No. 51 March/April | Outdoor 2017
Cel eb ra ti n g Cen tra l Texa s fo o d cu lt u re, sea so n by sea so n
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CONTENTS outdoor issue 8 notable MENTIONS 13 notable EDIBLES El Talisman Coffee Co., Hot Love Soup, Texas ProStart, AISD’s Breakfast in the Classroom.
26 cooks at HOME
32 edible ENDEAVOR
Svante’s Ranch Direct.
47 edible TREES
Revisiting an old friend.
50 what we're DRINKING
OUTDOOR features 22 Bypassing the Bubble
How some Austin restaurateurs are thriving in a less than stable market.
56 edible GARDENS
An unexpected oasis.
58 hip girl’s guide to HOMEMAKING
Recharging with homemade electrolyte drinks.
63 The Directory 66 department of ORGANIC YOUTH
My life in food.
COVER: Pizza from Italic (page 22). Photography by Dustin Meyer.
34 Painter of Cakes A slice of cake never goes out of style.
36 Let's Get Dressed Great dressings, like great outfits, favor the bold.
42 Seed Savers Keeping heirloom seeds for future generations.
52 Talking with Hank Shaw Why deer make us human.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER here is nothing more sacred than the planet that sustains us.
Thus giving respect and love to Mother Earth is an innate and
EDITOR Kim Lane
hard-wired survivalist mandate we enjoy as humans. As benefi-
ciaries of its abundance and ability to sustain life as we know it,
our only reciprocal obligation is to honor and protect it. For those of us working in the milieu of local food systems, the value of treading lightly upon and replenishing—not draining—Earth’s resources need not be harped upon. We know that growing use of chemical inputs threatens pollinators and that loss of wildlife habitat, both on land and sea puts sustainable food production at risk. The depletion of the very soil that covers our fields cannot ever be reversed. But as concerns among conservationists mount over a growing rift between those who seek
COPY EDITOR Anne Marie Hampshire
EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Claire Cella, Dena Garcia, Cari Marshall, Michelle Moore
EVENTS COORDINATOR Susanna Cassady
justification to use the Earth's fragile resources for financial profit and short-
term gains and those who look to the future, favoring preservation over pillage,
Christine Andrews, Amy Young
this is a critical time to address the potential consequences of each approach. Just use your imagination. Beyond respect for the Earth’s ability to grow the food we need and provide the environment that sustains us, there is a deeper, more soulful connection between us and the great outdoors: one that gives us solace and balance. Wendell Berry's masterful words from "The Peace of Wild Things"* expresses this sentiment beautifully: When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. Let’s come together to celebrate and protect the abundance of life-sustaining energy that our planet offers in every way we can, with all our heart and soul.
* © Wendell Berry, excerpted from “The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry” 6
DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Grayson Oheim
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Darby Kendall
ADVISORY GROUP Terry Thompson-Anderson, Paula Angerstein, Dorsey Barger, Jim Hightower, Toni Tipton-Martin, Mary Sanger, Carol Ann Sayle
CONTACT US Edible Austin 1411A Newning Ave., Austin, TX 78704 512-441-3971 firstname.lastname@example.org edibleaustin.com Edible Austin is published bimonthly by Edible Austin L.L.C. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher. ©2017. Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us.
presents the fifth annual
A REAL FOOD FAIR Rosewood Park • 2300 Rosewood Ave.
Sunday, April 23 . 1-5 pm plant a garden • play games • sample tasty local food buy a picnic or bring your own • meet farmers and local nonprofits enjoy music and more!
Thanks to our
Sponsors: And thanks to our community partner, The SANDE Youth Project.
Annual Derby Day Extravaganza!
notable MENTIONS FOOD AND WINE FESTIVALS ABOUND THIS SPRING! The always-popular Austin Food + Wine Festival is back— and will be bigger than ever this year. The four-day festival kicks off Thursday, April 27, at Auditorium Shores with Feast Under the Stars—a one-of-a-kind dining experience that offers a locally sourced, five-course meal prepared by award-winning chefs. Other featured events include Lone Star Nights on Friday and Rock Your Taco on Saturday. Don’t miss the highly anticipated roster of top chefs, winemakers, sommeliers and gourmands from around the U.S. and Austin’s own renowned foodie scene. The festival benefits Austin Food & Wine Alliance, which is dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and wine community through grants, educational programming and events. Visit austinfoodandwinefestival.com for tickets and the full schedule. Take a short Hill Country excursion west of Austin on March 31 through April 2, to enjoy The Best of Texas, a weekend festival
Saturday, May 6 at 1:00 pm
celebrating chefs, winemakers, distillers, brewers and more from
142 Lindner Branch Trail, Comfort, Texas
Pioneer Museum and the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts,
830-995-2948 | bendingbranchwinery.com
this competition-focused festival also features a farm-to-table
Texas and beyond. Hosted in Fredericksburg and benefiting the
dinner; a Great Gatsby-themed “Battle of the Chefs” dinner; 5K, 10K and half-marathon “bier runs”; live music and more than 75 tasting partners as well The Best of Texas Victory Cup polo match. Visit thebestoftexas.org for tickets and more.
Helping buyers & sellers move to the next chapter in life.
On May 6–7, you can celebrate Spring in full bloom at the 19th annual Becker Vineyards Lavender Festival. Sip and swirl with live music, food and craft artisans and enjoy the lavender fields in all their glory. This free event also features cooking demos, wine tastings, vineyard tours and much more. Visit beckervineyards.com for more.
PICKIN' AND GRINNIN' IN SUPPORT OF FARMERS Local nonprofit Farmgrass invites you to two days of music-infused fun at the fourth annual Farmgrass Fest at Simmons Family Farm, located just south of Niederwald, on Saturday and Sunday, May
Barbara Van Dyke Realtor® Associate, GRI
c: 51 2.431. 2552 o: 51 2. 3 27.4800 barbara .van email@example.com barbaravandyke.kupe rrealty.com
12 and 13. The festival raises money to support the health and growth of Central Texas farmers. Farmgrass is also hosting a fundraising dinner, Farm to Feast, on Thursday, March 9, at Barr Mansion. Meet your Central Texas farmers while enjoying a locally sourced meal prepared by Chef Fermin Nunez (formerly of Fresa’s, La Condesa, East Side Showroom). Produce will be provided by Farmhouse Delivery and drinks by Independence Brewery and Texas Keeper Cider. Also featured will be music by Lil Darlin and a live auction to complete the experience. Visit farmgrass.org for tickets to both events and for more information.
H U G H AC H E S O N • J I M M Y B A N N O S • J I M M Y B A N N O S , J R . • M AT T B O LU S H U G H AC H E S O N • J I M M Y B A N N O S • J I M M Y B A N N O S , J R . • M AT T B O LU S TYSON COLE • DREW CURREN • JASON DADY • GRAHAM ELLIOT • JODI ELLIOTT TYSON COLE • DREW CURREN • JASON DADY • GRAHAM ELLIOT • JODI ELLIOTT K EKV KK •• MMI C • A AM MA AN NDA DA FFRREEI TAG I TAG •• F O FO E IVNI N F IFN IN I CHHAAEELL FFO OJJTA TA SS E EK K • RR D DF RFYR Y LULU DO B BVVRREE •• TTI IM N EE M MUUEELLLLEERR •• AAAARRÓÓNN S Á SÁ HZE Z D O L EL F EE FE M LLOV OVEE • • WAY WAY N NN CC HE ALON TSAI •• JONATHAN JONATHANWAXMAN WAXMAN& MANY & MANY MORE ALONSHAYA SHAYA••CHRISTINA CHRISTINA TOSI TOSI • • MING MING TSAI MORE
Edible Austin publisher, Marla Camp, will moderate a panel called “Hunter, Gatherer, Chef: Going Beyond Farm to Table” on Saturday, March 11, exploring how today’s chefs are making food personal again—in many ways pulled from the roots that sparked the local food movement to begin with. Chefs Zakary Pelaccio of Fish & Game (Hudson, New York) and Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due, along with author Susan Ebert, will get to the heart and soul of connecting primal ingredients to what we serve our customers, friends and family. This session will be part of the 2017 SXSW Food Track, which brings together
Why was a sugar coffin sent to a major Hollywood star?
the food community’s most inspired entrepreneurs, chefs, data
View this story—and many more—at the Harry Ransom Center.
industry. The track runs from March 11–13, at The Driskill Hotel
scientists, investors, filmmakers and enthusiasts to connect and explore ways in which technology can be leveraged to transform the and is open to all badge types. Visit sxsw.com/schedule to view the full schedule.
