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No. 24 Fall 2012

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season

The Travel Issue Member of Ed ib le Commu n ities



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

Open daily 7AM–10PM

10000 Research Blvd.

Free Wi-Fi

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

T H E B E S T WAY TO C A P T U R E the flavor of the Hill Country? Use ingredients from

T H E H I L L C O U N T R Y.

Overlooking the 18th greens of the two TPC golf courses, 18 Oaks Restaurant at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country is a casual fine dining experience showcasing prime cuts and traditional steakhouse fare. With a wide variety of our meats, cheeses and produce sourced from local ranchers and farmers, the flavors you’ll taste here are like nothing else on earth. Call for reservations today.


CONTents travel issue 6

Publisher’s Note


Notable Mentions


Notable Edibles

J ester King Craft Brewery, Students tackle James Beard House, Food is Free Project, Home Sweet Farm.


Generation Food

Raj Patel.



Judith McGeary.


Cooks At Home

Miguel Ravago.


Cooking Fresh

Mexican and Turkish market delights.


Department of Organic Youth

Table of learning in Florence.


Hip Girl’s Guide To Homemaking

Apple scrap vinegar.


Passport to local 24  Glow Culinary incandescence in Rockport.

Embracing Local

On the road.


Behind the Vines

4.0 Cellars.


La Casita de Buen Sabor

Chiles con queso.


Seasonal Muse

Crop cycles.


Root Causes

A cultivated lineage.


Eat Wild

Foraging around the lone star state.


Back of the House

Commander’s Palace.


The Directory


Art De Terroir

Collection Selections: De-Luxe.

Cover: Morning service of beignets at Café du Monde, New Orleans, by Jenna Noel.

28  J ack

Gilmore’s Texas Farm Tour

Going to the source.

34  P laying

with Tradition

New Orleans chefs redefine the local cuisine.


Pursuing Tej On the hunt for the perfect bottle.


The Great South African Ostrich Tackle that egg.


Plentiful Peru A market full of food discoveries.


Toujours Pau Preserving the bounty from the seasons.


What I Eat and Why Cooking with jai.


Italian Ingenuity Innovations for the small-scale producer.


Falling for Marble Falls Escape is closer than you think.

Publisher’s Note: Passport to Local Publisher Marla Camp


here’s no denying it. There are times when we just love to pack up and go. We travel for work, we travel for adventure and sometimes we travel just to get away from it all. So why is a local food magazine doing a Travel issue? Because we love to travel and we know that you do, too. Our mission as an Edible Communities publication is to grow the local food movement wherever we are—raising awareness of the benefits and value of local food. We know that when we travel, we can all be ambassadors for this message and honor the local food communities wherever we go. The places we visit, the people we meet and the food we eat at our destinations—or along the way—all present opportunities to find those hidden gems and support local farmers, food artisans, traditions and culture—and bring it back home. The stories in this debut Travel issue cover a wide range of places and experiences. Our contributors are a travel-loving bunch! We explore our own backyard in Marble Falls, Rockport and New Orleans—proving that you don’t have to go great distances to reap the rewards that traveling offers. Chef Jack Gilmore takes us on a Texas farm tour to visit the places he sources food for his restaurant— teaching him (and us) a lot more about where our food comes from. Logan and Rachel Cooper recount their hunt for local treasures on their recent 14-month journey that covered three continents—involving drinking an elusive elixir and standing on eggs. A Texas restauranteur discovers a business ethos at a trade show in Italy that brings efficiencies to the food they serve to their customers back in Brownwood. Markets and cooking experiences in France, Peru, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey all yield inspiration for recipes that evoke other places and cultures but can be made with local, seasonal ingredients in your own kitchen, right here, right now. Travel sometimes reconnects us with family in far-off places or with food memories based on growing up somewhere else, as with Lucinda Hutson’s recipe “Hermila’s Chile Con Queso del Paso Norte.” Travel allows us time and space to feel more deeply, think more broadly and taste more fully. We find our common ground as we celebrate our differences and expand our horizons. What we learn from other cultures, global cuisines and new experiences enriches our lives and our community at home. And, as we learn from Raj Patel’s new project Generation Food, quite the opposite is true as well! Raj will tell the stories of how farming innovation in local communities around the globe will feed the world—one local, community-based solution at a time.


FALL 2012


Associate PUBLISHER Jenna Noel


Copy Editor Christine Whalen

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

Advertising Sales Curah Beard, Lis Riley, Janey Rives

Distribution Manager Jude Diallo

Contributors Full listing, bios and contact information online at

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

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

December 1–8

Join us for Austin’s premier local food event celebrating fresh, local food and foodmakers in Central Texas.

Benefitting Urban Roots & Sustainable Food Center


Urban Farm Bicycle Tour & An Evening with Raj Patel Participating restaurants & happy hours to be announced soon!

More information & tickets at






FALL 2012


notable Mentions Edible Escape!

“Best place to cure what ails you”

SATURDAY NATURAL TALKS Always free! Always empowering! Find our schedule for talks on our website or pick up a copy at the store. Mon–Sat. 10–6:30 200 West Mary 512.444.6251

Join us on the patio, deck and bar at the Whole Foods Market at Bee Cave on Friday, September 14, 4:30–7:30 p.m., for Edible Escape, a celebration of global sounds and flavors featuring tastings of internationally inspired cuisine prepared by September 14 4:30–7:30 pm showcased chefs using local and seasonal ingredients. Featured guest chefs will include Reina Morris of Buenos Aires Café, Jen Cayce of Noon Spoon Cafe (Marble Falls), John Bates of Noble Pig and Kelly Dennis of Whole Foods Market. Also meet farmers and local food vendors from Lakeway Commons Farmer’s Market, Greenling and Whole Foods Market and taste their wares. Sample seasonal craft beers from Brooklyn Brewery, or try some local wines and brews on tap in Whole Foods Market’s “The Buzz” bar. Also featuring sweet treats from The Turtle Restaurant (Brownwood). Enjoy Austin’s premier big band, 15-piece jazz orchestra, The Vintage 15, while you taste around. Meet our event beneficiaries, Urban Roots, and help support them by vying for a chance to win exciting travel packages featuring Star of Texas B&B and The Turtle Restaurant (the “Brownwood Experience”) and a bountiful gift basket of goodies from our friends at Edible Brooklyn. This event is free but RSVPs are required because of limited space. Stay tuned to for more details!

Farm and Food Leadership Conference Farm and Food Leadership Conference, held this year on Monday and Tuesday, September 10–11 at the Bastrop Convention Center, is a unique gathering and focuses on the policies affecting our farms and our food. Topics include the 2012 Farm Bill, genetically modified foods, corporate control of our food system, local challenges and local initiatives, health freedom, seafood and our coastal waters and much more. Catered luncheons by Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due, featuring food made with products from local farms, are always a highlight and are included in the registration! To register and for more information and updates, visit or call 254-697-2661.

Happy Birthday to Zhi Tea! We hope you will join us in helping Zhi Tea celebrate five years in Austin! During the week of September 4–9, Zhi is hosting a variety of events including a blending party, private VIP tastings, free tea parties and a community picnic. “We have been honored and flattered by how much our neighbors embraced us,” says Jeffrey Lorien, founder of the organic and fair trade tea company. “To thank Austin, we planned a week full of appreciation events and would love for you to join us.” Visit to sign up for their email newsletter for more information and updates. 8

FALL 2012


Spend an evening on the shores of Lake Austin sipping and savoring the tastes of Texas at the 23rd annual La Dolce Vita Food & Wine Festival. Benefiting education programs and The Art School at Austin’s original contemporary arts organization, AMOA-Arthouse. Enjoy a Lago di Como experience with food and libations from more than 50 of Austin’s top-tier restaurants and wineries.

TICKETS AT AMOA-ARTHOUSE.ORG/LADOLCEVITA Laguna Gloria 3809 W. 35th Street Austin, TX 78703


FALL 2012


PEARL DIVE AT THE PLANT benefits Rude Mechs


Enjoy a decadent end-of-summer afternoon while supporting the 18th season of the Rude Mechs, Austin’s innovative creators of original theater, curated by Edible Austin. Pearl Dive at the Plant (formerly the Oyster Club Feast) is Sunday, September 23 from 4–7:30 p.m. at The Plant at Kyle, a dramatic architectural landmark tucked away on 17 acres, 30 miles from Austin. Austin chefs Shane Stark of Kenichi, Paul Hargrove of East Side Showroom, Sonya Coté of Hillside Farmacy, Jason Dodge of Péché and Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine will be on-site preparing a not-to-be-forgotten feast from the Gulf procured by Roberto San Miguel Seafood. The menu features grilled oysters on the half shell, a raw bar, oysters Rockefeller and oysters Bienville, grilled and boiled shrimp, the freshest fish available, plus farmers market-inspired side salads and delectable desserts. Cold Abita Beer and cocktails by Paula’s Texas Spirits and Tipsy Texan are perfect pairings. Composer Graham Reynolds will DJ while you relax in the Hill Country shade, feast and revel in the amazing community of Rude Mechs patrons. Tickets are on sale at



Dripping with taste Wine and Food Festival baked goods specialty coffee creative wedding cakes

Downtown New Braunfels 300 139 Castell Avenue

weet | (830)387-4606

6th Annual




oin an exciting gathering of nonprofit leaders, farmers and ranchers, local foods activists and more! • Genetically Modified Foods: Fighting Back • The Farm Bill and Corporate Control of Our Food System • Health Freedom: Issues in Accessing Alternative Health Care • What Does Local Mean? Distribution and Scaling Issues • Intensive Activism workshops • and much more!

WHEN: Mon. – Tues., September 10– 11 WHERE: Bastrop Convention Center, Bastrop DETAILS: For full agenda, updates and to register: or call 254-697-2661 SPONSORS: Edible Austin • Coyote Creek Organic Feed Mill • Edible Dallas-Ft Worth Escoffier School of Culinary Arts • Growing Good Things To Eat • Vitamin Cottage Natural Food Markets • Acres USA • Cedar Park & Round Rock Farms 2 Market • American National–Coleman Insurance Agency • Manuel’s Restaurants • Wheatsville Co-Op • Anderlee Lumber • Austin EcoNetwork • Ideal Poultry • Milam Auto Supply • San Antonio Herb Society • TOFGA • Council for Healthy Food Systems • Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance


FALL 2012


The 5th Annual Dripping with Taste Wine and Food Festival is Saturday, September 8 at Texas Hill Country Olive Company tasting room and orchard in Dripping Springs. Enjoy tastings from artisan food vendors, area restaurants and wineries along with chef demonstrations and live music. Visit for tickets and more information.

LET THEM EAT CAKE! AMOA-Arthouse and Edible Austin present Let Them Eat Cake!, our signature fall community event, on Tuesday, October 2 from 8–10 p.m. at the Driscoll Villa on the grounds of Laguna Gloria. The exhibition “Collection Selections: De-Luxe” presents art that reflects luxury and excess through its content, material or process. Those who care to indulge with us are invited to enjoy the art exhibition (on view through December 2) while enjoying sweets and libations created by some of our finest local food artisans. Tickets are available at and are $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

La Dolce Vita Food & Wine Festival Spend the evening of Thursday, October 11 on the shores of Lake Austin sipping and savoring the tastes of Texas at the 23rd annual La Dolce Vita Food & Wine Festival, benefitting education programs and The Art School at Austin’s original contemporary arts organization, AMOA-Arthouse. Enjoy a Lago di Como experience with food and libations from more than 50 of Austin’s top-tier restaurants and wineries. Visit for tickets and details.

21st Annual San Antonio Herb Market Celebrate the rose as “Herb of The Year” at the San Antonio Herb Market on Saturday, October 15 at the Pearl Brewery, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., featuring guest speakers, plants for sale and lots of advice from herbal gardening and culinary specialists throughout the day. Visit for more information or call 210-688-9421.

Fall Plant Sale & Gardening Festival

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

14th Annual Green Corn Project Fall Festival Join us on Sunday, October 28 at Boggy Creek Farm from noon–3 p.m. for tastings from Austin’s top restaurants, chef demonstrations, live music and more. Tickets available online at

Texas fall fest celebrates texas flavors The 8th Annual Texas Fall Fest & Wine Auction takes place on Friday and Saturday, November 16 and 17, with the Friday Sip and Sunset Stroll featuring top Central Texas chefs, wineries and artisan producers at Horseshoe Bay Resort Yacht Club from 6–9 p.m. Visit for the complete schedule, ticket information and a listing of featured artisans, restaurants and wineries.

at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Sat. & Sun., October 13 & 14 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4801 La Crosse Avenue • 512.232.0100

Celebrate Legendary Texas Flavors! 8th al Annu

Texas Fall Fest & Wine Auction November 16 & 17

Fri. Nov. 16 - Sip and Sunset Stroll with top Central Texas chefs, wineries and artisan producers at Horseshoe Bay Resort Yacht Club 6–9 pm

FEATURED RESTAURANTS: Badu House, Cabernet Grill, Café Josie, Grady Spears, HEB Deli & Catering, Iguana Grill, Jack Allen’s Kitchen, Kerbey Lane Café, Lantana Grill, Mozzarella Cheese Company, The Navajo Grill, Noble Pig, Quality Seafood, River City Grille, Siena, Uptown Blanco Restaurant FEATURED WINERIES: 4.0 Cellars, Becker Vineyards, Bending Branch Winery, Cap Rock Winery, Driftwood Estate Win-


Broken Arrow Ranch, Buddha’s Brew Kombucha, Dos Lunas Artisan Cheese, Drippin’ Sauce, Gourmet Texas

1401 Rosewood Ave 512.454.PIES (7437)

Pasta, New Bread Rising, Paté Letelier, Texas Hill Country Olive Oil, Texas Lavender, Texas on the Plate

slices, take out & delivery



Anderson Lane & Burnet Road slices, take out & delivery

lars, Perissos Vineyard & Winery, Red Caboose, Rohan Meadery, Sandstone Cellars, Spicewood Vineyards, Stone House Vineyard, Texas Hills Vineyard, Texas Saké Company FEATURED ARTISANS: Aurelia’s Chorizo,


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

ery, Fall Creek Vineyards, Flat Creek Estate, Inwood Estates Vineyards, Lily Lake Vineyards, Pedernales Cel-

All Shops Open

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

Sat., Nov. 17 - Formula 1: Texas Wine and Food Trail down Old Main Street in Marble Falls. Visit GG Ganache, La Ti Da, Marta Stafford Fine Art and Smartie Pantz followed by Dinner and Wine Auction with Chef Josh Watkins. For tickets and details: Sponsors: H-E-B • Edible Austin • GO TEXAN • San Pellegrino Festival benefits Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association and CASA


FALL 2012


Uptown Blanco Restaurant It’s in the middle of everywhere.

Whether you live in Austin, San Antonio or just a short drive away in the Hill Country you’ll enjoy our daily specials, expertly prepared using many of the local ingredients grown and produced throughout south Texas. On the Town Square in Blanco 317 Main Street 830 833-1579



Blanco, Texas

Spend less time driving & more time eating Best reviewed B&B in Texas. 500 online reviews with 5-star average rating. Nightly rates: $199-$399 Includes 3-course dinner & full hot breakfast for 2. Chef creates weekly menu using fresh local ingredients hand selected from area farmers’ markets and our very own gardens.

25 miles south of Austin

Located close to multiple stops on The Texas Wine Trail. 12 romantic rooms on 100 acre grounds. Pool & Day Spa on-site. 4444 W FM 150 Kyle, TX 78640 512.268.1617 - 800.579.7686 12

FALL 2012


visit for an edible readersʼ special offer

notable Edibles An Organic Thirst First


Jester King Craft Brewery 13005 Fitzhugh Rd., Building B 512-537-5100



THE 2012/2013 SEASON


Photos: Liu Junqi, Rodrigo Gómez, Michael Hart, Joan Marcus, José Luiz Pederneiras, Erinn Chalene Cosby, Régis Lansac

ince it opened last winter, Jester King Craft Brewery has been churning out consistently creative farmhouse ales, and their Hill Country brewery has become a place of pilgrimage for Austin beer enthusiasts eager for weekly tastings complemented by local food and music. Their artisanal ales, which currently include six year-round products and countless limited editions, are brewed using filtered well water from their own backyard, and they use wild Hill Country yeast whenever possible. At the start of the summer, Jester King was also named a certified organic producer, under the USDA’s National Organic Program, making it the only beer brewery in Texas authorized to label their beers “certified organic.” “Since we first began brewing, we’ve been using organic malts whenever we were able to do so,” explains brewer Ron Extract. “Fortunately, the variety and quality of organic malts available [have] improved dramatically over the last few years, and we’re now able to source most of what we use organically without compromising quality in any way.” Currently, the only Jester King beer that isn’t certified organic is the Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout, which uses a small amount of nonorganic specialty malt. However, since over 70 percent of its ingredients are organic, it will still carry a “made with organic ingredients” label, as well as a seal from the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). “The certification process was somewhat difficult, time-consuming and costly,” admits Extract. In order to add new organic products, or even make certain changes to existing labels, Jester King had to amend their brewery registration and resubmit it for review by the TDA before submitting the labels to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and subsequently to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. “It creates some additional hoops that we must now jump through in order to bring new beers to the market,” says Extract, “but we wanted our customers to know that this was something we took seriously.” Currently, the hops used in production are not required to be organic under the USDA’s National Organic Program. However, this will become a requirement in 2013, which will make the selection of usable hops more expensive and difficult for brewers to source. Jester King is currently on a search for the right organic hops to complement their beers without sacrificing flavor. “We’ve found some sources of organic hops that we believe will work very well in our beers,” says Extract. “In some cases, this involves working directly with growers, which is actually really nice, in that it creates some additional traceability in our beer—something that we feel is consistent with our broader efforts to make truly authentic farmhouse ales.”—Veronica Meewes



FALL 2012



his spring, four high school culinary students were granted an opportunity that few seasoned chefs experience. Lupe Pirul and Donna Lee Cruz, from Austin’s Travis High School, and Ryan Johnson and Jaleun Foster, from Pflugerville’s Connally High School, were selected by their teachers to travel to New York and serve as sous-chefs for a day at the globally acclaimed James Beard House as part of the Texas ProStart program—an industry-based culinary arts and restaurant management curriculum developed by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Currently, the program is in more than 150 high schools across the state—reaching over 15,000 students annually. The trip was organized by culinary journalist and consultant Toni Tipton-Martin as part of her Spirit, Attitude, Nutrition, Deeds and Effort Youth Project (SANDE)—a nonprofit that promotes healthy lifestyles and fosters cultural heritage in East Austin. For the past three years, the students have also been volunteering at TiptonMartin’s Peace Through Pie event—a project that invites the public to gather for pie and memories on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. “I founded SANDE to use food as a tool to help families take better care of themselves,” explains Tipton-Martin. “We partner with food, nutrition and cultural organizations to create a unique annual program that educates kids and their families in some aspect of cultural heritage or hospitality.” The four students cooked a Southern feast alongside chef and food historian Scott Barton (of New York City’s Gravy): shrimp gumbo, stuffed mushrooms, caviar salad and spoon bread topped with shrimp and crab sauce. The meal was served

at the reception to the pop-up art exhibit TiptonMartin had curated at the James Beard House’s Greenhouse Gallery. The show, based on TiptonMartin’s upcoming book, The Jemima Code (to be released in 2014), celebrated the culinary contributions of unsung black women throughout history. Rob McDonald, Travis High School’s culinary arts instructor, describes the students’ reaction to the experience as amazed and overwhelmed. “They cannot believe that it actually happened,” he says, “and I’m sure that they will always feel a strong connection to the city for having had such an amazing opportunity.” Lupe recalls, “The one thing that I took away from the event was confidence in myself and motivation for my future. My plans for the future are to work and go to college then join the Navy and become a culinary specialist and be the chef I always wanted to be!” Tipton-Martin is currently working on securing a permanent space to stage cooking classes and food-service projects and there’s the possibility of a wholesome bakery or healthy food takeout spot on the East Side. Until then, she’ll continue to empower young people—teaching them lessons of culture and community—by sharing stories and recipes from the past and offering them life-changing opportunities like this one at the James Beard House.—Veronica Meewes  or more information on the SANDE project, visit F

From top: Lupe Pirul and Donna Lee Cruz shop for fresh produce at Chelsea Market. Ryan Johnson drains steamed green beans for a marinated vegetable tray. Cruz makes benne wafers, a delicate southern cracker, for the reception.

The Leaning Pear Cafe` & Eatery Serving the Texas Hill Country Fresh &

Seasonal Favorites Using Local Ingredients Wednesday to Monday ~ 11:00 am-3:00 pm Friday and Saturday ~ 11:00 am-8:00 pm

111 RiveR Road • WimbeRley, Texas • 512-847-PeaR 14

FALL 2012


Photography by Toni Tipton-Martin

New Talent in the House

The responsibility of sustainability.

