 La Crosse Ave.

Natural Gardener

Jody Horton Photography

Commercial and editorial photography, specializing in food, travel and lifestyle. 512-694-6649

Opm Den Art Gallery

Cheap art for people with expensive taste. 512-294-1794 1508 E. 4th St.

Professional Services Austin Label Company

We are a garden center and teaching facility dedicated to promoting organic time-tested gardening practices. 512-288-6113 8648 Old Bee Caves Rd., Austin

Custom Labels up to 10 x 20 on paper, foil, synthetics, multiple adhesives, embossing, hot foil, UV coatings. Proud members of GoTexan, FTA and TWGGA. 512-302-0204 1834 Ferguson Ln., Ste. 201


Ditch the Box

Blanco Settlement

Sitting on 10 acres beside the Blanco River are our 9 luxury cabins and 20 RV sites. Relaxation and revitalization are our main goals for your stay. 830-833-5118 1705 RR 165, Blanco

Montesino Farm + Ranch

Come stay with us in one of our cozy farm studios or plan your special event. 512-923-2650

Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm Cooking school, private dinners, luxury cabin rentals. 830-833-0910 5818 RR 165, Dripping Springs

Photography and Art AMOA-Arthouse

The museum provides rich environments for a wide range of audiences to investigate and experience excellence in modern and contemporary art. 512-453-5312 700 Congress Ave. 512-458-8191 3809 W. 35th St.

Andy Sams Photography

We love creating artistic, vibrant images that capture our subjects’ personalities. We pride ourselves on providing top notch service from start to finish. 512-694-6311 908 E. 5th St., Ste. 112

Boggy Creek Farm

Market Days: Wednesday and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM

Learn to eat fresh and cook from scratch with our unique coaching services: pantry makeovers, grocery store & farmers market tours and easy cooking tips. 512-294-2447

Publications and Blogs Shearer Publishing

Shearer Publishing is an award-winning regional book publisher established in 1980, specializing in cookbooks. 830-997-6529 406 Post Oak Rd., Fredericksburg


Eating shouldn’t be a mystery

Texas Wine and Food Gourmet

Come share Texas with us and celebrate the bounty of food, drink and lore the state has to offer.

Pantry Purge | Cooking Lessons | Meal Planning

Texas Wine And Winery Guide, LLC | 512.294.2447

Each Texas Wine & Winery Guide publication promotes Texas wineries and authentic Texas wines. Our readers “Witness Texas Wines in a Whole New Light™." 972-897-4234

Grocery Store & Farmers Market Tours

Real Estate Green Mango Real Estate

Central Real Estate Austin expert since 1987. Specializing in 78704 where they have sold more homes than any other broker in austin. 512-923-6648 905 Avondale Rd. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM



Restaurants Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Locally owned, Austin’s best place for dinner and a movie. Full bar, local food sourcing, locations in Austin, San Antonio and Houston. 512-476-1320; 1120 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-476-1320; 5701 W. Slaughter Ln. 512-476-1320; 320 E. 6th St. 512-476-1320; 2700 W. Anderson Ln. 512- 219-5408; 13729 Research Blvd.

Beets Living Food Cafe

Freshly prepared dishes made of only organic, vegan, gluten-free ingredients. Buying locally first and using local providers. We recycle, reuse and compost. 512-477-2338 1611 W. 5th St., Ste. 165

Chez Nous

A casual french bistro, serving Austin since 1982, Chez Nous offers a delectable selection of regional French cuisine and wines in a relaxed, convivial and intimate atmosphere. 512-473-2413 510 Neches

Cipollina West Austin Bistro

Join us for lunch or dinner to sample our unique approach to Mediterraneaninspired, locally sourced food. 512-477-5211; 1213 West Lynn


FABI+ROSI serves classic European dishes with a young and modern twist. Sourcing locally grown and sustainably raised provisions is our top priority. 512-236-0642; 509 Hearn