THROUGH JULY 16 21st and Guadalupe Streets www.hrc.utexas.edu
SUPPORT OUR URBAN FARMERS!
and personal. The eighth annual East Austin
Come to the East Side to celebrate with some of our local Austin farmers, up-close Urban Farm Tour takes place on Sunday, April 9, from 1 to 5 p.m. The easily walkable tour includes stops at Boggy Creek Farm, HausBar Urban Farm & Guest Haus, Rain Lily Farm and Springdale Farm. Spend a Sunday afternoon strolling among the crops, visiting the chickens, donkeys and rabbits while farmers will introduce you to their crops, share their experiences as farmers and answer gardening questions. At each farm, chefs will offer tastes of their art using farm ingredients, and local mixologists, brewers and wine merchants will share sips. Tickets to the four-farm tour benefit Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, an organization that helps independent family farmers and promotes common-sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems. Visit eastaustinurbanfarmtour.com for more information.
NEW LOCATION FOR EDIBLE AUSTIN'S CHILDREN’S PICNIC The fifth annual Children’s Picnic: A Real Food Fair is hosted at a new location this year: Rosewood Park on the East Side at 2300 Rosewood Ave. Join us on Sunday, April 23, from 1 to 5 p.m. for this free Austin community event to learn about gardening, beekeeping, cooking, wellness and more. The fair includes learning activities, cooking demonstrations, take-home DIY gardens, a “veggie walk” and live music. An array of local farmers, artisans and vendors will be on hand with delicious bites for sampling and for sale, but feel free to bring a picnic and enjoy the day with us! Visit edibleaustin.com for more information. 10
Photography by Jody Horton
EDIBLE AUSTIN AT SXSW FOOD TRACK
This exhibition is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art. Image: Nina Katchadourian, Bats 1 (Austin, TX), 2016, from Paranormal Postcards (2001â€“ongoing), postcard and red sewing thread, 4 9/16 x 6 11/16 in. Courtesy the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco.
Blanton Museum of Art / The University of Texas at Austin / MLK at Congress / Austin, TX 78712 / 512.471.7324 / www.blantonmuseum.org
notable EDIBLES BACK TO THE GRIND
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offee had been in the blood of the
Alvarado family for five generations, until shouldn’t be. During the country’s Contra War in the 1980s, the government
the family’s coffee farm—giving the clan little choice but to flee to America and
Johanna Alvarado, with Merlin and Andy, on the El Talisman family farm in Nicaragua. years later, they’ve settle in Austin. Now,
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picked up where they left off. Three years ago the family launched El Talisman Coffee Co., named after the family farm they’d lost. “It’s a way to honor my grandfather and his grandfather before him,” says Fernando, who works with parents, Yuri and Johanna, and sister, also Johanna, on the new venture. “[El Talisman] is also a symbol for good luck.” Indeed, fortune has come back around to favor the family, who bought new land in Nicaragua and returned to work the brandnew El Talisman farm. Not that the process has been easy—having been gone for years, Fernando’s parents barely recognized the country when they returned. “It’s not the same place my parents were raised in,” says Fernando, who still lives in Austin with his sister but travels back and forth to help with the harvest. With support from Fernando’s grandfather, also a coffee farmer, they found land suitable for growing coffee and got to work. Back in Austin, Fernando taught himself how to roast coffee beans—experimenting with a hand-crank popcorn popper at first until he got it right. The family started selling their dark- and medium-roast coffees—both whole-bean and ground—at the Barton Creek Farmers Market last year and hope to expand into retail
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stores and possibly even a coffee truck soon. Though the Alvarados have mostly focused on building El Talisman, they plan to eventually help Nicaraguans on a deeper level by opening an orphanage and home for the elderly and disabled on their farm. In the more immediate future, they’re working on importing the coffee of their fellow farmers in Nicaragua through direct-trade, as opposed to fair-trade. “Through fair-trade, importers choose the farmers they want to work with and tell them the price they’ll pay them,” says Fernando. “We’re telling farmers to decide their own prices. The farmer does 70 percent of the work and the roaster makes
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more money for 12 minutes of work. It would be great to switch the system a bit and compensate farmers more.”—Steve Wilson For more, visit eltalismancoffee.com or call 512-809-5762.
Photography by Yuri Alvarado
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FROM SOUP TO NUTS
TEX RATED: GRAPEFRUIT FOR GROWN-UPS
hat do you do after completing a one-woman goodwill
running tour across America for nine months? Move to Austin sight unseen, of course, and start delivering homemade soup and energy balls on a bike with a dance and a song thrown in. When you’re Katie Visco, it kind of makes sense. Visco started hosting free soup parties back in Boston as a way to build a community (which she became a fan of after serving in AmeriCorps). Her eventual countrywide run in 2009 came about from a related desire to inspire people to follow their passions. After a months-long speaking tour to drive home the point, she took a train to New Orleans and biked the rest of the way to Austin—planning to stay a year. “That was 2011 and now…it’s now,” she says. Visco threw more soup parties in Austin soon after she arrived, but she didn’t think to sell her creations until she needed extra money for a service trip to Costa Rica. “My friend asked, ‘What’s something you could monetize quickly and make $500 for a ticket?’ And I said ‘Soup!’” She started delivering mystery “SOUPrise” creations on “Uncle Barry” (her bike) with a song, dance and/or poem thrown in for good measure. She called it “Hot Love Soup,” and even though the business was, and is still, bike-based, it’s grown to offer a range of organic soups made from mostly local ingredients, including a bison butternut squash cacao chili that The Food Network featured on the “Food Fortunes” show, along with the popular bone broths available at People’s Pharmacy. Visco funded her next big “adventure-preneur” trip—a twomonth bike ride through Southeast Asia—with Good Juju Energy Balls, an online business she started around 2014. She designed the round, oat-based balls to hold as many high-energy nutrients as possible in a portable, large-cherry-sized package for snacking on the go—hence flavors such as peanut-choco with cinnamon and chia and vanilla-almond with rooibos tea. Almost everything is organic and she can swap out an ingredient here or there to make the balls vegan and paleo, too. These stimulating balls may very well give eaters a small taste of what it’s like to be revved up like Visco. Then again, nothing could likely ever match the wellspring from whence she draws her own personal juju. After the Asia trip, she plans to become the first woman to run across Australia in 2019. “It’s really a kind of crazy undertaking, to be honest, and yet it’s just another adventure,” says Visco. “It’s important to challenge yourself and not get stale.”—Steve Wilson Find more at hotlovesoup.com and goodjujuenergyballs.weebly.com
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LETTERING IN FOOD: THE TRA BRINGS COOKING BACK TO SCHOOL
emember fellow students who secretly wanted to take Home
filling the roles of chef, sous-chef and so on—to cook a complete
Economics in high school but feared ridicule? Kids today
meal in 50 minutes before a panel of judges.
don’t have that problem, at least not if they go to a school that
After clashing cutlery against other teams in regional meets, the
offers Texas ProStart. Run by the educational arm of the Texas
winners have a shot at going on to national competitions. Students
Restaurant Association (TRA), the program makes cooking cool
may also compete in a restaurant management context by giving a
in school, even for the most jaded teen. “Sometimes I kick my-
presentation about their business plans for a restaurant concept be-
self, thinking, ‘Why didn’t they have ProStart when I was in high
fore a panel of experts. Smith says that last year, Texas became the
school?” says Steph Smith, the director of development at TRA.
first state ever to take first place in restaurant management and third
The National Restaurant Association dreamed up ProStart in
place in culinary arts at the national showdown. To ensure every-
1994 as a series of classes ready-made for any high school that had
body has a chance to compete, the program has beefed up its schol-
some basic industrial kitchen equipment and a willingness to arm
arships to help send less-advantaged students to the meets.
teenagers with chef knives. Individual state restaurant associa-
The classes also enlist the expertise of restaurant-industry
tions that operate under the nonprofit’s umbrella run their own
pros to serve as mentors, such as Mike Erickson, a chef who
tailored ProStart programs, and, shock of shockers, Texas Pro-
teaches at Burnet High School, in Burnet. “Texas ProStart is great
Start is the biggest—boasting more than 240 participating high
for introducing the next generation to extensive career oppor-
schools and 25,000 students each year.
tunities in the food world while learning from professionals and
Geared toward training students in the culinary arts and restau-
hearing their stories and wisdom,” he says.
rant management (as opposed to simply honing homemaking skills),
One member of this generation, Valerie Tarver, a sophomore at
the Texas Education Agency-approved class counts as a credit and
Burnet, agrees. “Having the experience of working in the kitchen ev-
draws in students by adding a certain “Top Chef” pizzazz to what
ery day with my peers has taught me how to handle stress and main-
might otherwise become humdrum homework to the adolescent
tain a positive attitude in tough situations,” she says. “The program
mind. Each year, ProStart students unite as a school team, and com-
has opened so many opportunities for me now and in the future. I
bine their collective cooking skills to compete against other schools.
can’t wait to get out there and put my skills to the test.”—Steve Wilson
Team members organize as they might in a professional kitchen—
For more information, visit texasprostart.com.