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

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

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

FALL 2012


Food is Free

Photography by Dustin Fedako


he Food is Free Project started in November 2011 with a single four-by-four-foot raised bed of winter greens in John VanDeusen Edwards’s front yard and a whiteboard and marker inviting people to post contact information if they considered access to natural, fresh food a human right. “Within two weeks, we had to erase that board multiple times because it was so full of e-mail addresses,” says Edwards, the project’s cofounder. “This was something that was really resonating with people.” Less than one year later, Food is Free volunteers have built more than 30 front-yard beds on two neighborhood blocks (including Edwards’s own in Brentwood) and about 20 more at several elementary schools. In addition, the group has constructed demonstration gardens and held training sessions at local community centers around Austin, including 5604 Manor on the East Side. The goal of the Food is Free Project is to build community and fix a broken food system by teaching people how to create free, low-maintenance front-yard gardens for themselves and their neighbors. Once a neighborhood block is selected from a waiting list, the group hosts an information session. Soon after, participants and other volunteers from around Austin build the gardens at no cost to the hosts, who in turn water and maintain them. When the harvest is ready, participants share what they’ve grown with their neighbors and anyone else who asks. The idea, says Edwards, is to grow relationships as well as food. “I go harvest the basil at your house, and you harvest tomatoes from my house,” he says. “Together we can make pesto and sauce.” Edwards says the idea for the project came, in part, from hosting a plot for Urban Patchwork, a community-supported agriculture program in Austin that transforms urban yard space into organic farmland. Seeing a swarm of volunteers descend upon the Bermuda-grass-covered backyard of his rental home was a lesson in the transformative power of community. “After that day…when we planted five hundred potatoes, and mulched a quarter-acre lot, and fertilized it all, and pickaxed twenty rows and still had time to eat lunch in six hours…I [thought], Wow. What else is possible? Why isn’t this happening on every street?” One issue was a lack of visibility. In the case of Edwards’s own sideyard plot, a six-foot privacy fence was blocking the view. “The farm plot was behind the fence for over a year, so many neighbors that were walking by really didn’t know it was there,” he says. “It wasn’t until we put a

Jonathan Horstmann and John VanDeusen Edwards

garden in my front yard that it acted as, maybe, more of an invitation.” Another breakthrough was learning about drought-tolerant wicking beds, which Edwards describes as self-contained, man-made aquifers that allow for less watering once plants get established. “The wicking bed was like this keystone that gave me confidence that if we did line a block in gardens, they could stay alive,” Edwards says. To keep costs low, the group uses discarded shipping pallets, political signs, crushed glass and other reclaimed materials to build the wicking beds. Volunteers loan everything from flatbed trailers to jigsaws, and most of the plants and seeds are donations. Edwards says the response to Food is Free has been overwhelming. At a January 2012 kickoff event, more than 100 people signed up to host gardens, and some workdays have had more volunteers than tasks. “Everyone realizes it’s time for something like this,” says cofounder Jonathan Horstmann, who previously worked on a reforestation project in Haiti. “If we want to make an impact, we have to change the way we do things in cities.” The duo is currently working to attain nonprofit status for the project and hopes it will spread beyond Austin. But for now, they’re documenting their processes—and mistakes—as they train leaders to build wicking beds in their neighborhoods. “Never underestimate your power to inspire and affect your community around you,” Edwards says. “Even the smallest of acts can really ripple out.”—Nicole Lessin or

Affordable Health & Wellness for Children, Pets & You

Educational Sessions • Acute Care • Autism Support • Pet Wellness • And Others...

21st Annual Conference October 12-14, 2012 Marriott North, Houston 16

FALL 2012


New to Homeopathy? Special public Q&A session!

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

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

512. 296. 2211 • bj an e garde n s .com EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


A Fertile Solution

Round Rock this Fall!

Local in Source. Texan in Spirit. Great Happy Hour Daily! Patio Dining Sunday Brunch – the freshest & best in town.

OPEN DAILY Sun-Thurs 11am to 10pm Fri-Sat 11am to 11pm Sunday Brunch 10am-2pm 7720 Highway 71 West Austin, TX 78735 512.852.8558 2500 Hoppe Trail Round Rock, TX 78681 Opening this Fall!


n the eight years that Brad Stufflebeam has operated Home Sweet Farm in Brenham, he’s tried many different methods of irrigating and nourishing the 22 acres as organically and sustainably as possible. Some methods worked better than others, but he may have come across the perfect solution with a new powerhouse triumvirate in the form of an 1,800-gallon brew tank, an irrigation pump and a recipe for an all-natural fertilizer. Initially, Home Sweet Farm relied solely on low-volume T-Tape as a means of drip irrigation. “Although [T-Tape] is a more water-conserving method,” Stufflebeam says, “the increased labor to install—and especially to remove—the tape was a burdensome task, leaving us with five miles of plastic trash leftover at the end of each season…which no one recycles.” Next, he tried multiple fertilizer injectors, which delivered regulated portions of fertilizer into the irrigation system via the T-Tape. But the injectors were designed for chemical fertilizers and couldn’t handle the organic material in Stufflebeam’s earth-friendly mix. He also experimented with foliar feeding—a method of applying fertilizer directly to plants. But it was soon discovered that these applications only increased labor and fuel costs and often fell to the wayside during the busy harvest season when time and energy are short. During the drought of 2010—out of necessity to decrease waste and labor load—Stufflebeam decided to try overhead irrigation. This method allowed him to water cover-crop rotations between seasons without having to pull up miles of T-Tape. However, he still needed a means of distributing the aforementioned organic amendments without clogging equipment or creating extra maintenance requirements. The solution was a combination of the overhead irrigation system and the new 1,800-gallon tank. This allows Stufflebeam to premix his organic fertilizer blend with well water or rainwater and then send it out to the fields using the irrigation pipes and pump. The crops are nourished each time they are watered and, by adding neem oil or Spinosad (a natural insecticide) to the solution, most insects are repelled. “By using our new brew tank,” explains Stufflebeam, “we have bypassed the need for high-maintenance sprayers and injectors—creating a more convenient way to apply high-quality organic amendments to our soil. Pest problems are down and yields have increased by providing a more consistent feeding program.”—Veronica Meewes Home Sweet Farm 7800 FM 2502, Brenham 979-251-9922


FALL 2012


Photography of pepper grown with new fertilization program by Carina Stufflebeam





30 locations in Central Texas







NORTH-10000 RESEARCH BLVD#130 512.342.2344 & SOUTH-215 LAVACA STREET 512.495.1559 WWW.CONOLIOS.COM



FALL 2012


Generation Food


n the 2007 book Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, author Raj Patel describes how an indefensible corporate global food system—focused on producing products for profit, not food for people—leaves a billion people overweight and nearly a billion starving. His follow-up book, The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy (drawn from Oscar Wilde’s quip that “nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing”), examines how our faith in prices to interpret value creates the larger, incoherent economic system. While Patel was on the lecture circuit for these books, the most sophisticated audiovisual aid he employed was a Snickers bar—using it as a prop to demonstrate what’s wrong with our food system. Reading from the list of ingredients (a strange amalgam of things grown in the earth and things concocted in a lab), he outlined the health costs—both for the people wolfing down the candy and for the planet. With his engaging, ordinary-guy-who-happens-to-be-really-smart demeanor, Patel even made interesting an explanation of soy lecithin—one of those pseudo-food products found in almost every processed item. For his new project though, Patel is moving away from books, bumping up his production values and shifting from analyzing what’s wrong with our global food system to celebrating how it can be done right. He’s focusing on the many ways people around the world are changing how their communities eat today so that everyone can eat tomorrow. And to tell these stories, he’s teamed up with prizewinning director Steve James, best known for Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters, to document the new film Generation Food. James points out there are many great documentaries about what’s wrong with the industrial food system but fewer focusing on alternatives. Their film will focus on groups committed to social justice and ecological sustainability in developing countries—people drawing on a foundation of traditional knowledge and the best of modern science. Telling these stories from developing countries is crucial because people in affluent countries live in a world defined by a handful of corporations that run the food system. “The food industry has made our world theirs,” notes Patel. One example in the film comes from the Peruvian highlands, where climate change has reduced the growing season by 25 percent. Indigenous farmers have developed better ways to farm the more than 700 20

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native varieties of potato, and communities have created markets with sliding-scale prices to ensure no one goes hungry. Patel sums up the problem—and the most productive solutions—by challenging the adage that if you give someone a fish, it will feed them for a day, but if you teach them how to fish, it feeds them for a lifetime. Applying that idea to the developing world misses the point, he says. “In developing countries, people have been fishing for a very, very long time. What the international aid complex and modern development have done for developing countries is impose a vision of how fishing should happen—believing that free markets and modern capitalism will make life much, much better—and that vision is very unsustainable. In the process, the ways that people had been fishing are destroyed.” In Malawi, farmer-led innovations in agroecology outperform the fertilizer-dependent subsidy program, while community nutrition programs have improved child nutrition. “Malawians themselves are developing far more robust ways of feeding themselves,” says Patel. By organizing democratically and sharing resources (via “small acts of rebellion and mutual aid”), Patel says that people at the local level can achieve food sovereignty and control over the decisions about food and agriculture policy that affect their lives. “Bigger acts of rebellion are on the table, too,” he says. “It’s hard to imagine a fair food system without some hefty change. But the good news is that it’s change that many in the ‘99 percent’ are already imagining, and in some cases, making real.” Such acts of resistance are unfolding around the world, as one generation finds out how to best care for another. And Generation Food aims to tell these stories. For information on Generation Food, visit

Raj Patel will present a progress report on Generation Food as the keynote event for Edible Austin presents Eat Drink Local Week, December 2 at Stateside at the Paramount. Details at

Photography of Punjabi seed-saver by Jason Taylor; of Raj Patel by Jan Sturmann

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Judith McGeary b y L ay ne Ly nc h


FALL 2012


Just as McGeary was about to enter the field of consulting, a disturbing rumor caught her attention: a program called the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was being proposed by a branch of the USDA that would require all farmers—both industrial and small—to tag their livestock and poultry and report their movements to the government. McGeary—who owns a farm of her own—couldn’t imagine a legitimate reason small farmers would need to adhere to such drastic regulations. She adopted a booming voice on behalf of small farmers and attempted to reason with officials with the argument that the program was unnecessary for small-scale production. “I got told in so many words that they were the experts and that I should just go home, be quiet and comply,” she says. “As you can imagine, therein lie the origins of FARFA.” From the beginning, FARFA fought against the potentially devastating effects of NAIS and aided with a number of other issues, including spreading the word about genetically modified foods and the potential risks involved, amending the Food Safety Modernization Act to protect local producers from federal regulations, protecting the rights of rawmilk producers and fighting for a cottage-food law. The plans for NAIS were halted in 2010, no doubt as a direct result of FARFA’s and other activist groups’ efforts. Today, when she isn’t at home on her 165-acre farm in Cameron, McGeary continues to work toward FARFA’s goal of equalizing a playing field where bigwig industrial agriculture is commonly king. “I hear people asking, ‘How do we play well with industry folks,’ but I don’t get why we have to,” she says. “It’s a competing system, and I’m not asking for an advantage over them. I’m just looking for a system that doesn’t give them an advantage over us.” McGeary’s work continues to mount as established precedents tend to aid industrial giants like Tyson Foods, but FARFA is a fertile seed in a powerful grassroots revolution. “We’re at a turning point,” she says. “The sustainable agriculture and local food movement has gotten too big to be ignored. We’re either going to have to become a respectable movement with some power behind it, or we’re going to get crushed by the status quo. That’s why FARFA’s work never stops.”  o learn more about FARFA and the upcoming Farm and Food T Leadership Conference, visit

Photography by Jenna Noel


hen Judith McGeary founded the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) six and a half years ago, she intended to take a short leave of absence from practicing law to get the grassroots activist group off the ground and eventually hand over the reins to another passionate activist. But McGeary did no such thing. Did she stay on to see a number of vital projects through to fruition? Sure. But the real reason was a little more romantic. “I can’t claim I had some grand vision in the beginning,” says McGeary. “But it was just one of those things where you realize: ‘Wow, this is what I’m meant to do.’” During her formative years in North Dallas, McGeary thought her passion for riding horses and debating her way through mock trials foreshadowed a future in veterinary science or environmental law. “I was a bit of a geek,” she admits. “I went to school, rode horses and read books. That was my world.” After graduating from high school, she moved away to Stanford University to study biology—with full intent to leave Texas for good. When it came time to choose a professional path in college, McGeary attempted the veterinarian route. But after a stagnant summer on the job, she realized she lacked a propensity for the field. A few years later, when the University of Texas offered her a full merit scholarship to law school, McGeary assumed her backup plan of pursuing environmental law would satisfy the hunger that veterinary work had failed to sate. But after a year of handling endangeredspecies and wetland issues, that unsettled feeling reared its ugly head once more. “I was, frankly, bored,” she says. “It wasn’t an intellectual challenge and I wasn’t intrigued by my work.” But passion had a way of finding McGeary even when she seemed most lost, and that passion was born from a conversation that took place in 2000—before the local or sustainable food movements had picked up any steam. “[Professor] Dick Richardson said that if I really cared about the environment, I needed to understand where my food came from,” says McGeary. “I remember looking at him and saying, ‘I buy organic all the time; of course I care.’ He looked at me and said, ‘You don’t know the first thing you’re talking about.’” Following their eye-opening discussion, McGeary took Richardson’s advice and started honing a profound interest in farming—eventually deciding to become a consultant in sustainable agriculture. “It was a life-changing moment,” she says. “I realized you could have this ecosystem of restoring agriculture that was good for the environment, good for animals, good for people and good for human health. I started to appreciate and understand the roots of my food.”

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FALL 2012


Passport to local

Culinary Incandescence in Rockport:



lue water and sunshine, sea breezes and slow living: there are innumerable joys associated with visiting the coasts of South Texas. And Texans do love their Gulf seafood. For the most part, though, fine dining hasn’t really been a major factor in the coastal equation—especially dining that focuses on local fish, game, forage and produce. (Ever notice how many seaside restaurants serve salmon?) But in the little beach town of Rockport, just north of Corpus Christi, the situation has changed. 24

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A new star shining on the South Texas Gulf Coast is the sweet bijou of a restaurant—appropriately named Glow—in a transformed boathouse facing the waters of Little Bay. Glow’s talented chef and owner, Karey B. Johnson, is enthusiastically committed to showcasing the best ingredients that the Coastal Bend has to offer—including some components that haven’t seen much use since Native Americans reaped the bounty of the sea and the land.

Photography by Kevin Johnson

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There’s a lot of history here that’s maybe been dormant for a while— especially food history. We’re trying to bring that back to life.” —Chef Karey B. Johnson Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to appreciate venerable ingredients and apply them to contemporary cooking. Johnson, raised in Houston, made her way to Rockport via San Marcos, New York City and ultimately London, where she owned a catering company for eight years. Her husband, Kevin, has Rockport roots, and when the couple was expecting twin boys in 2008, they decided to move their growing family back to Texas. Immediately, Johnson was struck by the culinary possibilities. “This area is magnificently haunting,” she says. “There’s a lot of history here that’s maybe been dormant for a while—especially food history. We’re trying to bring that back to life.” Itinerant groups of Karankawas roamed the coast for millennia— hunting game, fishing, collecting shellfish and sea greens and gathering abundant wild fruits, nuts and seeds. When Texas was still part of Mexico, the Coastal Bend was sparsely settled by Tejanos in the early 18th century and then by Anglo ranchers from the 1860s on. Until 1900, Rockport was a hub for processing and shipping beef. Boatbuilding and commercial fishing developed in the 1880s, and shrimping took off in the 1920s. Game hunting has been part of South Texas life since the Karankawas’ time, and the coast’s temperate climate and beauty have always attracted visitors. A newer component is the produce grown by intrepid local farmers learning to work successfully with the challenging terrain. “This is the story I want to tell with my cooking,” Johnson says. After remodeling the old wooden boathouse into an intimate space that manages to be rustic and elegant simultaneously, she opened Glow in May 2011. The dinner menu changes daily, based on what’s available by midafternoon. Most ingredients are sourced within a hundred miles of the restaurant. “This forces me to be more creative in my thinking—to work faster,” says Johnson. A typical Glow menu would include fish, shrimp, antelope, feral pig, quail and, when in season, crab and oysters. Beef has been off the rotation since last year’s epic drought forced area ranchers to drastically reduce herds and left local grassfed beef in short supply. But an array of seasonal produce from nearby Four String Farm and Bee Tree Farm are in abundant supply. The menu also includes some ingredients foraged and produced by Johnson herself, like her own hand-dried Frandolig sea salt (named after the ranch island that is now Key Allegro), pecans and sweet mesquite beans (a Karankawa favorite) that are made into flour and syrup for

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FALL 2012


The New Texas Gold

Photography by Kevin Johnson

Gold Winner at the 2012 San Francisco International Wine Competition

Chef Karey B. Johnson with third-generation fisherman John Johnson

desserts and cocktails. She picks wild berries and mustang grapes for summertime menus, and in the winter, she gathers tender samphire from isolated beaches—noting that it tastes something like a salty asparagus and is great with fish. For many reasons, commercial Gulf Coast fishing and shrimping have undergone significant changes that have caused a diminished catch that’s primarily shipped away. “It sounds strange,” Johnson says, “but it’s almost easier to get fresh Gulf seafood in Austin than on the coast.” However, she’s developed firm relationships with fisherfolk and shrimpers. She obtains seafood directly from third-generation fisherman John Johnson (no relation) of Fulton Beach Marina and from Flower’s Shrimp Market in Rockport, which sells catch from local Vietnamese-American fishing boats. She works closely with Jim Naismith, an innovative fisherman who processes his catch ike jime-style—a Japanese method of immobilizing, killing and bleeding fish that produces a better flavor and color in the flesh. And she embraces Gulf Coast species not often seen on menus: along with the more common flounder and snapper, she serves sheepshead, gulf squid, grey mullet, tilefish, grouper and Spanish mackerel. Through her inspired preparations, Johnson’s converted diners to enjoying varieties that traditionally haven’t been valued. “Simply cooked fish, coastal produce, wine and friends” is how Johnson characterizes Glow. And word is out about this hospitable formula; the bistro is full most nights. Johnson has been invited to introduce her Gulf Coast magic at the James Beard House this November where she’ll be cooking a Glow dinner paired with Texas wines. Frandolig sea salt, meet Manhattan!

Pedernales Cellars wines are available in our tasting room in Stonewall in the Texas Hill Country, online at, and at The Austin Wine Merchant, East End Wines, Spec’s, Twin Liquors, Urban Wine and Liquor, and Whole Foods Market.


FALL 2012


 ook for a collection of Johnson’s recipes and stories in her new cookbook, L Glow: Tastes from a Tiny Boathouse, available this fall. Glow 1815 Broadway St., Rockport 361-727-2644



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FALL 2012


Passport to local

Jack Gilmore’s Farm Tour AS T O L D T O J E SS I C A D U P UY


t’s been more than two years since we opened Jack Allen’s Kitchen in Oak Hill. From the beginning, we were committed to sourcing as many of our ingredients locally as possible. I spent a lot of weekends at farmers markets—buying from the farmers I met. And eventually, those relationships transitioned into direct orders on a weekly basis. But until now, I had never taken the time to actu28

FALL 2012


ally see where my food was coming from. So I took a couple of weeks for a personal farm tour—traveling a total of about 4,500 miles to meet the people who take care of us. I got to see them in their own environment, where they roll up their sleeves day and night to produce some of the best fruits, vegetables and meats in the state. Jack Gilmore in Tecolote Farm’s okra field holding freshly picked peppers

“I visited those who manage pigpens and long stretches of vegetable gardens and met their families as well. I saw how Texas olives are harvested and markets with the freshest seafood you can

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imagine. And at each click on my odometer, I gained a deeper appreciation for the life a farmer

Photography by Jenna Noel

leads.” —Jack Gilmore Along the vast stretches of road, I’d stop at gas stations and ask locals where I could find the best restaurants and diners. Some nights I’d spring for a motel, but other nights, I’d just sleep in my truck. I visited those who manage pigpens and long stretches of vegetable gardens and met their families as well. I saw how Texas olives are harvested and markets with the freshest seafood you can imagine. And at each click on my odometer, I gained a deeper appreciation for the life a farmer leads. My first stop was at Richardson Farms, which is known for pasture-raised pork. Owner Jim Richardson put me on a four-wheeler for a tour and I found something I wasn’t expecting: ducks, cows and turkeys! It’s so easy to get tunnel vision as a chef when you just order the one thing a farmer is known for. We spent the rest of our time surveying some of the 200 acres of healthy, happy animals this family farm has and it only deepened my commitment to work with them. My next stop was Tecolote Farm in Manor. They grow about 150 varieties of veggies, and they are all about quality. If a vegetable is not right, they will till it back into the earth. In reality, they’re leaving money in the fields, but it says a lot about the integrity of what they do. It’s a simple philosophy that a lot of chefs, including myself, have for their restaurants: if a plate isn’t right, then it doesn’t leave the kitchen. Meeting with owners David and Katie Pitre gave me a close-up glimpse of the journey a vegetable takes from farm to plate and just how important that philosophy of perfection is every step of the way. From Tecolote, I drove back through Bastrop and stopped in Cedar


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FALL 2012


Photography at Tecote Farm by Jenna Noel; at Richardson Farms by Jody Horton

Above and near right: Tecolote Farm’s Katie Kraemer Pitre shows Jack just-harvested edamame. Tecolote chickens on the run. Far right: Jim Richardson with his pasture-raised pigs on Richardson Farms.

