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No. 54 Sept/Oct | Cooks 2017

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season

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Every delicious Mexican dish calls for a touch of tradition, like a crumble of La Vaquita Queso Fresco, produced right here in Texas. Explore our delicious recipes at


Ben and Liz Kweller


Tavel Bristol-Joseph


Sheriff Sally Hernandez


Joshua Thomas


Typewriter Rodeo


edible CAREERS




HOME section

Moving beyond the line.

8 notable MENTIONS Fall events and more.


Sertodo Copper.

28 Kevin Fink’s and Tavel Bristol-Joseph’s must-have kitchen tools.

cooking BASICS 54 Knife skills 58

The cooking method triumvirate


Cooking under pressure


How to eat crawfish

COVER: Liz Kweller’s Empanadas Argentinas by Melanie Grizzel (page 12).

Indoor, outdoor and green living.




PUBLISHERS Marla Camp Jenna Northcutt


ood memories, I believe, are intensely intimate windows through which we connect with people, places and events

in our lives.


Remembering the taste and smell of sweet corn arepas thrust through the bus window by sidewalk vendors while journeying through villages in Colombia is as compelling to me now as it was 45 years ago. And it unlocks many more memories of that time so long ago. Another food memory with clout was eating just-picked cherries from an

COPY EDITOR Anne Marie Hampshire

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Claire Cella, Dena Garcia, Cari Marshall, Michelle Moore

orchard in Provence, but it isn’t the properties of the cherries—the sweetest of all red fruits, rich with antioxidants—that I recall, but the sweetest of times spent with good friends. On June 24, Austin lost one of its most potent food memory makers: Miguel Ravago, beloved chef and co-founder of Fonda San Miguel restaurant. While growing up in Phoenix, it was his family’s food memories of interior Mexico that made a lasting impression on a young Miguel. He later brought his exploration of authentic Mexican regional cuisines to the public table with his longtime business partner Tom Gilliland—first in the Houston area, then in Austin with opening Fonda San Miguel, in 1975. That stewardship for over 40 years has

MARKETING SPECIALISTS Christine Andrews Rachel Davis

DISTRIBUTION Craig Fisher, Flying Fish


had a monumental impact on Austin food culture, spinning all kinds of magical


and tangled webs of memories for customers and staff alike. Through the food

Terry Thompson-Anderson, Paula Angerstein, Dorsey Barger, Jim Hightower, Toni Tipton-Martin, Mary Sanger, Carol Ann Sayle

he created at Fonda, he was family, he was friend, he was teacher. To talk of loss is to grieve, and there is time for that. But remembering Miguel Ravago’s rich legacy give us much to be thankful for. It is a rare person in Austin who doesn’t have a memory of times spent at the restaurant, celebrating life


events with loved ones, sharing a fundraising feast for a good cause or lingering

Edible Austin 1411A Newning Ave., Austin, TX 78704 512-441-3971

over a solitary drink at the bar that feels like home. Thank you, Miguel, for all these memories.

Photography by TM Photo, Inc. © 2016

Edible Austin is published bimonthly by Edible Austin L.L.C. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. ©2017. 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.



BREAD, BEER AND BOOKS Join us at BookPeople on September 14 to hear from Robin Sloan, author of “Sourdough.” This new novel tells the tale of Lois Clary, a software engineer


who is suddenly gifted with a sourdough starter and told to keep it alive. Soon she’s baking—and finds herself involved in a secret world where food and technology meet. No event would be complete without tasty treats, of course, which is why we re-


cruited Austin’s bread baker extraordinaire, David Norman of


provide. Visit for

Easy Tiger, and craft brewery Saint Arnold Brewing Company, to


more information and to purchase a copy of “Sourdough.”





TM recently named the Texas Reds Steak & Grape Festival,

Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest


October 28, 201 7

located in downtown Bryan, Texas, one of the best in the state. This year, from September 22–24, you can treat yourself to three days of tastes from more than 25 of Texas’ most popular wineries and craft breweries. You’ll also enjoy a steady stream of live music (including from multiple Grammy nominee Deana Carter on Sunday night) and the smell of sizzling grills during Saturday night’s steak dinner and Sunday morning’s steak and egg brunch. Visit for more details and to purchase tickets for a variety of VIP experiences and wine and beer tasting packages.

Market Square | Fredericksburg, Texas


Twenty-six Texas Wineries, Texas Specialty Booths, Cooking School, Twenty Five at Five, Gargantuan Grape Toss, Texas Tunes, Food Court, Silent Auction, 5K/10K and lots more! Thursday: Go Texan! dinner at Messina Hof Friday: Texas Wine & Food at Becker Vineyards Saturday: Marktplatz Patron Brunch

On Thursday, September 28, eight of Austin’s leading female chefs will go head-to-head at Barr Mansion in four culinary challenges with the audience as judge. Presented by the Austin chapter of Les Dames d’ Escoffier, En Garde! is a fundraiser for the organization’s scholarship programs and grants for Austin women pursuing continuing education in the culinary, wine, food artisan and hospitality professions. Audience members are also invited to “Out-Somm the Somm” with Rae Wilson, founder of Wine for the People.

Fest Office: 830-997-8515 8

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Make sure you’re ringside by purchasing advance tickets at

GROW LOCAL, COOK GLOBAL WITH THE GREEN CORN PROJECT For 19 years, the Green Corn Project (GCP) has gathered community together each fall to celebrate local, garden-grown food. Join them for this year’s Grow Locally Cook Globally Fall Festival on October 29, at East Austin’s historic Boggy Creek Farm. The festival will feature bites and sips from more than 20 restaurants and food/drink artisans, including Odd Duck, Texas French Bread, Hoover’s, Confituras and Buddha’s Brew, as

A Uniquely Texas Experience!

well as a kid’s corner, silent auction and live music. All proceeds

October 6-8

benefit GCP, a nonprofit that plants organic vegetable gardens for

Celebrate Texas Wine Month on the San Antonio Riverwalk with Becker Vineyards.

individuals, elementary schools and community groups in order to provide better access to fresh foods. Early bird tickets are $35

Tickets on sale now

for the month of September. Visit for more

Hours: Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday, Noon – 6 p.m.

information and tickets.

Last wine tasting, 30 min before closing.

JOIN IN ON THIS EFFERVESCENT EVENT Start gathering your jars for the 830-644-2681

2017 Austin Fermentation Fes-

Directions: 11 miles east of Fredericksburg, 3 miles west of Stonewall, off US Hwy 290 at Jenschke Lane.

tival, which will be held on October 22 at Barr Mansion. This full-day event features 12 different workshops (including a series of


hands-on workshops) taught by masters in the trade, covering techniques for making everything from sourdough and soda to kraut and kimchi. Attendees will also enjoy tasty treats and fizzy drinks from local vendors; live music; a film screening of the documentary “Fermented”; and a silent auction. All proceeds benefit the Texas Farmers Market Farmer Emer-


anc em : BY m Alli d Syst D TE edo oo ENch Fre althy F S E PR Ran or He

nd il f m a ounc r a F eC h &t

gency Fund, which offers financial assistance to local farmers and ranchers in times of environmental, personal or other crises. Visit for tickets and more information.

DOWNTOWN FREDERICKSBURG DISHES IT UP! The Marktplatz of historic downtown Fredericksburg is once again hosting a weekend dedicated to honoring and upholding Texas’ rich food and wine traditions, October 26–October 28. The Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest offers the very best of food, wine, beer, and, of course, live music. And there are so many ways to celebrate: Partake in Thursday’s Go Texan! event at Messina Hof Hill Country, Friday’s evening celebration at Becker Vineyards, Saturday’s Patron Party on Market Square and a series of demos from Grape Expectations Cooking School. Visit for a full schedule and to buy your tickets.

SEPTEMBER 24-26 | McKINNEY, TX Join farmers, ranchers, chefs, and local food activists to learn how these issues (AND MANY MORE) impact you ...

• Food access: Getting good food to more people. • Bringing back our pollinator populations. • Advocacy & grassroots organizing on food issues. • Regulatory barriers for small farmers & ranchers. SPONSORED BY: EDIBLE Austin • EDIBLE DFW • EDIBLE Houston Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Assn. • Growing Good Things to Eat USDA/NIFA • Harvest Restaurant • Rick’s Chophouse • Grand Hotel The Seed Project Foundation • Pure Land Organic Farm • Southern SARE | | 254-697-2661 EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM Edible Austin-FARFA 2017b.indd 1

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7/28/2017 4:20:10 PM

HONORING AGRICULTURE’S UNSUNG HEROES: WOMEN Women have deep roots in Texas’ agricultural community and the Texas Farmers’ Market (TFM) is on a mission to ensure that their crucial contributions are acknowledged and celebrated. The new Texas Farmers Market’s Women in Agriculture project will highlight 14 select female farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers who are vendors at TFM markets. The photography campaign will tell a diverse story of Texas women in agriculture and will be used in a celebration at the Lakeline and Mueller markets

Clockwise from top right: Amelia Sweethardt, Pure Luck Dairy; Cypress Sigman, Engel Farms; Germaine Swenson, Munkebo Farm; Donna Bernhardt, Bernhardt’s Farm.


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Photography by Nora Chovanec

on October 28 and 29. Visit for more.

all proceeds benefit the Texas Farmers’ Market Farmer Emergency Fund

O ctober 22nd, 2017 1oam—- 4:30pm

with keynote speaker

Sandor Katz

at Barr Mansion

for tickets & info visit presented by

with support from

thanks to additional sponsors

hands-on fermentation workshops local vendors Film Screening —craft beverages Artisan lunch menu VIP lounge culture swap


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COOKS at home



alking up to the homestead at Ben and Liz Kweller’s

Liz puts the empanadas in the oven and moves to pre-

Heart Springs Ranch is like floating back in time.

pare a salad. The smell of fresh-torn arugula fills the kitchen

The door to the screened-in porch is open wide,

with a summery nutty fragrance as Liz chops onions soaked

leading to an outdoor table already set and ready, waiting for

in cold water (to remove their bite) and prepares hearts of

the meal to come. From the porch, a door to the house, also

palm. “Everyone in Argentina is obsessed with hearts of

wide-open, leads into an enormous renovated kitchen filled

palm. Every salad has hearts of palm,” she says with a smile—

with the cross-breeze from airy windows. It’s hard to believe

giving the salad a quick toss.

you can live in Texas in early summer and not need to turn

Meanwhile, Ben massages homemade chimichurri into

on the air-conditioning, but 19th-century houses situated on

the skin of the broken-down chicken. He slices a green bell

hills are magical that way.

pepper and begins sliding the slices under the skin. “This is

The kitchen, of course, is not just the center of the house, but the center of the entire ranch—a soon-to-be creative re-

pollo Papacho,” he says—concentrating on the pepper placement. “Liz’s uncle Papacho’s own recipe.”

treat for musicians, songwriters and artists of all types. This

The easygoing manner and welcoming spirit of Ben and

is where Ben and Liz stand, wrapped in each other’s arms,

Liz Kweller belie the hard-nosed attention to detail and

surveying a whole chicken resting under a kitchen towel.

craftsmanship that both hold just under the surface. As a

“The goal is to have a space where people can come and

world-renowned musician and a Grammy-nominated artist

make art in nature,” says Ben. “Whether you paint, throw clay,

(for album cover design), respectively, the power couple

write songs, do photography, make jewelry, etcetera, you’ll

could be holding court in a neon castle in Los Angeles. But

be able to do your thing, eat good food and sleep well.” Ben

their hearts are drawn to the comfort—and the demands—of

prepares to tackle the “eat good food” part of the equation

the Texas Hill Country.

right now. He removes the kitchen towel from the chicken

“When we found this house it was completely abandoned,”

and brandishes a very large, very old knife. “This is my favor-

Ben says. “The windows were smashed; deer were living in

ite knife,” he says, “a knife that a gaucho made in Feliciano,

it. It was a mess.” But after three years of hard renovation

where Liz’s family is from.”

work, the couple and their two boys live here full time now.

Generations of Liz Kweller’s family live in San José de

“Ben is getting in touch with his wild-man survival side,” Liz

Feliciano, a very small town in Entre Ríos, in northeastern

says with a laugh. He recently skinned a rattlesnake and they

Argentina. Her mother was the only family member to come to

cooked it for dinner. “Waste not, want not,” Ben says, while

the U.S. to build a life and family, and she passed away when Liz

Liz points out that it maybe wasn’t the best dinner they’d

was 9—leaving a legacy of food and extended family.

ever eaten. But… “if we were living in the wild,” she says, “I’d

Ben begins to expertly break down the chicken that will

be pretty psyched about that catch.”

be the centerpiece of this traditional Argentinian lunch.

As we sit to eat our empanadas, pollo Papacho and the

Except…Liz is now laying out perfect circles of homemade

simple-yet-wickedly-delicious salad, one can’t help but envy

dough and filling them with a mixture of beef, boiled eggs,

Argentinians and their relaxing, hours-long lunches. The

olives, raisins and spices. Perhaps her empanadas will be the

love and detail put into a meal like this can only add to the

center of the meal. “My Aunt Carmen makes these empana-

intense flavors that make you not just savor the food, but sa-

das for us when we visit,” she says—pinching the edges of the

vor the air, the setting and the people with whom you share

dough to capture the filling in impeccable little pockets. “It’s

the meal. The Kwellers, with their Heart Springs Ranch and

a perfect snack for the 14-hour bus ride.”

love of cooking, appear to be onto something here.


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EMPANADAS ARGENTINAS Makes 12 This is Liz Kweller’s own recipe derived from her Aunt Carmen (from Entre Ríos), her godmother Irma (from Cordoba) and her own tweaks over the years. For the dough: 2¼ c. all-purpose flour 1 t. salt 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 1 large egg 1 /3 c. ice water 1 T. distilled white vinegar Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl and blend in the butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal (you could also use a food processor for this). Beat together the egg, water and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to the flour mixture—stirring with the fork until just mixed. Turn out the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently with the heel of your hand once or twice—just enough to bring the dough together. Form the dough into a flat disc and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.




For the filling: 1 /3 c. safflower or olive oil 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped ½ c. red bell pepper, minced 1 lb. ground beef 1 T. fresh oregano, finely chopped 2 t. sweet paprika 1 t. cumin ½ t. crushed red pepper 1½ t. salt ½ t. freshly ground black pepper 1 T. distilled white vinegar 2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped ½ c. pitted green olives, chopped 2 T. raisins Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, green onions and bell pepper to the pan and cook until golden—12 to 14 minutes. Season the beef with salt, add it to the pan and cook until browned—8 to 10 minutes. Add the oregano, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant—about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once cooled, gently fold in the vinegar, hard-boiled eggs, olives and raisins. To assemble: Heat the oven to 375°. Divide the dough into a dozen 2-inch balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough balls into 5-inch circles. Place about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of each dough circle. Dip your finger in cold water and run your finger along the border of the empanada dough. Fold the dough in half over the filling, forming a half circle, then use your fingers to gently press and seal the edges. The wet edge creates a stronger seal so that the empanada won’t pop open in the oven. To make a decorative edge around the empanada, dog-ear one corner of the half circle. Move along the curved edge and pinch a half-inch of dough next to the dog-ear, stretching it toward you, before folding it back so it overlaps the dog-eared edge. Continue to pinch and fold the dough, slightly overlapping each previous


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fold, until you reach the opposite corner. This takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it you can move along quickly. Alternately, you can use a fork to crimp the edge. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet and brush the tops with a mixture of 1 beaten egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of water. Bake until golden brown—about 20 to 25 minutes.