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BREAKFAST IN THE CLASSROOM
Farm Fresh Veggies & Fruits Delivered to Your Door
reakfast is generally considered to be the most important meal of the day. And while your mileage may vary depending on what’s on
the menu, the adage is especially true when applied to kids. In fact, research indicates that kids who consistently eat breakfast are more likely to show up for school and less likely to visit the school nurse or to get into trouble. (They even tend to bring home better report cards.) For
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all these reasons, Austin Independent School District (AISD) is committed to increasing students’ access to a nutritious meal at the start of their school day, and to making that meal tasty, easy to eat and free of charge. AISD’s Breakfast in the Classroom program—currently ex-
panding from eight AISD campuses to 29 campuses this year—offers just that: optional, free, healthy breakfast choices prepared by cafeteria staff and delivered directly to classrooms, room-service-style. Why the classroom? While breakfast has long been offered in AISD cafeterias (with 64 campuses currently qualifying for free breakfast), delivering it to the classroom means kids are more likely to eat it. “When we moved breakfast from the cafeteria to the classroom, we saw about a 50 percent increase in participation,” says Anneliese Tanner, nutrition and food services director for AISD. In fact, since the program began, AISD is serving 4,500 more breakfasts per day than in previous years. Students can choose from a variety of foods, many of which are sourced locally and sustainably. “In most districts, ‘breakfast’ is a packaged product,” explains Tanner. “But we’re doing a lot of scratch cooking, so we’re making kolaches, parfaits, breakfast sandwiches, chia bars and bagels and really trying to take it in a much healthier direction.” In addition, locally grown fruits, such as watermelon, apples and oranges, are offered at least three times a week, scratchmade menu items containing eggs are prepared using Austin-based Vital Farms eggs from pasture-raised chickens and there’s a vegetarian option every day. AISD is also introducing seasonality into the mix with fall, winter and spring menus. “These cycles help to introduce new flavors to students, while educating them on the food system by integrating local seasonal produce,” Tanner says. As part of the district’s strategic plan, the program will continue to expand: Any campus with 60 percent or more of students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals can apply. That’s good news for kids in AISD and for all our futures. —Anne Marie Hampshire For more, visit austinisd.org/nutritionfoodservices or call 512-414-0251.
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ERIN WADE BY ST EV E W I LSO N • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY M E L A N I E G R I Z Z E L
he sun-drenched South Austin space where Erin Wade set
Austin edition in early 2016. “There are a lot of juice bars and yoga
up her salad-focused restaurant Vinaigrette once housed a
[studios] in Austin, but not a lot of healthy restaurants, so that’s a
greasy old Pig Stand fast-food joint. That irony isn’t lost on
niche we could fill,” she says.
someone who serves up greens for a living, but not in the smug
Opening any new location is a commitment, but Wade went a
way you might expect. Wade says getting too hung up about “bad
step further by buying 20 acres in nearby Bastrop. The land will
food” and “good food” just makes people miserable. “In the past,
yield its first crop for the restaurant this spring—reducing what
healthy eating was more about deprivation,” she says. “Enjoying
Wade’s had to source from local outfits such as Green Gate Farms,
food was absent from the discourse. We should think about what
Tecolote Farm and Brothers Produce. She also plans to build
we can add to our diets instead of what we shouldn’t eat.”
cabins and composting toilets on the property for agricultural
With Vinaigrette, Wade didn’t set out to single-handedly fix the
workshops and “tech-detox” retreats.
American diet—she was just really into salad. She’d studied en-
After fretting endlessly over soil health and the like in New
vironmental science, public policy and English at Harvard, dab-
Mexico, Wade—who divides her time between Santa Fe and Austin—
bled in publishing in New York as an intern at Harper’s Bazaar and
finds the new headaches of farming in Central Texas a refresh-
studied fashion design in Milan, but none of those fields did it for
ing change of pace. “It’s hot as balls in Texas and there are in-
her like farming. Burnt out from city life, she moved to Santa Fe in
sects, pests, weeds, droughts and floods, but the soil on our farm
2003 to work 10 acres of land her parents had bought years before
is incredible bottomland loam…so we’re starting with something
but never used. She ate what she grew—bringing to her salads a
much healthier than what we have in New Mexico.” Despite the
reverence for food that she’d learned in Italy. It wasn’t long before
better soil, she still practices many of the same sustainable tech-
all this activity rekindled a dormant dream to start a restaurant.
niques in both states, and has some other new ideas up her sleeve.
She opened the Santa Fe edition of Vinaigrette in 2008—having
She’s bringing in livestock for the protein side of her menu and
fun with her veggies by dreaming up salads like the All Kale
wants to develop a way for restaurants to cooperatively buy and
Caesar! and The Nutty Pear-Fessor. But her real innovations were
prepare their produce to save money. “Most farmers can sell to
behind the counter. Wade set up the operation from the get-go as
consumers for higher prices with a CSA,” she says. “So smaller
a closed-loop system, meaning she grew the vegetables, turned
restaurants have to pay more and get blamed when they pass the
them into meals, then composted the scraps back into the soil.
price on to the customer.”
“When you’re growing, you get obsessed with making soil out of
In her quest for the best ingredients out there, Wade has come
garbage,” she says. “Walt Whitman wrote about how Earth ‘grows
to find that terms like “sustainable,” “organic,” “humanely raised”
such sweet things out of such corruptions,’ and most of us aren’t
and others have lost some of their meaning from overuse, though
tapping into that cycle.”
she’s on board with the principles and approaches behind them.
Before she could worry about sustainability, though, Wade had
“Seasonal” is another concept that she takes to heart, just with
to make a farm that could sustain even the tiniest sign of life.
one small caveat: winter. While Vinaigrette strives to be season-
Growing in the arid environment of New Mexico meant a lot of
al (indeed, there’s nothing more seasonal than Wade’s ability to
fussing over the soil with techniques like vermiculture compost-
pluck a plant from one of her farms and dish it up hours later), she
ing (letting worms help out) and double digging (loosening two
finds it unrealistic to force customers to give up, say, apples, just
layers of ground for better drainage and aeration). She chose to
because it’s May. “Many people are trying to eat seasonally, and
work without the aid of tractors or other heavy equipment that
with good reason, but Americans are used to having certain foods
could compact the clay-based ground. “There’s a reason we make
year-round,” says Wade. “I’m interested in where we can meet in
adobe bricks out of dirt in New Mexico,” she says.
the middle, to make people feel better than when they came in
These efforts paid off. Though Wade knew nothing about restau-
without feeling guilty for having a tomato.”
rants when she started, the first Vinaigrette did so well in Santa Fe that she opened an Albuquerque branch in 2012. She launched the
For more info, visit vinaigretteonline.com EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
BYPASSING THE BUBBLE: BY K R I ST I W I L L I S • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY D UST I N M EY E R
“...If you make healthy food easy and accessible, people will eat it.” —Sharon Mays, Baby Greens 22
HOW SOME AUSTIN RESTAURATEURS ARE THRIVING IN A LESS THAN STABLE MARKET
he last handful of years has been challenging for many local restaurateurs. Crippling factors such as skyrocketing rents, a scarce labor force and increased competition—particu-
larly from national chains with deep pockets—have resulted in an average of four restaurant closures to five-and-a-half openings per month last year alone. While whispers of an imminent bubble burst grow louder, hopeful new eateries continue to pop up all over town to an unknown fate. Some restaurants, though—both new and not so new—seem to have bypassed the bubble altogether. How are they doing it? Even with the popularity of dining out, most agree that the saturation of our market requires almost perfect execution and a dash of innovation to succeed. Diners are demanding more, and many Austin restaurants are differentiating themselves by using premium ingredients, finding creative ways to staff their kitchens and diversifying their offerings. In 2005, Patrick and Kathy Terry— owners of popular P. Terry’s Burger Stand—saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the fast-food burger market with a higher-quality product. “Anybody can sell a high-quality hamburger,” says Patrick. “And anyone can sell a $2.50 hamburger. But the trick is selling a high-quality hamburger for $2.50. That’s our niche.” Employee satisfaction is a big part of P. Terry’s success, as well—all employees are paid a minimum of $10 per hour. “Once we get an employee and we feel we have a match, nobody leaves,” says Patrick. “We have scores of employees who’ve been with us for more than eight years because we pay better and treat people with respect.” Eleven years later, P. Terry’s has opened its 14th location and is eyeing new spots on the I-35 corridor outside of Austin. Sharon Mays believes so deeply in this movement of customers
“We have scores of employees who’ve been with us for more than eight years because we pay better and treat people with respect.” —Patrick Terry, P. Terry’s Burger Stand EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
Clockwise from top left: Eric Silverstein, The Peached Tortilla; Drew Curren, ELM Restaurant Group; Jae Kim, Chi’Lantro; Chi’Lantro Kimchi Fries gravitating to better-quality food that’s also quick and affordable,
food hall. Executive Chef Drew Curren knew that growth wouldn’t
that she’s resurrected her drive-thru salad shop, Baby Greens, which
be possible, though, if he couldn’t find enough line cooks to staff the
was shuttered in 2009. “When I first opened Baby Greens, everyone
kitchens. “When you put out an ad for sous-chef, executive chef or
thought the idea of a salad restaurant was crazy,” says Mays. “Now,
general manager, you get a lot of hits,” he says. “But the real trouble
there are a number of salad-focused restaurants; that validates that if
is line cooks…anything that’s in the entry level—$10 to $14 per hour.”