Creek, where Johnson’s Backyard Garden has one of their locations. (Altogether, they have about 70 acres of farmland here and in the heart of East Austin.) Here, Brenton and Beth Johnson have created a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that serves families throughout the area. Visiting the Johnsons stood out as another example of just how little I knew about how much these farmers actually do. Not only is there an abundance of beautiful vegetables, but the sites are managed efficiently for water consumption—something Brenton’s former career in municipal water management helped foster. Many CSA members volunteer at their two locations where they learn about farm work and where good food comes from. It’s an investment in the community that is inspiring. My next stop was in Poteet, where Texas’s famous strawberries come from. If you’ve had a strawberry from Poteet, chances are it came from Cora Lamar of Oak Hill Farms. Her strawberries may be some of the best, but I depend on Cora for spinach for my Navajo tacos with fried spinach. It’s got to be thick and full of water, and hers is the only crop I can find that I like well enough. When her spinach isn’t in season, I don’t make Navajo tacos. Next was Carrizo Springs and the Texas Olive Ranch. We use a lot of their olive oil when finishing our dishes, and I got to see firsthand where the olives grow. Owner Jim Henry didn’t really know what he was doing when he started, but he was determined to start a Texas olive oil industry. They have about 40,000 trees at their own farm, and have started a consortium of ranchers who grow a total of about 150,000 trees on their properties, combined. All of 30

FALL 2012


“Meeting with [Tecolote Farm] owners David and Katie Pitre gave me a closeup glimpse of the journey a vegetable takes from farm to plate and just how important that philosophy of perfection is every step of the way.” —Jack Gilmore the olives are taken to Kyle after harvest to be pressed and bottled. Afterward, I headed to Bandera to visit Diamond H Ranch where I source quail. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was blown away by their operation. Father and son Mike and Chris Hughes, who also own Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram, raise quail both for hunting ranches and for commercial sale. They farm-raise the birds from egg to grown and they process about 9,500 birds per week. We use about 2,000 quail legs a week at Jack Allen’s and, in my opinion, the

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FALL 2012


Photography at Tecolote Farm by Jenna Noel; at Johnson’s Backyard Garden and Broken Arrow Ranch by Jody Horton Clockwise: Johnson’s Backyard Garden tomato harvest; deer on Broken Arrow Ranch; Jack loads up his truck at Tecolote Farm

Hugheses’ are the best. With the opening of the second Jack Allen’s, we’ll need double from them. On this visit, I wanted to make sure they could handle the additional demand. I also went to Broken Arrow Ranch, a purveyor of wild game that supplies restaurants all over the country. They have contracts all over the state to hunt wild game and process it for sale. You can get anything from axis to South Texas antelope to wild boar. It’s a great concept as it helps Texas ranchers manage their game populations in a humane way. My next stop was my childhood home. I’m originally from Brownsville and I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley. I primarily get my jalapeños and citrus from that area—particularly organic oranges and grapefruit from G&S Groves near McAllen. After visiting the Valley, I headed to the Port Arthur area and Seabrook area (near Galveston). When I was about 15, I worked on a shrimping boat and I remember the hard work involved. It was a great experience to meet the fishermen at the local seafood markets, and I was reminded of the abundance the Gulf Coast has 32

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to offer. Being in the coastal area renewed my commitment to serve Texas seafood. If Texas oysters or shrimp aren’t in season, I wait until they are. I also made a point to visit Holmes Foods in Nixon where we source a lot of our chickens, Milagro Farm east of Austin where we get eggs and a few of the farms near my home in Lago Vista including Bat Creek Farm in Bertram and Hairston Creek Farm near Burnet. Overall, I was amazed by the variety and quality of the farms we have in Texas, and by the many people who are trying to do the right thing by our food. They have some of the hardest jobs, and seeing the abundance of their labor made me want to work that much harder to properly appreciate and showcase their bounty. You can contact Jack Gilmore at Jack Allen’s Kitchen (South) 7720 W. Highway 71 512-852-8558

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FALL 2012


Passport to local

Playing with Tradition: New Orleans Chefs Redefine the Local Cuisine b y K r i s ti W i l l i s

Sylvain’s chef Alex Harrell and his dish of mangrove snapper served with an onion puree and corn and tomatoes from Holly Grove Market and Farm

Find recipes from Chef Alex Harrell online at


FALL 2012


Photography by Jenna Noel


ew Orleans is one of America’s richest food cities, with a cuisine strongly defined by Southern, Cajun and Creole influences. Tourists arrive with high expectations—craving classics like po’boys dripping with dressing, andouille and boudin sausages, oysters Rockefeller, gumbo and étouffée. But a new group of chefs with strong Southern roots is challenging the status quo and unapologetically adapting the dishes of their youth while staying true to their flavors, if not their heavy ingredients.


FALL 2012


Photography by Ed Anderson © 2012 MiLa chefs Slade Rushing and Allison VinesRushing and their Oyster Swiss Chard Gratin

Sylvain’s chef Alex Harrell grew up in Alabama but visited New Orleans often as a child. As an adult, he started his culinary career in the venerable kitchens of Galatoire’s and Brennan’s, but when it came time to create his own menu, he wanted to do something different. “Designing the menu became an evolution of how can I keep this fresh, seasonal and something I’d be interested in eating,” he says. Harrell and crew produce as much as they can in-house, including all of their pastas and old world-style salami, pâtés and terrines. Southern ingredients are featured on the Sylvain menu, but are presented in an unexpected way: chicken livers are served as a pâté on crostini rather than fried, gulf shrimp is paired with clams and chorizo instead of with grits or in étouffée and the description of the daily fish dish is kept intentionally vague so that Harrell can feature what is fresh from the docks and the field. On a hot June day, the special included mangrove snapper served with an onion puree and corn and tomatoes from Holly Grove Market and Farm. MiLa chefs Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing both grew up in the South—northern Louisiana and Mississippi, respectively— and developed a strong appreciation for the traditional cuisine. As they worked their way through kitchens across the country, they focused their attention on the foods of their childhoods, but with more refined techniques, simple, fresh ingredients and a lighter touch. At Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar in New York, for example, they tinkered with the recipe for oysters Rockefeller (included in their new cookbook, Southern Comfort: A New Take on the Recipes We Grew Up With). “Instead of cooking the oysters to death in the oven and putting a paste on it, we deconstructed it,” says Slade. “We cook the spinach in brown butter with shallots and chop it real fine, we poach the oysters in lemon butter, lay them on the spinach, top it with bacon chips and then grate fresh licorice root on it. It has all of the true flavors of what a Rockefeller is.” Another play on a standard is the Rushings’ gumbo consommé on MiLa’s tasting menu. “We take lobster heads, andouille and all the ingredients for a gumbo and make a consommé out of it,” says Slade. “Then we sauté shrimp [and] vegetables and a put a little filé on the plate.” Diners are surprised when the waiter delivers a broth that’s delicate yet packed with all the flavors of a rich gumbo. The Rushings source their produce from Lujele Farms in Mount 36

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Oyster-Swiss Chard Gratin with Country Bacon Reprinted with permission from Southern Comfort: A New Take on the Recipes We Grew Up With by Allison Vines-Rushing and Slade Rushing Serves 8 3 thick slices smoky bacon, cut into small dice 2 T. unsalted butter 1 small onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 bunches Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves chopped into ½-in. dice 2 c. heavy cream 1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg 18 oysters, freshly shucked, patted dry and coarsely chopped ½ t. salt ½ t. freshly ground black pepper 1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1 c. fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400°. Brown the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter, onion, garlic and Swiss chard and sauté until the chard is completely wilted. Remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into a colander set in the sink and squeeze out all excess liquid. Reserve. Return the pan to the stove and add the cream and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium-low so that the cream does not boil over. Cook the cream until it reduces to 1 cup. Set aside to cool. In a bowl, combine the chard mixture, cooled cream and oysters. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a 3-quart gratin dish. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture evenly. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and sprinkle the topping evenly over the gratin. Bake until the mixture is bubbling around the sides and the crust is lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

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FALL 2012



Hermon, which forces them to cook out of necessity and abundance. In the summer, they can get overloaded with summer squash and must rely on creativity to come up with unique ways to prepare it. “We don’t waste anything,” says Slade. “We were taught to cross-utilize every bone, the skin, everything—don’t let anything go to waste. It brews creativity.” Chef Bart Bell of Crescent Pie & Sausage Company, in the MidCity neighborhood, grew up in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, just outside of Lafayette. He was tempted by the great food cities like New York and San Francisco, but felt New Orleans was a unique place to run a restaurant. “New Orleans has the great food, but it’s also a little gritty and dirty,” says Bell. “It has something special that those other places just don’t have. I wanted to cook what I remember eating as a kid, and to have fun with it—really showcasing some Louisiana ingredients.” Bell makes sausages that honor the tradition of smoked meats in the region, but the menu features both traditional regional recipes like chaurice as well as Bell’s own creations like a zampina sausage made with chicken rather than the traditional veal. He has a number of conventional items on the regular menu, like jambalaya, red beans and rice, and court bouillon, but he applies a seasonal rule to certain dishes. For example: he won’t make gumbo when the temperature rises above 70 degrees. “People always say to me, ‘Bart, your gumbo is great; why aren’t you making it?’” Bell says. “I explain that if I made gumbo year-round, it would taste like everyone else’s gumbo.” Eschewing the traditional New Orleans standards does raise the occasional eyebrow—particularly those of out-of-towners. Harrell had a party leave brunch because neither eggs Benedict nor beignets were on the menu. “I told them that’s not what we do, and there are people who do that better than we do,” he says. And chefs like the Rushings, whose kitchen is housed in a hotel, must work to strike a balance between the expected and the creative to cater to their particular clientele, “I wish we could just do the creative, but that’s not how New Orleans is,” says Slade. Expect to see even more innovation as this new class of Big Easy chefs and their peers continue to redefine a cuisine by marrying tradition with seasonality and a bit of playfulness.

Photography by Jenna Noel Chef Bart Bell of Crescent Pie & Sausage Company and his smoked meat platter.

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Courtesy of Bart Bell, Crescent Pie & Sausage Company Serves 4 2 T. butter 1 lb. dry fusilli pasta, prepared according to package directions Salt and pepper, to taste ½ lb. grated Muenster cheese 1 handful grated Parmesan 2 c. of heavy cream 2 T. olive oil 2 lb. kale, washed and stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces ¼ c. white wine 1 lb. Crescent Pie & Sausage Company Smoked Chaurice (or your favorite chorizo or spicy sausage), grilled and sliced

Heat the butter in a nonstick skillet. Add the cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper. Toss in both cheeses, mixing with the pasta. Once mixed, do not stir so that the cheeses will carmelize. Then flip like a pancake, add the cream and reduce to your liking. In a seperate pan, sauté the kale in olive oil, add the white wine and a little salt and cover. Once the kale is wilted, uncover the pan and toss. Slide pasta pancake onto a platter. Top with the cooked sausage and kale.

Sylvain 625 Chartres St., New Orleans 504-265-8123 • MiLa In the Renaissance New Orleans Père Marquette Hotel 817 Common St., New Orleans 504-412-2580 • Crescent Pie & Sausage Company 4400 Banks St., New Orleans 504-482-2426 • EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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Passport to local

pursuing Tej b y Lo g a n C oope r


hree bottles—looking more like scientific accessories than traditional drinking vessels—sit on the table in front of us. We’re in a small space filled with a kinetic and convivial crowd, much of it dancing. The young guy to my right squints through the haze of incense at the beaker-like glass in his hand, then leans in close to be heard over the enthusiastic drumming of the tireless twoman band. “This one burns a little,” he says. “I’m thinking I like the sweetest one best.” I’m not sure I agree with him. So for the dozenth time that evening, I reach out for one of the glasses on our table—beginning, again, to make my way through all of the options in

front of us. One can never be too thorough when pursuing serious research. My wife, Rachel, and I are at the very top of the small Ethiopian hill town of Lalibela, drinking a home-brewed wine called tej that’s concocted from local honey and gesho, the bitter leaves of the buckthorn tree. We’ve been hunting the best examples of the somewhat elusive beverage since we arrived three weeks ago. To find this particular place, we relied on the poorly translated recommendation of an acquaintance. The directions were sketchy at best: “look for an alley behind the police station” and “listen for music.” It didn’t help that the place was called “Torpido”—not exactly confidence inducing.


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Before this trip, we had imagined Ethiopia as arid, dust strewn and sepia toned. In reality, the country is stunningly lush, blanketed with wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, nigella, canola, teff, corn, sorghum, millet, flax, sesame, peanuts, safflower, sunflowers, taro and yams. They also grow very small red onions and very big beets. With the exception of a short occupation by the Italians, Ethiopia was never part of the colonial shell game like the rest of Africa. Thus, its sense of self and its national pride shine like nowhere else on the continent. Ethiopians love popcorn with their coffee and have preternaturally clear complexions. They weave beautiful fabrics, smile a lot and instead of saying “yes” or nodding, they show affirmation with a quick, sharp inhale— like a gasp of surprise. It can be disconcerting and difficult to get used to. Most of the country is dominated by an old and curious branch of Orthodox Christianity. They have their own patriarch, and large swaths of the population don’t eat meat on Wednesdays or Fridays. They claim to have the original Ark of the Covenant. Time is different there, too. Since they never adopted the Julian or Gregorian calendars, there are still 13 months in a year, which is currently 2004. Even more confusing: their clocks are set to the equatorial sun, which means noon in European time is 6 o’clock Ethiopian time, because it’s six hours after sunrise. If you want to meet someone at 3 o’clock in the afternoon European time, you ask to meet at 9 o’clock. This does not help with scheduling. When we reached Lalibela, my wife and I had been on the road for six months of a fourteen-month trek around the world to hunt down unusual regional foods. Tej was high on our list. We first sampled it in Addis Ababa, and continued trying versions while working our way north through Bahir Dar and Gondar. But it was in the remote village of Lalibela where we discovered how subtle and well structured the seemingly straightforward elixir could be. When we arrived, our minibus driver stopped and dumped our luggage on the side of the dirt road. There was no sign, or even a clear route into town. Luckily, we happened upon a pair of ten-year-old boys who knew of a mile-long winding path (through an only slightly wet ravine) that ended near our accommodations: a cinder-block construction standing as much from inertia as from any skill that went into it. It wasn’t totally without charm—sporting a few picturesque laundry lines and a cute thatched rondel off to the side that served up coffee and the occasional light meal. Our room featured chipped yellow paint, a few 42

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spots of mold and institutional carpet conveniently worn along the most popular walking paths. And then my wife got fleas. You do not want your wife to get fleas. There was a lot of showering, marital anguish and laundering. In the meantime, we continued (somewhat less comfortably) to explore. Lalibela is best known for its gorgeous rock-hewn churches—really the only reason tourists show up at all. Picture a flat expanse of rock, then imagine digging straight down, chiseling away everything that isn’t part of your church. The end result is pretty spectacular. The oldest ones date to the 12th century and there is nothing like them anywhere else in the world. Almost everyone arrives as part of a package tour, sees the churches and gets back on the bus in less than 24 hours. It’s sensible since the town only recently got electricity, has no paved roads and… well…the whole flea thing. But it’s really a shame. By sticking around for a while, I learned to make injera, the fermented teff-based bread that’s a staple of the region. We were invited to dinner with a local family who had slaughtered one of their prized chickens for the most delicious doro wat (a spicy, buttery stew) I’ve ever had. We learned the proper way to toast coffee and how to pound it by hand with a metal mortar and pestle. The extra time was also indispensable to our tej education. We watched bees flitting across the tiny purple lentil flowers before heading back to their carefully tended brood boxes. Seeing the hives in the countryside isn’t unusual, since Ethiopia is the largest honey producer in Africa. It’s been estimated that up to 70 percent of the final product goes into brewing tej. I met an old lady who showed me how she picked and dried the gesho leaves. She explained that the buckthorn acts a lot like hops in the fermentation; you can tweak the amount to dramatically alter the flavor. She also told me that she adds not just leaves, but some of the stems to her particularly potent varieties. Tej comes in three varying strengths. Laslasa is the sweetest, with the lowest alcohol percentage; makakalanya is the most common and popular style. The really hard stuff—the kind the old lady adds buckthorn twigs to—is called derek. It’s a touch yeasty—almost as bitter as it is sweet—and has a nice dry finish. At the tasting at Torpido, it was the derek that was my favorite. Several different varieties of tej are available here in the States. I’d certainly recommend giving them a try. Like many things, though, when a product goes from small batches made from locally gathered ingredients to an industrial process with all the implied compromises, something gets lost along the way. Food is place, so tej will always be this to us: frenetic shoulder dancing, cowhide stools, climbing over piles of dimly lit rubble, mud walls, laughing too loudly to make up for language differences and grinning old ladies who are sweeter than anything in those bottles. And the occasional flea.

Passport to local

The Great South African Ostrich by Rachel Cooper • photography by Logan Cooper


f, like me, you were a kid who reveled in the glamour and glory of a serious dressup session, you probably owned a feather boa. Perhaps it was in a serene, stately white or maybe an eye-catching pink, but it was made to mimic the classiness of the original chic accessory: the ostrich feather. Around the turn of the last century, adding an ostrich feather to your ensemble was the absolute height of fashion—picture doe-eyed starlets and dancers at the Moulin Rouge. Someone had to supply these feathers to a voracious populace, and that is where the farmers of the South African Karoo stepped in. Fortunes were made, and the newly rich farmers (colloquially known as “feather barons”) built palatial estates on rolling green hills. Unfortunately, the outbreak of World War I made such ostenta-

tious adornments unfashionable and the bottom fell out of the ostrich-feather trade. For many years, farmers struggled to recoup losses as herds of ostriches that had been worth a small fortune became completely worthless. A hundred years later, there are still lots of working farms in South Africa, particularly outside Oudtshoorn, although the ostriches are mostly raised for their meat, eggs and leather instead of for their feathers. My husband and I are driving northeast from Cape Town in a tiny Chevy Spark. We have come to Africa to discover regional food specialties that are off the beaten path and we’ve scheduled a trip to Oudtshoorn, which turns out to be a small and friendly town with a Main Street lined with restaurants and shops. Many of these shops sell all sorts EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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of ostrich ephemera, but we are living out of small backpacks for the next eight months, so the showy feather fans and huge carved ostrich eggs will have to stay on their racks. A jovial woman who owns a storecum-deli stocked with ostrich pâté, sausages and fresh meat tells us how to get into one of those tough orbs while leaving the shell whole enough to be decorated. “You just need a butter knife, a small stone and a bit of patience,” she says. Once into that shell, there’s a LOT of egg. Ostrich eggs are the largest laid by any living bird and are the approximate equivalent of 24 chicken eggs. The flavor’s a bit on the gamy side, so the eggs are often served with strong-flavored sauces. Of course, eggs aren’t the only edible ostrich-derived product; ostrich meat is very popular too, and available around town in many different guises. Biltong, or South African-style jerky, is perhaps the most common, although meat tends to show up on restaurant menus in the form of burgers or steaks. Perhaps the oddest ostrich treat (at least for those of us from places where eating ostrich is not commonplace) is ostrich-neck stew. When braised, the texture of the neck is unctuous and rich, not unlike a cross between oxtail and pot roast. In our travels around southwestern South Africa, we spied ostriches all over the place. They poked their heads over fences, ran from our car on scruffy beaches and peered at us from roadsides. But we never felt comfortable getting too close to them, which is why we were excited to learn that, just outside of Oudtshoorn, there are several ostrich farms that welcome visitors. The Safari Ostrich Show Farm is one of these. An easygoing tour guide with a wonderful, lilting accent leads our group past several paddocks containing different kinds of ostriches. We admire the bright blue thighs of the Somali Ostrich and the red necks of the North African Ostrich. Each of these subspecies has a different strength: some produce higher-quality feathers, while others are more reliable egg layers. I am shocked to find that an ostrich egg can easily support my full weight, although this is perhaps unsurprising given that full-grown ostriches can weigh up to 340 pounds and they sit on their eggs to incubate them. We feed pellets to ostriches and struggle not to flinch as their huge heads descend to peck at our hands. The guide warns us that the birds may take a liking to our sunglasses. 44

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Clockwise: View over the Karoo; beach ostriches at Cape of Good Hope; Rachel at the Safari Ostrich Show Farm

Next, we are led to a paddock where a large male ostrich is brought in, a bank-deposit bag placed over his head to shield his eyes from us. We pose uncertainly for pictures and keep a tight grasp on our sunglasses, and then the guide tells us that we can actually ride this guy! How could I not? It turns out that riding an ostrich is not technically difficult, especially if you have any experience with horses. Sit on the back, tuck your legs under the wings, grab the wing joints with your hands and lean back. It’s a strange, not entirely comfortable, feeling being perched atop a two-legged animal. Your center of balance is much further back than you’d think, and you worry heavily about breaking a feather or two. The catastrophic decline in ostrich value after World War I is not the end of the story for the ostrich farmers of the Karoo. After World War II, the market for ostriches slowly began to rebound. But an outbreak of bird flu in South Africa in 2011 and early 2012 has led to the culling of tens of thousands of ostriches and, once more, the loss of many jobs. The future for ostrich farmers is, again, uncertain. Still, tourism is a driving force for the economy in the Karoo, and lovers of ostrich products and ostrich rides alike will find this region well worth a visit. With its winding roads and stunning sunsets, you’re bound to find a beautiful vista. And many of the hotels even offer guests full use of the kitchens. So go ahead and tackle that egg.


Bastrop, nestled in the Lost Pines of Texas, is the perfect getaway! Beautifully preserved historic buildings and homes; great shopping and restaurants; the wonders of its landscape and river; abundant recreational opportunities golf, biking, hiking and kayaking. All make Bastrop a great destination for the entire family. Come for a visit, and we’ll capture your heart!

Daily Specials Happy Hour Where good friends and families meet for great food!