POLLO PAPACHO Serves 4 1 whole chicken 1 green bell pepper Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste Liz’s chimichurri sauce (recipe below) Method by Ben Kweller: “Prepare a wood fire about two hours before you’re ready to cook. This is my favorite way to grill chicken. I learned this from Liz’s uncle, Papacho. He is the one who gave me the custom gaucho knife that I use every chance I get. First, julienne the green bell pepper into 2-inch-long by quarter-inch-wide spears. Make sure one end of each spear is pointed to make it easier to insert the pepper spears into the chicken. Set the pepper spears aside for later. Wash the chicken and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper over the entire bird. To butterfly the chicken, situate the bird on a cutting board with the breasts facing down. Using sharp kitchen shears, remove the spine from the chicken. Flatten the chicken out by placing the skin side up and applying firm pressure to the breastbone. Using a skinny bladed knife, pierce a tiny hole in the skin but not through the meat. Insert a pepper spear into the hole, pushing it up under the skin. Work the pepper in by rubbing the outside of the skin. Slide another spear into the hole. Once you’ve inserted enough pepper spears to fill that area, go to another part of the chicken and start the process again. Pierce small hole, insert pepper spears, move on. The more pepper spears the better. But beware, the more incisions you make, the more likely it is to tear up the skin. Once you’re done, rub the chimichurri sauce all over it! Now you’re ready to cook. Out in the Hill Country we do our grilling with wood instead of store-bought charcoal or gas. When grilling with wood, give yourself two hours to let the wood turn to coals. Whether you’re using wood, charcoal or gas, get your fire up to temperature and lay the bird, bones down, on the grill. Slow-cook until ready. Times vary, especially with wood fires, but usually you’ll be ready to eat in about 30 minutes.”

LIZ’S CHIMICHURRI Makes about 3 cups 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, about 1 cup minced 3 T. minced fresh oregano 4 garlic cloves, finely minced ½ c. finely diced or minced green onions ¼ c. finely minced red onion 1 small red chili pepper (red Fresno is Liz’s favorite), deveined, seeded, minced 2–3 T. red-wine vinegar 1 T. fresh lemon juice ¾ c. olive oil Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste Combine all the ingredients together in a medium-size bowl and mix well. The chimichurri can be made ahead of time, but should be kept refrigerated and is best if used within a couple days. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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COOKS at home



ome pastry chefs talk a big game about never over-in-

Today, Bristol-Joseph is making the very same dish, with

dulging in sugar. Tavel Bristol-Joseph isn’t one of them.

spicy vegetable rice on the side. It’s been his go-to meal for

“Candy is my jam!” proclaims the head pastry chef and

years—reminding him of the Caribbean home he finally left

co-partner at Rainey Street’s wunderkind, Emmer & Rye. The restaurant is closed today, so it’s just him, a few guests,

thorities by hyphenating his name.) He arrived in Brooklyn,

Brooklyn the dog and a box of Wackym’s Kitchen Strawber-

convinced he could play pro basketball, until his mother took

ry Shortcake cookies. “Try these!” he says with a gush before

him to a nearby basketball court and pointed to players with

showing off multiple flavors of belVita Breakfast Biscuits in

a lot more experience. “Are you better than those guys?” she

his cabinets. “When I want to be healthy, I go this way.”

asked. “Better?” he asked, incredulous. “Then you need to find

For a guy who talks at length about the many subtle ways to


behind just after graduation. (He appeased immigration au-

another direction,” she said.

texture mousse, co-runs a restaurant that mills its own heritage

Bristol-Joseph enrolled in New York Restaurant School and

grains and makes a tres leches cake that merited a magazine

landed a pastry-cook job at Brooklyn’s impressively starred

spread, 37-year-old Bristol-Joseph is a lot less pretentious than

The River Café before he even finished his pastry-arts degree.

you’d expect. He has an elegant philosophy of how “every des-

(His boss-to-be didn’t realize he’d only shown up to interview

sert we make has a story behind it; it’s never just something you

for an internship.) Eventually, he moved on to become pastry

create,” but he gets even more animated extolling the virtues

sous-chef at Blue Fin at the W Hotel before moving to Tucson,

of the Twix candy bar and the latest offerings from Ben & Jer-

Arizona, to follow a girlfriend. Though Bristol-Joseph and the

ry’s. Like the restaurant he started with co-owner and head chef

girlfriend eventually broke up, he found a business partner in

Kevin Fink, Bristol-Joseph hasn’t lost the common touch.

Fink when they met at Tucson’s Hacienda Del Sol. Together,

Bristol-Joseph grew up with little money in Guyana, and

they hatched an improbable plan to bring farm-to-table fare

wound up stuck there as the rest of his family moved to New

to Austin with a dim-sum cart thrown in for good measure.

York. He had his deceased father’s last name, not his mother’s,

Emmer & Rye launched on Rainey Street in 2015, and the rest

which left immigration agents too confused to let him join

is whole-grain history.

her in America. Waiting for the red tape to clear, Bristol-Jo-

In October, the partners will expand the business with two

seph moved in with his aunt, who made him bake with her

new ventures for the ELM Restaurant Group’s Fareground

as a “punishment” if he came home late. “After a while, I was

downtown food hall. Honeybit, a dessert-themed food trail-

like: ‘I kinda like this punishment,’” he recalls. All that expe-

er, will serve ice cream sandwiches, ginger-beer floats, chick-

rience whipping up cookies and cakes gave him such a leg up

en-and-waffle ice cream cones and raspados (snow cones).

in home economics class that he didn’t take his final cooking

Henbit, a casual breakfast, lunch and dinner place, will debut

project seriously until the night before. He partnered with a

with a New York deli attitude (“There’s gonna be laughing,

friend—hemming and hawing for hours about how to prepare

loud music, screaming and good energy in a fast-food atmo-

a fish—when the friend’s exasperated brother-in-law finally

sphere,” he says). Bristol-Joseph will oversee both businesses

grumbled, “Just put it with cheese or something!” To the des-

while still heading the pastry operation back at the mother-

perate kids, it sounded just crazy enough to work. They aced

ship. It’s a challenge that doesn’t worry him too much. “It’ll

the final with a salmon layered with cheese, breadcrumbs, to-

be fine…it’s not just savory, it’s not just sweet,” he says. “I love

matoes, onions and spices.

them both equally.”

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TAVEL BRISTOL-JOSEPH’S “JUST PUT IT WITH CHEESE OR SOMETHING!” STUFFED SALMON WITH VEGETABLE RICE Serves 6 For the salmon: 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 green onion, chopped 1 c. grated cheddar cheese 2 large tomatoes, sliced thick 1 t. thyme ½ stick butter, room temperature 4 c. dry bread cubes soaked in chicken stock 1 whole, cleaned salmon (about 3 lb.) Heat the oven to 355°. Mix together the first 7 ingredients, then stuff and top the fish with the mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cheese caramelizes and the skin crisps. For the rice: 2 T. olive oil 1 each green, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, sliced 2 c. grated carrots Pinch dried parsley 1 T. adobo spice mix Salt, to taste 8 c. cooked white rice In a large skillet, sauté the peppers in the olive oil, then add the carrots, parsley, adobo spice mix and salt. Add the rice and stir until the rice is seared.


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ravis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez has a lot on

cakes and birthday cakes, too. “It used to be I made a lot of

her plate. And right now, that means a multi-tiered

cakes. I will tell you, though, once you start running for of-

wedding cake. “I do it all by myself,” she says with a

fice, you can’t do it as often. You make a wedding cake, and it

shrewd smile. She bakes, she decorates, she transports. “I’m

can take up to 15 hours!”

the one who’s going to pick it up…because if someone drops

Those 15 hours are good for reflection, though, and good

it, I don’t want to be mad at anyone but me. There’s no back-

for stepping out of the stresses of day-to-day law enforce-

up cake.” And, of course, she’s prepared for any eventuality.

ment. “Creating wedding cakes makes you think creatively,

“I have an emergency bag and I always bring a lot more frost-

even though it’s stressful, you know?” she says as she finds a

ing in case something happens.”

knife to cut into the cake she made for this interview. “The

With an appraising look one might see more often in an interrogation room than in a kitchen, Sheriff Hernandez

pressure is different. It separates you from a lot of the stuff that you feel and see in law enforcement.”

walks slowly around her newly baked and decorated Italian

Learning to cook at a young age, Sheriff Hernandez discov-

cream cake. She talks about the early days when she was just

ered she loved it. Following directions, but knowing when to

learning the ins-and-outs of wedding cakes. “I’ve been out

add her own creative spin, are the two most important tools

on a riverbank repairing a four-tiered wedding cake that had

in her arsenal of baking and in her police work. Baking even

just become three-tiered. It’s stressful!” She fills a pastry bag

helped her apply for a job as Chief Investigator at the District

with homemade frosting and deftly pipes florets to even out

Attorney’s Office. “We had to write an essay and I wanted mine

the design. There’s one more appraising look and then she

to be different, so I wrote about wedding cakes,” she says. Just

adds the final touch: fresh flowers on the top tier. With a sat-

like law enforcement, “a wedding cake has to have a strong

isfied smile, she takes a step back. Her creation is complete.

foundation, one that you build on, adding layers upon layers.”

It would be easy to toss out bon mots like: “No one would guess this tough-as-nails sheriff is also a quiet baker and cake

A departure from all the other essays, her creative thinking won her the job—and more requests for cakes.

decorator by night!” But as we’ve seen in the current political

Asked where she gets her recipes from, she talks about her

climate, and as we see in the kitchen today, Sheriff Hernandez

favorite adaptations. “The Italian cream cake I like to bake

is more complicated than simple sound bites would sug-

came from a cookbook I’ve had for 20 years and it was a Texas

gest. She’s a problem-solver who delves deep; someone too

Electric Cooperatives community cookbook. I have a German

thoughtful and intense to be described by a quick quip.

chocolate cake recipe that came from a really old cookbook—

Thirty years ago, early in her law enforcement career, she

from the late 1800s. That one is from Fredericksburg.”

started baking and decorating wedding cakes to help others.

It’s clear from her easy confidence that Sheriff Hernan-

“At the time, I was going to a church where there were a lot

dez knows exactly what she’s doing in the kitchen—and out

of people getting married but who didn’t have money to buy

of it. And while everyone who knows her personally knows

a cake, so I thought…how hard is it to make a wedding cake?

not to mess with her while she’s baking, it might be prudent

And I just started playing with it. Some [cakes] were lean-

for others to learn a similar lesson, as well. Sally Hernan-

ing, some were…not the best, but I just started doing it to

dez does not want or need too many cooks in her kitchen. “I

help.” As the years passed and her skills improved, word got

don’t want to be in the spotlight,” she says with a small smile

out. She began baking not just wedding cakes, but retirement

and a hint of exasperation. “I just want to be sheriff!”


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Your Baking Headquarters Tools & Supplies

for making cakes, cookies and candies

Decorating Classes

beginner to advanced 9070 Research Blvd. (512) 371-3401


SHERIFF SALLY HERNANDEZ’S “THERE’S NO BACKUP” ITALIAN CREAM CAKE Makes 1 two-tiered cake (with extra frosting for any cake 911s) 5 eggs, separated 2 c. sugar 1 stick butter ½ c. vegetable shortening 2 c. flour 1¼ c. buttermilk 1 t. baking soda 1 t. vanilla 1 c. shredded sweetened coconut 1 c. chopped pecans Heat the oven to 300°. Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. In a separate large bowl, cream together the sugar, butter and shortening. Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture, one at a time, and beat well between each addition. Add the flour, alternating with the buttermilk. Add the baking soda and the vanilla. Add the coconut and pecans. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour the batter into 2 greased and floured cake pans (6- and 12-inch for two tiers). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched. (Cooking the cake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time keeps the cake moist and level with no hump in the middle.) Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

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Learn more at 22

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Makes about 3 cups 8 oz. cream cheese 1¼ stick butter 1 t. vanilla 2 lbs. powdered sugar Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla, then slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat until the frosting is smooth. Enjoy.

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COOKS at home



oshua Thomas shows off the fancy bowl his wife,

the truck as something that could exponentially grow into an

Allison, won as valedictorian of her class at the Culi-

empire,” he says. “It was more of a mobile test lab.”

nary Institute of America, where they met as students.

Nevertheless, putting himself out there paid off in an un-

“She eats breakfast out of it every morning,” he says, dead-

expected way. Scott happened to be the landlord of the food

pan. “Oatmeal.” Allison laughs in a way that hints she’s heard

court where Chaat Shop parked for a while. He also became

this joke before. Or maybe it’s just the glasses of coconauts

a fan of the truck and a fast friend. When Joshua showed him

making everyone a little loopy. Joshua proclaims this classic

a menu for a French-themed place he’d been thinking about,

Tiki drink as the “summer cocktail of choice” at their home.

Scott knew he was the right chef to overhaul Green Pastures,

The couple keeps a running batch in the fridge—scooping

a South Austin institution that opened in 1893. Joshua took

out cups of the slush from a 1-liter Weck jar, then adding a

over the kitchen as executive chef for about a year in 2015 be-

sprinkling of nutmeg for guests.

fore they shuttered the place for a spell, revamped the build-

Today’s guests include Allison’s mother, Jan Heaton, who’s

ing (finding, among other things, a cache of buried Schlitz

watching the Thomas girls (4-year-old Meera and 6-month-

cans from the 1950s and 1960s) and reopened with Mattie’s

old Nadiya), and Scott Walker, VP of Operations for La Corsha

as the centerpiece of the restored property.