Fonda San Miguel

Offering hand-crafted traditional interior Mexican recipes in an unparalleled atmosphere; a full wine list; classic and signature cocktails. 512-459-4121; 2330 W. North Loop

Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Texan in spirit and local in source, Jack Allen’s Kitchen serves up Texas-inspired cuisine, fresh cocktails, cold beers and good times daily. 512-852-8558; 7720 Hwy. 71 W.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

Kerbey Lane Cafe has proudly served comfortable food at a reasonable price since 1980. Come into any of our 5 Austin locations for a taste! 512-451-1436; 3704 Kerbey Ln. 512-445-4451; 3003 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-258-7757; 13435 Hwy. 183, Ste. 415 512-477-5717; 2606 Guadalupe St. 512-899-1500; 4301 W. William Cannon 96

SUMMER 2012 2012

La Condesa

Texas French Bread

Make It Sweet

The Leaning Pear Café & Eatery

ThunderCloud Subs

Peach Basket

For fresh, fast and healthy, head on over to your neighborhood ThunderCloud Subs, Austin’s original sub shop. Now with 30 locations in Central Texas. 512-479-8805

Peach Basket Natural Foods & Supplements is the place to buy natural and organic foods in Fredericksburg. 800-701-9099 334 W. Main St., Fredericksburg

TNT / Tacos and Tequila

Taste Buds Specialty Food & Wine

James Beard Foundation Award nominated Modern Mexican located in the 2nd Street District, across the street from the world famous Austin City Limits. 512-499-0300 400 W. 2nd St. Serving the Texas Hill Country fresh and seasonal favorites using local ingredients. 512-847-7327 111 River Rd., Wimberley

Magnolia Cafe

Come to Magnolia Cafe! Fresh food cooked with passion in a comfortable setting, kind of like your favorite aunt’s giant kitchen, if she had one. Open 24/8 512-478-8645 2304 Lake Austin Blvd. 512-445-0000 1920 S. Congress Ave.

Milagro’s Hill Country Tex Mex

Wonderful Tex Mex fare with a Hill Country flair served with exceptional hospitality in a fun family atmosphere. Enjoy a designer margarita indoors or out. 512-842-2800 9595 RR 12, Ste. 12, Wimberley

Navajo Grill

A unique dining establishment nestled deep in the heart of where historic Fredericksburg lies. 830-990-8289 803 E. Main St., Fredericksburg

Redbud Cafe

Our food is made fresh daily using premium products, local and organic whenever possible. We also use filtered water in everything we make. 830-833-0202 410 4th St., Blanco

River House Tea Room

Head to Gruene and you’ll find a restaurant, chef and meal consistently rated among the top in the nation! 830-608-0690 1617 New Braunfels, Gruene

Snack Bar

Chef-driven, globally inspired & locally sourced menu with eco-vineyard wine, craft beer, artisan coffee and tea in a stylish relaxed space. Bring the dog. 512-445-2626 1224 S. Congress Ave.


We are a bakery & bistro serving freshly baked breads, pastries & desserts, as well as hot breakfast, delicious sandwiches & locally sourced dinners. 512-499-0544 2900 Rio Grande

At Make It Sweet, you can find tools, supplies and ingredients to make cakes, cookies and candies and learn fun, new techniques in the classes offered. 512-371-3401 9070 Research Blvd.

Fresh, handmade & local describe this southwestern grill and Tequila Bar. Margaritas made with hand-squeezed juice, organic agave nectar & premium tequila. 512-436-8226 507 Pressler St.

Shop with more than 100 samples offered daily. Free wine samples with Friday Happy Hour from 5-7pm. 512-847-7771 13904 RR 12, Wimberley

The Turtle Restaurant

Celebrating food, cooking and entertaining since 1956.