2804 Hwy 21 E Bastrop, TX 78602 (Across from Bastrop State Park) Home to one of the 50 Best Burgers in Texas!

Tuesday and Thursday

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Come try best Sushi Bastrop

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931 Main Street Bastrop, TX 78602 (corner of Chestnut just off Main St) Monday – Saturday from 4:00 PM– 9:30 PM (512) 321-1171

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919 Main Street Bastrop, Texas 78602 (512) 321-3577

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Live Music. Local Cuisine.

Handcrafted Ales. Eat Local. Drink Local.

601 Chestnut Street Bastrop, TX • 512.321.1144 Overlooking the Colorado River in Historic Downtown Bastrop

The Bastrop Fine Arts Guild invites you to participate in a fine arts show and sale at the Historic Downtown Bastrop Convention Center Saturday & Sunday, October 6-7 from 10 am to 5pm 512-321-8055 or call the Bastrop Visitor Center atEDIBLEAUSTIN.COM 512-303-0904 FALL 2012


Home Grown Tastes Better!

2730 S. Congress Ave •


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Passport to local

Plentiful Peru b y C h r i s tine W h a l en

Peruvian farm grows corn and turnips (above) and freshly cut cherimoya (right)


ast February, I traveled to Peru with my husband’s family to visit close friends, Jorge and Pierina—Peruvian locals who’d offered to help us navigate the country and its cuisine. From the hearty potatoes and corn in the mountains to the tropical fruit in Lima and the Amazon, the food was incredibly fresh, varied and abundant. We spent several days around chilly Cusco—the historic Inca capital about 11,000 feet above sea level—and stayed warm by drinking hot herbal infusions and eating quinoa soup and choclo, a giant-kerneled corn served with slabs of queso fresco that’s sold on the street. One afternoon, I sat at a cliff’s edge taking in the Andes while my in-laws hiked a ruin. I must have looked a little green because a local man asked if I was okay. When I told him it was la altura (the altitude) that was affecting me, his eyes brightened and he told me to stay put. He disappeared down the mountainside and returned with a fistful of wild herbs. “Muña,” he said. “It helps soroche (altitude sickness).” I bruised a leaf with my fingers. It smelled like mint, oregano and grass. I chewed a few leaves. The herb’s freshness and the man’s generosity exemplified the food and the people I had encountered in Peru. Later, I asked Jorge about Gastón Acurio, a Peruvian chef known for introducing Peruvian cuisine to the world. He was excited that I’d heard of Acurio, and he told me that his efforts have “raised Peruvians’ national pride about ten times.” Then he made a reservation at Acurio’s restaurant in Cusco’s city center, where we ate potato bread and papas rellenas, potatoes stuffed with quail eggs and fried crispy, and drank chicha, fermented corn beer. Getting back to sea level brought hot temperatures and new things to eat. It was February—summer in Peru—and fruit season. I devoured an incredible variety of fresh, seasonal produce, some of which I’d never heard of before the trip, and I’m sure I only scratched the surface. Out-

side one of Lima’s chifas, Peruvian-Chinese restaurants, I was shocked to see vendors’ carts brimming with bright yellow granadillas, a kind of passion fruit, for three nuevos soles (about one U.S. dollar) per kilo. In the jungle, and at the beach, we feasted on fruit: tiny, pungent bananas with flavors of strawberry, pineapple and butter; lucuma, waxy green orbs with starchy orange flesh that tasted like caramelized sweet potatoes; cherimoya, a giant custardy fruit tasting of pineapples, raspberries, pears and cream (my new favorite fruit); mamey, a fuzzy brown fruit with a bright orange interior with flavors of pumpkin and plums; and shockingly fresh mango, pineapple and papaya. We picked and ate fruit right off the trees like carambola, tart star fruit; guanabana, cherimoya’s milder, spikier relative and cacao pods with dark beans surrounded by mildly sweet white flesh. Lots of sweets featured the fresh produce. We tried mazamorra morada, a thick purple-corn pudding with tiny sour fruits at the bottom; picarones, thin pumpkin doughnuts with molasses syrup; candies made with invigorating maca (a mildly creamy, bittersweet root known for its medicinal properties) and cacao (the key ingredient in chocolate that ranges in flavor from deep and mellow dried fruit or vanilla to assertive green grass or strong coffee, depending on the variety and how it’s processed) and Pierina’s homemade coconut flan. The tropical fruits made their way into ice cream sold at the beach and along Lima’s busy streets. After sampling banana, lucuma and granadilla ice creams, we finally found cherimoya at the ice-cream shop in Lima’s airport. After returning to Austin, I tracked down cherimoyas and tiny bananas, but they just weren’t the same. While they looked similar, their flavor paled in comparison to those in Peru, which reinforced what I already knew: food is best when it’s fresh, local and in season. Luckily for me, citrus season was in full swing in Texas! EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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Ravago’s grandmother, Lupe Velasquez

COOKS at home

MIGUEL RAVAGO b y E l i s e K r ent z eL

Photography of Miguel Ravago by Matt Lankes


hef Miguel Ravago, founder of Fonda San Miguel—what some call the first authentic Mexican restaurant in Austin— grew up in his loving Mexican grandparents’ house in the dusty desert city of 1950s Phoenix, Arizona. The household also included Ravago’s sister and mother, but it was his grandmother who was the undisputed queen of the roost—leaving him with a solid, lifelong impression of what bliss is supposed to be: good home cooking, compelling conversation and loads of happy people enjoying delicious food. Helping out in his grandmother’s kitchen while his mother was working gave young Ravago the opportunity to watch and learn her cooking skills. “It was mostly Mexican cooking, and I really wanted to learn,” he says. “My grandmother knew that I did, so she had me help her—besides, I was company for her during the day. Grandmother was very young at heart, and she had so much to talk about. And being a lady from Mexico living in the U.S., her way of still being in Mexico was by her cooking. She wanted all of us to know about her foods.” As is the case in many homes, but especially in Ravago’s, serving food, breaking bread together and eating as a family were the central themes. “My cousins who were younger than I would spend the summers with us at Grandmother’s,” he says. “So I am talking about eight or nine extra mouths for her to cook for. It was like a big dinner party every day of the summer, and…you know that kids do not like to eat the same thing every day and Grandmother was so great at keeping us all happy.” Today, Ravago’s special relationship with his grandmother continues to radiate from his hands into his cuisine. “One of the things that she always said to do was to taste what I was cooking, which is something that I say to all my students. And I would love to tell the same to many chefs around today, because I am sure that they would not let things go out of their kitchens in the way they sometimes do. I was lucky to have my grandmother come to Texas to visit our restaurant in her later years. I came out to the dining room to ask her how she enjoyed her dinner and she said, ‘Miguel, I can tell you’re tasting your food, and I remember having this dish in Mexico when I was young.’ To me, that was her way of saying that we were doing a great job and that I was enjoying what I was doing.” Ravago says that there is nothing more heartwarming, delicious and easy to make than his grandmother’s Sopa Seca de Fideo con Pollo, or vermicelli with chicken and chipotle (smoke-dried jalapeño). He suggests that you make a big batch and invite over as many friends and family members as your table will hold.

Sopa Seca de Fideo con Pollo (Vermicelli with Chicken and Chipotle) Serves 4 and can be doubled For the soup: 3 T. olive oil 1 medium white onion, chopped finely 2 garlic cloves, minced 8 oz. fideos (vermicelli) 4 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or 1 c. canned tomato pieces with juices) 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped 2 c. chicken stock or canned chicken broth 1 chicken breast, panfried or grilled, sliced thinly across the grain and then cut into bite-size pieces Sea salt, to taste, if needed For the garnish: 1 small container crème fraîche (better and fluffier than sour cream) ¼ c. chopped cilantro 1 avocado, cut into small chunks 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled by hand 1 ripe tomato, chopped

In a medium-size casserole dish, heat the olive oil over mediumhigh heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened. Add the noodles (if using the coil fideo, break the noodles a couple of times with your hands before adding). Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the pasta is coated with oil and begins to brown evenly without burning. Stir in the tomatoes and chipotle. Let the tomatoes cook a few minutes before adding the broth and chicken. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, stir once then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the noodles are finished—about 10 minutes. Transfer everything to a serving dish and add the garnishes in the order listed. This pasta can also be made without chicken, and it’s great when served with a green salad and a good glass of sauvignon blanc or an oaky Spanish red wine.


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To Market IN Mexico b y I l i a n a de l a Ve g a


ablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner, used to say that the soul of Mexico is in its markets. There, the bustling public hive takes over the senses, from the bright colors and wonderful smells to the background of lulling music flecked with loud pregones: the shouts offering various goods to be had. Even though supermarkets are practical and convenient, nothing can surpass the incredible experience of talking to vendors and even asking for recipes. All of the markets in Mexico are wonderful, but I have my favorites to share. Mercado Benito Juárez This market covers a whole block in downtown Oaxaca City and is arranged in concentric circles. The outermost ring of the market is the area for meats, clothing and folk arts and crafts; the following ring features coffee, shoes and sandals, chicken, fish and specialty products from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Ladies call out their offerrings of tortillas—blandas! (soft) and tlayudas! (large, soft or

crispy)—and mounds of edible grasshoppers are everywhere. In the center of the market are stands with dried chiles, grains and legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits, aguas frescas and nieves (fruit drinks and ice creams), quesillo (Oaxacan string cheese), queso fresco, butter and cream, flowers and much more. Mercado del Trueque This is the most memorable market I’ve ever visited. It’s only open on Friday mornings at the Plaza del Santuario in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. I was told to be early, so at seven o’clock on a chilly and misty fall morning, I was on my way. The vendors were arranging their stands by placing straw mats on the floor where the merchandise would be displayed and speaking in Purépecha, their native tongue. The items in the small stands ranged from fruits, corn, beans, vegetables and handcrafted wooden tools to blanco de Pátzcuaro, a rare, almost-extinct fish from the local lake. But the reason I find this market unique is that it’s a trip to the past. Forget about credit cards EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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and money; here, the method for acquiring goods is to barter—it’s what trueque means! I was prepared with a bagful of aromatic guavas, which I traded for some local jobos (native plums), small zucchinis, amaranth balls and cauliflower, which I then traded over and over again just for the experience. A couple of things I like to prepare after a bountiful trip to the market are Sopa de la Milpa (corn soup), which I think reflects the essence of the markets and Mexican life, and a zucchini salad that evokes the trade experience at Mercado del Trueque. At El Naranjo here in Austin, I also serve a tomatillo and chile morita salsa and ver-

duras en escabeche (pickled vegetables) using fresh market vegetables that are easily available like jalapeños and carrots. Buen provecho! Mercado Benito Juarez Calles 20 de Noviembre and Miguel Oaxaca City, Oaxaca 68000 011-52-9-514-1878 Mercado del Trueque Plaza del Santuario, at the corner of Codallos and Juarez streets Pátzcuaro, Michoacán

Ensalada de Calabacitas (Zucchini Salad) Serves 6 1 lb. zucchini (or a mix of zucchini and yellow squash) 3 T. white vinegar, or to taste Salt and pepper, to taste ½ c. olive oil 1 t. dried oregano 1 t. dried marjoram 2 T. fresh cheese, crumbled (or goat cheese) ½ medium red onion, sliced, for garnish

Slice the zucchini into vertical strips or bite-size pieces and blanch in salted boiling water until al dente—about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and place the slices in cold water to stop the cooking process, then transfer to a serving dish. In a bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper and beat with a whisk while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the oregano, marjoram and cheese. Sprinkle the onion slices over the top. (Cooked and peeled chayote can be substituted for zucchini, if desired.)

Salsa de Chile Morita (Tomatillo and Morita Chile Salsa) Makes 1¼ cup

Slice open the chiles, remove and discard the veins and seeds and soak the chiles in hot water (not boiling) until soft—no longer than 12 minutes. Place the tomatillos in a small saucepan, cover them with water and simmer until they change to a pale green color. Do not let them burst open. Set aside to cool. Remove the tomatillos from the water and place them in a blender with the chiles, garlic and salt and process until smooth. If necessary, add some of the chile soaking liquid or the tomatillo cooking water if it’s too thick.


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Photography by Knoxy

10 dried Oaxacan chiles moritas 10 tomatillos, husked and rinsed 1 clove garlic Salt, to taste

Sopa de la Milpa (Corn Soup) Serves 10

Verduras en Escabeche (Mexican-Style Pickled Vegetables) Makes 10 to 12 cups 1 c. olive oil 1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced 1 white medium onion, halved and sliced 1 small cauliflower, cut into ½ in. florets ½ lb. jalapeños, stems removed, quartered lengthwise (see note, below) 20 garlic cloves, peeled ½ lb. zucchini, sliced on the bias 15 black peppercorns 2 whole cloves 5 fresh sprigs thyme (½ t. dried) 5 fresh sprigs marjoram (½ t. dried) 5 fresh sprigs oregano (½ t. dried) 5 dried bay leaves 1 c. white vinegar 1 c. apple cider vinegar 1½ c. water Salt, to taste

3 T. olive oil 3 c. fresh corn kernels (or frozen— see note, below) 1 medium onion, diced 1 large garlic clove, minced 1 lb. tomatoes, diced 4 poblano peppers ¾ c. vegetable oil ½ lb. zucchini, cubed ½ lb. mushrooms, sliced 6-8 c. water 4 whole black peppercorns 2 whole cloves 3 sprigs epazote, chopped 12 zucchini blossoms, pistils and outer green leaves removed ½ lb. queso fresco Mexicano or queso panela (Mexican-style white cheese), cubed Salt, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the corn kernels and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the onion and sauté for 2 more minutes, then add the garlic and the tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, using a small knife, make a small slit in each poblano. In a medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the poblanos and fry until blistered all over—turning them with tongs as they cook. Remove them from the oil and set aside. Add the zucchini and sliced mushrooms to the corn mixture, then stir and cover with a lid. After 3 minutes, add the water, black peppercorns and cloves to the pot. Peel the peppers, remove the seeds, stems and veins and dice. Add to the soup, along with the epazote and zucchini blossoms. Taste for seasoning, then divide the cheese among 6 serving bowls. Ladle the soup over the cheese and serve immediately. Note: If using frozen corn kernels, add them to the soup when adding the poblanos. Additional note: You can substitute cilantro for the epazote and chicken stock for the water, if you’d like.

In a large, nonreactive saucepan, heat the olive oil over moderate heat. Sauté the carrots until almost soft—about 10 minutes. Add the onions and cauliflower florets and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the jalapeños and garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except the salt, reduce the heat and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are al dente. Season with the salt and set aside to cool. Place in a container, cover and refrigerate. Let it rest for 24 hours for the flavors to develop. If you prefer to can the escabeche, it will be good for at least a year. Note: I recommend leaving the seeds in the jalapeños for a nice, slightly spicy flavor. If you prefer, you can substitute, or add, diced green beans, potatoes or chayote. Just be sure to adjust the olive oil, vinegar and seasonings, including salt, if you add more vegetables to the mix.


FALL 2012



To Market IN TURKEY b y E l if Se lv i l i


f you believe it’s possible for a nation to be in love with a vegetable, then you’ll understand how Turkey feels about the eggplant. Originally hailing from Southeast Asia, this curious purple vegetable has a starring role in Turkish cuisine and is served dozens of ways—hot, cold, healthfully, sinfully, fancily, plainly, sliced, cubed and stuffed—in dishes that often tout equally colorful names like hünkar beğendi (the sultan liked it), karnıyarık (split tummy) and imam bayıldı (the holy man has fainted). Like potatoes and tomatoes, eggplants are part of the nightshade family. They’re also related to the tobacco plant, which might explain the tobacco-loving Turks’ affinity for them. Although botanists dismiss the theory that eggplants have a gender, urban-myth followers disagree. If you look at the bottom of an eggplant, you’ll notice a tiny, light-colored mark in the shape of either a dot or a line. Myth has it that the dot means male and the line means female. Male eggplants are supposed to have fewer seeds than the females, which would make them less bitter. The stolid scientific view is that all fruits are female, and the differences in the markings only indicate possible incomplete pollination that leads to fewer seeds in the mature fruits. The bottom line is: try to pick a lighter, more slender eggplant over its Rubenesque mate to ensure fewer seeds and a sweeter taste. Although eggplants grow robustly in our harsh Austin climate, many backyard gardeners are at a loss when it comes to turning the 54

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bountiful crop into an interesting dish. Here are four easy Turkish recipes that feature the eggplant in various roles: appetizer, side dish and main dish—you can visit for more. All of the recipes can be prepared a day in advance and improve in flavor with time.

Patlıcan Kızartma (Oven-Fried Eggplants with Yogurt Dressing) For the eggplant: 4 Japanese eggplants (long variety) ½ c. olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste (plus additional salt to purge eggplant)

For the yogurt dressing: 1 c. yogurt (whole milk, thick varieties work best) 1–2 garlic cloves, crushed ½ t. salt

Preheat the oven to 400°. Peel ½-inch strips of the eggplant lengthwise, giving it a striped look, then slice the eggplants into ¼ inch rounds. Place the slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt to remove any bitterness and allow to purge for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the slices well and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and place in a heavy-duty baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft and golden brown. Meanwhile, stir the yogurt dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Arrange the eggplant slices on a serving platter and serve chilled or at room temperature with the dressing. This recipe can be prepared a day in advance.

Patlıcan Salatası

Patlıcan Dolması

(Smoky Eggplant Salad)

(Eggplants Stuffed with Pine Nuts, Currants and Rice)

The eggplants can be cooked directly over the stove, but they won’t have the same smoky flavor as those cooked on coals (see note below). The salad can be turned into a vegan dish by omitting the yogurt.

Dolma means “filled” and can be used to describe any stuffed vegetable. This recipe also works very well with bell peppers and large tomatoes and can be prepared a day in advance.

4 large eggplants (fat, oval kind) 3 large garlic cloves 1 c. yogurt (whole milk, thick variety)

¼ c. olive oil 1 lemon, juiced Salt and pepper, to taste

Pierce the eggplants in a few spots with a fork and cook directly on hot coals in an outdoor grill, turning them with long tongs as the skin gets charred. If a coal fire is not possible, cook them directly on a gas burner or under a broiler, turning constantly. Eggplant skin is surprisingly tough and can handle the direct flames or coals without catching fire. Cook the eggplants until thoroughly soft (it’s better to overcook than undercook), approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Place them in a metal colander to cool. Press down gently on the eggplants to squeeze out as much of the juice as possible without breaking them apart. Crush the garlic and mix with the yogurt, olive oil and lemon juice in a large bowl. Set aside. When the eggplants are cool enough to touch, peel them carefully, removing all of the charred skin (leaving even small pieces will create a bitter taste). Discard sections with a lot of seeds. Add remaining eggplant to the yogurt and garlic mixture and mash with a large fork or potato masher until there are no large lumps. The resulting mixture does not need to be completely smooth but should not have large, unbroken pieces of eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Chill for 1 hour before serving. Note: In order to cook food directly on hot coals, you should use either wood or natural lump charcoal, made with only pure hardwood. It burns hotter and faster than compressed briquettes, making it ideal for directheat cooking. Use a common chimney starter to light them up (don’t use lighter fluid). When the charcoal is glowing red, use a grill rake to level the coals, give a quick fan to blow off the excess ash and place the eggplants directly on the hot embers. Turning frequently with long tongs, cook until charred all around, which typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes.

Karnıyarık (Baked Eggplants with Meat Filling) The name of this tasty dish translates to “Split Tummy.” If you prefer a vegetarian version, omit the meat and add more onions and garlic.

© ozgurdonmaz

6 Japanese eggplants (long variety) ½ c. olive oil 6 mild green peppers Salt and pepper, to taste (plus additional salt to purge eggplant)

For the filling: 3 T. butter 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced 1 lb. ground turkey (traditionally beef or lamb) 6 garlic cloves, quartered 1 T. tomato paste 2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes (approximately 40 oz. total), drained and juice reserved Salt and pepper, to taste 1 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the filling: 5 T. currants 3 T. olive oil 5 T. pine nuts 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 c. hot water 1 t. sugar 1 c. short-grain rice Salt and pepper, to taste ½ c. chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the eggplant: 6 Japanese eggplants (long variety) 1½ c. hot water ¼ c. olive oil 1 t. salt Lemon slices

Prepare the filling. Soak the currants in warm water for 20 minutes, then drain and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the pine nuts over low heat until golden. Add the onion and sauté until barely softened. Add the hot water, bring to a boil then stir in the currants, sugar, rice, salt and pepper and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed. Add the parsley and set aside to cool to room temperature. Cut off about 1 inch from the stem side of each eggplant, and reserve the stems. Hollow out the eggplants, leaving about ¼-to-½ inch of shell—reserving the pulp. Stuff the eggplants with the rice filling and top with the stems. Spread the pulp around the bottom of a large pot, then place the eggplants on their sides on top of the pulp. Mix the hot water, olive oil and salt and pour over the eggplants. Cover with a plate to provide weight (this keeps the eggplants from getting too fluffy and bursting). Cook, covered, over very low heat until the eggplants feel soft to the touch, about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pot for about 1 hour. Transfer to a serving platter and decorate with the lemon slices. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Peel ½-inch strips of the eggplants lengthwise, giving it a striped look, then cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Place the halves in a colander, sprinkle with salt to remove any bitterness and allow to purge for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the halves well and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the olive oil and place in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and soft. While the eggplants are baking, prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and sauté the onion until slightly softened. Add the meat and stir, breaking up the larger pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, tomato paste and reserved tomato juice and salt and pepper. Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the parsley and turn off the heat. Remove the eggplants from the oven and place in an ovenproof dish. Slice the tomatoes and reserve any juice this produces. Mound the filling onto the eggplant halves with a slotted spoon and top with the sliced tomatoes. Cut the peppers lengthwise into quarters and remove all seeds and membranes. Place one pepper slice over each eggplant half, top with any remaining tomato juice and bake for about 45 minutes. Serve warm. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


Passport to local

Toujours Pau by Cari Marshall


he picturesque French town of Pau—nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees, between the larger cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse—has long been a travel destination for the noblesse and well-to-do lured here by the mild climate and reputation as a haven for food and wine lovers. This holiday retreat for notables such as Napoleon III, Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria became a popular resort in the 19th century for wealthy and elite New Yorkers, including Ward McAllister, who fancied himself the patriarch of New York’s upper-crust society. In his 1890 book Society As I Have Found It—an exploration of the rigors of cultural hierarchies—McAllister describes Pau as having “the best cooks in the world, and where people appeared to live but to eat well and sleep.” Today’s Pau is still a destination for traveling foodies, though no longer exclusive to royals or the super-rich thanks to people like David Blackburn, an American bon vivant with an intense joie de vivre who wants to show visitors how to eat and sleep very, very well in Pau. David lives here with his French partner, Fernand, in the 8,000-square56

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foot Villa Hutton, named to honor the New York family who built it in 1860 as their winter home. For the past decade, David and Fernand have been lovingly and painstakingly restoring the villa to its former glory, and furnishing it with French antiques befitting its history. Of course, this immense and luxurious home is the perfect setting for having frequent dinner parties with friends, hosting loved ones visiting from abroad and lodging students who are studying French at the local university. But David also uses this postcard-perfect locale as a classroom for trekkers eager to learn his methods of French home-style cooking and canning. Fantastique! Since moving to Pau almost 15 years ago, David—who began cooking about 30 years ago, while living in Southern California— has perfected his methods of cooking and canning local produce and meats, and makes the best use of that canned food year-round. “It’s part of getting back to basics and cooking like my grandmother did,” he says. “Either cooking and eating in-season food or putting them up, when possible, for consumption later and knowing what is in the jar.”