Hospitality Group, who helps run Green Pastures, the event

You won’t find coconauts on the menu at Mattie’s, but

space with an attached restaurant that Joshua relaunched as

you will find Green Pastures’ legendary milk punch. Bev-

Mattie’s this past March. For these special visitors, Joshua is

erage guru Jason Stevens threw out the recipe the restau-

serving up more than coconauts: He’s cooking one of his sta-

rant had been serving for the past few decades and restored

ple meals—a shrimp curry that was one of the first dishes he

the cocktail to its 1950s-era iteration. That approach pretty

made for Allison. “It helped seal the deal with her,” he says.

much sums up how the new management has taken on Green

Joshua learned his way around a curry from his mother, a

Pastures 2.0 as a whole. They restored the Victorian house

native of South India, but he didn’t think about food as a ca-

without changing it or the grounds any more than they had

reer until he used his finance degree to keep books for a few

to. And the peacocks are still there—they simply have nicer

years at a construction company. “It wasn’t crazy exciting,”

digs to roam.

he says. His life became more exciting when he enrolled in

Likewise, diners at Mattie’s will find the menu familiar,

the Culinary Institute of America, met Allison and worked his

but better. Mary Faulk Koock, daughter of Green Pastures

way up in the kitchens of an impressive series of restaurants,

founder Martha “Mattie” Miner Faulk, started a restaurant

including New York’s Michelin-starred Le Bernardin and Dévi

on the property in 1946. Several Texas-themed cookbooks

(the first Indian restaurant to earn a Michelin star in the U.S.).

later, she established Green Pastures as a fine-dining desti-

By 2010—after weathering the financial crisis in a rocky New

nation with a definite Texan vibe. That left Joshua with fried

York restaurant market—Joshua was more than happy to fol-

chicken, gumbo, bread pudding and other Lone Star staples

low Allison to Austin for her new job at Whole Foods Market.

to reinvent. He’s risen to the challenge by putting just enough

He had no trouble finding chef work in town, but made his real

of himself into every dish. Just don’t call it fusion. “The fried

splash in 2013 with his food truck, Chaat Shop.

chicken definitely has some Indian nuances, but the other

Joshua’s take on Indian street food was bold: “chicken tik-

items are less pronounced,” he says. “I do try to find ways to

ka tacos,” “tater chaats” and other creations. (“His ancestors

incorporate spices and seasoning, which one wouldn’t nor-

were rolling in their graves,” says Scott.) But his plans for

mally find in a dish, to add something unexpected and sur-

Chaat Shop’s future weren’t so ambitious. “I didn’t look at

prising; it’s a way of introducing more flavor.”


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JOSHUA’S “SHE’S MINE NOW” COCONUT CURRY WITH SHRIMP Serves 4–6 For the curry: 3 T. coconut oil 3 arbol chilies 2 T. cracked pepper 3 T. grated ginger 3 T. finely chopped garlic ¼ c. chopped cilantro 1 qt. diced red onions 2 T. kosher salt 3 T. coriander powder 2 T. turmeric 2 T. paprika 1 t. cayenne 1 c. diced beefsteak tomatoes (or other tomatoes) 2 T. tomato paste 2 19-oz. cans coconut milk (preferably Mae Ploy brand)

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In an 8-quart saucepot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the chilies and pepper. Gently toast until the chilies are purple in color and the oil is fragrant. Add the ginger, garlic, cilantro, onions and salt, then cook over medium heat until the onions turn golden brown. Add the coriander, turmeric, paprika and cayenne. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook over medium heat. Continue browning the mixture until the tomatoes have reduced in moisture. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes over medium-low heat. Keep warm, but stir the sauce every 5 minutes and scrape the bottom of the pan so the sauce doesn’t burn. For the dish: 1½–2 lb. fresh shrimp, shelled and cleaned 2 T. lemon juice 2 T. chopped cilantro Salt, to taste 3 T. unsalted butter Cilantro leaves and tomato chunks, for serving In a small bowl, mix together the shrimp, lemon juice, cilantro and salt, to taste. Add the butter to a sauté pan and melt over low heat. Add the shrimp mixture and cook until the shrimp are tender and opaque through the middle. Add to the curry sauce, garnish with fresh cilantro and tomatoes and serve immediately.

JOSHUA’S “WHILE YOU’RE IN THERE, SCOOP ME OUT A CUP” COCONAUT Makes 1 3 oz. Coruba dark rum or other dark Jamaican rum 4 oz. Coco Lopez cream of coconut 2 oz. fresh lime juice 1 easy dash Angostura bitters 1¼ c. crushed ice Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until slushy. Pour into an elaborate Tiki mug or a simple tall glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg. 26

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Vineyard manager Jake Terrell and his dog, Willie.

From our farm to your table. Authentic Sonoma wines, handcrafted from 100% Sonoma County grapes.

©2016 Kobrand Corporation, Purchase, NY


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n just two short years, Rainey Street darling Emmer & Rye has made the interesting combination of in-house fermentation and butchering, house-milled heritage grains and dim-sum carts both popular and something to watch. And some of the big guns that have taken notice are

Texas Monthly, Food & Wine, The New York Post and Bon Appétit, to name a few. Good friends Executive Chef Kevin Fink and Pastry Chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph took a little time off from polishing and arranging awards to describe their personal go-to/must-have kitchen items.



WOOD CUTTING BOARD. Don’t use your wood board to cut on, Silly. It’s meant for bread dough, pastry dough, making pasta or deadening sound when you’re using a cleaver. Wood is a special surface—it allows for moisture to be worked out of things. Wood boards require more care, but don’t all things that are nice? 28

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FLUTED BRASS PASTA CUTTER. There is something special about how brass interacts with dough—it makes your cuts very clean but more porous and rough, as well. This allows for more interaction with the pasta sauce and a more complete dish. I brought my cutter back from Italy years ago and it’s used for all our fluted pasta.


KUHN RIKON VEGETABLE PEELER. It’s a professional cook’s tool for making things look nice—a good peeler makes any job faster and cleaner. Sauces will be less dirty, plates will look more professional and shavings are great for other things.


JOYCE CHEN SCISSORS. They are small, sharp and come with a lifetime warranty. Joyce Chen scissors are great for foraging herbs, cutting fish fins and rabbit bones and everything in between. I love them for how compact they are; they’re also pretty—but not over-the-top—and incredibly versatile. They also help to cut your tape: Labeling and clean angles might not be sexy, but they help define a cook who cares more about the total project than just the dish.



VINTAGE QUENELLE SPOON. A quenelle is an egg-shaped serving of food—ice cream, sorbet, mashed potatoes, fish, pâté, etc.—usually created using one or two spoons. This spoon was given to me on my birthday by a mentor and pastry chef, George McKirdy. I’ve treasured this spoon for more than 12 years—it has been through a lot with me, from plating at special events to cooking at home. I love it! EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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Written by Wayne Gisslen, this book is the whole foundation for most of the recipes that I’ve developed over the years. It was given to me by the New York Restaurant School on my first day of orientation. The reason why I think this book is so special is because the recipes are basic, easy to understand and the dishes are great; it’s a good foundation to create your own recipes.


AMCO RUST-PROOF STAINLESS-STEEL MEASURING SPOONS. I remember getting these measuring spoons at a wine dinner I did in New York while working at The River Café as a pastry cook. What drew me to the spoons was the shape and weight of them. Everyone that worked the event had the opportunity to pick a wine bottle opener or the measuring spoons. These spoons are amazing! I feel like it has changed my measuring game from the first time I used them.


MISONO UX10 CHEF KNIFE. This knife is a workhorse—I use it pretty much every day to cut everything from cakes and tarts to fruits and vegetables. I’m embarrassed to say it took me a long time to buy myself a good chef knife. Now I can’t see myself in any kitchen without my knife. The funny thing about this knife is that I almost didn’t buy it. But after some convincing from my chef friend, Kevin, I decided to purchase the knife the day before I was going to do a oneday stage at a well-known restaurant. I was expecting to stage in the pastry department, but when I got there, they placed me in the prep station for the entire day. I used my brand-new chef knife to do most of the work. Thank God! By the end of the day, I fell in love with the knife and never looked back.


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


apple cider MU LE Ingredients:

★ 1.5 oz. Tito’s Handmade Vodka ★ 2 oz. ginger beer ★ 1 oz. apple cider ★ Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Directions: Fill a chilled copper mug with ice. Add Tito’s Handmade Vodka, ginger beer, apple cider, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Garnish with lemon wedge and apple slice.

Tito’s custom copper mugs available at our online store at


edible CAREERS



he title of “chef ” evokes images of someone orchestrating in a restaurant or hotel kitchen—creating masterful dishes that amaze and delight diners. But

opportunities for chefs abound beyond the kitchen line, and local chefs are expanding their culinary horizons to explore new careers outside restaurant kitchens.

The Food Fanatic “It’s all about growing and learning,” says Zack Northcutt, former executive chef at Swift’s Attic and now one of 55 Food Fanatic Chefs working for US Foods, one of the largest national foodservice distributors. “You can find yourself in the kitchen doing the same thing every day for five years straight and not realize that you are doing the same thing every day. I wanted to learn something new.” Northcutt now inspires his customers through training and food shows to incorporate US Foods’ new offerings into their menus. He helps develop recipes, create menus and even design kitchen layouts so that clients can better serve their diners. He also trains the US Foods sales teams on the company’s new products. This new life hasn’t come without a little adjustment, of course. Northcutt moved from cooking with a staff of 40 people to working for a company with more than 200 employees in the local office and 25,000 employees nationally. And in addition to flexing his culinary skills, he’s learning to juggle 80 to 100 emails a day and the fine art of building corporate presentations. But for Northcutt, it’s all worth it. “I get to create recipes and try to break in the new [in-development] products before we release them to customers. And during the food-show tour, I get to work with other chefs from across the country and share ideas. Going to work for a larger entity has given me a chance to explore new things.”

Jacob Weaver, Juliet Italian Kitchen (left) and Zack Northcutt, US Foods


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“Look up from the line and realize that there are so many applications for your skills. There’s a whole culinary world out there to explore.” —Zack Northcutt

Delivering Wellness and Well-Being After years of dishing up gourmet cuisine, Rebecca Meeker left her post as executive chef at Clarksville restaurants Jeffrey’s and Josephine House because she wanted to draw on her training as a certified holistic-health coach. She started cooking meals for her friend, Master Sommelier June Rodil of June’s All Day, to help Rodil improve her diet. Rodil posted Meeker’s food on Instagram; Meeker’s phone started ringing with prospective clients—and Lucky Lime was born. The weekly meal service delivers health-conscious, flavorful dishes, such as wraps and salads, which are all gluten-free with some items also dairy-free and vegan. “It’s food that we enjoy eating,” says Meeker. “It’s a balance between wellness and well-being. Wellness means that you are getting things you need from it nutritionally, but well-being means it’s fun and you can have some wine with it.” Meeker met Chris Duty, previously with RetailMeNot, who became a partner to help grow the weekly client roster and delivery for business lunches. His experience working with the software company brought some important perspective to a potential problem Lucky Lime needed to address. “Chris’s previous company brought in catered lunches every day from great restaurants, but by the time the food got to the employees, it wasn’t as good anymore because of the delivery time and wait,” says Meeker. “We’re tackling how you make prepared food that is delicious when it arrives. The first delivery was a nightmare because the condensation was out of control.” As they continue to refine recipes, Meeker is working on growing the team and dabbling with the idea of offering her tasty meals through UberEATS or other delivery services to give customers more options.

Rebecca Meeker, Lucky Lime EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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“For the first time, the chefs will catch the fish that the restaurants can then purchase to sell to customers—it will be unsurpassed quality.” —Ben McBride

Ben McBride, Heritage Seafood Seafood Obsessed

McBride’s extensive culinary experience gives him an advan-

Chef Ben McBride grew up in Winnie, Texas, near the coast, and

tage when a catch comes in with unexpected fish. “A chef may

spent his summers fishing—fascinated with anything that came out

have asked for an American red snapper, but I see a vermilion

of the water. After 17 years of working in restaurant kitchens, he

snapper that will work well and it’s more affordable and more

was ready for a new adventure and decided to start Heritage

unique,” says McBride. “It’s more fun for me and for the chefs and

Seafood—a wholesale seafood company that seemed a natural fit.

cooks, as well. It’s fun to have some variety.”

“As a chef, service in the seafood industry was a source of

While McBride occasionally misses being in the kitchen, he

anxiety,” says McBride. “Am I going to get great quality seafood

loves spending half of his time with chefs and is looking for-

in time when I’m relying on people from out of town to deliver?”

ward to taking a group of Austin chefs on a commercial offshore

To address this issue, McBride now drives to and from Freeport,

charter. “For the first time, the chefs will catch the fish that the

Texas, at least three times each week to meet the boats as they

restaurants can then purchase to sell to customers—it will be

arrive. “Every time I’m driving down, it’s like Christmas,” says

unsurpassed quality.”

McBride. That excitement makes up for the physical challenges of the

As the restaurant and hospitality industries continue to morph

work: the nine-hour round trip to the coast, followed by hours

in Austin—shouldering shortages of some kinds and gluts of oth-

of shoveling ice and loading hundreds of pounds of fish. “I took

ers—Northcutt suggests that chefs keep their eyes, ears and op-

for granted that it was easier work when I was watching others

tions open. “Look up from the line and realize that there are so

do it,” he says. “I love a challenge and hate to be defeated, so I’m

many applications for your skills,” he says. “There’s a whole culinary

rising to it.”

world out there to explore.”


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Providing the best for Texas’ best Chefs


COOKS 2017


edible ARTISAN



id you find copper or did cop-

the more fascinated he became.

per find you?” I ask Jonathan

“There’s something about copper that

Beall, founder of the Mex-

resonates to a deep memory of the civili-

ico-based artisan copper cooperative,

zation process,” he says. “A copper knife

Sertodo Copper. “Let’s say we stumbled

was one of the earliest sales tools, and cop-

into each other,” he replies. “I was spend-

per bowls have long been used in religious

ing time in Mexico living on the sever-

ceremonies and as a medium for commu-

ance package I’d received after the bubble

nication to the spiritual realm. Because

burst at a dot-com, and trying to figure

of its anticorrosive properties, copper has

out what to do next.”

a strong relationship with water, and is

One day, something shiny by the side

therefore viewed as a stabilizer and a calm-

of the road caught Beall’s eye, and he

ing balance. Before plastic buckets, copper

pulled over. A man was selling copper

buckets were widely used.”

vases. “When I picked up that first piece

In 2000—armed with an ever-grow-

of copper—it was a hammered vase—it

ing interest in expanding his knowledge

felt as though I had found something hon-

of all things copper—Beall returned again

est, something tangible…the copper felt

to Santa Clara del Cobre, but this time, to

sensual to me. All my life, I felt as if I had

apprentice with copper master Don Chema

focused on the abstract and the theoreti-

Esquivel. For six weeks, Beall hammered

cal, especially during my education, but here, holding the copper,

practice nails, and in the process, learned to swing a hammer.

here was something I could relate to.”

“The sign of a great master is that they make it look easy,” he says.