you make healthy food easy and accessible, people will eat it.”
But ELM got creative and asked the local Auguste Escoffier
With an update to the menu and a strong focus on customer service,
School of Culinary Arts to help create a labor pipeline for the grow-
Mays thinks Baby Greens has a unique offering compared to other salad
ing restaurant group. Curren gave the school a list of skills they
places. And like the Terrys, Mays is investing in employees by paying
need from their cooks; instructors identify candidates who excel
higher wages than her competition. “We want Baby Greens to be a
in those areas; and selected students receive a scholarship for their
happy place,” says Mays. “We serve happiness in the form of a salad.”
knives and a six-month paid externship at one of ELM’s restau-
ELM Restaurant Group (24 Diner, Easy Tiger, Irene’s and Italic)
rants. “Hopefully, the student comes in, has a good experience and
has big plans for expansion in 2017 with a new 24 Diner at The
sees that if they excel as a line cook, they can get a raise and move
Domain, the Cookbook Café at the new flagship Austin Central
up quickly in our company,” says Curren. “They can make a lateral
Library and two new Easy Tigers, one at The Linc (formerly Lincoln
move to a different concept if they want to learn something new,
Village) and the other at the upcoming Fareground at One Eleven
and we’re giving them a chance to grow and make more money.”
“Everyone else is trying to do something different, but we are just trying to excel at doing the same thing.” —Carol Huntsberger, Quality Seafood Market Creating revenue opportunities beyond the restaurant door also helps attract new customers and shore up the bottom line. P. Terry’s partnered with Whole Foods Market to sell their popular veggie
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burger at 36 locations, and even created an exclusive vegan burger for the grocer. “We now have customers in cities where we don’t have a storefront because of Whole Foods,” says Patrick. “If we expand to one of those locations later, people will already know who we are.” Eric Silverstein, owner of Burnet Road hot spot The Peached Tortilla, diversified his business by adding a 2,500-square-foot event venue to his catering facility. After a few months, the
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Peached Social House was already paying off. “I’ve always been intrigued by the event-space business,” says Silverstein. “It’s pretty low overhead—an event manager, utilities and marketing. We have a catering license and a liquor license, so it was easy to add an
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incremental layer of revenue.” Quality Seafood Market, an Austin institution for almost 80 years, has weathered the dips and bumps in the industry by offering a three-tiered combination of wholesale, retail and restaurant sales. Their relationship with chefs and generations of custom-
l & Chicon Between Co ma
ers has created a steady foundation. “We have families who have been coming here for four or five generations,” says owner Carol Huntsberger. “Customers always tell me that their grandmother used to bring them here and that creates a high expectation for us. Everyone else is trying to do something different, but we are just trying to excel at doing the same thing.”
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Catering and partnering with delivery services have helped fuel the growth of Chi’Lantro from one food truck to five brick-andmortar shops around town. The local chain is now one of the top choices on Uber Eats, Favor and Amazon’s takeout delivery— accounting for more than 10,000 orders in 2016. “We’re still in the
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growing phase and don’t have the resources to provide delivery on our own,” says founder Jae Kim. “We’ve created strong relationships with the delivery companies, but the main goal is to provide great service to our current customers and attract new customers to our restaurants.” This year may see more shakeups in the Austin restaurant scene,
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but these and other local culinary entrepreneurs continue to prove that “thinking outside the to-go box” with innovation and diversifi-
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COOKS at home
KIRK WATSON BY L ES M C G E H E E • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY M E L A N I E G R I Z Z E L
ome may not know it, but I’ve been Kirk Watson quite a
food. At every special occasion in my family, this was THE PIE.”
bit. What I mean is that I portrayed him in the Austin-
The voting body that is the Watson household has reached
definitive original production of “Keepin’ It Weird” at the
consensus on this pie, too, although some of the family voting
ZACH Theatre. Playwright and Director Dave Steakley had all
base had previously been disenfranchised. There’s Liz, Kirk’s wife
the actors review taped interviews and study our many charac-
(whom he’s known since childhood). “Liz is a good cook,” Kirk
ters like a science, memorizing every physical tell, every nuanced
says. “She makes this for my birthday pie.” This wasn’t always
characteristic and cadence. So, let’s just say I took a minor bath
true, though. The pie’s rights were challenged because of some
in Kirkness in 2005 and 2006 for the two successful runs of that
issues that arose among the family’s constituents. First of all, Kirk
show. Every night for months I was Mayor Kirk—making people
became a public figure and was concerned about…preserving his
laugh about politics the way he does, perfecting his tilted smile
public figure. Then, their firstborn son, Preston, was diagnosed
and distinctive swagger, and discussing what the economy and
with diabetes, so sweets were scrutinized. Generally, this was the
future looked like for an Austin that embraced diversity and gay
rights. (His predictions were right, by the way.) But as Kirked-up
For the Watson Cherry-O Cream Pie to regain the attention it
as I was, I still didn’t know anything about the damn pie. More on
deserved, it would take a maverick, a game-changer, a leader, an
that in a moment.
outsider who could rewrite the pie rules. It would take second-born
Kirk had cancer as a younger man and says, “One of the gifts
son, Cooper. Kirk describes the watershed moment in their family
of cancer, if you will, is that you think differently about long-term
history. “Our other son, Cooper, was born years later, and when
goals and short-term goals. I focus on powerful short-term goals…
he was turning six, Liz made him the pie for the first time in his
ten important goals, in order, that align to a long-term vision. Yet,
life…for his birthday. He took one bite of it and leveled a rather
that long-term vision doesn’t distract me from the singular goal
severe look at us that I’ll never forget and said, ‘HOW COME I’VE
we’re working on next—particularly since we’re in session this
NEVER BEEN GIVEN THIS PIE BEFORE?’” The voters had
year.” In a time of political battle lines, stalemates and challenges
spoken and pie was for all, so be it.
in Washington, now-Senator Kirk consistently achieves consen-
This morning in the Watson kitchen, Kirk’s singular objective
sus on singular goals and gets things done for us and the great
is to make the Cherry-O Cream pie, but he can’t help but reflect
state of Texas. He can, and has, actually gotten people across the
about his life’s work, too. “In politics…and pie,” he says, “it’s im-
aisle to agree on things! He’s built a constituency into a commu-
portant not to fear failure.” He pulls the mixing bowl close to
nity that supports him with great optimism and confidence. One
him and continues. “It’s important to be biased towards action.”
of his gifts is that he truly understands common ground and the
He plops a huge chunk of cream cheese into the bowl. “And it’s
needed recipe to arrive there.
important to build new and different constituencies and throw
That political recipe, he says, can be as easy as pie. And as it
away labels—labels get in the way of consensus.” He reads the
turns out, he can also make a pretty badass actual pie, too: the
label of the cream cheese then asks under his breath, “Does any-
lauded “Watson Cherry-O Cream Pie,” to be exact. Kirk, who grew
body but Philadelphia make cream cheese?” “It’s important not
up in Fort Worth, tells the story of how the pie and other family
to think about perfection…about the agreement being perfect,”
recipes have influenced his family and life. “My college roommate
he continues. “It’s more about 84 percent right.” He loosely mea-
from Baylor went to Dallas to take the CPA exam and stayed with
sures vanilla into his mixing bowl with approximately 84 percent
my mom. He got back and said my mom had made him the family
accuracy. “84 percent is a great number relating to consensus,” he
Cherry-O pie. ‘She made me TWO PIES!’ he said. I was upset be-
says. “When 84 percent of the deciders say, ‘Well, that’s not the
cause she never made ME two of those pies! It is truly my favorite
way I would have done it, yet it could work,’ that’s a good measure
of consensus. Also, I’ve got to admit I love that number 84 percent, because that’s the number that elected me!” At this point, Liz walks up and whispers to Kirk, “Use the white plates in the cupboard, Honey.” Kirk pauses. Then he says, “She said that because if she hadn’t, we’d eat it the way we eat it around here: We put it in the fridge and anytime someone wants some they go take a spoonful of it, straight out of the pie. It’s kind of a communal pie.” He decides to skip the plates and hands us spoons, instead. And as we stand at the kitchen island scooping pie and humming our approval, our heads bob in agreement. We have indeed achieved consensus, and it tastes so damn good.