“I’m a very seasonal eater, and I can for three reasons: freshness, to save money and to save time.” —David Blackburn

Opposite: Villa Hutton. Above, left to right: David Blackburn in his kitchen; stove at the ready for canning lessons; petit appartement for cooking-course guests

During David’s course, participants spend a week at the villa, in the recently renovated three-bedroom basement apartment—the chef ’s kitchen back in the days of the Huttons, it’s now a modern and charming petit appartement with marble floors and sunlight streaming through its tall windows. For five days, the participants prepare (and devour) every lunch and dinner together with David in his beloved grand kitchen. As far as planning the meals, David prefers to, well… not. “I don’t plan menus,” he says. “I cook using what I like to refer to as a method approach rather than a recipe approach. I’ll give the participants some comfort food for their first evening and from then on, it’ll be going to the market, picking out what looks good to all of us and then developing their method skill sets for cooking—really trying to get them to try some things they might not have ever eaten. What about duck tongues?” Pau’s great fortune of location—near both the Mediterranean and Atlantic and surrounded by stunningly verdant farmland—creates a cornucopia of fresh, seasonal and artisanal items available year-round

at the local farmers market, Les Halles de Pau. For my lesson, we were going to make bouillabaisse, so we first focused on the market’s variety of fishmongers and picked out a beautiful selection of succulent lobster and mounds of mussels, clams and shrimp. We also bought some long and silky fresh anchovies (which were a surprising hit with my three-year-old), some moist and velvety lettuce for a salad and an array of perfect, just-picked apples, oranges, pears, tomatoes and carrots. I also selected a colorful petite bouquet for two euros (about $2.75) from a tiny elderly lady who’d picked the flowers on her nearby farm. After shopping, it was time to hit the kitchen to learn David’s simple, French-infused methods for creating savory, seasonal dishes. Soon, our fresh market seafood—combined with the zest of the plump oranges, a pinch of saffron and David’s canned tomatoes and fish stock—was transformed into a massive pot of authentic bouillabaisse. And we discovered just how key those home-canned ingredients were to the overall flavor of the soup. Luckily, the cooking course includes learning David’s canning methods. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


akes approximately 4 cups of stock

Pau Bouillabaisse

“I’m a very seasonal eater, and I can for three reasons: freshness, to save money and to save time,” David explains. “My objective is to make sure guests fully understand both the boiling hot-water-bath method and pressure-canner method.” Ultimately, what David loves most about teaching the course is surrounding a well-spread dinner table with interesting people who love good food and good wine—a very French ethos. “French home cooking and entertaining is about sharing fresh, mostly simply prepared food and savoring it during several courses and hours—family style—among good company,” he says. Or, as Ward McAllister put it: “The success of the dinner depends as much upon the company as the cook.”  David welcomes guests for cooking courses during the months of July through October. Space is very limited. Before arriving, participants complete a simple questionnaire to help determine their strengths, food preferences and the cooking methods they would like to improve upon. At least two home-canning classes are included. For more information, visit

Homemade Fish Stock Pad Fuktong (pumpkin Stir-Fry)

Serves 8

Courtesy of David Blackburn, Villa Hutton

Bouillabaisse is a traditional French stew made with fresh fish and shellfish, hearty fish stock and tomatoes. Using your own canned fish stock, this recipe is quick and simple, with a total preparation time of about 45 minutes. Bouillabaisse is inherently adaptable to whatever seafood is available. Fish from the Gulf of Mexico or local rivers would make a great Texas version—try grouper, drum or halibut. Even some river-caught catfish would be tasty. And of course Gulf spiny lobster, shrimp, crawfish or clams would work beautifully. Choose a variety of textures to make it interesting!

Makes approximately 4 cups of stock

Courtesy of David Blackburn, Villa Hutton 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil 1 leek, quartered lengthwise and sliced 6 c. home-canned whole tomatoes Juice and zest of 1 orange 4 c. home-canned fish stock 1 pinch saffron Sea salt and pepper, to taste 2 lb. assorted white fish, cleaned (filleted if desired) and cut horizontally into 1½-in. pieces 2 T. chopped parsley 1 lb. large lobster tail, shelled and sliced into 8 pieces 1 lb. shrimp, prawns or crawfish ½ lb. each mussels and clams, cleaned

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the leek and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and half of the orange juice and zest and bring to a simmer. Using a wooden spoon, break the tomatoes into chunks. After the tomatoes are broken down, slowly add the fish stock, maintaining the heat of the pot, and then add the saffron. Return to a simmer and adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the orange flavor with the remaining juice and zest. (The orange flavor should be light and fresh, but not overpowering.) If you are having guests, turn off the stove and cover the pot, as the final preparation should be done just before serving. To finish, add the fish and parsley and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the lobster and shellfish, then cover and simmer for 6 minutes, or until shellfish have opened. Serve immediately with toasted baguette and rouille on the side to mix with the broth. 58

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1 fresh whole white sea fish (½ lb.), cleaned ½ T. extra-virgin olive oil ½ yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into eighths ¼ fennel bulb, sliced ½ garlic clove, chopped

2 t. canning salt 1 t. black pepper 4 c. water ½ c. dry white wine ¼ bay leaf 1 sprig of thyme ¼ c. chopped cilantro

Cut off the tail and head of the fish, then cut the body lengthwise along the spine, exposing the bones. In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, fennel and garlic with the salt and pepper until the onions are translucent—about 5 minutes. Beginning with the liquids, slowly add all of the other ingredients, then add the prepared fish (including the head and tail). Bring to a simmer. Cover and gently simmer for 2 hours. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Strain into another pot using a coarse sieve and discard the solids. Clean the original pot, then, using a fine sieve, strain the liquid back into the cooking pot, again discarding the solids. Stock is good for 4 days when refrigerated, or 1 year when canned. To can (may be done the following day, if stock is covered and refrigerated overnight): Bring the stock to a simmer for at least 20 minutes. Carefully ladle the stock into jars using the hot-pack method with 1 inch of head space, then process with a pressure canner for 25 minutes at 10 pounds for a weighted gauge or 11 pounds for a dial gauge. After processing, cool, label and store the jars. For more information on canning, please visit

Rouille Courtesy of David Blackburn, Villa Hutton 1 large red bell pepper, chopped, or 1 c. home-canned roasted red bell peppers 1 garlic clove, chopped ¼ c. chopped very stale bread

1 T. Dijon mustard 1 t. sea salt 1 egg yolk ½ c. extra-virgin olive oil

In blender or with an immersion blender, completely mix the red bell pepper, garlic, bread, mustard and salt. Add the egg yolk and mix thoroughly. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until thick and smooth.

How to Confit and Can a Duck Courtesy of David Blackburn, Villa Hutton 1 fresh whole duck (the fatter the better!) ¼ c. kosher, canning, pickling or sea salt 2 quart-size jars

Butterfly the duck: lay it breast-side down, remove the backbone and tail and discard, then remove and retain the neck. Remove the bones from the breasts and separate the inner breast from the outer breast. The inner breast, liver and gizzard should not be canned, but gently seared or frozen for future use. Cut the duck into 7 pieces (leaving the skin on): the neck, 2 breasts, 2 wings and 2 legs with attached thighs. If there are intestines, gently remove the fat from around them and reserve it—making sure not to break the gallbladder, which is green and very bitter. If you do not have the intestinal fat, ask your duck source or a butcher for additional duck or chicken fat. Salt both sides of each piece of duck generously. Cover and refrigerate for 2 days.

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After 48 hours, remove the duck from the refrigerator, rinse well and pat dry. Cut the fat off of the duck and slice the meat into pieces. Add the fat to a Dutch oven and slowly melt it over low heat. Add the duck pieces and bring to a simmer—be careful because the fat will be very, very hot. At least three-quarters of the duck should be covered with the fat. If not, add more fat or lard. Simmer for about 90 minutes, until a fork can easily be inserted. Remove from the heat. Place a breast, leg and thigh and wing in each jar, leaving 1 inch of headspace (include the neck in one of the jars). Ladle the duck fat over the meat—maintaining the inch of headspace. Process with a pressure canner for 90 minutes, at 10 pounds for a weighted gauge or 11 pounds for a dial gauge. After processing, place the jars, 1 inch apart, on a towel to cool. Label and store the jars. Confit is best if left for at least 90 days, and up to 2 years, before opening.

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Duck Confit, Texas Style After my last trip to Pau, I returned home with two large containers of homecanned duck confit. I asked my friend, Austin chef Chris Chism, if canned duck inspired him. (I knew hearing the word “confit” would make him salivate—but canned, not fresh, duck confit?) “I know that the French successfully can a lot of their classic dishes, but I was skeptical,” Chism says. “Then I snuck a tiny taste of the fat from the lid and I knew that this was the real thing.” To prepare canned duck confit, you could simply spoon off the fat and use it to sauté potatoes or other vegetables, and then heat the meat in the same skillet. But Chism conjured a unique Tex-French meal—creating croquettes by combining the duck meat with local herbs and Beauregard sweet potatoes from Tony Phillips’s 3p Farm in Grand Saline and topping them with a gastrique of peaches from Fairfield. We sipped on a Messina Hof pinot grigio from Fredericksburg while cooking, and paired the rich, succulent croquettes with a Mouton Cadet Bordeaux to honor the duck’s origin. It was experimental but it turned out to be amazingly delicious. “At first I was disappointed that the flavor (of the duck) was bland: not much in the way of herbal flair I expect from confit,” Chism says. “Then I realized that this provided a blank slate to add the flavors of the peaches, rosemary and sweet potatoes. In the end, it was great fun figuring out how to use it, and it was shockingly good.” —Cari Marshall  or Chris Chism’s Tex-French-Style Duck Confit and Sweet Potato Croquettes F recipe, please visit

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vegan, organic, local, gluten free with a gourmet taste. 1611 W 5th Street, Suite 165


FALL 2012


Passport to local: What I Eat and Why

Cooking with Jai by Claire Cella


ince returning from a year in Thailand, I’ve dedicated myself to eating nothing but Thai food. But I don’t mean simply the curries with a fiery strike of Christmas-colored chilies, the fried noodles topped with sprinkles of salty peanuts or the steaming bowls of rice with pungent-yet-crucial splashes of fish sauce. I mean food that contains the most integral ingredient of Thai cuisine: jai, or heart. I discovered the heart of Thai culture and the country’s cuisine when I moved there in 2010 to fulfill a Fulbright grant. I knew I would be teaching, but I was unaware of the life lessons that would be spread, spooned and portioned out to me by the distinct way of life, most notably by Siriwan Surayot—better known by her nickname “Oil,” or to me just “Mae,” or Mom—a woman I met at the local swimming pool where we both swam daily. At times, the cultural experiences left me flailing like a newborn infant—struggling against the harsh tropical light, bewildering sounds of a tonal language and unfamiliar tastes surging on my tongue. But Oil was the compassionate mother to guide me through the cultural birth. She answered my “whys,” fed my hunger and taught me ow jai sai, to put my heart into everything I do. On my frequent sleepovers at Oil and her husband’s home, she would constantly ask, “Hiw mai?” (are you hungry?), but would never 60

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wait for an affirmative answer. The Thais never do; you are eternally hungry and they forever desire to “take care,” as she would say. Heading into the kitchen, she would feed me creamy slices of mango or jackfruit. As we watched American television, she’d point the whirring fan only at me. Most notably though, she would cook for me—serving meals that nourished with inexplicable solace. Every evening, she’d wash a fresh bundle of long, leafy pak boong (water morning glory) and rinse off a knobby fuktong (kabocha squash)—items we purchased from the open-air market on our way home. There, Thai farmers, wizened by long hours bent in sundrenched fields, nestled behind, or even on top of, the produce that covered every inch of the tables. Their goods were delicately placed with attention to aesthetics: bunches of chilies on small blue plates, rubber-banded clusters of bok choy, pyramids of rambutans and mangosteens, rows of stinking, spiky durians. Bags would be passed from vendor to buyer, while calls of haa baht! (five baht!) sip baht! (ten baht!) and sawadee! (hello!) filled the air amidst the cackles of roosters. There were no lines and there was no order; people shuffled up to a table’s edge, pointed, nodded, grunted and exchanged money. There were hanging hunks of uncooked and undefined meat, faces of marred pigs on cutting boards, eels and fish swishing around in buckets.

Pad Fuktong (pumpkin Stir-Fry) Courtesy of Siriwan Surayot 2 T. vegetable oil 4 garlic cloves, chopped 4 Thai chilies, chopped (omit for mai pet [not spicy] dishes) ½ c. water 3–4 T. light soy sauce, divided 2 c. peeled and chopped fuktong* 1 t. brown sugar 1–2 eggs, beaten 1 c. fresh Thai basil, torn

Symmetrical trays of spicy salads dripped with lime-garlic sauces while desserts were parceled out into banana-leaf bundles and sprinkled with coconut shreds. Women turned lok chin (sticks of assorted meatballs and small yellow squids) over charred grills and stirred cauldrons of soup rimmed with red spice as smoke drifted through the mirage of faces mixed with intense smells: hot oil, burning coals, uncooked meat, pungent curry, coconut milk, lemongrass. Back at Oil’s home, I’d clumsily cut the squash into irregular chunks as Oil shook her head, giggled and said, “Mai dee!” (Not good!). Scurrying over, she’d nimbly slice the buttery interior into thin, equal slices. She’d fry the pak boong in a colossal sizzling wok with a handful of this and a dash of that—oyster and fish sauces, garlic and the secret ingredient from her mother’s recipe: brown sugar. Oil knew that fuktong was my favorite. She’d slowly simmer the squash in sweet soy sauce until tender, then flip it vigorously with cracked eggs and torn shreds of Thai basil until it was a chunky yet silken curry. She’d flash-fry khai jiaw (a Thai-style omelet) in the still-scalding pan and slide it out onto a plate while her husband spooned heaping mounds of rice from the eternally full rice cooker. She’d urge me to begin without her while she unveiled a fried fish head and small dishes of nahm prik pao (roasted chili and dried shrimp paste) that hid underneath a plastic basket from last night’s meal. Finally, we’d dine together as a family, because I always waited. Prior to my experience in Thailand, I thought quality food was found in the glossy pictures of Gourmet magazine or served on stark white tablecloths. It was something made from a recipe with 15 foreign and expensive ingredients, or that required intricate cooking techniques and skill. Needless to say, it was nothing that an amateur home cook could easily recreate in just a wok, or that used smashed seafood pulp as an ingredient. But the unassuming meals I ate in the Surayot household were what I came to crave and to savor most: handpicked greens in a thick sea of sweet gravy, bright yellow folds of fresh eggs, bountiful mounds of rice and Oil’s company throughout. The meals were nothing spectacular, nor extravagant, and they lacked finishing flourishes. But they were delectable and delightful always. And the simplicity, the natural and comfort-infused cuisine, the attention to heart are things I now covet in my own cooking. It’s a sense of being closely connected to a great ensemble of universal caring and compassion—from the ingredients selected at a local farmers market, to the preparation in a homey kitchen, to the appreciation for the ways in which food provides not only health, but heart. Everything Oil made me that year came from the heart, was enjoyed with heart and touched my heart profoundly. Opposite clockwise: Thai market vendor; Claire Cella with Siriwan Surayot and husband at their table; market display; washed pak boong and peppers

Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. When the wok is hot, add the garlic—sautéing until lightly brown and fragrant. Add the chilies and cook for 1 minute. Add the water, half the soy sauce and the squash and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium and let the squash simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until soft. Remove the lid and allow the remaining liquid to evaporate. Once the water is gone and the pumpkin resembles a chunky curry, add the brown sugar and stir. Make a small well near the edge or in the center of the wok. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs and let them cook slightly. Flip and stir the eggs into the pumpkin to coat (there should be some scrambled pieces while the rest is absorbed into the curry). Add the remaining soy sauce and stir. Add half of the basil and stir until slightly wilted. Serve immediately with mounds of white rice and a fresh garnish of the remaining basil. *Fuktong, or Thai pumpkin, is also known as kabocha squash. You can substitute butternut squash in this dish.

Pad Pak Boong (Water Morning Glory Stir-fry) Courtesy of Siriwan Surayot 3 lb. pak boong (water morning glory)* 1 T. fish sauce 1 T. fermented soybean paste (Healthy Boy brand is the easiest to find in stores) 1 T. oyster sauce 1 t. brown sugar 2–3 T. vegetable oil 4 garlic cloves, minced 4 Thai chilies, smashed and left whole (these are not meant to be eaten, and are only added for the spicy flavor)

Wash the morning glory and dry well. Cut about 2 inches off the stems and discard. Cut the remaining leaves and stems into 2-inch pieces. In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, soybean paste, oyster sauce and brown sugar together. Set aside. Heat a large wok over high heat and when hot, add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is smoking, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant—about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the morning glory, chilies and sauce, and continue to rapidly sauté, turning the vegetables over in the sauce for about 1 minute. The vegetable will still be a vibrant green and a bit crunchy. Immediately transfer to a dish to avoid overcooking and serve hot with mounds of white rice. *Pak boong, or water morning glory, sometimes called “water spinach,” is an aquatic vegetable and can be found in Asian markets. You may substitute hearty greens, broccoli rabe, green beans or even okra in this dish. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012





hyde park, austin


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

Passport to local

italian ingenuity b y M a ry Sta n l e y owne r of T h e T u rt l e Re s ta u r a nt, Ge l ate r i a a nd E notec a , B r ownwood


uring trips to Germany and Italy, my husband and I—like many travelers to the region—got hooked on gelato. Of course, since there were no gelaterias in our hometown of Brownwood at the time, to satisfy our palates once we’d returned home, we purchased a Bravo gelato machine for our restaurant, and, in the process, inadvertently discovered the Salone Internazionale Gelateria, Pasticceria e Panificazione (SIGEP). SIGEP is a gelato, bakery, pizza, coffee, chocolate and pasta trade show held every January in Rimini, Italy. Located on the Adriatic Sea, Rimini is a crowded beach resort in summer, but in winter, it’s relatively empty except for SIGEP guests. Except for the occasional foghorn booming, then echoing, in the harbor, the town is quiet. Because there are no crowds to navigate, we always take the opportunity to leisurely explore the city when we attend SIGEP each year. We enjoy visiting the Tempio Malatestiano—commissioned in 1447 by Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta as a monument to his lover, and third wife, Isotta degli Atti. The massive central doorway, designed by Alberti, was influenced by the Arch of Augustus—the oldest triumphal arch in Italy. Inside are Giotto’s Crucifix, frescoes by Piero della Francesca and reliefs by Agostino di Duccio. We also make time for Rimini’s City Museum—an 18th century building that served as a Jesuit college and hospital. It has more than 40 exhibition rooms with art and artifacts from the 11th to the 20th centuries. Just a few steps from the museum is the Domus del Chirurgo (c. 200 AD)—the house of a Greek surgeon named Eutyches. Over 100 of the world’s oldest surgical instruments were found in this archeological site, some of which look remarkably modern. Rimini is a lovely, visit-worthy destination on its own, but is an even more attractive destination for us because of SIGEP—considered to be the pinnacle of all international trade shows of its kind. The length and breadth of the show are breathtaking; there are five airplane-hangar-size halls devoted to gelato alone! It takes days to walk the exhibits, and it’s impossible to attend all of the seminars, demonstrations and competitions—making it difficult to choose what to see during the four days of the show. There’s a definite theme that’s imbued in almost every new machine, tool and exhibit we see there. The Italian ethos is that small-scale producers (like us) are vitally important to the culinary culture, and should

have as equal access to the innovations that help preserve time, money and food as the big guns of the industry. This ethos is a facet of SIGEP that helps smaller producers remain competitive, and it helps unique regional cuisines stay alive for future generations. We stop by the Irinox booth at SIGEP because of their reputation as the world’s leader in blast freezing—a highly efficient way to preserve food. Italian ingenuity wins us over with their multiple-use, highly engineered equipment. The computer that manages the operation of the Irinox Multifresh is preprogrammed to blast-freeze products, thaw them as if they were never frozen, chill or freeze soups, dry pasta, pasteurize and more. For example, it can effortlessly go through a full-production cycle of making croissants—from chilling the dough, to freezing the formed croissants, to timed overnight proofing. Irinox engineers even took the heat generated by the freezer compressor and put it to work under the control of the Multifresh computer center to cook sous vide, under vacuum. A system like this allows us to save nearly everything we make and process excess seasonal produce so that it remains in the freshest condition possible. The initial investment becomes insignificant when compared to labor and food-cost savings. Another SIGEP addition to our kitchen is the Dominioni Punto & Pasta’s Italia-Mini—a multi-purpose pasta machine based on one of the oldest machines in history: Archimedes’s Screw. Basically, it’s a motor-driven screw that extrudes pasta dough through bronze dies designed specifically for caterers or small restaurants such as ours. With the wide noodle die, we extrude long sheets of fresh dough, load them onto the ravioli attachment, then fill a tube with homemade filling. A few minutes later we have piles of ravioli in the shape of the die we installed. This sure beats hours of hand rolling and filling, and they still taste as if Mama made them because the ravioli is our own recipe and the ingredients are fresh and pure. Italian food and its production are a fusion of history, art and culture over the past centuries. Visiting Italy challenges a visitor’s interpretation of what “old” means. It also sheds light on how many generations and nuances it takes to build a business, an industry, and especially a culinary culture. Luckily, the Italians understand that all of the pieces of the puzzle are important—big or small. For more about SIGEP, visit EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


department of organic YOUTH

TABLE OF LEARNING b y S h e l b y J o h n s on

In March, a class of excited St. Francis School eighth-graders went to Italy. The trip was organized through NETC Educational Travel, and the itinerary included Venice, Ravenna, Florence, Asissi and Rome. While in Florence, the entire group—comprised of 52 eighth graders, 7 teachers and 15 parents—attended the Apicius cooking school and prepared, from scratch, the meal for that evening. The group made tagliatella pasta, salsa di pomodoro (tomato sauce), polpettone in umido (stewed meatloaf), schiacciata alla fiorentina (traditional Florentine cake) and a lot of unforgettable memories.