Although Beall admits he’d probably been aware of the vast

“The masters talk about ‘breaking your wrist’—describing how

Mexican copper industry (he’d visited the country many times

the energy starts in your core and then moves out through your

beginning at age 12), finding copper at that moment in time was a

arm and your wrist like a whip.”

revelation. He purchased all the copper pieces he could load into

It was Beall’s second copper master, Don Maximo Velazquez,

his truck—vases, bowls, platters—and returned to Austin. Initial-

who finally taught him how to make copper pots. In total, the ap-

ly, he took the same route as many new entrepreneurs do: selling

prenticeship—including trips back and forth between Mexico and

goods to friends and family. But when Austin’s Word of Mouth

Austin—took about two years.

Catering requested custom pieces for events, he identified a niche

Today, Beall’s partners in the artisan copper cooperative—

in the catering industry for copper presentation platters. Because

some of whom are family members of his two masters—use re-

the hospitality industry in Austin is robust, it wasn’t long before

cycled copper materials to create copper pots, vases and platters.

other catering companies expressed similar interests—each look-

The copper scraps are milled in Michoacán, where they’re melted

ing for unique serving pieces.

into sheets that can be hammered and shaped into new products.

Soon, Beall returned to Santa Clara del Cobre, in Michoacán,

Beall consults on all aspects of the business, including design.

Mexico, to buy more pieces. This time, his truck was so heavily

While the copper business—both online and off—keeps Beall

laden with copper wares that the hubcaps blew off. And after

busy, he says he defines success by the amount of time he has

several years of handling and admiring the unique metal pieces

to play, and that currently includes experimenting with copper

and making frequent trips to Mexico, he became more interest-

patinas and, every once in a while, swinging a hammer to make a

ed in the metaphysical aspects of copper. The more he learned,

copper bowl.


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CONTENTS INDOOR living 41 Induction Cooktops


Understanding induction cooking’s magnetic pull.

42 A Life Less Large

“Small” and “efficient”—keys to affordability.

OUTDOOR living 47 Earning Your Garden Wings



Make a butterfly garden your crowning jewel.

49 Making Shade

Discover the many options for outside comfort.

GREEN living 50 A Panel Discussion


Learn all about going solar.


Free Rain

Capturing more of this rare Texas commodity.

For over 18 years, Latigo Builders have crafted and restored fine custom homes and amenity centers throughout the Texas Hill Country and South Texas. For information visit us online at L AT I G O. CO M or visit our office on West Main (Fredericksburg) in the newly restored 1870 German homestead.

(830) 997-1800 | 714 W. Main Street, Fredericksburg, Texas



Spotlight on home

Barbara Van Dyke

Providing unparalleled client service.


uying a home is more than just purchasing a piece of property; it’s joining a community and finding a beautiful place to put down roots. Barbara Van Dyke, a Real Estate Professional for Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin, makes sure her clients receive a concierge level of service when it comes to finding the perfect home. “Whether a client is downsizing because the kids went off to school, or they’re moving across the country to live in Austin, selling or purchasing a house is a major transition,” Van Dyke says. “I want to help with that process in any way possible. For me, it’s not just about buying and selling homes; it’s actually being there as a real estate partner to get my client comfortable and feel welcome in their new community.” As a resident of Austin herself, Van Dyke loves the vibrancy of the capital city and its surrounding towns. “I’ve sold from San Marcos to Georgetown, and from East Austin to Fredericksburg,” she says. “Austin’s culture—and all of Central Texas—is really special, and I want to help every buyer and seller find a place where they feel the most comfortable.” || 512-431-2552




INDOOR living



he most alluring feature of an induction cooktop is the shiny glass surface that wipes clean with the swipe of a sponge. Any cook who’s wrestled with boil-overs and splatters on a gas or exposed electric-coil cooktop (just about all of us) has had to deal with the ensuing mess. So, if we’re starting a list of induction cooktop pros and cons, let’s put a big check in the pro column for design. Induction is an energy-efficient alternative to electric. But instead of a coil, there’s an electromagnetic field sitting just below the glass surface. When the power is turned on, heat is generated to the cookware above, which is then transmitted to the food inside. The heat level that an induction cooktop can reach is staggering—the equivalent of 40,000 BTUs, while the average gas burner can only attain 20,000 BTUs. With induction, a large pot of water can achieve full boil in half the time that it takes with gas. That’s a check in the pro column for power. Because the cooking process is faster and the energy from heating goes directly to the food and not to the area around it, induction wastes less energy. Statistics show that 84 percent of the energy from an induction cooktop goes directly to heat the food, while only 40 percent of the energy from a gas cooktop gets used to cook. (An electric cooktop’s efficiency is 74 percent.) Because of this efficiency, less ventilation is required—a definite plus for small spaces. The kitchen stays cooler, too: another check in the pro column. Because there’s no flame or exposed coil, induction presents few safety hazards. This is a great advantage for those who are disabled or have small children at home. The cooktop itself never gets too hot and can be shut off very quickly. Even when the power is on, there will be no heat without the magnetic element of a pot to channel it. Safety: another check for pro. Special magnetic cookware is required for induction. The current from the cooktop is transmitted to the vessel which cooks the food inside. In effect, the pot becomes the heat source. Let’s put a check in both the pro and con columns for ease of use for this reason—es-

pecially if a consumer has to buy all new cookware. Induction cooking is not new technology. In fact, it was discovered in the late 1800s with the earliest patent dating back to 1909. It is hugely popular in Europe, where 90 percent of the cooktops are induction, as well as in Australia (mostly due to energy regulations). At the 2017 Architectural Digest Design Show, major appliance manufacturers showcased their current induction models in highend kitchen displays. Production is currently dominated by German manufacturers such as Bosch and Miele; however, the darling of the design show this year was Blue Star. The company’s American-made, customizable, commercial-grade induction ranges are available in a painter’s palette of hues—including 10 metal finishes—and feature colored knobs to feed the hungry American design market. Celebrity chef Ryan Scott manned a Blue Star model at the show— deftly shifting the pans on its sleek surface to control the heat. Like most professional chefs, he said he was a “gas guy,” but still, he was loving the induction experience. He could almost instantaneously bring food from a boil to a simmer just by moving the pot. He said nothing cooked as fast, and it was a new and exciting experience for him to learn to cook this way. There can be a learning curve to capture the nuances of cooking on an induction range, however. It’s recommended to start your heat on a medium setting; you can then turn it up for a sear or boil, or down for a simmer. More good advice is not to walk away from the pot as you are learning to get used to the heat. Water boils in half the time and hard-boiled eggs take a new technique, but this is just all part of the process, and most people grow to love it. What will turn the tide to bring more induction technology to the U.S. in significant numbers? Superior energy efficiency, reduction in price point (about $1,300 for a basic model, however a 36” with all the bells and whistles can soar to $5,000), phasing out of electric-coil cooktops and sexy features will all figure in. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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INDOOR living


Photography courtesy of TexZen



or Betty D., a local retiree, the hardest part of building a new home in Austin this past year wasn’t the design process, the permitting or the construction. It was having the finished product delivered and planted into her daughter’s yard. The truck that brought her house up from Lockhart had to squeeze past utility poles and do a jackknife maneuver to get it in place. But once on the ground, voila: instant home—and not the prefabricated kind either. Located in Lockhart, Reclaimed Space built Betty’s house with rare chestnut, oak and poplar from a 150-year-old Kentucky barn. The company also crafted custom tile, huge windows and accents of weathered corrugated metal siding from an old silo in Cromwell, Texas. The end result has a full kitchen, living area, bathroom, bedroom, laundry space and painting studio—and it’s only 16 by 48 feet. Betty figures that’s all the room she really needs. “You live in a certain amount of space and the rest is just a place to store stuff,” she says. As the Austin housing market shows no sign of becoming any less 42

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expensive for the foreseeable future, locals like Betty have beaten the system. They’ve avoided getting stuck with an impossible mortgage on a house they don’t really like in a neighborhood they like even less. They’re part of a movement that started with the tiny-house craze and has bloomed into something bigger (even as the houses stay small). “It’s harder for people to enter the housing market, but when you go small and efficient, you have a lot more options,” says Tracen Gardner, founder of Reclaimed Space, standing in the company’s open-air construction hangar. Filled with the bones of barns, stacks of rescued longleaf pine shiplap and a modular home in progress, the hangar is the centerpiece of the company’s 22 acres in Lockhart. The property serves as something of a showcase for the small-home lifestyle. A little way down the road, past the pond, tree fort and dirt-bike track where Gardner’s kids are kicking up clouds of dust, the company’s architect, Mackey Smith, has set up his own Reclaimed Space pad. He’s placed it in a spot with good shade and crosswind ventilation



Photography courtesy of TexZen


in hopes that he can cool it naturally and keep it off the grid. If that doesn’t pan out, he can always move it someplace else, which is the whole point of having a home that fits on a truck. As long as you build within city guidelines and the neighborhood codes allow it, you can plop a house like this anywhere. Gardner started Reclaimed Space in 2007, when the financial crisis slowed down business at DIRTCO Construction, his ranch design and landscaping company in Austin. He wanted to see if he could pull off making a sustainable and transportable structure using the material he’d salvaged over the years. The eventual goal was to sell it and use the profits to build another house for himself, but Gardner’s friend, Tito Beveridge of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, suggested he tell Dwell Magazine about it. That’s how Gardner’s first effort, a 400-square-foot bungalow, became the darling of Dwell’s 2009 Dwell on Design conference in Los Angeles. Rather than haul it back to Texas, he sold it on eBay and gave $10,000 of the profits to Habitat for Humanity. The business became so successful that Gardner got his own cable TV show, “Home Wranglers,” in 2014, and he’s been weighing offers to do similar house programs ever since. Reclaimed Space has built everything from hunting lodges to glamping tents, but when it comes to the cabins, it offers four floor plans of assorted sizes, encouraging clients to customize finishes, fixtures, floors, cabinets and counters. Customers get even more creative with the uses they dream up. The company’s more than 60 projects to date include a dojo in Oak Hill, and living and sleeping quarters for a boarding school/summer camp on 10,000 acres in Utopia, Texas. It’s a versatile approach to living, but it’s not always cheap. The company’s most popular 640-square-foot cabin sells for $135,000 and can climb in cost from there with the quality of the fixtures and other additions. That’s why Gardner has started marketing a “shell” version of the Reclaimed Space home that the cost-conscious can fill in on their own timetable. So long as clients can find a bank to finance this smaller-than-usual sum of money and a plot of land to put it on (Gardner recommends property that’s had a double-wide on it for the utility hookups), it’s doable for almost anybody. “Making something beautiful with a smaller budget is the creative part that a lot of people who are into this love,” he says. Love, with a dose of necessity, compelled Justin Kear to think small when he looked for a place in Austin. After cutting back his hours as a 44

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software engineer to rethink his life and become nomadic for a few years, he wanted to dip a toe into Austin housing without putting down deep roots. Even a tiny home built on a plot of land was more commitment than he wanted. Instead, he got a tiny house on wheels. Built by Austin’s TexZen Tiny Home Co., it’s a 210-square-foot structure with the craftsmanship and functionality of a high-end tiny house and the mobility of a mobile home. “For me it’s just a home with a different feel,” says Kear. This collision of worlds makes perfect sense to TexZen founders Mandi Hooper and her mother, Suzanne Braden. They both have plenty of experience renovating homes, and Braden used to work for a mobile home manufacturer. Using choice materials, such as Western red cedar, pine and subway tile, while following conventional RV certification standards, the company creates luxury homes that look and feel like Dwell but move like U-Haul (so long as you watch out for speed bumps). “We were looking for a more interesting aesthetic than the standard motor home,” says Hooper. Hooper and Braden only built their first hybrid house as a place for Braden to stay when she visited Austin. They never expected a passing stranger who happened upon the finished product to insist on buying it. Since then, they’ve crafted spaces for first-time homeowners and seniors who want to move with the seasons. Young or old, these customers have embraced the idea of less space in exchange for more freedom. “The tiny-home movement has forced people to change their mindset about how much they really need,” says Hooper. She says her clientele typically like to collaborate in the design process, and Kear was no exception. Eager to experiment, he had ideas for the layout and found a new composting toilet and small sink to install alongside the standard induction cooktop, combo washer-dryer and other appliances TexZen recommends to save space. When TexZen finished his home, Kear hitched it to a truck and hauled it to a mobile home park. Now he rolls out a wee welcome mat alongside old-school RV folk and the growing crowd of tiny homers in refurbished mobile homes. There’s no stigma here—just a community of people who reject the notion that you have to own a house and land at the same time. That idea, like other tenets of real estate, simply doesn’t hold up any longer. There’s just one iron-clad rule that no small-home owner can break, and Gardner explains it best: “To live like this, you can’t be a hoarder.”

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Spotlight on outdoor

Utility Research Garden Bamboo is what we do.


amboo’s popularity may have been on its way out in the mid ’90s when David Cater, owner of local nursery Utility Research Garden, spotted a clump of the tall grass on Red River. “I remember it standing there moving,” Cater says. “I looked at it closely—I’m pretty sure it looked back.” Cater’s interest in the plant grew after meeting a sort of bamboo guru, a south-Texas psychologist who told him that “there’s nothing wrong with planting bamboo,” both a philosophical and a practical statement. So, in 2001, Cater helped start the nursery that offers over a hundred species and varieties of bamboo to both landscape contractors and homeowners in Texas and the South. Now, Utility Research Garden is serving Austin’s swiftly growing community with the plants to create an ideal urban landscape. “Blocking neighbors is its specialty, as is blocking freeways, flyways and country byways,” Cater wrote. “But the true beauty, only occasionally seen in our neck of the woods, is a grove of bamboo whistling and knocking in the breeze, its ten thousand leaves each speaking quietly to one another.” || || 512-626-9825




OUTDOOR living



butterfly garden is a jewel in any landscape artist’s hat. Installing one at a home or business will create a beautiful space, as well as a teaching garden and a wildlife refuge packed with years of joyful entertainment. To learn how to create a butterfly garden, we spoke to Sharon Truett of The Natural Gardener, a wellknown haven for plant lovers in Austin; Heather Kendall, also of The Natural Gardener; and Leslie Uppinghouse, lepidopterist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The first thing our experts note is that a butterfly garden is about more than just blooming nectar plants. Of equal or even greater importance are the host plants that provide food for butterfly larvae. They recommend having a variety of both types of plants in the garden for the best variety of butterflies. “You want to create an environment for all stages of life,” says Kendall. Among popular host and nectar plants in The Natural Gardener’s butterfly garden are tropical milkweeds (essential host plant of our well-loved migratory monarch butterfly), fragrant blue mistflowers, lantanas, cigar plants and Mexican Anacacho orchid trees. Wildflower Center’s Uppinghouse also recommends shrubby boneset, mouse ears and frostweed (all shade plants) as well as the more sun-loving flame acanthus and coral honeysuckle. Many trees are butterfly hosts and nectar plants, as well. Redbud, hop tree, goldenball leadtree, kidneywood tree and Pride of Barbados are all at home in a butterfly garden—providing food as well as shelter. Butterflies, like all wildlife, need water. The best way to provide water for flying insects is a shady puddle of wet granite or sand. Standing water vessels such as birdbaths are too deep for butterflies (they encourage mosquitoes, as well). A shallow dish or a garden path of wet decomposed granite both work well—the butterflies are attracted to the water as well as the salt minerals in the granite. In Texas, we can expect to see flying beauties, such as hairstreaks, admirals, flats, several swallowtails (including the Giant swallowtail), Henry’s elfin, monarchs, sulphurs and the stunning Cecropia silkmoths, to name just a few. “There are over eighty varieties of butterflies alone here in Texas, and that doesn’t even take into account the moths!” says Uppinghouse. “All need every bit of habitat we can provide for them.” She points out that we are fortunate in Texas to see fourth- and even fifth-generation monarchs. “If you don’t know the cycle of the monarch and its relationship to Texas, I encourage everyone to study up. It’s important and brings the discussion of pollinator habitat and monarch conservation to our own backyards.” If one of your goals is to attract and raise monarchs, consider bringing them indoors until they’re ready to fly. At The Natural