KIRK WATSON’S CHERRY-O “CONSENSUS” CREAM PIE Makes 1 pie 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1 10-oz. can sweetened condensed milk (Kirk likes Borden’s) 1 /3 c. lemon juice (Kirk uses the bottled kind) 1 t. vanilla extract 1 graham-cracker piecrust 1 14½-oz. can cherry-pie filling, chilled Use a hand mixer to blend together the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate until set—about 1 to 2 hours. Just before serving, top the pie with the chilled cherry pie filling, then slice and serve—or, if you’re a Watson, just take a spoon to it.
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SVANTE’S RANCH DIRECT BY S H E L L EY S E A L E • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY A N DY SA M S
From left: Chris and Emily Swenson with son Billy at their Svante’s Restaurant in Round Rock.
n 1838, the land that would soon be officially recognized as Cen-
Christopher (Chris) Swenson, Svante Magnus’ great-great-
tral Texas was ripe, fertile and largely untouched, and the first
grandson, is a direct legacy of that pipeline from Scandinavia.
Swedish immigrant to arrive and make his way in the pioneer-
Today, Chris and his wife, Emily, continue the family heritage with
ing country—20-year-old Svante Magnus Swenson—did so just 10
a business made possible by the grassfed cattle that graze on the
days before the Battle of the Alamo. Swenson opened one of the
family’s SMS Land & Cattle Company Ranch—part of the same land
first general stores on Congress Avenue in Austin, the capital of the
that Svante Magnus bought more than 150 years ago. The Swensons
newly founded Republic of Texas, but the entrepreneurial Swede
run Svante’s Ranch Direct, a multitiered company that includes an
didn’t stop there. He also established a small farm east of town that
award-winning food truck and a restaurant in Round Rock. They
he called “Govalle” (Swedish for “good grazing land”). And he con-
also sell their sought-after beef at a retail store in Round Rock, the
tinued to grow his interest in the area by acquiring land in Travis
Barton Creek Farmers Market and via home delivery.
and Williamson counties, as well as in North Texas. In addition,
Chris is quick to point out that things could have developed
with the help of his uncle, Svante Palm, Swenson became instru-
very differently for the family. After Svante Magnus suffered
mental in bringing thousands of other Swedes to Texas in what
multiple threats to his life during the Civil War for opposing
became known as the “Swedish Pipeline.”
slavery and secession, he and his family fled to New York City
where he lived the rest of his life. His sons, though, returned to Texas and their ranch land in the 1880s. “Our family still operates about 55,000 acres remaining from the original ranch,” says Chris. “The cattle are grassfed and grass-finished, humanely raised and totally natural—the way cattle were raised years ago, before growth hormones and antibiotic-dosed feed became part of the beef industry.” While it may have been a Swedish pioneer four generations back who made it possible for Chris and Emily to pursue their life’s work, it was their sons who got them into the Austin market. Chris and Emily met in Massachusetts, worked in New York and raised their children in New Jersey. But their younger son Mike undoubtedly caused his parents concern when he dropped out of college to pursue a dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. Older brother Billy had other ideas. He convinced Mike to move back to the family roots in Texas and be part of opening a food truck. The whole family decided to make the move, and in 2012, the Svante’s Stuffed Burger food truck opened, featuring grassfed beef sourced from the SMS Ranch. “Billy was a healthier eater than the rest of us,” Chris says. “He had done the research on grassfed beef.” Chris says that learning about the benefits of grassfed beef— and how vastly different it is from other beef available on the market—was a huge eye-opener. “The omega-3 versus omega-6
profile alone in grassfed, grass-finished beef is on par with salmon,” he says. The popularity of the Svante’s Stuffed Burger led Chris and Emily to open Svante’s Restaurant in Round Rock, which
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serves the same burgers as the truck along with an expanded menu of steaks, organic chicken and seafood, and (with a nod to their roots) Swedish stew and meatballs. And the popularity of their meat has grown, too; it has become such a hot item at the Barton Creek Farmers Market that shoppers need to get there early on Saturdays to snag some. “I think we’ve taken farm-to-table to a whole new level,” says Chris. “We know exactly where our beef comes from; we take care of the animals and do it the right way.” For more information, visit svantesranchdirect.com
PAINTER OF CAKES BY G EO RG I N A O’ H A RA CA L L A N • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY A L I SO N N A R R O
anaë Smale is a palette knife- and paintbrush-wielding abstract painter who happens to use buttercream as her medium and sponge cake as her canvas. “My customers are often bohemian
brides and people who care about where their food comes from,” she says. “They want the décor to be natural…with some floral elements— nothing too structured—and the outside of the cake to have the same organic feel as the inside. After all, you eat with your eyes first.” Smale started baking when she was only 4 years old. Her mother was a cookie- and pie-maker and Smale and her brother helped by rolling out the dough. She remembers that at age 7, she wanted a new dress and her mother challenged her to earn the money to buy the dress. Smale set up a cookie stand where she sold sugar cookies on a stick that she’d decorated and hand-piped herself. She earned just enough money to buy the dress. Yet, Smale would be the first to tell you that her true heart has always been made of cake. “In some way, I’ve always been in the cake business,” she says. As a teenager in Orange County, California, she sold cakes to law firms in the area before moving with her family to San Antonio, Texas. And in high school, she entered a cake-decorating competition. “I made a three-tier, square, white wedding cake with gum-paste orchids handmade from scratch, and I covered the whole cake in a twig cage made from twigs I’d found in the yard and washed.” Smale won first prize out of the whole state of Texas with that design—and commissions for wedding cakes started rolling in. She also did an internship at a bakery while still in school but says “all they had us do was fold boxes because they didn’t want us handling the ingredients.” This was a very foreign concept to someone who prefers to be completely hands-on and manipulate her ingredients with precision. After attending college, Smale worked as an afterschool teacher for kindergarteners and a nanny, then moved to Austin in 2013 to become a respite provider for children with cerebral palsy. She did some cake-baking on the side and operated under the name, “And Eat It, Too.” The cottage business did well, but it really kicked into gear in 2015 when she made big changes in her approach to baking and changed the business name to “Feathers & Frosting.” Smale removed all preservatives from her recipes, committed to organic ingredients and eliminated sculpted fondant from her menu options. “I chose the name,” she says, “because the chickens and fresh eggs are inspirations to me, and the word ‘feathers’ feels whimsical. That’s the feel
Smale’s decorative arsenal currently includes natural fruit and vegetables dyes—rendered blueberries and beets, for example—to obtain subtle shades of pinks, blues, purples and reds. She enjoys playing with ingredients and inventing new flavor combinations (she’s currently enchanted with a unique “roseberry” cake made with natural rosewater and fresh raspberries). And her go-to ingredients include organic fresh eggs, flour and powdered sugar; regular and rosemary-infused buttercream; almond and lavender extract; and edible gold leaf. Most of her commissioned work includes abstract designs, and she even offers seasonal options, such as her recent cooler-weather-inspired apple-spice cake with apple-butter filling topped with salted caramel, a peppermint bark cake, a pumpkin cake with chai buttercream and an Earl Grey lavender cake. With a solid reputation and a unique approach to cake baking (boosted by an active social media presence and word of mouth), Smale has built a loyal following that keeps her busy all week long— sourcing ingredients, testing recipes and fulfilling commissioned orders, as well as delivering the cakes herself. But considering Austin’s traffic, it’s a challenge for Smale to drive around town delivering and also find time to cook, so she reaches many customers, new and old, by supplying a number of local coffee shops with her artistic creations. “Bakery trends come and go,” she says, “but a slice of cake never goes out of style.”