FALL 2012


Photography by Sharon Doerre


Once the food was ready, s my eighth-grade class everyone became a little tense stood outside the tiny and worried about how their cooking school in Flordishes would be critiqued. ence, we really didn’t know But as the first course was set what to expect. We were dion the table, I took one bite vided into groups and taken and knew why we were here into separate kitchens to preinstead of in a restaurant. I pare different dishes for our realized that in making these meal—all the while wondertraditional Italian dishes, we’d ing why we weren’t eating at a gotten a true sense of Italy. We restaurant. I was put into the were not only able to taste the group responsible for dessert: culture, but also to experience a delicious orange cake. it through a lively kitchen— As the preparations began, making handmade pasta and I observed my friends and gathering around the dinner noticed some amazing things. table to enjoy our feast as if I saw people come to life as we were family. Everyone was they showed off their hidden Students Emily Skaggs (front) and Keiko Menna making salsa di pomodoro smiling, laughing and genutalents in the kitchen. I saw inely having a great time. friends who were normally After the pasta course, it was clear that there was something else quiet begin to laugh and smile as I hadn’t seen before on this trip. My present at the table: pride. I thought about how many hands it had classmates were working hard to prepare these dishes for all of us to taken to turn the simple ingredients into a fabulous traditional Italenjoy, and I could see the concentration on their faces, the frustration ian meal, and how many people—and how much effort—it took. when something went wrong and the joy when the teacher praised them. And my group’s cake was a huge hit—some people had five or even Eventually, as the food was cooking, we all gathered and began talksix slices! ing about our experiences. The people who made the pasta from scratch When the meal was over, we all felt proud (and maybe a little sursaid that it was much harder than they’d ever imagined it would be. prised) that our efforts had paid off so well, and that we were able to Those who made the meat and salad explained that there were some come together and prepare something we all could enjoy. The experiinteresting ingredients in the dishes that surprised them—such as eggs ence brought us closer together and taught us a new way of seeing in the meat dish. My dessert group didn’t have any trouble with our food. And since then, I’ve never looked at a bowl of pasta the same dish, but we did talk about our amazing teacher. He was of African way because I know the effort and preparation that goes into it. I also descent and had an obvious passion for cooking. We had a lot of fun know that pasta doesn’t always come from a box. trying to understand what he was saying.


west austin bistro

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Students Aidan Shehan, Andrew Held and Max Greenwood making tagliatella pasta

Schiacciata alla Fiorentina (Traditional Florentine Cake) Adapted from the Apicius International School of Hospitality and Chef Gabriella Ganugi Serves 8 to 10

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2 eggs 2 c. flour 1½ T. baking powder 1 c. sugar ¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg 1 t. vanilla extract ¼ c. olive oil ½ c. warm whole milk Zest and juice of 1 medium orange Powered sugar, as garnish

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter bottom and sides of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish; set aside. Beat the eggs in a stand mixer, or you can use a hand mixer, until well blended and frothy. Add all remaining ingredients except powdered sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. The batter should be fairly thin. Turn the batter out into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the pan on a wire rack. When the cake is completely cool, invert it onto a platter and dust the top with powdered sugar. Slice as desired and serve. Note: This is an ideal cake to turn into an elegant dessert simply by filling it with sweetened whipped cream, pastry cream, or Chantilly cream. Slice the cake in half lengthwise using a long serrated knife. Carefully set the top portion aside, spread a layer of desired filling on the bottom layer, then replace the top layer. Dust the top with powdered sugar, slice and serve.

A Delicious DestinAtion

Fun ~ Food ~ Festivals

Shelby Johnson was valedictorian of her graduating class at St. Francis School. She now attends Bowie High School. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


Apple Scrap Vinegar


y first time making vinegar was completely an accident. In my early years of discovering mason jars and their handy pantry presence, I’d decanted the tail end of a bottle of red wine into a wide-mouth pint jar and stuck it on a pantry shelf where, after about two or three months, I rediscovered it. A pungent aroma (distinctly vinegar) filled my nostrils and I pitched away the liquid thinking it was probably dangerous. Now I know how to make wine vinegar, and the many reasons why you shouldn’t pitch it if you accidentally create it. (I bet my red wine vinegar was delicious.) From French, vin aigre translates to “sour wine.” But wine isn’t necessarily needed to make vinegar—any alcoholic liquid will do. Fruit (or fruit scraps) and sugar water will turn into alcohol after about a week at room temperature. The bubbling seen during that week is the result of bacteria and wild yeasts metabolizing the sugars and producing carbon dioxide and alcohol (ethanol). Most bacteria and spoilers are unable to grow in alcoholic liquids, but Acetobacter bacteria are an exception. With the help of oxygen, Acetobacter bacteria metabolize the alcohol and convert it to acetic acid. My first batch of apple-scrap vinegar came into being one September after I’d ordered a 40-pound box of apples from the Texas Panhandle. I sauced and buttered and peeled and cored my way through that seemingly endless supply like Lucy Ricardo—shuffling the many 66

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pounds that wouldn’t fit inside my refrigerator into the living room during the still-warm days, and out onto the back deck in the cool evenings. As the week progressed, the scraps from my various applebox exploits were voluminous, and my compost bin’s finely balanced pH begged to avoid the mountain of acidic scraps. Lucky for me, Acetobacter bacteria thrive in warmer temperatures—preferring the higher end of a general range of 60 to 90 degrees—so Austin’s often-hot fall turned out to be an excellent time to make homemade vinegar. Vinegar making is different from many other fermentation projects. Instead of skimming off surface microorganisms (Acetobacter bacteria live on the surface of burgeoning vinegar), regular stirring during both steps of the fermentation process is the key to success. Near the end of the last couple of weeks of fermentation, the liquid will become difficult to stir because the “mother”—a film that houses and forms a connected network of Acetobacter bacteria and other microbes—will form a thin layer across the top. Swirling the bowl periodically is sufficient then. Since that apple-box adventure, I’ve made many batches of vinegar using both cooked scraps—from batches of apple butter and apple sauce—and raw, with great success. I’ve also used other fruits like juiced-and-spent cranberries, post-syrup rhubarb mush and too-ripe strawberries.

Photography by Jo Ann Santangelo

b y K ate Pay ne

Home… Where making seasonal savorings turn into memories.

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Apple Scrap Vinegar Makes 4½ cups Cores and peels of 5 organic apples (more if apples are small) ¼ c. plus 2 T. sugar 6 c. filtered water, room temperature

Place the scraps in a large nonreactive bowl (avoid aluminum or galvanized steel). Dissolve the sugar in the water, pour the liquid over the scraps and cover the bowl with cheesecloth or a thin dishcloth. Stir the scraps daily to allow for bubbling, which accelerates the fermentation process, ensures even flavoring and prevents surface mold from growing. After 1 week, strain the cores and peels from the apple water and pour the liquid back into the same bowl. Cover again and let sit for another 2 weeks—stirring every few days at first and then swirling the bowl gently once the “mother” forms on the surface of the liquid. The vinegar is finished when it smells and tastes like cider vinegar. Pour the vinegar (and the mother) into a repurposed glass apple juice bottle, or into smaller bottles and cap tightly. Store at room temperature, where it will keep indefinitely.

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FALL 2012



on the Road b y K r i s t i W i l l i s • I l l u s t r at i o n b y H i l l a ry W e b e r - G a l e


ne of the joys of traveling is discovering the tastes that are unique to a specific place. Whether it’s stumbling upon a bounty of crisp, sweet apples at a fall farmers market in Cambridge, Massachusetts, or being greeted by grilled Pacific oysters on the docks of San Juan Island, Washington, there is true pleasure in being able to savor the indigenous flavors of that place at that moment. Of course, getting past the chain restaurants and tourist traps to find the true local gems can take a little work; a bit of research before the trip can mean the difference between a meal to remember for years and a forgettable plate in the hotel restaurant.


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Travel sites often provide a list of places that cater to tourists and may not have the authentic quality desired. Instead, search the local newspaper’s website for favored dining spots that might be out of the main tourist districts and for upcoming food festivals—a convenient way to taste a variety of local food in one place. If the city is one of approximately 65 with an Edible Communities publication, search their website for local markets, restaurants and food artisans. Perusing a few back issues online provides a quick introduction to food trends in that area as well as background about the restaurants and food artisans who are working with area farms. Websites like curate information about local, sustainable and organic markets, restaurants and food artisans in the U.S. and Canada— making it easy to find off-the-beaten-path recommendations. The site also offers a searchable database, as well as featured guides for states, high-profile cities and key regions. Users can also create their own personal guides by adding their picks to online notebooks that can be downloaded as pdf files. And before heading out for international travel, explore the native cuisine online to help demystify unfamiliar dishes. Austin veteran bloggers Rachel and Logan Cooper documented their recent fourteen-month trip exploring the food cultures of South America, Africa and Asia for Go Find Food, an iPhone app due out in early 2013, on their blog, Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, travels the globe to learn about different food cultures. He suggests trusting your gut, being curious and forcing yourself to explore by renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel. “When you get out of the hotel, it forces you to learn the city and discover new things,” says Zimmern. “That’s how you find the neighborhood bistro and practice the language. It forces you to ask questions.” Exploring the markets is another good way to learn about the local food culture. Zimmern suggests looking for the markets frequented by locals, not the larger tourist markets—opting for the Sant Antoni market in Barcelona over La Boqueria, for example, or the University District Farmers Market in Seattle rather than Pike Place. While shopping, don’t hesitate to ask about unfamiliar ingredients, how to cook things or for other food and restaurant recommendations. While buying lamb at the market in Paris, Zimmern learned from the butcher where to get the best roasted potatoes to make a perfect pairing for dinner. If you do opt for the hotel or resort, don’t settle for hotel fare, which is often a limited example of local cuisine or an expensive version of American food. Zimmern suggests asking the hotel staff for advice on where to dine. On a recent trip to Puerto Rico, he asked the driver to take him where he would go with his family on a Sunday night and says, “It was the best meal we had that trip.” On the last night of the same trip, Zimmern asked the chefs at his resort if they would be willing to cook a local meal rather than the standard resort menu, which was surprisingly lacking in local dishes. “The chefs at the restaurant were so excited,” Zimmern says, but they also questioned whether Zimmern’s family really wanted to eat what the locals eat. “That’s exactly what we wanted,” Zimmern says, and his family shared a lovely meal of roasted baby pig, yucca and avocado salad with a few other families they’d met during their trip—all for the same price as a standard meal at the hotel. Of course, being a TV celebrity isn’t necessary to have an amazing food journey. Armed with a healthy curiosity and a willingness to stumble a little on the way, anyone can create enduring food memories that rival that breathtaking hike through the forest or the stunning view from the Eiffel Tower.

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FALL 2012


Passport to local

Falling for marble Falls b y J e s s ic a D u p u y


amed for the captivating shimmery-blue waters that once cascaded abundantly over nearby limestone cliffs, the town of Marble Falls lures visitors with its prolific native Hill Country charms and slower-paced lifestyle. And even though the town is gently riding a burgeoning cultural and developmental wave that will soon include a new visitors center, a Scott & White hospital and a dual bridge at the entrance of town, visitors will be pleased to discover that the soulful, low-key attitude-without-pretense this town is known for remains alive and well, and flows freely through the community that’s a mere stone’s throw from bustling Austin. “My sister likes to say that Marble Falls is the Hill Country without the hassle,” says Bill Rives, executive director of the town’s chamber of commerce. “We have a different pace here with a tremendous amount of natural beauty. And we have a new sense of energy that you find in our arts [and] food and wine scene.” Marble Falls’s 19th-century Main Street houses a quaint shopping district and offers a handful of clothing and jewelry shops as well as a number of home-furnishing and antique boutiques. The avant-rustic style at Elements features a variety of tasteful home accents, furniture and gifts. And around the corner is The Mews, a Dallas-based concept store that includes an array of fine European antiques and pastoral 70

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knickknacks showcased in a historic 1860s house. An exquisite assortment of artwork from a number of regional and national artists graces the whitewashed walls at The Mews—a collection from the sister-occupant gallery of Marta Stafford Fine Art. Also in the heart of the Main Street district is the stately Wallace Guest House. Originally opened as the Bredt Hotel in 1907, the historic property features five well-appointed guest suites, each named for a Highland Lake, and is outfitted with lavish vintage furniture, antiques and fabrics. Visitors looking for more of a Hill Country lodging experience can stretch just five minutes outside the town’s border to a sprawling lakeside property known as Bella Vista Bed and Breakfast and enjoy the solitude—save for the faint symphony of croaking frogs and crickets—on the private patio under a blanket of stars. Built as a weekend refuge for travelers, the Bella Vista cottages are run by Houston-based owners Andy and Mary Doerfler, who longed for a lakeside Hill Country getaway and fell in love with the Marble Falls area after a longtime friend invited them out to his property for a visit. Andy, a practicing dentist, and Mary, a retired schoolteacher, were eager to find a place where Mary could begin her lifelong dream to run a bed-and-breakfast. “I spent most of our marriage building my career in dentistry,” says Andy. “This is Mary’s turn to build something of her own from scratch.”

Photography opposite and far upper right by Eric Kiel Photography; other photos by T-Axis Graphics

Opposite and clockwise: Lake Travis just below Starcke Dam; old town Marble Falls; Fall Creek Vineyards; Mary and Andy Doerfler at Bella Vista Bed and Breakfast; Noon Spoon owner Jen Cayce in the kitchen

Marble Falls may not be a far off, exotic destination, but sometimes the best places to escape to are a lot closer than we think. Breakfast at the cottages welcomes guests each morning, and includes an array of different delectables from build-your-own breakfast tacos to baked goods and casseroles—featuring ingredients picked fresh from Mary’s sprawling garden. For visitors with a thirst to discover nature’s local gifts, tour one of the nearby farms like Hairston Creek Farm or Sweet Berry Farm. Hairston Creek Farm owners Gary and Sarah Rowland founded their organic farm in 1990 and sell their seasonal vegetables, jams, pickles and pesto to their community-supported agriculture program members as well as at farmers markets in Austin, Cedar Park, Burnet and Fredericksburg. Depending on the time of year, a walk through pick-your-own Sweet Berry Farm may

yield a basketful of fresh strawberries or a big Halloween pumpkin. Or enjoy a hike through the cool, calcite-adorned Longhorn Cavern for an awe-inspiring glimpse at its unique caves, formed by the forces of calcium carbonate-rich underground lakes and rivers, and the surface water seepage that formed many of the Hill Country’s caves and aquifers. For visitors with a thirst of a different kind, Perissos Vineyard and Winery is along the same road as the caverns, just past the Falkenstein Castle—an exact replica of a Bavarian castle. Winery owners Seth and Laura Martin have spent the better part of a decade creating craft wines that raise the bar for Texas wines. From crisp, dry whites with floral character such as their 2010 roussanne to the fruit-forward 2010 petite syrah with hints of herbs and black pepper, the Martins’ deep commitment to the land, family and fine wine is present in each sip. “It’s not just about winemaking and grape growing for us,” says Laura who, together with Seth, has raised five children on the vineyard and thinks of the grapes they grow as their children as well. “You can read about how to do this, but it’s living out here, tasting it, touching it and feeling it through every step of the process that makes you really get it. Each year we learn a new lesson from these grapes in the same way you learn as you grow with your family.” Why not make it a winery weekend and visit not only Perissos, but EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


Chef-owner Jen Cayce offers fresh, healthy food served with a smile. Open for breakfast and lunch, Monday–Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

610 Broadway, Marble Falls 830-798-2347 •

“Dos Lunas puts so much pasión into making their great cheese. When I taste it, I can feel Joaquin’s visión and strive to honor his hard work. We love Dos Lunas cheese

—Chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen Ask for Dos Lunas Artisan cheeses at your favorite markets, restaurants or order online. • 512-963-5357 72

FALL 2012


Photo by Alice Rabbit

and hope you will as well.”

Photography by T-Axis Graphics

Farm-direct shopping

Jenjira Busarakorn and Orathai Bussaraporn

Stone House Vineyard, Spicewood Vineyards, Flat Creek Estate and Fall Creek Vineyards, as well. All boast amazing, award-winning wines and bucolic settings, and all are located within an hour’s drive of Marble Falls. Back in Marble Falls proper, wander into Noon Spoon Cafe, where owner Jennifer Cayce puts a deft spin on her homemade soup-and-sandwich menu. The Hummus Veggie Wrap will leave you feeling guilt-free, while the decadently tasty Chili Pie—a beefed-up spin on the classic Frito pie—will certainly satisfy a Texas-size appetite. Of course, no getaway is complete without a little relaxation. Book a spa appointment at nearby Sana Vida, which offers more than just the standard menu of massage treatments, but also specializes in restorative skin care, acupuncture and ayurveda and yoga therapy. If you’re lucky, you might even catch one of their educational and inspirational tea classes, which focus on the variety of teas found around the globe and the particular health benefits each one provides. For evening dining, try the Double Horn Brewing Company. Austin native Jason Harrelson originally helped open 24 Diner with celebrated chef Andrew Curren, and oversees the Double Horn with brother Chris. Though the menu has the requisite burger and steaks, it’s the Pulled Pork Nachos on thick housemade potato chips or the Wild Boar served with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted bell peppers that might catch the eye. Opt for a flight of house-crafted brews from head brewer Eric Casey who earned his chops working alongside the Texas beer masters of Real Ale Brewing Company in Blanco. For visitors looking for something beyond big Texan food, there’s Thai Niyom. Originally opened as a counter-service spot in the back of a yellow gas station, the popular restaurant has grown to become a freestanding house and is operated by Orathai Bussaraporn and Jenjira Busarakorn—two sisters who’ve consistently put out truly authentic Thai food, even while ensconced in the small-town atmosphere. Round out the night with a show at the Uptown Marble Theater, where well-known musicians like Marcia Ball and Gary P. Nunn often perform. Marble Falls may not be a far off, exotic destination, but sometimes the best places to escape to are a lot closer than we think. Find a resource directory to help you plan your trip on page 74.

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

Salsa Seafood Tamales Specialty Foods Jewelry Plants Shirts and much more

DON'T BUY FOOD FROM STRANGERS! Get to know your local farmers and neighbors. @ The Corner of 620 and Lakeway Blvd. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


All TEXAS, all the time. We make our wine from TEXAS fruit.