Gardener, they take in eggs and larvae and raise them indoors. “We released hundreds last year,” says Truett. Also, if you’re growing tropical milkweed for monarchs, it’s important to cut it back to six inches around late October/early November and prevent it from overwintering. This is because of a parasitic protozoan which proliferates in monarch populations in the winter months. To keep other predators like fire ants away, Uppinghouse recommends spot treating mounds with orange oil or diatomaceous earth, and spreading cinnamon around the chrysalises, as they do at the LBJ Wildflower Center insectary. Of course, never spray the plants or surrounding area with insecticide. It’s also important to avoid plants that have been treated with systemic pesticides, which are absorbed into the plant’s tissues and can’t be washed off. Their use is a major threat to pollinators. The best way to avoid systemic pesticides is to shop locally and ask plenty of questions. Now is the perfect time to start a butterfly garden. Texas winters are easier than our summers on most plants and wildlife, so getting started in the fall means foliage will have a longer growing season before the heat sets in. Planting a variety of host and nectar plants that bloom in stages will ensure the blessing of a beautiful garden and a happy home for butterflies, pollinators and other wildlife, year-round. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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Spotlight on home

Jud Waggoman

Los Cabos is where you want to be.


oving to the beautiful beaches of Los Cabos, Mexico, may sound like a dream, but Jud Waggoman of 2Seas Los Cabos/ Christie’s International Real Estate wants you to know that buying a property in Cabo is just as simple as purchasing a vacation home in Texas. Instead of that two or three-hour drive to the Gulf Coast, cabin or lake, you can be in Cabo! Jud, a real estate attorney and Air Force veteran, grew up in the Texas Hill Country and made the move to Cabo himself several years ago. Thanks to his own personal experiences and background, he has the know-how to help any Texan make a smooth transition to ideal beach living. “I moved to Cabo in search of a simpler life. Here, the cost of living is less expensive while offering a better quality of life, excellent healthcare and an exceptional climate that promotes an active lifestyle.” Whether you’re favoring living in Los Cabos full- or part-time, Jud is your guy when moving to where the sun shines 350 days a year. “Anyone considering moving to Mexico should just come down and visit. Get in touch and I’ll pick you up at the airport!” || 530-751-6797




OUTDOOR living



he outdoor space around a home can be the source of many simple pleasures—from reading a book on the patio and watching the kids play in the grass, to grilling burgers and dining al fresco. There’s only one problem with these idyllic scenes in Texas: the soaring heat and blinding glare of direct sunlight. If you want to be outside but tend to wilt in the heat, consider adding more shade to your outdoor environment. There are multiple ways to make shade, depending on the chosen space, your appetite for home-improvement projects and budget. Here are a few of the basics. Umbrellas: Whether freestanding or attached to a table, umbrellas add a pop of color and can be especially useful for shading an outdoor dining area. Some umbrellas come with extra features like UV protection or embedded LED lights for nighttime use, while adjustable models let you change angles to block the sun all day. Basic umbrellas and stands can be found for under $100 but prices can go up to $1,000 for larger and swankier models. Shade Sails: Shade sails are triangular or rectangular pieces of fabric that can be hung at different angles to create a visually appealing shade source. DIY types can try creating their own shade sail by taking a triangular piece of outdoor fabric, cutting holes at the corners and using rope or twine to attach the shade to nearby trees, poles or the side of the house. Simple ready-made shades start at $25 (not including any accessories). These lighter-duty options, while cheap and relatively easy to set up, won’t withstand wind or rain. For a more secure, weather-resistant option, choose commercial-grade material and hire a professional installer. Commercial-grade fabric is more durable and blocks UV rays so you can protect your skin while outdoors. Greg Petersen from the Austin shade sail company Mueller Highlife says shade sails have been rising in popularity recently, partly because they are considered a semi-perma-

nent structure and therefore don’t require a building permit from the City of Austin. Prices start at $399 for a typical 8-foot shade fully installed with hardware. Pergolas and Plants: For a classic shade source that blends in with the landscape, consider a pergola—a structure usually made of wood with crossbeams or lattice at the top rather than a covered roof. Cedar is a popular wood for pergolas due to its weather resistance. Several big-box stores sell DIY pergola kits with prices starting around $500 for a small model and ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 for larger models. While a pergola doesn’t provide full-sun protection, it creates a focal point for the yard and can be enhanced with hanging plants or vines to create more shade. Harvé Franks, a master gardener at The Great Outdoors, recommends several vines for pergolas: Rangoon creeper, star jasmine or passionflower vines. Be sure to note whether the pergola is in full sun, partial sun or shade before choosing vines. There’s also the DIY option of simply tying white sheets to the top of the pergola to create a pretty, breezy source of more shade. Awnings: For a pricier shade option, consider a retractable awning that creates more usable outdoor space for less cost than extending the roof. Awnings typically come in a wide range of fabric and style choices, so customers can customize the look to blend in with their house and yard. Matt Pierce from Shading Texas says that awnings are a good choice for an uncovered patio, particularly when the yard has sun coming from directly overhead. Keep in mind that homeowners need to retract their awnings during wind and storms or they could get damaged. Prices for a typical 17-foot awning can range from $3,800 to $6,600, depending on the model and features. The bottom line: Don’t hide indoors when the Texas sun starts to heat up. Think creatively, get outside and make some shade! EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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GREEN living



s the population continues to grow at a record pace across Austin and Central Texas, a lesser discussed growth is also humming along in the background: the popularity of solar panels. “In Austin alone, four to five people a day are going solar,” says Kyle Frazier, acting director of sales for Freedom Solar Power. “In a given month, 150 to 200 applications are received by Austin Energy.” For those interested in going solar, there’s a host of factors to consider before making an investment that can run upwards of $30,000. First, can the roof handle it? To find out, begin by looking up to see what, if anything, shades the roof—trees, power poles, water towers, a chimney or even a neighbor’s home can cast shadows. If the roof is clear of shadows, is it big enough to fit solar panels, and what direction does the roof face? “The orientation of the roof matters,” says Frazier. “South-facing is ideal because that’s where you get the most sunlight. But east and west also work.” What material is the roof ? Some metal roofs are not compatible with panels. Is there any roof damage that needs to be addressed prior to the installation of panels, and is the current electrical system up to code? The National Electric Code changes every three years and, according to Longhorn Solar, knowing this up front can prevent changes to your installation that could be costly. Once the roof is given the all-clear, it’s time to consider your budget and the number of solar panels you’ll need. Experts say to begin by looking over the electric bill. “Homeowners should know what their total usage is for the past 12 months in kilowatt-hours (kWh) and be prepared to share that information with the contractors they’re seeking bids from,” says Steve Petrik, director of business development at Longhorn Solar. “That will help determine the maximum system size needed to offset 100 percent of their electric bill.” Of course, that high electric bill could be caused by an already energy-inefficient home. Austin-based TreeHouse, an eco-friendly hardware and home store, says there’s not much use in putting solar on a house that is fairly inefficient from an energy perspective. Owners of homes built before 1990 are encouraged to consider basic improvements “like adding insulation, replacing windows or upgrading the HVAC systems,” says Graeme Waitzkin, TreeHouse vice president of operations. Like most home-improvement projects, in the end, it all comes down to money: What can you afford? “Solar in Texas is an investment that pays back over time,” says Waitzkin. “Homeowners should either have enough cash set aside for the project, or have good credit to qualify for financing through their bank or the solar company.” Much 50

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of the cost for solar depends on the number of panels installed on a roof. At TreeHouse, the smallest array of nine panels starts around $7,500 and the largest goes up to $30,000 (not including installation). Tax credits can offset the cost, but not everyone qualifies—asking a tax professional before getting started can help. “The federal Investment Tax Credit equals 30 percent of their out-of-pocket cost,” says Petrik. “This reduces the net cost to around $10,000 to $18,000 when it’s all said and done.” Longhorn Solar recommends asking contractors to project the ROI (return on investment) and the factors used to

land at that number, such as the current utility rate, the projected utility escalation rate and the projected system production. TreeHouse finds that after all these factors, as well as financing and buy-backs from the grid are taken into consideration, a customer’s bill can run between $30 and $100 per month. Of course, buyer beware—while solar panels offer a virtually maintenance-free investment that’s projected to last 25 or more years, warranties on the panels vary; if something goes wrong, costs can add up quickly. Freedom Solar Power recommends that all customers get three warranties: product, performance and labor. “Most traditional panels have a 25-year power warranty and a 10-year product warranty—that’s an industry standard,” says Frazier. “But often, there’s no warranty offered on labor and that’s a problem, because if a panel is damaged, the manufacturer will replace the panel under the warranty but won’t pay for the labor, and the labor can sometimes cost as much as the panel.” Making the sun an energy ally is a smart choice for the environment and your wallet. Just make sure you’re prepared before taking the leap.

QUESTIONS AND RESOURCES There are lots of solar companies seeking your business. What questions should you ask? Here’s a list of recommendations from Longhorn Solar.


• If you don’t have a referral from a trusted source, seek multiple bids. • Ask how long a company has been in business and how many installations they’ve completed—total installs as well as installs in your city/utility. This demonstrates their familiarity with local code and rebate requirements.

• Ask where a company is based. Experts strongly advise homeowners to buy from a local contractor. Austin Energy and CPS Energy in San Antonio have both put out announcements about out-of-state contractors operating in the local markets and what to watch out for. You can find this information on their websites, as well as a list of approved solar contractors.

• Ask prospective companies if they subcontract the installation to another company and who that subcontractor is. Are they an approved contractor as well? Who is the workmanship warranty with? Ask the same questions of the subcontractor, as well.

• Ask if the companies offer any kind of a performance guarantee. If so, how long and what does it cover? If not, why not?

• Ask to see a list of licenses, industry certifications and insurances. Good contractors will readily provide this information.

• Ask if they offer financing and what terms are available. • Make sure the proposals and contracts you sign clearly outline all of the major system components with corresponding model numbers. This is critical for assessing resale value if and when that day comes.

• Read reviews on Google, Yelp and instead of relying on handpicked references from the contractor.


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GREEN living



hen it rains in Central Texas, it pours…and then it stops raining, sometimes for months. But rainwater collection systems help gardeners capture those downpours for use during dry seasons. Plus, rainwater’s slight acidity and lack of treatment chemicals help plants thrive. Systems that harvest rainwater for gardening range from 50-gallon DIY projects to several-thousand-gallon tanks installed by professionals. The rule of thumb: the more capacity, the better. Generally speaking, you can collect about .6 gallons per square foot of roof surface, per inch of rainfall—or, for example, 600 gallons from a 1,000-square-foot roof from a 1-inch rainfall. Beginners should base their system choice on how much room they have for a tank (and on their budget). Don’t spend too much time calculating how much water you use; experienced rainwater harvesters say you’ll use everything you collect. “Capacity is key,” says Rosedale neighborhood resident Jay Carpenter, who started collecting rainwater in 55-gallon barrels but soon realized they filled within the first few minutes of a storm. He scaled up to a system of three 3,000-gallon cisterns that keep his Swiss chard, tomatoes, peppers and spinach—grown in a container system that also conserves water—happily quenched throughout their growing season. “It’s more beneficial to install as large a cistern as you can because of our feast-and-famine rain patterns,” says Chris Maxwell-Gaines, owner of Innovative Water Solutions. “You want it as large as possible so that during that rainy May, you can collect every single bit and have a full tank to use over the dry June, July and August.” Maxwell-Gaines says he encourages customers to consider bigger cisterns, because tanks get cheaper by the gallon as they get larger and relatively small increases to the cistern’s footprint can mean much bigger capacity. If a customer has room for a 500-gallon tank, he or she probably has room for a 1,000-gallon tank, which is the same height and only two feet larger in diameter. Any type of roof material works when harvesting rainwater for gardening use, but you’ll need gutters to collect the water and funnel it into your tank or barrel. The downspout that feeds the tank will need to be shortened and tied into the tank. This task can be a DIY job that uses basic hardware-store parts, or it can be completed by a gutter contractor or a full-service rainwater harvesting company. Small 50- and 75-gallon barrels that collect water through a screened opening can simply be placed under a shortened downspout, or even where two sections of roof meet. All gutters will need to be screened to keep out bugs and rodents as well as leaf debris, which could clog a tank. Matt Haney, founder and vice president of Harvest Rain, also recommends installing a Leaf Eater: a screen at the bottom of the downspout that filters out more debris. Sealing the tank’s inlets and outlets and screening the tank’s overflow prevent mosquito problems. 52

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When it’s time to water, many gardeners rely on gravity and a hose (sometimes a soaker hose) attached to the base of their tank. Of course, this system works as long as the hose is below the water line in the barrel. Elevating the tank up to a foot adds additional water pressure, though it’s best to consult a professional when elevating a large tank to make sure it’s done safely. A pump will also provide more water pressure, though it requires a city permit and the addition of a backflow prevention device to keep untreated water from entering the city’s water system. A DIY system using a 50-gallon rain barrel and hardware-store parts can cost less than $150. Full-service installation costs more: Innovative Water Solutions will install a 500-gallon tank for $1,600, and Harvest Rain’s 2,500-gallon systems start at $5,000. The City of Austin offers a rainwater-harvesting rebate of 50 cents per gallon for non-pressurized systems and $1 per gallon for pressurized systems, up to half of the system’s cost. For tanks holding 500 gallons or more, the city requires applicants to submit a design plan before approving the rebate application. Experts agree that in most cases, a rainwater collection system won’t pay for itself; the cost of treated municipal water is simply too low to balance out the cost of a tank and other equipment. “The water is cheaper than it should be, considering how easily it can be depleted and how quickly we get into drought here,” says Ayaz Husain of the eco-minded home improvement company TreeHouse. Instead, he says, Central Texans who harvest rainwater tend to be motivated by sustainability and by the health of their plants. Plus, Husain says, in the aggregate, rainwater harvesting serves another important purpose. “If everybody had rainwater barrels we’d have much less flash flooding.”