I want to convey to my customers: a combination of local, organic
Visit feathersandfrosting.com for more information and a list of
and airy. And the word ‘frosting’ tells people that it’s cake.”
coffee shops carrying Feathers & Frosting cakes. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
LET’S GET DRESSED BY E R I N WA D E • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY M E L A N I E G R I Z Z E L
Great dressings, like great outfits, favor the bold. They need to be intense, even exaggerated, because they are spread out over a volume of relatively bland or less-seasoned things.
he topic of getting dressed takes me back to my days at Harper’s Bazaar, when wearing a bad outfit to work was the surest way to ruin a good day. When you spend your
waking hours in a fishbowl of fashionistas, you figure out how to rock a chic look on the fly—mostly out of self-preservation. Fortunately, you pick up some tips along the way. Since I ended up devoting my life to dressing kale and arugula rather than runway models, I’ve been happy to discover that what I learned in the fashion world applies to the art of dressing veggies, too. Great dressings, like great outfits, favor the bold. They need to be intense, even exaggerated, because they are spread out over a volume of relatively bland or less-seasoned things. When tasted alone, dressings will often seem too salty or strong, but in the final dish, the bold and the bland will be assimilated in every bite by the taste buds. Dressings should always be piercing and assertive, a swift kick in the khaki pants. Just like your dark-wash jeans or little black dress, you need some everyday basics in your arsenal that never let you down. My favorite goto ingredient is anchovies—those ugly harbingers of briny umami complexity and depth. It’s no surprise that two of the greatest salad dressing innovations of the last century—Cobb and Caesar—rely on these scrawny, oily fish for their ineffable zing. Whirl them into cold dressings and they are sharp and punchy; melt them into hot dressings and they are sweet and practically untraceable—even to anchovy haters. But life gets boring on basics alone, which is why a fresh accessory is needed to make the pulse race a little, too. My current culinary crush is kefir. Yes, you heard me: I’m obsessed with sour milk. I once had an equally fervent infatuation with skinny red suspenders, which I wore with everything from pencil skirts to bell-bottoms. But I think this kefir thing will be longer lasting and less likely to get tangled up in my socks. Kefir is a cultured dairy product, like yogurt, but with more diverse beneficial bacteria and yeasts that hang around being helpful in the gut (yogurt biota mostly just cruise on through). It’s tangy and liquid-y enough to be a dressing base by itself, but it’s also a perfect addition to vinaigrettes or sauces—imparting silken body and tart zip all at once. Kefir can be used in any recipe that calls for yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream or cream as a naturally lactose-free substitute (all of the lactose is converted to pucker-y lactic acid). You may not share my love for sour milk and stinky fish. No matter—your own unique style can, and should be, as present on your table as it is in your closet. Don’t bother with options that don’t make your mouth water, just like you shouldn’t wear a pouf skirt if that’s not your thing. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
CRISPY SALAD WITH MERGUEZ SAUSAGE AND KEFIR-HARISSA DRESSING This salad manages to be intensely flavorful and hearty, yet still bright and refreshing. The hot spice of the sausage and harissa is cooled by the mint and cucumber. It’s a great early spring salad, when the weather is shifty as are our appetites. Serves 4 For the dressing: 2 c. plain kefir 3 garlic cloves, minced
/3 c. hot harissa (I like the Mina Harissa brand) 1 t. salt, or to taste
Whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Seriously, that’s it. Set aside. For the sausage: ¾ t. cumin seeds ¾ t. coriander seeds ¾ t. fennel seeds 1 lb. ground lamb
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 t. sea salt 1 t. paprika ½ t. cayenne
Toast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds in a hot skillet until fragrant, then grind in a coffee or spice grinder. Place the lamb in a large bowl, add the spices and all the other ingredients, then mush everything together. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, splash it with a little olive oil, then add the sausage mixture—breaking it up into pieces with a wooden spoon to brown and cook evenly. The sausage should be brown on the outside and slightly pink on the inside. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain.
FRESH SPRING PEAS WITH CHIVES AND MINTY “RANCH” DRESSING This dish works just as well with fresh raw peas, but blanching them makes the color brighter. And the zesty riff on ranch dressing can go on or with so many things: cabbage and radish slaw, simple green salad, lamb chops, wings, crudités. Serves 4 For the dressing: ½ c. mayo ½ c. plain kefir ½ c. chopped mint 1–2 t. chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves 2 T. apple-cider vinegar ½ t. salt ¼ t. pepper ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the first eight ingredients in a blender and blend on low. Slowly add the oil, then turn the blender to high and blend until the mint is fully pureed—resulting in a beautiful, creamy, bright-green dressing. For the peas: 1 lb. fresh shelling peas 1 c. dressing ¼ c. chopped chives To shell the peas, snap off the stem hat, zip the string down the side to open the pod and pop out the sweet green orbs. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, then blanch the peas for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and immerse in a cold-water bath. To serve warm, return the peas to the pot on low heat and dry them out a bit. Toss with the dressing and chopped chives. To serve cold, skip the reheating stage and toss the drained peas with the dressing and chives. 38
For the salad: 1 English cucumber, diced 1 bunch mint (chiffonade) 1 bunch kale, washed, stemmed, finely chopped
1 lb. cooked, crumbled merguez sausage Kefir-harissa dressing, to taste
Toss together everything but the dressing in a large stainless bowl (I like the sausage crumbles to be just slightly cooled—warm but not hot.) Drizzle the dressing in a few big circles around the ingredients then use your hands to toss and distribute.
ROASTED RADISH AND FENNEL WITH BAGNA CAUDA Bagna cauda is the best thing that ever happened to butter and anchovies. Serves 4 For the bagna cauda: ¼ c. butter ½ c. extra-virgin olive oil 8 anchovies, minced 5 garlic cloves, minced ¼ t. red chili flakes (I often add more) 2 T. chopped fresh herbs (I like parsley and thyme) ¼ t. salt Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the olive oil, anchovies, garlic and chili flakes. Let the mixture simmer gently for about 5 to 10 minutes as the anchovies break down and the flavors infuse. Add the fresh herbs, turn off the burner and keep warm. For the radish and fennel: 1 bunch radishes, halved if small, quartered if big 2 fennel bulbs, white part only, halved lengthwise, sliced 1 glug olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste Squeeze of lemon, to finish Crusty bread, for serving Toss the radish and fennel with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400° for about 10 minutes, until it’s soft and beginning to brown. Transfer to a serving bowl and ladle ½ cup of the warm bagna cauda over the top. Finish with a squeeze of lemon. Serve with the bread for soaking up the buttery sauce. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
KALE SALAD WITH LEMON-ANCHOVY VINAIGRETTE AND PECORINO CURLS When I don’t know what to do with myself, I make a really simple kale salad with some cheese and a ballsy vinaigrette like this one. You can vary the cheese and add goodies as needed (think: ricotta salata with shaved red onions, dollops of burrata with toasted breadcrumbs, manchego and olives—or whatever strikes your fancy). The bold, briny puckery-ness of this intense vinaigrette stands up well to the formidably cruciferous kale. I prefer a mix of Tuscan (aka dinosaur) kale, which is an heirloom variety and the most nutrient-dense, and curly green kale because it has more loft and holds dressing better.
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Combine everything but the oil and shallot in a blender and whirl together. Add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream to emulsify. Add the shallot and briefly pulse to mince and incorporate—don’t overblend or it will become sulfurous.
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For the dressing: Juice of 2 lemons ½ T. water ½ T. Dijon mustard 1 T. champagne vinegar 9 anchovy fillets ½ t. black pepper Pinch salt, or to taste ¾ c. extra-virgin olive oil 1 small shallot or ½ large one, rough-chopped
For the salad: 1 bunch (or equivalent if using two varieties) kale, stemmed, washed, chopped 4 oz. pecorino Toscano, shaved into curls with a veggie peeler Toss the kale with the vinaigrette to taste, then toss with half of the cheese curls. Tumble the remaining cheese curls on top, for aesthetic pleasure.