Your destination for food prepared from locally available seasonal ingredients. 325-646-8200 514 Center Avenue Brownwood

Uptown Blanco Restaurant

Open for lunch daily and dinner Thurs. - Sun. Chef Nathan creates culinary specials daily using many local ingredients. Ballroom and courtyard are available for private groups. 830-833-0738 317 Main St., Blanco

Wink Restaurant & Wine Bar

The daily menu is based on local artisans. Wink happily embraces omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians and special dietary issues. 512-482-8868 1014 North Lamar Blvd.

Zocalo Eclectic Cafe

Restaurant and coffeehouse serving gourmet meals prepared by Chef Andres Garza with locally grown products. Wed.-Thurs.10-3.; Sat.-Sun 10-9. 830-833-4300 520 Pecan St., Blanco

Specialty Market For Goodness Sake Natural Foods Family owned and operated health food store featuring high quality supplements, all natural and organic bodycare plus unique grocery items. Peace & Love! 830-606-1900 1306 E. Common St., New Braunfels


Tourism Fredericksburg Conference and Visitors Bureau

Visit Fredericksburg, a small gem nestled in the Texas Hill Country. Enjoy eclectic shops, diverse lodging, amazing restaurants and Texas wines. 866-997-3600

Wellness Bicycle Sport Shop

Bicycle Sport Shop has been selling bicycles and cycling equipment in Austin since 1983. Our goal is to get more people on bikes more often. 512-477-3472; 517 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-345-7460; 10947 Research Blvd. 512-637-6890; 9900 W. Parmer Ln.

Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop

The retail mecca offers bikes, equipment, apparel, service and training, but more importantly, its mission is to promote two-wheeled living. 512-473-0222; 400 Nueces St.

Peoples Rx

Austin’s favorite pharmacy for more than 30 years, Peoples integrates nutrition, supplements and medicine with natural remedies and custom Rx compounding. 512-219-9499; 13860 Hwy. 183 N., Ste. C 512-459-9090; 4018 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-444-8866; 3801 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-327-8877; 4201 Westbank Dr.

Large Selection of Texas Wines Free Samples Offered Daily

Specialty Food & Wine Shop

• Gift Baskets & Gift Boxes • Jams & Jellies • Pickles & Jalapenos • Salsa & Hot Sauce • Cheese & Crackers • & Much Much More!

13904 Ranch Rd 12 • 512-847-7771 • Located in Wimberley, Just off the Square

Wimberley Valley Winery OPEN DAILY FOR TASTINGS 10-6 (512) 847-2592 2825 Lone Man Mountain Road, Driftwood, TX 78619

From seasonal to classics... Delicious holiday memories — whole or by the slice! 13619 RR 12, Wimberley • 512-847-9462 •

Will Henry, Installation, 2012, oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist and Hiram Butler Gallery. Photo: Eric Hester

art de terroir

Texas Prize on view at the Jones Center 700 Congress Avenue May 5- July 22, 2012

Hot Spots, Cool Drinks Thursday, July 12 | 7:30 – 10 p.m. Jones Center Rooftop Deck In honor of the competitive Texas Prize exhibition, come see the art by the three finalists and celebrate their accomplishments. Then join us on the roof for food and cocktails by three hot Austin chefs and mixologists who will create cool pairings from the cuisine of hot places. Try them all and vote for your favorite. Tickets $20/ $15 AMOA-Arthouse members and available at Co-presented by Edible Austin.

Laguna Gloria 3809 West 35th St. 512.458.8191

The Jones Center 700 Congress Avenue 512.453.5312

with Summer

Whites & Rosés visit us in the shop where it’s always

sixty-five° because that’s the way the wines like it

Or See our curated list of

Well-Priced summer wines at

21 years

Locally Owned and Operated

Courteous, Professional Service

Monday - Saturday 10am - 6:30pm | | 512.499.0512 512 West Sixth Street, Austin, Texas 78701 (An easy right turn between San Antonio and Nueces streets)

Edible Austin Summer 2012  
Edible Austin Summer 2012  

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season. Our 5th Anniversary Issue covering beverages in Central Texas.