Paige’s Kitchen Addition, 78704

We design and build around you so you feel right, at home. CGSDB.COM/Paige | 512.444.1580

cooking BASICS



ost everyone has used a knife in the kitchen at one point

nice and tight, onto what is being cut—making sure to point your

or another, and most everyone has cut themselves with

fingertips down. That way, your knife blade can safely glide against

a knife in the kitchen at one point or another. Personal-

the top joint of your fingers as you move along cutting the item.

ly, I’ve ended up in the ER at least three times from a slip of the blade, so let’s talk about a few knife-related tips and skills that can save your precious fingertips!

Always use a sharp knife. A dull blade can easily slip or bounce off of what you’re cutting and go in an undesired direction.

First, how you hold the knife is important. Pinch the blade

Always make sure your hands are clean and dry. It’s easy

right above the handle, and hold firm between the thumb and in-

to get dirty in the kitchen, but clean, dry hands are better suited

dex finger. This gives lateral stability—if the blade wants to tilt,

to hold onto blades and make sure the sharp pointy end is always

you can control it. And please stop holding the knife with your

facing the proper direction.

index finger on top of the blade. This is the worst possible way to hold a knife, and creates the weakest grip possible.

And know when to say when. I’ve seen many chefs try to get just a few more slices out of an onion and end up cutting

Also, while getting a grip: Make sure the cutting board is


stable. If needed, use a damp towel under the board to keep it from sliding around. (Most chefs have a square of rolled up foam

Now that we know proper knife skills, let’s put them to the test

shelf-liner in their knife kit for just this purpose.) Plastic or wood

by making a building block of many cuisines: a mirepoix, which

cutting boards only, please. Glass cutting boards have some cool

is a catchall term for a cooking base. It’s most often a three-in-

prints, but they’ll ruin your knives.

gredient powerhouse of aromatics that builds a foundation of flavor for other ingredients to complement. The three ingredients

Choose your style. Different blade types are designed for dif-

change depending on where you are in the world, but I’m going

ferent cutting styles. Western-style curved blades are designed to

to concentrate on the classic French mirepoix—onion, celery, car-

be rocked on the cutting board with the tip of the blade always

rot. Try to keep the final cut ingredients around the same size so

in contact with the board. Simply lift the handle and gently rock

they’ll cook at the same rate, and there’s no need to caramelize

the blade back towards you. Eastern-style knives have a straighter

the vegetables. If the vegetables brown too much, it can ruin the

cutting edge and are designed for slicing. When slicing, the knife

dish. Shoot for a small dice—¼-inch cubes—and a vegetable ratio

is lifted off the board. Start on the top of what you’re cutting and

of 2:1:1—onion, celery, carrot, respectively. (See photos on oppo-

push the blade away from you as you push down. Always make

site page.)

sure to use the full length of the blade and try to avoid “sawing”

Let’s start with celery—stick to the natural shape. It’s easy to

veggies—long and steady movements are key for this style. Then

take it down to controllable sizes—say 4 inches—then cut the ribs

there’s chopping, which is just a hot mess—or just showing off—

in half lengthwise so you can grab a few at a time and start slicing.

so we won’t spend any time discussing that style!

Go with what you are comfortable with and slice away. Carrots are easy, too. First, peel the carrot and, again, cut it

The position of the hand holding the item to be cut is just

down to around 4 inches. Quarter the carrot lengthwise, and you

as important as the position of the hand holding the knife. I

now have easily manageable sticks that you can slice down to

like to use a technique I call the “Eagle Claw.” Curl your fingers in,

your desired size.


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The onion is the tricky one—in essence, you’re going to create a cut grid inside the onion that’s going to work with its natural rings. To do it, cut off the top of the onion but keep the root end intact to help stabilize the onion while you work. Cut the onion in half from top to root and take off the outer skin. Place ½ of the onion, cut-side down, on a cutting surface with the root end to your left (This is for right-handed cutters. Sorry, lefties). Hold the onion with your left hand with your fingers on top and well out of the way of the knife. With your right hand, hold the knife with the blade parallel to the cutting surface and carefully cut 1 to 2 horizontal slices through the onion toward the root end. The slices should be made about ¼-inch apart and should


the blade perpendicular to the cutting surface and make vertical

Ratios can change depending on your preference, but most are 2:1:1 or 2:1:1:1

cuts in the onion—again, about ¼-inch apart—starting from the

French: onion, celery, carrot

stop before reaching the root end. Now, hold your knife with

side farthest from you and ending at the side closest to you— again leaving a little space between the tip of your knife and the root end. After all the cuts are made, hold the onion with your Eagle Claw grip and cut slices about ¼-inch thick, from right to left, ending near the root end. The onion should fall into a tidy, magical dice. Now it’s time to put that mirepoix to use in all manner of soups, sauces, stir-fries, etc.!


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Italian: onion, celery, carrot, parsley Spanish: onion, garlic, tomato Creole (or Cajun or Holy Trinity): onion, celery, bell pepper Chinese: scallion, ginger, garlic Thai: galangal, lemongrass, makrut lime Indian: ginger, garlic, onion


l & Chicon Between Co ma




Six Locations Near You!

weekly, local prix-fixe menu • family owned

1807 South First Street 512-215-9778


COOKS 2017




id you know that, here in the Western world, we generally

often use oils or butter as a lubricant to prevent sticking and to

use a whopping 13 to 16 different cooking methods to

help conduct heat.

prepare foods? These methods are broken up into three

general categories:

For example, the dry-heat method of sautéing creates a richly flavored exterior ranging from golden brown to a deep dark brown. Ideal ingredients to sauté are usually naturally tender and individ-

Dry-Heat Methods

ually portioned or cut into small pieces. They should be thoroughly

Grilling, broiling, roasting, baking, poêléing, sautéing, pan-fry-

dry and only seasoned immediately prior to cooking. A sauté pan,

ing and even deep-frying are all considered dry-heat methods.

which is designed to help steam escape the pan, should be used. To

(Some people mistakenly consider deep-frying a moist-heat meth-

sauté, heat a small amount of fat in a sauté pan over a medium-high

od because the items are submerged in fats, but that’s incorrect.)

to high flame and add the ingredients. Make sure not to overcrowd

Dry-heat methods usually produce a highly flavored, rich-tasting,

the pan, as too many ingredients will result in condensation. This

crisp or crunchy exterior and a tender and moist interior. They

will create a moist environment, which means you’re no longer


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sautéing. In French, “sauté” refers to something jumping or being tossed in the pan, so if sautéing sliced mushrooms or onions, tossing them may be appropriate but not absolutely necessary. When the food has developed the desired color, turn or flip to color the other side (larger items are sometimes finished in the oven). When the items are fully cooked, remove from the pan. A sauce can be made in the pan by deglazing with wine, stock or any other liquid

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and finished with a small amount of cold butter or olive oil. Moist-Heat Methods Steaming, poaching, simmering and boiling are moist-heat

methods. These methods utilize liquids—such as water, stock,


wine or juices from vegetables, fruits or cooked meats—as a cooking medium. Generally, items cooked using moist-heat meth-

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ods are naturally tender foods. For example, the moist-heat method of “simmering” means to cook various items in water heated to just below the boiling point. Many items that are referred to as “boiled” are actually simmered; most meats, poultry and seafood become very tough if boiled. Potatoes are simmered, not boiled, to help prevent them from falling apart and to aid in more even cooking. Grains and beans are often simmered until tender. Simmered items are often intended to be part of a recipe, as in simmering potatoes to make pomme puree

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(creamy potato puree). Combination Methods Stewing and braising are considered combination methods. These include a preliminary cooking method—usually browning meats or poultry using a dry-heat method or blanching in stock or water—then finishing the items by slowly simmering in a flavorful liquid. Items used for braising and stewing are usually tougher cuts of meat that benefit from a longer and lower heat exposure as a way to tenderize. These methods produce a soft, richly flavored meat and are ideal for turning less expensive, tough cuts of meat with lots of connective tissue into tender, highly flavorful meals. Items to be braised, for example, are usually larger cuts in-

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tended to be portioned after cooking, tougher cuts of meat or more mature poultry or game birds. Larger cuts and whole birds are usually trussed to ensure even cooking. The item is seasoned and browned in fat over medium-high to high heat, then removed from the pan. Aromatic vegetables and herbs are added to the pan and allowed to sweat to develop flavor. The meat is returned to the pan along with any additional spices or ingredients. Liquid (usually stock, wine, beer or water) is added, then the pan is brought to a low simmer, covered and allowed to very slowly simmer until the meat is tender. Braised items should be very tender yet hold their shape; if the food is falling apart or stringy, it was overcooked or the liquid came to a boil. The cooking liquid is intended to be served as the accompanying sauce, so reduce it to improve consistency, if necessary. Understanding these cooking methods and the results they produce will help you become a better cook and enable you to execute recipes with greater success. Here are some sample recipes that demonstrate each method.


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Serves 6 2 T. clarified butter 6 chicken breasts (boneless, skin-on) 2 T. all-purpose flour 2–3 c. homemade chicken stock 2 T. minced flat-leaf parsley leaves 2 T. minced chervil 2 T. minced tarragon leaves 2 T. minced chives 2 oz. whole butter Salt and pepper, to taste In a large sauté pan, heat the clarified butter over a medium-high flame. Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper and lightly dredge in the flour—making sure to shake off any excess flour. Add the chicken to the hot pan, skin-side down, in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the pan; instead, cook the chicken in batches, if necessary. When the skin is fully rendered and golden brown—about 5 minutes—turn the chicken over to brown the other side. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pan and keep it warm. Add the chicken stock to the hot pan and lightly scrape the bottom to pick up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Bring the stock to a simmer and allow it to reduce by half. Add the minced herbs and butter and swirl the pan to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve each chicken breast with a couple of ounces of the sauce.

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3 lb. beef short ribs 1 bottle red wine 1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 celery rib, trimmed and chopped 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped 1 sprig rosemary 1 sprig sage 2 sprigs thyme ¼ bunch parsley 4 whole garlic cloves 1 bay leaf 5 black peppercorns ¼ c. grapeseed oil 3 c. veal stock (or substitute beef stock) Salt and pepper, to taste Trim all the fat and connective tissue from the short ribs and place them in a large leak-proof plastic bag. Add everything else but the grapeseed oil and veal stock to the bag and allow the ribs to marinate overnight. The next day, remove the ribs from the marinade— making sure that the ribs are clear of any solid herbs, spices, etc. Strain the marinade and reserve both the liquid and solids. Make a sachet using the solids by wrapping them in some cheesecloth and tying it off with kitchen twine. Dry the ribs on a clean kitchen towel. In a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients, heat the grapeseed oil over high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In batches, brown the ribs evenly on all sides. Deglaze the pan with the marinade and add the sachet to the pot. Add enough stock to come halfway up the ribs and a small amount of salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer the ribs until fork-tender—about 1½ to 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the heat and transfer to a clean container. Discard the sachet, skim any impurities and fat from the braising liquid and return to the stovetop. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce until it reaches sauce consistency—skimming continuously. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and serve with the ribs.


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cooking BASICS


Photography courtesy of Sur la Table



y mother had a first-generation pressure cooker in the

pressive results. Yet, many of us are still terrified to use one.

1970s. It was a stovetop model that rattled madly, and

Enter the Instant Pot, a third-generation pressure cooker that’s

when it was done cooking and time to open the lid, we

electric and contains a microprocessor that greatly improves

kids had to leave the kitchen in case the entire contraption ex-

cooking results and, fortunately, enhances safety.

ploded. (It never did and my mother lived to put dinner on the

While there are a multitude of pressure cookers currently on

table every time.) I swore I would never cook with “one of those.”

the market, the Instant Pot is different. Not only is it a pressure

I understand why they were a popular choice at the time. The

cooker, it also functions as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer,

cooker is a sealed vessel that’s able to cook food much more

yogurt maker, sauté pan and warming pot—taking the place of

quickly than any conventional method, thanks to a combination

seven different kitchen appliances vying for valuable countertop

of pressure, steam and high temperatures. The higher the heat

and cupboard space. Perhaps this is a big part of the reason for the

gets in the unit—rising to 242 degrees—the higher the pressure

Instant Pot’s stratospheric explosion in popularity. It also costs

becomes. Nothing escapes because the cooker is sealed tight, and

less than its competitors.

the cooking liquid is forced into the food. The combination of

The Instant Pot is a retailer success story. The Canadian com-

high cooking temperature and pressure leads to some pretty im-

pany was founded in 2009, but sales didn’t start to climb until


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2014. On Amazon Prime Day in 2016, the Instant Pot skyrocketed to the top-selling item with more than 215,000 units sold. It remains a top-seller to this day, despite zero advertising dollars— instead relying solely on word of mouth, social media and hype. I was pretty psyched to try an Instant Pot, and a little intimidated, too. The 6-quart model is heavy and sleek, with a multifunction sensor pad. Where to start? This appliance demands a careful read through the instruction manual as safety precautions must still be observed. As far as what to cook, there are myriad Instant Pot recipes online for anything you crave, from bone broth to cheesecake. Accolades abound for the way it cooks falloff-the-bone tender meats—hence its popularity with the Paleo contingent—but I wanted to try something more divergent. I was intrigued by a recipe for hard-boiled eggs, which in a pressure

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cooker, actually involves steam. Why would one do this? It turns out, for the ease of peeling; 12 eggs were done in five minutes cook time with minimal cleanup, and the shells slipped right off. Impressive. Next, I fished out a bag of Umbrian chickpeas that had been

Culinary herbs for chefs— and fruit trees, veggies and native plants for gardeners

languishing in the back of my pantry. (Dried beans require too much time, effort and forethought for my spur-of-the-moment cooking style, so I usually just use canned. Please don’t judge me—Jacques Pépin does too.) Instead of soaking and hours of

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simmering, I rinsed the chickpeas, covered them with water and pressed the “beans” button on the pot. No stirring, skimming or wiping down the cooktop. After the 35-minute cooking time and 10-minute steam-release period, I found those babies tender yet firm to the bite and far superior to canned. I was on a roll. A quick wash of the stainless-steel interior pot, and in went a package of chicken (you can cook it thawed or frozen). Although the Instant Pot also functions as a slow cooker, it operates on the opposite principal: fast and furious. A major advantage is the sauté option to brown meat. After browning the chicken for eight minutes, I switched over to the pressure-cook function


for the recommended one—yes, ONE—minute cook time, and achieved perfect results that challenge even the best slow cooker.