1 mile east of Johnson City 830-868-2321 •

100% Texas grown and estate hand crafted wines

Come visit us! Friday–Sunday noon–5 pm Between beautiful Burnet and Marble Falls 512-820-2950 •

Marble Falls Destinations Listings below are destinations found in the story and are in Marble Falls unless otherwise noted. Find more Marble Falls lodgings, restaurants and recreational opportunities online at BELLA VISTA BED AND BREAKFAST 1455 Cimarron Ranch Rd. 281-376-0455 DOUBLE HORN BREWING COMPANY 208 Ave. H 830-693-5165 ELEMENTS 204 Main St. 830-693-3700 FALL CREEK VINEYARDS 1820 CR 222 Tow 325-379-5361 FLAT CREEK ESTATE 24912 Singleton Bend E. Rd. 512-267-6310 HAIRSTON CREEK FARM 4300 CR 335 Burnet 512-756-8380

Showcasing work by national and regional artists, our collection combines figurative works, impressionistic landscapes and representational imagery with

Upcoming Events 9–15 Richard Prather at the easel

SPICEWOOD VINEYARDS 1419 Kromer Ln. Spicewood 830-693-5328 STONE HOUSE VINEYARD 24350 Haynie Flat Rd. Spicewood 512-264-3630 SWEET BERRY FARM 1801 FM 1980 830-798-1462 THAI NIYOM 909 Hwy. 281 830-693-1526

LONGHORN CAVERN STATE PARK 6211 Park Rd. 4 S. Burnet 830-598-2283

THE MEWS 112 Main St. 830-693-1133

MARTA STAFFORD FINE ART 112 Main St. 830-693-9999

UPTOWN MARBLE THEATER 218 Main St. 830-693-9996

NOON SPOON CAFE 610 Broadway St. 830-798-2347

WALLACE GUEST HOUSE 910 Third St. 830-798-9808

10–20 Sculpture on Main Street 11–2 Day of the Dead


11–17 Winefest


11–24 Santas on Their Way, fine

112 Main St., Marble Falls • 830.693.9999 • FALL 2012

SANA VIDA 507 Hwy. 1431 E. 830-693-6000

Brenda York, Wild Blue, mixed media, 30”x 24”

art doll show


PERISSOS VINEYARD AND WINERY 7214 Park Rd. 4 W. Burnet 512-820-2950


AROUND HERE, HIDDEN GEMS ARE SURPRISINGLY EASY TO FIND. Meet us on Main Street. Find unique items from local artisans

and culinary treats fresh from the Texas Hill Country at Main Street Market Days. Or pick your pleasure at Sweet Berry Farm— fall harves

season opens Sept. 29. plan your overnight stay at marbl


Transport yourself to Tuscany through scenic rolling hills, exquisite food and quality Texas wine. Located less than an hour drive from downtown Austin, Flat Creek Estate is food lover’s paradise, a wine connoisseur’s dream and a locavore’s haven.

Photo Courtesy of DCM Photography

Idyllic Journey

Discover your journey at

Food . Experience . Wine . 24912 Singleton Bend E. Marble Falls, TX 78654 . 512-267-6310 EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


Taste of Fredericksburg award winning iconic hillcountry cuisine

navajo grill — dinner service nightly from 5:30 — 803 E. Main Street | Fredericksburg TX 830.990.8289 |

Natural Foods and Supplements

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any purchase over $50.00 With this coupon. One coupon per customer. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 12/31/2012

Fredericksburg Texas 334 W. Main Street | (800) 701-9099 | Since 1977

Stop in, we’re on the way to Enchanted Rock

Terry Thompson Anderson, CCP 830-456-4393 •

Visit us for a unique

Texas Wine Experience Three outstanding Texas wineries bring you a taste of the rich history and bright future of Texas winemaking.

334 West Saturday Main • Fredericksburg, TX27 October

(830) 997-4533

• Brennan Vineyards • Lost Oak Winery • McPherson Cellars Savor single varietals to diverse blends in our beautiful tasting room just east of Fredericksburg on the 290 Wine Trail. Join our Honor Society for wines from all three wineries and special events! 10354 E. US Highway 290, Fredericksburg • Toll-free: 855-480-9463 • • @fourpointwine


FALL 2012



| downtown |


Visit website for details:

Get FREE Official Visitor Info Kit



that goes far beyond Bier und Brats.

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

Behind the vines

4.0 Cellars


nyone who’s driven the stretch of U.S. Highway 290 between Johnson City and Fredericksburg lately knows that it’s beginning to look a lot like Napa in the Hill Country; new wineries, and now tasting rooms, are popping up all along the road at an astonishing rate. But hang onto your hats, wine lovers, because the latest addition to the grape-strewn route is shaking up the status quo with a unique blend of great wines and marketing savvy. 4.0 Cellars is the brainchild of three well-respected winemakers who have years of medals to attest to the quality of their wines. The wineries represented, McPherson Cellars, Brennan Vineyards and Lost Oak (formerly Lone Oak) Winemakers Pat Brennan, Gene Estes and Kim McPherson celebrate the opening of 4.0 Cellars. Winery, all have wineries and producrecently released albariño. Kim’s Texas wines have won over 450 medals tion facilities located somewhat off the beaten tourist path in Lubbock, in state, national and international wine competitions—including two Comanche and Burleson, respectively. But being old friends, the trio double gold medals at the prestigious San Francisco Wine Fair. often talked about their desire to have representation on the so-called In 1997, retired physician Pat Brennan and his wife, Trellise, purchased Wine Road 290 which culminates at Fredericksburg—the Texas city the historic McCrary House in Comanche. Soon after, they purchased 33 named by as the second largest wine-tourist destination beadjacent acres, then established the vineyard in 2002. They were joined by hind the Napa Valley. During one such conversation, the trio decided to the Wilkerson family, and the winery was completed in 2005. Today, there pool their resources and efforts and build a tasting room that would repare three buildings that comprise Brennan Vineyards: the McCrary House resent all three interests. They agreed that the design should be unique Tasting Room and Gift Shop, a state-of-the-art production facility and the and very un-Fredericksburg in style, and they achieved the goal early on, Austin House Events Center. The winery has 37 acres of vineyards growwhen the 290 buzz centered on the question: “What is that ultraconing 12 varieties of vinifera, or old-world grapes, all of which were chosen temporary place just before Grape Creek going to be?” because of their ability to thrive in the Texas terroir, but they also purchase McPherson Cellars owner Kim McPherson is the son of Clinton grapes from growers in the Texas High Plains. “Doc” McPherson, known as one of the fathers of the Texas wine indusTheir wines have fared very well in competition—particularly for a try. Doc McPherson founded Llano Estacado Winery in 1976, and Kim relatively new winery. The 2006 Viognier won the Grand Star Award grew up in the business—recalling that in his early childhood, the famfor best white wine in Texas at the 2007 Lone Star International Wine ily garage always contained vats of various fermenting wine experiments. Competition. Their 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve won a concorAfter completing the viticulture and enology program at the University dance (double) gold at this year’s Indy International Wine Competiof California, Davis, and working in the industry in California for a few tion—one of the biggest competitions in the U.S. The wines are also years, Kim returned to Texas to become the winemaker at Llano Esmarketed under the Austin Street label and the two labels represent diftacado, and eventually at CapRock Winery. In 2000, he established the ferent wine styles, grape origins and price points. Currently, Brennan McPherson Cellars label in honor of his dad, and in 2008, he opened Vineyards has 12 wines on the market: eight under the Brennen VineMcPherson Cellars in the space formerly occupied by the Coca-Cola yards label and 4 under the Austin Street label. bottling plant in downtown Lubbock. His wife, Sylvia, designed the Gene Estes, the founder and winemaker of Lost Oak Winery, efficient and stunning interior spaces in the facility. obtained a master’s degree in microbiology and worked in the pharKim has long been a proponent of planting the varieties of grapes maceuticals industry in North Carolina, and then Texas, for 28 years. that thrive best in Texas, and he’s been a pioneer in developing blends He bought a picturesque 53-acre parcel of property on Village Creek, made from Rhône, Italian and Spanish varietals; a great example is his 78

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Photography by Matt McGinnis,

b y T e r ry T h omp s on - Ande r s on

outside of Burleson, and planted an acre of experimental grapes. Gene studied viticulture through correspondence, and had the good fortune to learn from native growers in Alsace, France, during an extended assignment in his final years with the pharmaceutical company Alcon. Since retiring, Gene continues to study through programs offered by both Texas Tech and Texas A&M Universities. He opened Lost Oak Vineyards in 2006, and the winery has experienced phenomenal growth in its first six years—increasing the number of cases sold per year from 400 to 3,000. Gene’s stepdaughter, Roxanne, joined the winery in 2007 and is in charge of events and marketing. The Lost Oak estate vineyard, which comprises five acres, grows shiraz, tempranillo, blanc du bois, malvasia bianca, chardonel, ruby cabernet and chambourcin grapes. Originally, Gene also planted chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, gewürztraminer, Léon Millot and cabernet sauvignon, which did not thrive. Those vines were eventually pulled and replaced by varieties which not only thrived, but produced great fruit. Lost Oak also purchases grapes from other growers in north central Texas and the Texas High Plains. Gene focuses on varietal wines, but also specializes in blends, as in the Bordeaux-style wine named Mosaic made from four to six varieties depending on the year and the quality of the grapes. He has a fierce passion and enthusiasm backed by the energy to produce excellent wines in Texas—perhaps one of the more hostile environments in the world to do so. “But,” he replies proudly, “it’s a testament to the Texas spirit of doing the impossible.” 4.0 Cellars offers tastings from the three wineries in its open space with high ceilings and exposed beams, a wraparound tasting bar and a private tasting room. The landscaped grounds provide covered outdoor seating for a leisurely afternoon of wine sipping, and the tasting room offers a selection of cheese, meat and fruit trays with crackers. They recently hired a chef to expand the menu, and added a new happy hour every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m., with live music and complimentary chips and salsa. Future plans include a line of collaborative wines under the 4.0 Cellars label, and general manager Kelly Aldridge says the first will be a sherry produced in Lubbock and bottled at 4.0 Cellars. She hopes the wine will be available within the year.

TASTE THE TERROIR of Mason County Award-winning wines As seen in Food and Wine

winery and wine bar

Th–Sat 11–10; Sun 11–2 SE corner of the town square in Mason

325-347-WINE  •

Noteworthy Vintages McPherson Cellars 2011 Albariño: Albariño is Spain’s most popular white wine—originating in the northwestern region of Galicia. The grape has made its way to Texas, where it appears to be thriving well. McPherson’s take strikes the perfect balance of crisp fruit aromas of banana, pear, kiwi and pineapple. On the palate, the wine presents a crisp, dry mouthfeel with a rich velvety texture and flavors of mango, green apple and a nice, light lemony finish. The grapes were sourced from Castaño Prado Vineyards in Brownfield. The wine is very true to the varietal and is perfect with fish and shellfish.

Brennan Vineyards 2008 Malbec: Produced with fruit from the Brennan estate vineyard, this excellent wine has old-world aromas of tobacco and blackberry balanced with a new-world, fruit-forward style on the palate and a smooth finish. This is a medium-bodied wine that pairs well with steak, pork or game birds. Lost Oak Winery 2010 Syrah: One glance at the dark, burgundy hue of this syrah blend (45 percent syrah from the Red Wing Dove winery, in Hamilton, and 55 percent syrah from Post Oak Vineyards in Burleson) foretells that it will be a big, bold wine. The nose explodes with the aromas of dark red berry, cherry and jam typical of a good syrah. On the palate, there are complex layers of fruit with a nice balance of oak and well-integrated tannins. The finish is smooth and lingering. It’s a perfect pairing for lamb or beef.


FALL 2012


La Casita de buen sabor Chiles con Queso—¡Por Favor!

Photography by John Pozdro

B y l u cind a h u t s on


rowing up in the West Texas town of El Paso, I’d never heard of chicken-fried steak smothered in gravy, or eaten plump Gulf shrimp or lip-smackin’ pit barbecue doused in a tangy sauce. But I’ll bet my boots that many other Texans have never tasted chiles rellenos (stuffed green chiles) like the ones we devoured in the fall when the long, bright green chiles (commonly known around here as Hatch chiles, or also as Anaheim or California chiles) came fresh from the fields of the neighboring New Mexico valleys. These chiles rellenos puff up like golden clouds when dipped in a delicate egg and flour batter and quickly fried, and seem to bailar en el sarten (dance in the pan), as our family cook, Hermila Contreras, used to say. First though, the chiles must be flame roasted to remove their tough outer skin—adding a pleasing charred flavor. Then they’re stuffed with creamy Mexican white Chihuahua or asadero cheese, though sometimes Hermila used the more accessible Longhorn Colby cheese. Upon the first bite of the chile relleno, the melted cheese revealed the unmistakably earthy, vegetal and piquant flavor of roasted chiles. We never could eat just one! My brother, Stuart Hutson, a Mesilla, New Mexico, chile farmer, has a version that’s easier to make and healthier to eat. He calls them rellenos flojos (lazy man’s rellenos)—no batter, no frying, no fuss! He makes a slit in the roasted chiles (stem left intact) and stuffs them with grated cheese and chopped green onions (a pinch of salt and minced garlic, optional) and puts them under the broiler or on a hot comal for just a few minutes—just until the cheese melts. Enfolded in a warm corn or flour tortilla, they make simple and scrumptious party fare. For added flair, add a spoonful of refried beans (or any of the optional additions from the queso recipe included here) before adding the cheese. Another favorite dish in our El Paso household was chile con queso, 80

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thickened more with rajas (strips of roasted green chiles) and sautéed onions than with cheese—a far cry from the soupy, orange Velveeta versions. We’d scoop it up with homemade corn tostada chips, mound it on grilled steaks, burgers or sautéed squash or stuff it into baked potatoes.

A Note About New Mexico Chiles “Hatch chile” is not actually a variety of pepper (Hatch is a chile-producing town), but rather a term used to describe chiles of several different varieties grown in the southern valleys of New Mexico. Actual variety names can include Big Jim (large, meaty and great for rellenos), 6-4, Joe E. Parker, Sandia, Barker and others, many of which were developed at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces near my brother’s chile farm in Mesilla. Chile pepper varieties are grown in Texas and Mexico, too, and I have even heard they are now grown in the South in fields that once bore tobacco plants. However, I understand it’s that glorious diurnal temperature swing—hot days and cooler nights—that gives New Mexico chiles their flavor and mystique. Hatch chiles descend into Austin on the roadside, at farmers markets and at supermarkets, and Central Market hosts an annual Hatch Chile Festival in late August where customers can stock up on roasted chiles. Or roast them at home and freeze them in their charred skins in airtight freezer bags. Simply thaw and slip off the skins, to use in queso recipes, green enchilada sauces, salsas verdes, chiles rellenos or as flavorful rajas to flavor or accompany many dishes. As fall settles in New Mexico, those fortunate enough to travel there will see that the green chiles have ripened to red on the vine, and are now known as chiles colorados (red chiles). The air is filled with their unmistakable (and sometimes eyeburning!) pungency—the reminder of another harvest fulfilled. Locals pick them and string them into long, heavy strands called ristras to toast in the sun. They’re used decoratively—hanging in doorways to welcome guests—but the red chiles are also preserved as they dry. The dried chiles can then be rehydrated and pureed into rich, red salsa colorada (for making red enchiladas), carne adobada, pozole and other stews.

Hermila’s Chile Con Queso del Paso Norte Serves approximately 10 and can be halved 3 T. butter 1 T. vegetable oil 1½ medium onions, chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 or more jalapeños or serranos, minced (optional) 12 roasted, peeled green chiles cut into rajas (see note) Salt, to taste 2 heaping c. grated cheese (use one or combine several such as locally made aged raw-milk cheeses, Colby, Jack, Muenster or Mexican  creamy white cheeses)

FSM.Edible Austin.Garden_8-12_Layout 1 7/28/12 9:12 AM Page 1

Optional additions: mushrooms, squash, chopped tomatoes, roasted corn, crumbled fried chorizo, cilantro.

Heat the butter and oil in a pan. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeños, rajas and salt and cook for about 5 minutes—tossing well. (This may be made in advance and reheated.) Lower the heat, add the cheese and any optional ingredients and stir gently until melted. Serve immediately in a warmed bowl. Note: To roast chiles, use fresh New Mexico or Anaheim chiles, or the darker green, thicker-skinned poblano peppers (often more readily available). Poke whole chiles with a fork to keep them from bursting. Place on a baking sheet and roast 4 to 6 inches from the flame of a preheated broiler, or char directly over the open flame of a grill or on a hot comal, turning occasionally for even blistering and light charring. Place the charred chiles in a brown paper bag to steam for 10 minutes, then peel away the charred skin. Don’t rinse the chiles under running water or you’ll lose flavor! Make a slit in one side of each chile, leaving the stem intact. Remove some of the seeds and the chiles are ready for stuffing.

Chile Rajas (Green Chile Strips) Remove the seeds and stems from the roasted chiles and cut into 3-by⅜-inch strips. Use in chile con queso and other recipes.

Suggested Local Cheeses and Chips • Dos Lunas Artisan Cheese (aged raw-milk cheeses from free-roaming cows in Schulenburg), is crafted by charismatic cheesemaker Joaquin Avellan. I love to combine his Classico and Seco in my chile-cheese recipes, or try one of his flavored cheeses instead. The Classico is a whole-milk cheese, rich, creamy and complex, with balanced acidity and the apparent herbaceous essence that comes from grassfed cows. The Seco (aged for 60 days) is earthy and robust with a rich Parmesanlike intensity that especially complements chiles. • Full Quiver Farms homestead cheese is made by Mike and Debbie Sams and family in Kemp. Their Colby is a pale-yellow, semi-hard aged cheese that’s nutty and creamy with a lovely bite—a grand departure and so much more flavorful than the mild, artificially colored orange and white Colby of days past. Melts beautifully! Try their aged pepper jack and Monterey jack in queso dishes, too. • Blanco Valley Chips. Tracy Sanders fries corn tostada chips in coconut oil for flavor and health benefits, and also sells handmade corn tortillas made from non-GMO corn masa from New Mexico, as well as flour tortillas.

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

This is the surprising face of hunger. The hungry in Central Texas today may surprise you. They are our friends and neighbors, recently laid-off adults, the elderly couple on the next block living on a fixed income. And, of the 48,000 clients we serve every week, more than 1 in 3 are children. Hunger is unacceptable, especially in our own backyard. We can end hunger, but we can’t do it alone.

You can help. Advocate . Donate . Volunteer .


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seasonal muse

Crop Cycles b y c a r o l a nn s ay l e


t seven o’clock on an already-warm, humid, droughtsuffering mid-June day, sweat dripped from my face as I leaned on the spading fork and pushed its tines easily into the moist soil. I bent down and flipped its teeth upward—jerking up a dense load of soil, compost, minerals and menacing nut-grass families. The idea was to mix the nutrient additions into the upper inches and extract the nut-grass chains (with roots intact) at the same time, once the soil was moist. The nut grass won’t stay away for long, of course, but I wanted to give the new transplants an edge for a couple of weeks at least. I’d cleared the 200-foot bed of most of its other weeds the day before, at the same early hour—using a hoe to scrape the stems from the dry, hard soil but leaving their roots (sheathed in carbon) to decompose in the ground. The tool occasionally snagged the fence and T-posts that wait patiently to offer support to climbing plants. After raking the debris to the footpaths, I sprinkled amendments, ladled bucketfuls of our farm-made compost on the bed, laid and turned on the irrigation lines and then found the appropriately sized twigs to plug the unofficial holes in the tapes. I wanted the bed to be damp a foot down before I attempted to work the additions into the soil, remove the nut grass and plant. With the bed wet enough for earthworms to get active, I saved my back by alternately forking the bed to perfection and stuffing the baby Sun Gold tomatoes firmly but gently into deep holes. Their roots would be happier living in cool soil, far from the effects of drying winds and burning sun, as the plants would likely be dry-farmed the latter days of their lives with air temperatures that might increase before cooling off eventually. My mind was mostly on sweat and living through the experience, but also on the fall crops and how these fields would change before October. Gone would be most of the tomatoes, except for, if all goes well, these Sun Gold cherries and other late plantings of hot-season crops like heat-tolerant Bella Rosa tomatoes, green beans, okra, eggplant,

cucumbers and squash. These do well enough that they supplement the first kales, turnips and arugula of the cool season and make September and early October bearable—nutritionally and financially. The much-awaited spinach, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower will come to the farm-stand tables by Thanksgiving, carrots by late December. Fall is the clear birth of our crop year. The farmland will be quite bare early in the season, except for those last summer veggies and mown-down cover crops. But behind the scenes at the Gause farm greenhouse, much will be going on. Here, Pamela, our Gause farm manager, will be growing and tending thousands of transplants while Larry will be planting winter cover crops and installing a small quantity of vegetable crops to supplement the Austin farm stand’s fare. This is also the time when I’ll be scrambling to convert over 100 planting beds at the Austin farm from spent crops and the attending ravages of the typically horrid summer to newly formed raised beds amended with minerals and our farm-made compost. As the toddler transplants become ready, my assistants and I will fit the beds with irrigation tape, and plant—day after day. Soon, the farm will burst alive with robust young plants that will replace the ghosts of summer’s tall heirloom tomatoes. Finally, we’ll be able to see, and wave to, someone working on the other side of the farm as the land swells with the varying colors of the greens and lettuces that are especially beautiful. This will be the best time for us to be outside. Without sweating and worrying about heatstroke, we’ll be able to work all day long, and the fierce cold of winter won’t yet be upon us. Our crop cycle will once again begin, but before we can blink, winter will arrive and then spring. And eventually, like older generations of any species—humans included—the aged crops of fall will finally relax into the wayside to nourish and make room for summer-bound youngsters that will, in turn, succumb to the fall cleanup. It’s simply the cycle of all life, from beginning to end and beyond. And for us, it all begins in the chill of fall. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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Sustainable Food Center