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SEED SAVERS BY M A R I LY N M C C RAY • P H OTO G RA P H Y CO U RT ESY O F BA K E R C R E E K H E I R LO O M S E E DS
Above: Bakersville Village Scenic Seed Store. Right: Gettle family: Emilee, Sasha, Jere and Malia.
n his early 20s, Jeremiath “Jere” Gettle was known to tirelessly
family influenced by the back-to-the-land movement. By age 3, he
set off alone in his trusty Saturn into the depths of Mexico and
was faithfully shadowing his parents in the garden—helping to
beyond, armed with only an old road atlas, a paper map and a
plant seeds for delights such as Yellow Pear tomatoes and
burning desire to…discover and save historic seeds? It’s true; it’s a
Bennings Green-Tint Scallop squash. “The squash plants grew
passion that’s earned him a reputation as one of the greatest inno-
as tall as I was,” says Jere. “Everything was at eye-level. I enjoyed
vators in the world of rare heirloom seeds and authentic natural
watching everything happen…the insects, the flowers. The varieties
foods, and one that led The New York Times Magazine to refer to
were traditional ones grown by my parents, distinct and different.
him as the “Indiana Jones of heirloom seeds.”
By the time I was four or five years old, I knew someday I wanted to
Jere was born in 1980 to an eastern-Oregonian homesteading 42
work for a seed company.”
“I love to travel...especially to other countries, and meet with people in small tribal villages—having them hand me a seed that their mother or great-grandmother might have grown. The diversity keeps history alive but it also keeps the local culture alive.” —Jere Gettle with $100 of his own money. He named it “The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company” in honor of the creek that winds through the family farm. He wasn’t old enough to drive, though, so Jere got a ride from a friend to Mansfield to establish the business bank account. He carried the money for the deposit into the bank in a bucket. Jere attended to almost every aspect of the business as it grew, with only minimal input or help from his parents. He compiled a mailing list of fellow seed lovers and placed an ad in the local electric co-op magazine—growing the list to 550 names. Soon, he’d created his first 12-page, photocopied, hand-stapled seed catalog and he mailed it out to the list. The seed business quickly outgrew Jere’s bedroom—and even the family’s entire two-story home—so in 2000, the family built a seed store on the site of the original Rippee family’s tomato garden. “We started the festivals at that time,” says Jere, “as a way to get gardeners together at the seed farm with vendors and music. Four hundred folks showed up the first year.” In March of 2006, Jere met writer Emilee Frele, who had contacted him a few months earlier about an article she was writing, and they were married in August of that same year. Together, they expanded the seed business as well as their own individual passions. They took over the family’s original two-story house while Jere’s parents built a new house across the Baker Creek Valley to establish a cattle business. Also homeschooled and a gardener, Emilee began using her expertise to contribute to Heirloom Gardener—a magazine that Jere had begun to publish—as well as design retro-looking seed packets. She also collaborated on the publication of “The Whole Seed Catalog”—a lavishly illustrated, professional guide with vibrant photographs and more than 1,800 varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers from 75 countries. (The catalog was also a nod to the iconic “Whole Earth Catalog” that emWhen Jere was 12, the family—in search of a longer growing sea-
braced real food and the back-to-the-land movement of the ’60s.)
son—found and bought a Civil War-era farm in Missouri that had
Emilee also began working on what would eventually become “The
once belonged to the Rippee family (a homestead that is thought to
Heirloom Life Gardener” and “The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook.”
be the longest-lasting in Missouri). He’d continued to be fascinated
“The recipes come from family,” says Emilee. Jere had been a vegan
by seeds, and while perusing seed catalogs one day, he noticed that
since his early teens, but Emilee quickly followed suit after they
many of the vegetables he loved growing up—such as Banana melon,
married. “As the daughter of a hog farmer," she says, "becoming
White Wonder cucumber and Sakurajima giant radish—were disap-
vegan was a big change. But I got tired of cooking two meals!”
pearing in favor of new hybrids. Jere decided to begin saving his own
By 2007, a late-19th-century mock pioneer village was built on the
seeds, and at 17, he started a small seed business out of his bedroom
property with the assistance of Amish and Mennonite carpenters. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
Named “Bakersville,” the village now hosts many varieties of en-
Jere continues to travel the world Indiana-Jones style seeking
dangered and exotic poultry and livestock and includes charming
seeds, but he admits he’s outgrown the old Saturn and paper maps.
visitor/family-friendly features such as a mercantile, restaurant,
His team now includes Emilee and their two daughters, Sasha and
garden museum, jail, blacksmith shop and natural bakery, where
Malia, and modern technology helps with each journey. “I love
Jere’s mother and grandmother can often be seen.
to travel,” he says, “especially to other countries, and meet with
The Gettles expanded beyond the family land, as well. They
people in small tribal villages—having them hand me a seed that
established the Seed Bank—a unique seed and garden store in the
their mother or great-grandmother might have grown. The diversity
1920s Sonoma County Bank building in Petaluma, California—and
keeps history alive but it also keeps the local culture alive.”
they continue to restore and preserve the historic Comstock, Ferre &
Definitely seeds for thought.
Co., the oldest continuously operating seed company in New England. Of course, the Gettles are quick to point out that developing the
For more information, visit rareseeds.com or call 417-924-8917.
visitor destinations and collecting and selling seeds are just parts of their overall mission. Fighting the multinational, agricultural corporations that control the food supply and speaking out against hybrids, the patenting of seeds, toxic chemicals and factory farming are also important facets woven into their business model. For Jere, an outspoken champion of the non-GMO movement, local food awareness is the best weapon against so-called “Frankenfood,” and he continues to believe in the value of bringing people together to share information. To that end, farmers, gardeners, seed geeks, locavores, natural foods advocates—even seed experts from other companies—meet each year to celebrate and honor seeds at Jere’s National Heirloom Exposition. Billed as the “World’s Pure Food Fair,” the first expo was held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa in 2011 and featured 100 diverse speakers, such as local-food pioneer Alice Waters and Vandana Shiva, an international activist on agricultural and socioeconomic issues. Attendance has grown every year to a current total of almost 20,000 attendees. 44
The Seed Bank, Petalluma, CA
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REVISITING AN OLD FRIEND BY T E R ESA M O R R I S
n 1841, the Republic of
the pods being ground into
Texas sent the 320-man
meal using wooden pestles
Texan Santa Fe Expedi-
in the early 1500s.
tion to annex New Mexico.
The history of the mes-
While traveling across the
quite tree is entwined with
Texas Panhandle, howev-
the land that became Tex-
er, the expedition ran out
as, and for good reason.
of supplies. The mesquite
According to the “Texas
tree, which grows abun-
Almanac,” about 56 million
dantly in the area, be-
of Texas’s 167.5 million acres
came the soldiers’ primary
contain mesquite trees.
source of food. So useful
Moreover, mesquite trees in
were the beans from the
Texas account for 76 percent
mesquite trees, says Ken
of all the mesquite trees
E. Rogers in his book, “The
in the U.S. Although this
Magnificent Mesquite,” that
hearty, stubborn tree en-
the men referred to the
joyed a reputation as essen-
roasted and boiled beans as
tial to life during the early
“manna from Heaven.”
settlement of Texas, its rep-
These men were not the
utation suffered as ranchers
only ones to discover the
and farmers sought to tame
value of the mesquite tree
the land. The tree has roots
as a food source, of course. During the Civil War, Confederate
that extend deep into the ground, robbing water from other plants.
soldiers made coffee with roasted, ground mesquite pods and
Cattle have trouble maneuvering through the thickets the trees cre-
boiled dried mesquite leaves for tea. Honey from mesquite flow-
ate with their low branches and thorns. And the Texas Natural Re-
ers was a valuable sweetener at the time, as well. But long before
sources Server refers to the mesquite tree as “one of the toughest,
these 19th century Texas residents turned to the mesquite tree,
most invasive species of brush in the world.”
the indigenous tribes who occupied the land that would become
Yet, despite the continuing antipathy toward the mesquite tree,
South and far West Texas already had a full understanding of the
its reputation as a food source is enjoying a rebound. People are
uses and benefits of mesquite.
making the old new again as they rediscover the valuable edible
The trees provided the native people in these regions with ne-
properties of the tree. In addition to the increased popularity of
cessities such as fuel for their fires and construction material for
mesquite-flower honey and mesquite molasses, mesquite flour is
their dwellings. Mesquite trees were also an important source of
rising to the forefront as a superfood. Made from the dried, milled
medicine; the natives used boiled and diluted sap as an eyewash and
mesquite pods of the honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa), the
antiseptic, the boiled inner bark as a laxative and the leaves to make
naturally gluten-free, sweet flour has a warm spice flavor of
a tea to treat upset stomachs and headaches. But the pods of the
cinnamon, with notes of cocoa and molasses. It’s a low-glycemic
mesquite tree were especially important. The seeds were dried and
food that’s high in protein and fiber with respectable amounts of
pounded into a flour that was mixed with other ingredients to make
calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. Used as a substitute
breads and drinks. Spanish explorer Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca,
for 25 to 50 percent of other flours in a recipe, it imparts an ex-
who lived with various groups of indigenous natives in the area after
citing new flavor to dishes and improves the nutritional content.
having shipwrecked on the coast, even wrote about the process of
Mesquite flour is mostly available online and imported from South
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America, but according to Patsy Hester, owner of Ozona Flour Mill & Goods—which is currently the only source of Texas-produced mesquite flour—interest in locally produced honey-mesquite flour is growing. Considering the abundance of mesquite trees in Texas, this time-honored yet often maligned hero could finally reclaim its important heritage and place in history, as well as become part of the state’s culinary and economic future. The following recipes take advantage of the unique flavor qualities mesquite flour has to offer.