Then I whipped up some brown rice to boot in 15 minutes. There’s no doubt in my mind that with this appliance, you can start cooking



at the dinner hour and be ready by the dinner bell. But is it healthy? According to certified food scientist Dr. Kantha Shelke, pressure-cooking can reduce heat-sensitive nutrients, such as vitamin C and folate, especially in fruits and vegetables,

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but these are susceptible to degradation during most types of

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more bioavailable from the pressure-cooking process. Meats re-

cooking. Consuming the cooking water can help restore some of these losses. With grains and legumes, however, there is a positive nutritional gain as macronutrients and essential minerals become tain their iron content, but lose some unsaturated (healthful) fat. However, pressure-cooking does not create any of the unhealthful chemical reactions associated with grilling or baking. Of course, there are the advantages to preparing your own food and eating a home-cooked meal. I am the newest Instant Pot convert. Note: All times are for the Cook Function only. The Instant Pot requires approximately 15 minutes to build up pressure prior to cooking, as well as a pressure release period afterward.


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ALMOST INSTANT (POT) CHICKEN TERIYAKI WITH BROCCOLI AND RICE Serves 2 For the teriyaki sauce: 1 T. minced garlic 1 T. minced ginger 1 T. sesame oil ¼ c. honey or agave syrup ¼ c. rice vinegar 2 T. tamari 2 scallions, sliced Asian chili or Sriracha sauce, to taste Sesame seeds, optional For the chicken: 2 T. peanut oil 2 chicken breasts, defrosted or semi-thawed, sliced lengthwise, 6–8 pieces each Salt, pepper and paprika, to taste 1 c. teriyaki sauce 2 c. broccoli, cut into large florets 1 c. white rice 1 c. water

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Whisk together all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce (adding water, if necessary to bring it to a full cup of liquid) and set aside. Set the sauté button on the Instant Pot to high. When the LED light says “HOT,” swirl in the oil and add the chicken. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Do not cover. Stir occasionally. (It will only take approximately 5 minutes to brown—or a few minutes more depending on the level of thaw and the amount of moisture in the chicken.) Once the chicken is browned, add the sauce, broccoli, rice and water to the pot, cover it and set it to “Manual-High Pressure” for 6 minutes cook time. When it’s finished cooking, set the steam valve to vent for quick-release. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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nyone can cook,” said Chef Gusteau in Pixar’s 2007 animated film, “Ratatouille.” Well, anyone with a kitchen, that is.

It’s hard to believe that an organization like Central Texas

Food Bank (CTFB) that distributed more than 38 million pounds of food last year didn’t have a kitchen as part of the operations. But that changed in June 2016, when we moved into our new facility. The space includes a state-of-the-art, 4,200 square-foot production kitchen, which includes three combi ovens (ovens that use both convection and steam), five 40-gallon tilt skillets, three 80-gallon tilt kettles, four blast chillers and a refrigerated room for cold meal assembly. We began meal production in October 2016—taking rescued produce (that might have otherwise ended up in a landfill) and other nutritious food items and turning them into frozen meals, thus extending their shelf life and providing additional meals to thousands of Central Texans in need. To supplement the fresh produce supply and meal production, the new facility also includes garden spaces that CTFB began using this past spring. In June, CTFB started preparing meals for the USDA Child Nutrition Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and in August, began cooking nutritious meals for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). But we’re not stopping there. Other programs designed to make use of this amazing resource will include a free culinary training program to help those interested in culinary careers. Moving forward, we hope to see the kitchen become a showcase operation for the organization, as well as a culinary hub for the community. Earlier this year, the Food Bank hosted the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Region 13 “Meal Appeal University” for school food service managers and the Texas Restaurant Association’s Culinary Educators Training Conference for high school culinary teachers. Local culinary colleges have visited, and CTFB is now hosting their students as they complete required externships. As the students go into the local workforce, they take with them the message of the important work the CTFB is doing in this new arena. The kitchen has also drawn in local celebrity chefs, such as Tyson Cole and Jack and Bryce Gilmore, to tour the facility and take part in events, and it will surely become a central location for other culinary events in the community. Want to experience the CTFB’s community kitchen in action? Find out how your efforts can help feed our neighbors in need, at 68

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Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) requires food-permitted businesses to keep organic materials out of local landfills. Ways to comply include:


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collect organic material to be composted Visit AustinTexas.Gov/BizOrganics for rebates (up to $1,800), free assistance and details about Austin’s organics ordinance.

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30 locations in Central Texas


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Left to right: David Moses Fruchter, Jodi Egerton and Kari Anne Holt


hink: literary prowess combined with mad improv

their own vintage typewriter case in one hand and their fa-

skills, impressive stamina and an uncanny ability to

vorite dish in the other; meeting up to eat and drink…and

uncover the deepest secrets and desires of strangers.

write poems, like they do.

Welcome to Typewriter Rodeo—Austin’s traveling troupe

The rodeo—consisting of Jodi Egerton, David Moses

of comedic poet empaths, who are gathering today for a

Fruchter, Kari Anne Holt and Sean Petrie, among other

Wednesday brunch-y potluck. Each poet arrives carrying

word-slingin’ alternates—began in 2013 at the first Austin


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loaves of bread on it…sideways.” (She demonstrates by holding an imaginary baking sheet perpendicular to the floor.) She begins muddling raspberries to mix with strawberry vodka, St-Germain liqueur and lemonade, then says over her shoulder, “I exploded a ham once…and remember those cookies that looked like Hawaii?” David, on the other hand, is a natural in the kitchen. You can tell by his contribution to the potluck: a spinach-dill-quinoa salad bursting with the flavors of fresh dill and Parmigiano-Reggiano. And Jodi? Well, Jodi is all about her pie. “Last night I said, ‘What the heck am I gonna make for this thing?’” she says. Then the revelation hit: “THE PIE. This is my one recipe that is my own, that I’ve crafted...this is it! It’s my pie! It’s called the ‘Hot Damn, That’s Alotta Flavor’ pie.” They’ve all generously agreed to write poems today about the food/booze they’ve contributed—in the same manner as they do at their gigs. For those who haven’t yet been so fortunate as to experience the phenomenon, those gigs work like this: The poets sit side-by-side at a long table in front of their vintage typewriters. Guests at the event (book festivals, corporate functions, charity events, etc.) approach the table and ask a poet to write them a poem about a topic of their choosing. And no matter what the subject, recipients are often moved to laughter or tears when they read the finished product. “Sometimes people start crying before they even finish tellMaker Faire. “It came about out of jealousy,” explains Jodi. Many

ing us what they want,” says David. “A lot of the time people are

of her friends were involved in the fair and she suffered from a

crying just because someone has listened to them.” Kari Anne

serious case of what she calls “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out). So

agrees. “We’re part fortune teller, part therapist, part confessional

she gathered a few of her writer friends together—Sean from her

booth,” she says. “They know they’re never going to see us again,

ComedySportz improv days; David from a writing workshop Jodi

so we get all their deep dark secrets. Then in two minutes, they

was teaching at the time; and Kari Anne, who she knew from the

get that back in an artistic form—a way to interpret the secrets— online community (and who also happened to

and then they leave!”

have a collection of vintage typewriters). That day at the fair, they

While the poets get paid by the event organizers, the poems

slammed out poems for almost eight solid hours—it was their

are always free, and they all stress how important that is. Writing

first official gig.

poems for strangers for free is part of the magic; it both takes

David recalls that someone in the crowd called out, “Y’all are like a typewriter rodeo!” and he thought, “We are like a typewrit-

all the pressure off the poets and it removes all barriers between both parties.

er rodeo!” That same day, they bought the domain name—and

As they sit down to their typewriters this morning, Jodi warns

here they are, four years later with tens of thousands of poems

that one of the poets is known for her sexy-sexy food poems. “I

under their ribbons.

have such a hard time,” admits Kari Anne. “I start writing a food

All principal poets are present this morning, save for Sean,

poem, then it always becomes a sexy-sexy poem.” And then they

who is here in spirit (and in person via a short FaceTime conver-

start clacking away, all clatters and whirs and occasional excla-

sation from a bus stop in New York City). He contributed from the

mations—“I spelled that word wrong!”—each intent on the task

“road-eo” his favorite chocolate-chip cookie recipe from when he

at hand, but never stopping for a second. It’s like witnessing three

was 10: Nestlé Toll House, of course. “I’m pretty sure this was the

side-by-side electrical currents flowing from brains to fingertips.

first food item I ever made, way back in elementary school,” he

Suddenly, Kari Anne’s ribbon is all over the table. “That is one

says. “I’ve always loved cookies. So much so that when my mom

quirk about working on machines that were made a long, long

bought me a blank notebook called ‘The Nothing Book’ when I

time ago,” says Jodi. “And no one knows how to fix them anymore.”

was ten, one of the things I wrote in it was this recipe. On the first

After a few minutes, they’ve stopped typing, pulled their po-

two pages, I also wrote a couple original poems I’d written when

ems and begun silently reading them before signing and stamping

I was nine. If only I’d had a typewriter back then.”

them with the official Typewriter Rodeo logo. The poems are then

Self-proclaimed “terrible cook” Kari Anne hasn’t actually

passed around and layers of reactions and conversations begin

cooked anything for the potluck. Instead, she’s brought the in-

tumbling over each other above the now-quiet machines. All of

gredients for a boozy brunch cocktail along with a unicorn-dec-

the poets admit that their unique word-wrangling formula only

orated tumbler for mixing. “I was just looking at my Timehop,”

works if they do it together. “We have to have the cacophony,”

she says, “and it was me holding up a baking sheet with two

says Kari Anne.


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KARI ANNE HOLT’S FIZZY SUNDAY MORNING “SEXY-SEXY” COCKTAIL Makes 1 drink Small handful of fresh ripe raspberries 1–1½ oz. Stoli strawberry vodka ½ oz. St-Germain liqueur 3–4 oz. fresh lemonade Soda water, to taste Ice

Muddle the raspberries in a small bowl, until they’re nice and juicy. Pour muddled raspberries into a martini shaker. Add the vodka, St-Germain and lemonade. Throw some ice in for good measure. Shake as hard as you can, busting up the ice. Pour mixture into a highball glass filled with ice, and top with soda. If you want more of a kick, up the Stoli to 2 ounces. Note from Kari Anne: All measurements are flexible, depending on how strong of a drink you want.


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DAVID MOSES FRUCHTER’S “WE ARE LIKE A TYPEWRITER RODEO!” SPINACH-DILL-QUINOA SALAD Serves 4–6 For the quinoa salad: 3 c. water 1½ c. dried quinoa 3 T. olive oil 1 lb. baby spinach leaves, washed 4 medium or 2 large shallots 2 t. dried dill weed 1 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar Dash of salt For the topping: 1 bunch fresh dill 1 c. crumbled feta 1 c. shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano


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Bring the water and a healthy dash of salt to boil in a medium-size pot with the lid on for faster boiling. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to a simmer and replace the lid. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the spinach leaves and peel and dice the shallots. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a nonstick frying pan. When the oil is warm, add the diced shallots and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Then stir in the spinach. Let that cook and reduce for a few minutes, then add the dried dill, vinegar and a dash of salt. Cook over medium heat for around 10 minutes, stirring often, until most of the excess liquid has evaporated. Both components of the salad should be ready around the same time. Add the spinach to the quinoa, stir well, replace the lid and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes more. Meanwhile, remove large stems from the fresh dill and finely chop the rest. Toss together the cheeses. (If you have large chunks of feta, break them apart with a fork or pastry blender in a bowl with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.) Put the spinach quinoa mix in a nice bowl and sprinkle the fresh dill over the top. Put the cheese blend in another nice bowl to sprinkle on top of the spinach quinoa mix. Then serve that tasty goop up!

JODI EGERTON’S “HOT DAMN, THAT’S ALOTTA FLAVOR!” APPLE-PEAR CRISP CRUMBLE PIE Makes 1 pie For the pie filling: 3 good cooking apples, such as Granny Smith 2 firm pears Juice of half a lemon ½ c. brown sugar 3 T. flour of any kind For the crumble topping: ½ c. brown sugar ½ c. flour ½ c. rolled oats

½ t. cinnamon ¼ t. salt 3 T. sherry Crystallized ginger, to taste (I used a good inch of ginger)

½ t. cinnamon ¼ c. butter, room temp Dash of cinnamon

Peel, core and slice the apples and pears. Squeeze the lemon over them so they don’t brown. Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Pour it over the apples and pears and mix them by

hand ’til it’s all mixed up. Lick your fingers. Drizzle on the sherry and give it all another good mix. (Then pour yourself a wee dram and just breathe for a few minutes. Just you, your pie and your sherry. This still counts as cooking.) Grate the ginger, or cut it into tiny pieces. (It’s hard to grate/chop because it’s just a bit gooey, so do your best and congratulate yourself whenever you decide you’re done. The smaller the pieces, the more subtle the flavor.) I’m a fan of an occasional ginger surprise (I married a redhead after all), so sometimes I leave the pieces fairly large. In a separate bowl, mix up the crumble topping by first mixing the brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon. Then add the butter and use your fingers to smoosh it all together ’til it’s mixed. Line a deep, friendly pie pan with your favorite piecrust. Or no crust: It works great without, as more of a crumble/crisp—your call. Pile in the apples and pears. I like to make my pies huge, so they form a big mound in the middle. It’ll cook down some and also it just makes me happy. Cover as much of the top as you can with the crumble topping, so it looks like one of those papier-mâché volcanoes you fill with vinegar and baking soda. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 350° and bake another 30 to 45 minutes ’til it’s bubbly and you just can’t stand to wait any longer. Let it cool, if you’re patient, or if you’re me, dive right in and burn just a tiny spot on your palate, which will remind you of pie for the next 3 days, but will be worth it. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

AquaBrew Brewery & Beer Garden

We love cut-to-order artisanal cheese and all that goes with it. Order a picnic platter, take a class or host a private guided event. Free tastings daily. 512-531-9610 4220 Duval St.

Blue Top Brand We are a company of food lovers, family & friends from Austin. We are inspired by true intentions of the heart and we have a dream to make lives happier with creamy hot sauce. 615 Spanish Oak Trl., Dripping Springs

Delysia Chocolatier Handcrafted in Austin. Our products are handmade using fine quality, sustainable chocolate and only the freshest ingredients. 512-413-4701 2000 Windy Terrace, Ste. 2C

La Vaquita Cheese Fresh, artisan quesos and cremas from generations of Mexican homestead cheesemakers. 888-337-2407

Lick Honest Ice Creams Artisan ice creams celebrating the finest ingredients Texas has to offer! Handmade in small batches in our Austin kitchen. Natural, local and seasonal. 512-363-5622 1100 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 1135 512-609-8029 6555 Burnet Rd., Ste. 200 512-502-5949 1905 Aldrich Street, Ste. 150

Lone Star Meats Delivering high-quality products chefs desire with a meticulous eye on consistency. 512-646-6220 1403 E. 6th St.