Building a Home b y S u s a n Lei b r ock


f Sustainable Food Center (SFC) had a dollar for every time school administrators have called to ask if their students could come tour our center, we wouldn’t be in the midst of a fundraising campaign! Alas, we are in fact a “center without a center.” But a new home is on the horizon. For nearly 40 years, SFC has been a leader in the movement to promote community health and prevent diet-related disease by breaking down barriers to fresh, nutritious, affordable food and supporting local family farms. But the demand for SFC’s services has outpaced our ability to meet it. Finally having a center where we can train staff and volunteers and work with clients will greatly increase our resources, which will, in turn, dramatically increase our impact. For example, by operating The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre from the new center, the grassroots-based cooking and nutrition program should grow by 200 percent in the first two years alone. With the space and infrastructure to expand the Farm Direct program, SFC projects a 30 percent increase in sales across the outlets provided for local farmers—from the Farm to Work program to our four weekly SFC Farmers’ Markets. And though we’re currently working in one-third of Austin Independent School District (AISD) campuses, SFC is on track to have Farm to School available to all AISD schools by 2015—a goal we could not achieve without the ability to grow to scale. On May 30, SFC broke ground on our new site at the MLK, Jr. Capital MetroRail Station with a planting ceremony led by funders and community leaders. The project is slated for completion in spring 2013, but there is still a lot to do. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, SFC fundraising was matched by a challenge grant this summer, which has enabled us to reach 68 percent of our overall goal for building a permanent home. As of this writing, we have raised over $3,069,020 of our $4.5 million goal and are now taking our campaign public. There are many ways to get involved—from volunteering at our zero-waste kiosks at the markets to joining us in advocating for policy change at the federal, state and local levels. We thank Edible Austin and its readers for partnering with us as we build a sustainable future for the programs of SFC! For more information, visit


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Foraging around the Lone Star State b y Am y C r owe l l


Photography of Pinus edulis courtesy of National Parks Service

ext time you set out on a road trip to the unique nooks and crannies of our state, consider adventure foraging! A hunt for a few delicious, wild delicacies on the itinerary might add something sweet or spicy to your otherwise-lacking road food. Curious about wild strawberries? Consider a spring trip to the northeastern edge of the Piney Woods. How about wild pine nuts? Try the Guadalupe Mountains in the late summer or fall. Ever wondered what sea plants can be nibbled along the beach? A trip to the Gulf Coast any time of the year will present all kinds of edible seaweeds and sand weeds. Here are a few fine wild edibles to try on your next trip to these amazing places. The Piney Woods The Piney Woods is vast and offers many wonderful wild edibles such as the black walnut. But venture into the northeastern corner of the forest, perhaps even around Caddo Lake, to find the tiniest, most delicious wild berries. Sometime around late spring or early summer, the delicate, marble-size wild strawberries (Fragaria virginiana) ripen to a perfect, soft red and are best eaten right there on the spot. And where there’s one, there’s bound to be plenty because the plants multiply by runners and form patches that are particularly abundant where the edge of the forest meets a river, a fence line or an open meadow. Remember, too, that the berries ripen much sooner on south-facing slopes. Wild strawberries are uncommon in Texas, so straying into Arkansas to find more might be necessary, but worth the time and adventure. The Western Hills and Mountains Every time I notice the price of pine nuts in the store, I want to set up a pine nut collecting expedition to New Mexico. There are only about 24 pine species worldwide that produce a nut worth eating, and here in Texas, we’re lucky to have three that bear a tasty nut. The Texas piñon pine, or Pinus remota, grows sparingly in the westernmost part of the Hill Country around Rocksprings, and more abundantly in the mountains of northern Mexico, but is definitely the most accessible on a day trip from Austin. P. cembroides, or Mexican piñon, is found

in abundance in northern Mexico and in the Davis and Chisos Mountains of Texas. And Pinus edulis, also known as the New Mexico or Colorado piñon because of its prevalence in those states, produces some of the tastiest North American pine nuts. Chris Sheffield, program director of the Environmental Corps (and my loyal foraging partner-husband), notes that he bought bags of local piñon nuts from the road stands around Guadalupe Mountains National Park during his time working as a park ranger. “They were probably P. edulis, and they were most likely not harvested in Texas but from nearby in the Lincoln National Forest around Carlsbad, New Mexico,” he says. “That would be the best place for most Texans to legally collect pine nuts on public land.” Native Americans of the Southwest knew the value of the protein in the nut, and went to great, communal lengths to extract the wild nut seed from the cone. One traditional technique involved collecting the almostopened cones, roasting them over a fire until they were about to pop open, placing them in another container to separate out the shelled seeds and then roasting them again to make it easier to remove the outer black shell. I recommend using an oven. The Coast If fishing or crabbing isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty to harvest and eat along the Texas coast. Merriwether the Adventurer, one of Texas’s resident wild-edible-plant experts who forages primarily around Houston and Galveston, enjoys collecting and eating sea rocket (cakile spp.), a member of the mustard family and a tasty, spicy addition to salads or soups. The succulent sea rocket grows like most other plants in the mustard family, producing a white or yellow flower, though it varies in spiciness. Found growing in the sand dunes or along the edge of the highest tides, it is a sturdy, bushy plant that looks a bit like it just emerged from an underwater reef and planted itself right in the sand. The ecological diversity of Texas not only promises some pretty incredible scenery, but also tasty wild plants to enjoy along the way. I hope you forage and eat well on your next adventure. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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7/27/12 12:48 PM

Back of the House

Commander’s Palace by Marshall Wright


ucked in the heart of the New Orleans Garden District, Commander’s Palace has inspired diners for over a century with innovative riffs on Creole and Cajun dishes that star the abundant local produce, meats and seafood from the surrounding Louisiana Gulf area. In the kitchen, Executive Chef Tory McPhail discusses a few trailblazers in the Commander’s past and what he thinks his role is in helping to shape the future. “Paul [Prudhomme] was first to merge Cajun [and] Creole; Emeril [Lagasse] started cooking to order. Jamie [Shannon] wanted every plate to be its own thing—not just protein, starch, veg. Our thing is to have fun—bring a modern spin to it.” McPhail points to the huge whiteboard that hangs above one of the many prep areas in the kitchen and explains the written list entitled

“Some of Our Local Products.” Three columns are filled with native fruits and vegetables like Creole pumpkins, satsumas, crowder peas and kumquats and Louisiana seafood like sheepshead, speckled trout, wahoo, alligator and the alligator snapping turtles used to make their famous turtle soup. “We change the menu twice a day, every day,” he says. “I’d much rather have eight cooks doing everything to order than pull stuff from a steam table,” McPhail says against the background blur of activity. Cooks and sous-chefs buzz around the kitchen—moving to and from the dedicated butcher shop, walk-ins, prep stations and hot line, while chefs in the pastry kitchen sculpt desserts under a sign that reads “Our Job: Making Dining Memories.” At Commander’s Palace, that’s a job well done. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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Previous page: The iconic turquoise and white facade makes Commander’s Palace instantly recognizable. This page: Sous Chef Carl Schaubhut, Executive Chef Tory McPhail, Butcher Andrew Sheffield and Sous Chef Meg Ordoyne meet daily at the kitchen’s chef table; Making menu changes; A mezzaluna makes easy work of chopping parsley. Opposite page: Sous Chef Schaubhut inspects the day’s produce from Covey Rise Farms; the Onion Crusted Chicken Salad is ready to run; prepping Cochon de Lait boudin; Commander’s Palace dress code; Louisiana Gulf Shrimp sizzle in a frying pan.


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Opposite page: Order up! Sous Chef Carl Schaubhut readies the Cochon de Lait Strudel for a server. This page: Stacking salads on a tray; A server runs food out to the dining room; New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp and Grits arrives at the table; toasting Commander’s signature garlic bread. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

FALL 2012


The Directory ARTISANAL FOODS Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

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

Austin Gourmet Imports, LLC

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

Lick Ice Creams

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

Lone Star Foodservice

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

Texas Olive Ranch

Blue Baker

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

Broken Arrow Ranch

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

Con ‘Olio Oils & Vinegars

A tasting bar & importer of the finest, freshest Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars from around the world. 512-342-2344 10000 Research Blvd., Ste. 130 512-495-1559 215 Lavaca St.

Dos Lunas Artisan Cheese

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

Tom’s Tabooley

Fresh Mediterranean Cafe since 1977. Vegan to carnivore delights, falafels, gyros, hand-rolled dolmas, beer, wine and live music. Open 7 days a week. 512-479-7337 2928 Guadalupe St.

Bakeries 2tarts Bakery & Catering

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

Amity Bakery

Amity Bakery is a bakery goods service creDos Lunas is a specially aged raw cow’s ated to provide fresh, quality breads and milk cheese. Our milk comes from grasspastries delivered to your home or office. fed, free-roaming cows in Schulenburg, 512-573-3503 Texas. We age our cheese in Austin. 1208 W. 4th St. 512-963-5357

Gourmet Texas Pasta

Hand-crafted here in Austin, Gourmet Texas Pasta’s 34 varieties of whole-wheat and gluten-free pasta are flavored with real vegetables, herbs and spices. 512-487-8241 2013 Wells Branch Pkwy, Ste. 119 92 92

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Blue Note Bakery

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


Red Oak Bakery

Perissos Vineyards


Sandstone Cellars Winery

100% gluten free bakery using local, sustainable and organic ingredients. Handmade and house-made artisanal sweets and savories. 830-214-6911 596 S. Castell Ave., New Braunfels

4.0 Cellars

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

Austin Homebrew Supply

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

The Austin Wine Merchant

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

Brooklyn Brewery

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

Fall Creek Vineyards

Vineyard, winery, and tasting room. 512-476-4477 1820 CR 222, Tow

Flat Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery Experience our commitment to “Quality Texas Wine” and “Fine Food in the Hill Country” through exquisite multi-course menus and exceptional handcrafted wine. 512-267-6310 24912 Singleton Bend E., Marble Falls

Paula’s Texas Spirits

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

Pedernales Cellars

Pedernales Cellars is a family-owned winery in the Texas Hill Country where one can enjoy delectable Spanish style wines and fabulous views. 830-644-2037 2916 Upper Albert Rd., Stonewall

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

Boutique winery featuring wine made from Mason County grapes plus an art gallery and upscale wine bar. 325-347-9463 211 San Antonio St., Mason

Spec’s Wine Spirits and Finer Foods

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

Texas Coffee Traders

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

Texas Hills Vineyard

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

Thirsty Planet Brewing

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

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

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

Zhi Tea

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

Bookseller BookPeople

Texas’s 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.

Catering and Meal Delivery Dishalicious

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

Pink Avocado Catering

A custom catering company specializing in tailored menus, incredible food & surprisingly personal service. 512-656-4348 401 Sabine St. Ste. B

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

Culinary Education Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts is teaching the next generation of chefs and pastry chefs the importance of sustainable and ethical choices. 512-451-5743 6020-B Dillard Cir.

The Natural Epicurean

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

Design And Construction Texas Oven Co.

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


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11th Annual Art on the Green

The Bastrop Fine Arts Guild invites you to a one-of-a-kind showing and sale of fine local art pieces on October 6-7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. 512-321-8055 1408 Chestnut St., Bastrop

12th Annual Renewable Energy & Green Living Fair Droughts and environmental concerns show value of sustainability and ecofriendly lifestyles at the Renewable Energy Roundup & Green Living Fair. September 29-30, 2012 830-997-2350


Boggy Creek Farm

Market Days: Wednesday and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM

23rd Annual La Dolce Vita Food & Wine Festival

Featuring top-tier restaurants and wineries, La Dolce Vita is Austin’s premier culinary and social event benefiting AMOA-Arthouse’s education programs. October 11, 2012 512-458-8191 3809 W. 35th St.

Dripping with Taste Wine & Food Festival

Upscale foodie-tainment in the Texas Hill Country. Area wines and craft beers, chef demos, vendors, live music. 25 miles west of Austin. September 8, 2012 512-858-7000 2530 W. Fitzhugh Rd., Dripping Springs


Eating shouldn’t be a mystery

Pantry Purge | Cooking Lessons | Meal Planning Grocery Store & Farmers Market Tours | 512.294.2447

Farm and Food Leadership Conference Come to the Farm and Food Leadership Conference to get the latest information on the issues affecting local farms and your access to healthy foods. September 10-11, 2012 254-697-2661

Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest

Texas specialty booths, 29 Texas wineries. Cooking school, lively entertainment, auction and special events round out the bill. October 25–27, 2012 830-997-8515 Marktplatz, Fredericksburg EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM

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San Antonio Herb Market

A family day event featuring Texas Herb Growers and Artisans selling all things herbal. Seminars and tastings. Free admission, free parking. October 20, 2012 210-688-9421 200 E. Grayson St., San Antonio

Texas Society of Homeopathy Conference Texas Society of Homeopathy’s 21st Annual Conference in Houston’s Marriott North. Homeopathic education. Miranda Castro as keynote speaker. October 12-14, 2012 817-683-6299

Farmers Markets Cedar Park and Round Rock Farmers Markets

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

HOPE Farmers Market

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

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

New Braunfels Farm to Market

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

SFC Farmers‘ Markets

Real farms. Real food. Live music. Kids’ areas. Weekly tastings. Summer festivals. Free parking. Double dollars Tues. for SNAP/WIC. 512-236-0074 422 W. 4th St. 3200 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley Hwy. 183 and 51st St. 46th St. and Lamar 94 94

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Farms Boggy Creek Farm

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

HausBar Farm

Vegetables, Eggs, Chicken, and Rabbit. Bed and Breakfast and Event Space coming soon! 512-577-4731

Indian Hills Farm

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

Richardson Farms

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

Grocers Bountiful Sprout

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

Wheatsville Food Co-op

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

Whole Foods Market

Selling the highest quality natural & 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

Housewares and Gifts Breed & Co.

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

Callahan’s General Store

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

Der Küchen Laden

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

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


The Herb Bar

Farmhouse Delivery

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

Royal Blue Grocery

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


Landscape and Environmental B. Jane Gardens

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

The Great Outdoors Nursery

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

It’s About Thyme Garden Center

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


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

Inn Above Onion Creek


Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm

Since 1956 and now with more than 250 stores nationwide, Williams-Sonoma remains dedicated to customer service and strong commitment to quality. 800-840-2591

Romantic bed and breakfast located on 100 acres in the Texas Hill Country. 25 miles south of Austin. Dinner and breakfast included in stay. Day Spa on-site. 512-268-1617 4444 W. FM 150, Kyle

Cooking school, private dinners, luxury cabin rentals. 830-833-0910 5818 RR 165, Dripping Springs

Photography and Art AMOA-Arthouse

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

Andy Sams Photography

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

Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton Museum of Art, one of the foremost university art museums in the country, offers all visitors engaging experiences that connect art and ideas. 512-471-7324 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Professional Services Austin Label Company

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

Austin Subaru

Continental Automotive Group’s Austin Subaru - Locally Owned and Operated, We’re All About Austin! 512-323-2837 200 W. Huntland Dr.

Ditch the Box

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

Jody Horton Photography

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

Marta Stafford Fine Art A pairing of art and antiques. The collection includes sculpture, representational works and contemporary expressionism in a charming vintage 1930s home. 830-693-9999 112 Main St., Marble Falls

Mexic-Arte Museum

Founded in 1984, Mexic-Arte Museum presents artworks by the finest established and emerging artists from the United States, Mexico and Latin America. 512-480-9373 419 Congress Ave.

Opm Den Art Gallery

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

Texas Performing Arts Texas Performing Arts presents an international season of fine arts performances, as well as the best in touring Broadway and concert attractions. 512-471-2787

Hummingbird EcoCleaning

Eco-friendly housekeeping, eco yard care, and personal assistant services in the Austin area. Detail oriented, reliable and trustworthy. 512-368-2268

Publications and Blogs Shearer Publishing

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

Cook Globally, Grow Locally 14 th A nnuAl F All F estivAl

Sunday, October 28 Gates open from noon to 3pm Boggy Creek Farm - Food from Austin’s top restaurants - Chef demonstrations - Live music

Tickets available online $35 in advance, $40 at the door, children under 12 free

Texas Wine and Food Gourmet

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

Real Estate Green Mango Real Estate

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

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Cipollina West Austin Bistro

18 Oaks at JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

18 Oaks is a new-style steakhouse with emphasis on local sourcing of beef, cheeses, and produce and featuring dishes from the resort’s own organic gardens. 210-491-5825 23808 Resort Pkwy., San Antonio

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

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

Bastrop Brewhouse

Live Music. Local Cuisine. Handcrafted Ales. All at the Bastrop Brewhouse located on the beautiful Colorado River. Great view of the bridge so come enjoy! 512-321-1144 601 Chestnut St., Bastrop

Baxters on Main

Step back in time amid raw brick walls, soaring ceilings and 1920s decor for a fine dining experience that will please all your senses! 512-321-3577 919 Main St., Bastrop

Beets Living Food Cafe

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

Buenos Aires Cafe

Austin grown Argentine restaurant. We use only the freshest ingredients available and make an effort to support local farmers. Food made with love daily. 512-382-1189 1201 E. 6th St. 512-441-9000 13500 Galleria Cir., Bee Cave

Chez Nous

A casual French bistro, serving Austin since 1982, Chez Nous offers a delectable selection of regional French cuisine and wines in a relaxed, convivial and intimate atmosphere. 512-473-2413 510 Neches St. 96 96

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Join us for lunch, dinner or brunch to sample our Mediterranean inspired, locally sourced food. 512-477-5211 1213 West Lynn St.

East Side Pies

We love our local produce at East Side Pies. Come in and enjoy our farm-totable slices and local beverages. We are a local home grown pizzeria. 512-524-0933 1401 Rosewood Ave. 512-454-7437 5312 Airport Blvd., Ste. G 512-467-8900 1809-1 W. Anderson Ln.


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

FINO Restaurant Patio & Bar Modern Mediterranean. 512-474-2905 2905 San Gabriel St.

Fonda San Miguel

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

Green Pastures

Located in old South Austin a mile and a half south of the river on 5 acres. Offering lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Catering and events on and offsite. 512-444-4747 811 W. Live Oak St.

Hasler Brothers Steakhouse

Hasler Brothers Steakhouse exceeds your expectations with quality wines, meats, seafood and more. After dinner, linger in the piano bar for music and fun! 512-321-1171 703 Chestnut St., Bastrop

Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Texan in spirit and local in source, Jack Allen’s Kitchen serves up Texas-inspired cuisine, fresh cocktails, cold beers and good times daily. 512-852-8558 7720 Hwy. 71 W. 2500 Hoppe Tr., Round Rock


Kerbey Lane Cafe

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

The Leaning Pear Café & Eatery Serving the Texas Hill Country fresh and seasonal favorites using local ingredients. 512-847-7327 111 River Rd., Wimberley


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.

Magnolia Cafe

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

Maxine’s on Main

One of Texas’s top 40 small town cafes, a visit to Maxine’s is a must! Enjoy giant pancakes for breakfast or a burger for lunch; stop by and visit with us! 512-303-0919 905 Main St., Bastrop

Navajo Grill

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

Noon Spoon Cafe Full-service cafe. 830-798-2347 610 Broadway, Marble Falls

Papi Tino’s

With a simple and elegant interior Mexican menu, and a tree canopy covered front porch, this genuine Mexican Cantina’s atmosphere is simply quite perfect. 512-479-1306 1306 E. 6th St.


Home of one of the 50 best burgers in Texas! Come sit on the porch and indulge in fantastic burgers with all the fixin’s, great milkshakes and much more. 512-321-1803 2804 Hwy. 21 E., Bastrop

Snack Bar

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

Texas French Bread

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

TNT / Tacos and Tequila

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

The Turtle Restaurant

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

Uptown Blanco Restaurant

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

Wink Restaurant & Wine Bar

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

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

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.

Peach Basket

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

Tourism Brenham/Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau

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

Comanche Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture Nestled in the hills of Central Texas, Comanche boasts antique and gift shops, great restaurants and lodging facilities, an art gallery, plus lots more. 325-356-3233 304 S. Austin St., Comanche

Fredericksburg Conference and Visitors Bureau

Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce Marble Falls is the gateway to exciting Hill Country day trips - wineries, lakes and caves, just to name a few. Come stay with us and see for yourself. 830-693-2815

Texarkana Chamber of Commerce

Our mission: To improve Texarkana USA’s quality of life by recruiting, welcoming, uniting, and promoting business... we connect the dots. 903-792-7191 819 N. Stateline Ave., Texarkana

Wellness Bicycle Sport Shop

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

Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop

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

Enjoy our wholesome farm products! • Grassfed Angus beef • Pecan granola (including gluten-free) • Seasonal, chemical-free produce and nuts SFC Downtown and Sunset Valley Farmers’ Markets • 512-237-4792

Peoples Rx

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

Want to have your business listed in this directory? Please contact for more information.

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

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Janel Jefferson, Ophelia, 2010, Acrylic, charcoal, and dried flowers on paper, 68 x 36 inches, courtesy of the artist and Wally Workman Gallery

art de terroir

Collection Selections: De-Luxe on view at Laguna Gloria | 3809 W. 35th Street August 24 – December 2, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake! Tuesday, October 2 | 8–10 p.m. | Driscoll Villa, Laguna Gloria De-Luxe presents art that through its content, material or process reflects luxury and excess. Those who don’t believe in too much of a good thing are invited to enjoy the art exhibition while indulging on sweets and libations created by local food artisans. Tickets $15 members/ $20 non-members and available at Co-presented by Edible Austin.

Laguna Gloria 3809 West 35th St. 512.458.8191

The Jones Center 700 Congress Avenue 512.453.5312

Edible Austin, Fall 2012  
Edible Austin, Fall 2012  

Celebrating Central Texas food culture, season by season. Our fall 2012 issue focuses on travel!