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Lost Draw Cellars

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Lost Draw Cellars produces stellar Texas wines from our vineyards in the Texas High Plains, sourcing grapes from some of the best wineries in the state. 830-992-3251 113 E. Park St., Fredericksburg

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is handcrafted from 100% corn and distilled six times by Tito Beveridge in Austin, TX at America’s original microdistillery. Gluten-free! 512-389-9011

Messina Hof

Winery, vineyards, and tasting room with wines for tasting and for sale. Lavender fields, lavender products and annual Lavender Fest. 830-644-2681 464 Becker Farms Rd., Stonewall

Est in 1977. Messina Hof is a family owned winery based on the three cornerstones of family, tradition & romance. 979-778-9463 4545 Old Reliance Rd., Bryan 830-990-4653 9996 U.S. 290, Fredericksburg 817-442-8463 201 S Main St., Grapevine

Bending Branch Winery

Paula’s Texas Spirits

Becker Vineyards

Bending Branch Winery is a premier Hill Country winery with award-winning wines, including our signature Texas Tannat. Visit us Thurs-Sun. 830-995-2948 142 Lindner Branch Trl., Comfort 830-995-3394 704 High St., Comfort

Bent Oak Winery Bent Oak Winery is a local winery and tasting room bringing you fine wine with grapes sourced from Texas and California. 512-551-1189 2000 Windy Terrace, Ste. 2B

Bloody Revolution From Bloody Revolution Gourmet Mixes in Austin, TX comes a nothing-else-needed Bloody Mary Mix that’s as great for cocktails as it is for cooking. Start a REVOLUTION!

Fiesta Winery

Paula’s Texas Orange Liqueur & Paula’s Texas Lemon Liqueur—all natural and handmade in Austin since 2006. Available throughout Texas.

Spec’s Wine Spirits and Finer Foods Family-owned since 1962, Spec’s offers expert service and Texas’ largest selection of wines, spirits and beers along with gourmet foods and more! 512-366-8260 4970 W. US Hwy. 290 512-342-6893 10515 N. MoPac Hwy 512-280-7400 9900 S. I-35 512-263-9981 13015 Shops Pkwy., Bee Cave 512-366-8300 5775 Airport Blvd.

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards For more than four decades, the wines of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards have reflected the finest mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County. 888-675-9463 100 Pythian Road, Santa Rosa, CA


We are a fun-oriented winery that encourages you to drink wine the way you want. From our dry, ‘Tempranillo’ to our Riesling, ’Skinny Dippin’, we offer a wine for all. 325-628-3433 18727 W. FM 580, Lometa 830-997-4466 6260 E. US Hwy 290, Fredericksburg 830-307-3328 147 E. Main St., Fredericksburg

Blue Note Bakery

Live Oak Brewing Co.

Texas Keeper Ciders

Blue Note Bakery is Austin’s premier custom cake shop, meticulously creating one-of-a-kind desserts for your special occasions. 512-797-7367 4201 S. Congress Ave., Ste. 101

Since 1997 Live Oak Brewing Co. has brewed authentic Central European style beers for people who enjoy the flavor of beer. 512-385-2299 1615 Crozier Ln., Del Valle

Small-batch cider made in south Austin from 100% apples. Available in stores, bars, and restaurants throughout Austin, Houston, and DFW areas. 512-910-3409 12521 Twin Creeks Rd.

Straus Family Creamery Producers of high quality certified organic dairy products since 1994. 707-776-2887 1105 Industrial Ave., Petaluma, CA


COOKS 2017


Texas Coffee Traders East Austin’s artisinal coffee roaster and one-stop shop offering a wide selection of certified organic and fair trade options for wholesale and retail. 512-476-2279 1400 E. 4th St.

BOOKSELLERS BookPeople Texas’ leading independent bookstore since 1970. Located in the heart of downtown, BookPeople has been voted best bookstore in Austin for over 15 years! 512-472-5050 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

BUILDING AND ARCHITECTURE CG&S Design-Build CG&S Design-Build is a high-end Austin residential remodeling firm specializing in full-service design and construction services. 512-444-1580 402 Corral Ln.

Latigo At Latigo, we take pride in our craftsmanship, whether restoring a historical homestead building, building a new home or constructing a commercial space. Ensuring longevity in every detail and phase of development. 830-997-1800 714 W. Main St., Fredericksburg

CATERING AND MEAL DELIVERY Bespoke Food Full-service caterer creating menus exclusive to each event for corporate and private parties. Truly bespoke. 512-323-0272

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

EVENTS Fit Kids Fest presented by the Long Center’s All Summer Long! A free community event with fun activities that promote active children & healthy eating! An event filled with music, sports, games and more—come get fit with us! 512-474-5664 701 W. Riverside Dr.

Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest

Whole Foods Market

Weston Table

JB Journeys

Celebrating Texas wine and food, Saturday, October 28. Showcasing a cooking school, grape toss, Twenty-Five at 5, auction, entertainment, plus three special events. 830-997-8515 100 W. Main St., Fredericksburg

Selling the highest quality natural and organic products. 512-542-2200 525 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-345-5003 9607 Research Blvd. 512-206-2730 12601 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave 512-358-2460 4301 W. William Cannon

Weston Table seeks to provide beautiful online entertainment driven by a passion to share extraordinary experiences, personal memories and cherished traditions. 617-899-4907 14 Irving Rd., Weston, MA

A Texas-based, woman-owned travel company, offering unique experiences for travelers, and a positive social, economic and environmental impact on the places you visit. 512-217-4814 1202 Newning Ave. #114 512-217-4836 P.O. Box 1052, Utopia

Palm Door Our facilities boast a total square footage of 7255 versatile indoor and outdoor space available for private events for groups up to 1000. Each section can be customized to suit the needs of creative and functional events. 512-386-1295 508 E. 6th St. 512-391-1994 401 Sabine St.

Texas Reds Steak & Grape Festival Grills will sizzle! Wines will pour! Music will flow down the streets of Downtown Bryan, TX during the Texas Reds Steak & Grape Festival on Friday – Sunday, September 22-24, 2017. 979-822-4920 216 W. 26th St., Bryan

FARMERS MARKETS Sustainable Food Center SFC cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. 512-236-0074 400 W. Guadalupe St. 3200 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley 4600 Lamar Blvd. 2921 E. 17 St., Bldg C (Office)

FARMS 44 Farms Founded and Family-owned since 1909 in Cameron, 44 Farms is the U.S. premier producer of ethically raised Angus beef. Our ranchers produce beef with no added hormones, antibiotics or artificial ingredients. 254-697-4401 963 PR 44, Cameron

GROCERS 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. 512-386-1617; 301 Brazos St., Ste. 110 512-480-0061; 51 Rainey St. 512-524-0740; 1645 E. 6th St.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS Peoples Rx Pharmacy and Deli Since 1980, Austin’s favorite pharmacy keeps locals healthy through Rx compounding, supplements and prescriptions, holistic practitioners and natural foods. 512-459-9090; 4018 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-444-8866; 3801 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-327-8877; 4201 Westbank Dr. 512-219-9499; 13860 Hwy 183 N.

Wiseman Family Practice Wiseman Family Practice is an integrative medical practice in Austin that focuses on health education and natural approaches to wellness. 512-345-8970 2500 S. Lakeline Blvd. Ste. 100 Cedar Park 300 Medical Arts St. 3010 Bee Cave Rd, Ste. 200

YMCA of Austin Building programs for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility that promote strong families, character values, youth leadership and community development. 8 Austin Area Locations 512-322-9622

HOUSEWARES AND GIFTS Copenhagen Imports Contemporary furniture and accessories for home and office. 512-451-1233 2236 W. Braker Ln.

Der Küchen Laden Retail gourmet kitchen shop, featuring cookware, cutlery, bakeware, small electrics, textiles and kitchen gadgets. 830-997-4937 258 E. Main St., Fredericksburg

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

LANDSCAPE AND GARDENING Barton Springs Nursery Locally grown Texas native plants. Organic pest management. Environmentally friendly soil amendments. Beautiful gifts. 512-328-6655 3601 Bee Caves Rd.

Comfort and Joy Gardens We make people happy by helping them create beautiful outdoor spaces, small or big. 512-560-6312

It’s About Thyme Garden Center Top quality 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 Rd.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center The Wildflower Center is a native plant botanic garden, a university research center and one of the 1,000 places to see before you die. 512-232-0100 4801 La Crosse Ave.

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

Utility Research Garden A bamboo nursery with over 100 varieties of hardy clumping and running bamboo for Texas gardens and landscapes, and specialty grower of turmeric, ginger, citrus and muscadine grapes. 512-626-9825

LODGING AND TOURISM Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm Cooking classes, beautiful dining room venue for private events, hill country cabin rental. 830-833-0910 5818 RR 165, Dripping Springs

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Austin Label Company Custom labels up to 10 x 20 on paper, foil, synthetics, multiple adhesives, embossing, hot foil and UV coatings. Proud members of Go Texan, FTA and TWGGA. 512-302-0204 1610 Dungan Ln.

Austin Resource Recovery Austin Resource Recovery provides a range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Our goal is to reach Zero Waste by 2040. 512-974-9727 P.O. Box 1088

Keep Austin Beautiful Keep Austin Beautiful provides resources and education to engage citizens in building more beautiful communities. 512-391-0617 55 N. I-35, Ste. 215

Merchant Cafe Inc. Harbortouch is a leading national supplier of point of sale (POS) systems, credit card processing equipment and a full range of merchant services. 866-973-9988 9901 Brodie Ln., Ste. 160, #712

TouchBistro #1 iPad POS system for restaurants. 888-583-4112 600 Congress Ave.

REAL ESTATE Barbara Van Dyke — Kuper Sotheby’s Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty Realtor. Helping buyers and sellers move to the next chapter of their lives. 512-431-2552 4301 Westbank Dr., B-100

Green Mango Real Estate Boutique firm specializing in Central Austin since 1987, especially the 78704 where we have sold more homes than any other single realtor. 512-923-6648 905 Avondale Rd.


COOKS 2017


Judd Waggoman — Christie’s International Real Estate Your ultimate source for luxury real estate in Los Cabos. Ranked #1 Realtor in Los Cabos, Mexico by InMexico Magazine. 530-751-6797

The Marye Company Full service real estate firm in Austin, Texas. Where you live is a lifestyle. Let us help you define yours. 512-444-7171 5608 Parkcrest, Ste. 300

RESTAURANTS Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. Locally-sourced lunch and dinner. Craft brewery, live music, good people, dog friendly, creative community. #beermakesitbetter #ouratx 512-298-2242 1305 W. Oltorf St.

Austin Taco Project Austin Taco Project once and for all renders the “where-should-we-get-tacos” question irrelevant. Fusion tacos, custom cocktails, and a celebration of all-things eclectic. 512-682-2739 500 E. 4th St.

Barlata Tapas Bar Located in the heart of South Lamar. Barlata offers a variety of tapas, paellas, regional Spanish wines and cavas. Come and enjoy a bit of Spain with us. 512-473-2211 1500 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 150

Crepe Crazy

Jobell Cafe & Bistro


Offering succulent savory and sweet crepes with a modern European twist using the highest quality authentic European recipes with a focus on the best & freshest ingredients. 512-387-2442 3103 S. Lamar Blvd.

We offer a carefully selected and prepared take on French bistro fare with wonderful wines all served amidst the intimacy and charm of Texas Hill Country. 512-847-5700 16920 RR 12, Wimberley

A farm-to-table restaurant serving entrée salads and botany-inspired drinks/cocktails. Patio dining and parking available. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 512-852-8791 2201 College Ave. 505-820-9205 709 Don Cubero Alley, Santa Fe, NM 505-842-5507 1828 Central Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM

East Side Pies Fresh, local thin crust pizza - we know what you want. 512-524-0933 1401B Rosewood Ave. 512-454-7437 5312 G Airport Blvd. 512-467-8900 1809-1 W. Anderson Ln.

Fonda San Miguel Distinctive interior Mexican cuisine and fine art. 512-459-4121 2330 W. North Loop

G’Raj Mahal G’Raj Mahal offers the best of Austin’s atmosphere with a combination of traditional and innovative Indian comfort food coupled with local music in the heart of Rainey Street. 512-480-2255 73 Rainey St.

Kerbey Lane Cafe Kerbey Lane Cafe is a local Austin haunt serving up tasty, healthy food (mostly) 24/7. Stop by any of our 6 locations for a delicious stack of pancakes! 512-451-1436

Whip In

Serving the Texas Hill Country fresh and seasonal favorites using local ingredients. 512-847-7327 111 River Rd., Wimberley

Beer & wine bars with restaurant. Gujarati (Indian) style food. Huge selection of beer & wine retail. Fill growlers with 72 draft beers. 512-442-5337 1950 S. I-35



The Leaning Pear Café & Eatery

Lenoir is an intimate, family-run restaurant offering a weekly, local prix-fixe menu, great wine and friendly service. 512-215-9778 1807 S. 1st St.

ThunderCloud Subs 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

Honey’s Pizza

The Turtle Restaurant

Neapolitan pizza, baked goods, ice cream and burgers. 512-237-5627 109 NE. 2nd St., Smithville

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

Make It Sweet 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.

Nature’s Treasures of Texas Locally-owned and operated, Nature’s Treasures is a 14,000 sq ft venue featuring rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils as well as all of your metaphysical and collector needs. 512-472-5015 4103 N. I-35


COOKS 2017


cooking BASICS



hese small, tasty crustaceans, sometimes called mudbugs, look like miniature lobsters. They are often boiled with a hefty pour of Cajun spices. If your

Southern host dumps a pile of them in front of you, don’t fret. Shelling them is easier than you’d think.

STEP 1. With one hand, pinch the crawfish by its head. With the other, pinch the spot where the tail meets the body.

STEP 2. Twist the tail and pull it away from the body. Optional step for the non-squeamish: suck the juices from the head, and then discard it. (See “Crawfish Alert” below.)

STEP 3. Twist off the tail flippers. Devein the crawfish (its dark, stringy digestive tract should come off easily).

STEP 4. Gently use your thumbs and forefingers to work

off the first two or three rings of the wider part of the shell. Pull out the exposed tail meat. Dip the meat into butter (if desired), and enjoy.

CRAWFISH ALERT! Crawfish live in fresh water. You’re certain to find them in the southern United States, especially Louisiana. The juices from the head could very well be a pure shot of Cajun spices if your host is a fan of spicy foods. Skip this step if you can’t handle the heat.


COOKS 2017


Prep For The Week For your health, schedule and budget



Edible Austin Cooks 2017  

This year, we've combined our Cooks Issue and our Home Guide for one fantastic, deliciously read product.

Edible Austin Cooks 2017  

This year, we've combined our Cooks Issue and our Home Guide for one fantastic, deliciously read product.