PECAN PIE WITH MESQUITE FLOUR CRUST Makes 1 pie For the piecrust: 2 /3 c. brown rice flour 2 /3 c. sweet rice flour ½ c. mesquite flour 1 /3 c. tapioca starch 1 /3 c. arrowroot starch 1 T. ground white chia seeds or flaxseeds ¼ t. Himalayan pink salt 1 T. sugar 11 T. cold butter, cut into small pieces 1 egg, beaten 1–2 T. milk, as needed In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles rough cornmeal (larger pieces of flour-covered butter will still be visible). Add in the beaten egg and use your hands to knead it into the flour mixture until it forms a ball of dough (this process may take a while). Once the dough forms into a ball, if it’s too dry (i.e., if it cracks when formed into a disk), add a tablespoon at a time of the milk and knead until the milk is completely incorporated into the dough. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Then, roll the dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper until it forms a circle large enough to fill and slightly overhang a 9-inch pie plate. Carefully peel the top piece of waxed paper off the rolled-out piecrust, center the crust over the pie plate and ease the crust into the plate while slowly and carefully peeling the waxed paper off the crust. Form the crust into the plate and crimp the edges. Carefully cover the crust with plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator for 20 minutes. While the piecrust is chilling, make the pie filling
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For the filling: 1 c. brown sugar ½ c. cane sugar 1 T. brown rice flour 3 eggs, beaten 3 T. milk 4 T. butter, melted ¼ t. Himalayan pink salt 1 c. coarsely chopped pecans Heat the oven to 350°. Using a mixer or food processor, mix together all the ingredients except the pecans. When the filling is well blended, stir in the pecans—making sure all the pieces are well coated with the filling. Pour into the prepared, chilled pie shell and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is puffy but still slightly wobbly in the center—about 40 to 45 minutes. The filling will settle down and solidify as it cools.
MESQUITE FLOUR CORNBREAD
“The Ultimate Nursery for Herbs” Austin Chronicle
Makes 1 pan 1 c. cornmeal ½ c. brown rice flour 1 /3 c. arrowroot starch 3 T. mesquite flour 4 t. baking powder ½ t. salt 1 c. + 2 T. milk 2 eggs, beaten 2 T. honey 4 T. melted butter or coconut oil
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Heat the oven to 375°. Oil the bottom of an 8-by-8-inch square pan. In a medium bowl, blend together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, eggs and honey. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Finally, stir in the melted butter or coconut oil and mix until well blended. Pour the cornbread batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
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MESQUITE FLOUR BUTTERMILK DROP BISCUITS Makes 1½ dozen 1¼ c. brown rice flour ¾ c. mesquite flour ¾ c. almond flour 2 /3 c. arrowroot starch 4 t. baking powder 3 T. cane sugar 6 T. cold butter, cut into small pieces 1 c. + 2 T. buttermilk 1 egg, beaten Heat the oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, blend together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mix resembles rough cornmeal. In another bowl, mix together the milk and egg, then add to the flour mixture. Mix until the liquid and flour are thoroughly blended into a sticky dough. Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the prepared pan and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the biscuit tops begin to turn golden brown.
BRISKET OR PORK MESQUITE FLOUR RUB Makes enough rub for 1 brisket or pork butt 8 T. brown sugar 3 T. mesquite flour 1 T. smoked salt ½ t. smoked black pepper ½ t. instant espresso powder ½ t. ancho chili powder ½ t. cayenne ½ t. cocoa powder ½ t. cumin
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Mix all ingredients together, then massage into the meat. EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
WHAT WE’RE DRINKING
WITH OUTDOOR BY T E R RY T H O M PSO N -A N D E RSO N
enison with Cumberland Sauce
Austin Beerworks BloodWork Orange IPA
(page 55). When pairing game meat
is a good choice for the task. Made from
with wine, look for a red with rus-
Sicilian blood oranges and bold Citra hops,
tic, rough-around-the-edges nuances and a
the brew has a foamy head and a long finish
full-bodied flavor profile. Lost Draw Cellars
to follow the back-of-the-throat heat of the
2014 Mourvèdre, which won gold in the San
spices in the dish.
Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, provides a delightful accompaniment to this hearty
Pecan Pie with Mesquite Flour Crust
red-game dish served with classic Cumberland
(page 48). A dessert as rich and hearty as this
sauce. Mourvèdre, a grape that originated in
provides a bounty of taste—both from the pe-
Spain, has proven to be a good one for thriving
can filling and the buttery crust made using
in Texas as it grows best in warm—even hot—
mesquite flour. Ground from the dried seed
dry climates. Lost Draw Cellars 2014 Mourvèdre
pods of our beloved mesquite tree, this is a
is a full-bodied, rustic-style wine with an ex-
high protein, gluten-free flour with a texture
plosion of dark fruit and herbal aromas of black
like that of wheat flour, but a little grainier. Its
pepper, thyme and nuances of red meat—all the
taste is slightly sweet with definite nutty nu-
necessary notes for pairing with venison.
ances, making it a genius addition to pair with the pecans in the filling. Try a coffee-based
Roasted Radish and Fennel with Bagna
liqueur with this gem of a dessert. Austin’s
Cauda (page 39). Bagna cauda is a favorite
Revolution Spirits Cafecito Coffee Liqueur
Italian condiment that includes a hefty dose
is a good bet. The deeply flavored liqueur
of anchovies. Pairing a beverage with the
is produced from local coffee roaster Cu-
heavy saltiness and funky notes of these lit-
vée Coffee’s bold-and-brewed “Mezzanotte,”
tle fishes can be difficult. However, when
which is then blended with filtered neutral
in doubt, always look to the regional origin
corn spirits and Demerara sugar, and finished
of the dish for ideas. Dolcetto is a delightful
with heady Madagascar vanilla beans. Either
wine grape that originated in Italy and is proving to be a good
stir a bit into your favorite coffee (whipped cream on top op-
grape for the Texas terroir. Dolcetto works well with the aromat-
tional), or pour about 5 ounces over ice in a rocks glass and stir
ic notes and oiliness in foods—both of which are highly present in
in 2 ounces of half-and-half for a lovely pairing cocktail.
this dish. Bingham Family Vineyards 2014 Dolcetto is a medium-bodied, well-balanced wine with an intensely fresh taste and
New Mexico Pork and Green Chile Stew (online exclusive:
a fruity nose of red berries and smoke. It also has a good note of
visit edibleaustin.com for the recipe). This two-fisted Tex-Mex
minerality from its Texas terroir on the finish. The lush mouth-
stew, cooked in a cast-iron Dutch oven over hot coals, conjures
feel of berry flavors makes it a perfect choice for this pairing.
visions of vaquero campfire cuisine. And what better beverage than a Mexican-style beer to accompany it? The natural choice for
Crispy Salad with Merguez Sausage and Kefir-Harissa
such a beer would be Austin’s own Twisted X Brewing Fuego
Dressing (page 38). This dish presents a double whammy of heat
Jalapeño Pilsner. The beer is styled as a pilsner first, with the
from both the generally fiery merguez sausage and the harissa
subtle note of jalapeño bringing up the rear, rather than the fi-
dressing. A good beverage pairing would be one that cuts through
ery front-of-the-mouth blast of heat found in many chili-infused
the spiciness of the sausage and the dressing and tames the heat
beers. There’s a perfect note of Tex-Mex flavor in the Fuego (“fire”
so that the other lovely flavors in the dish can be savored.
in Spanish), making it a great pairing for Tex-Mex dishes.
Steep a cup of Yogi tea and you have something more than delicious. Every intriguing blend of herbs and botanicals is on a mission, supporting energy, stamina, clarity, immunity, tranquility, cleansing or unwinding.
®,©2015-2016 East West Tea Company, LLC
Every cup is a gift to mind, body and spirit.
TALKING WITH HANK SHAW BY E L I Z A B E T H W I N S LOW • P H OTO G RA P H Y BY H O L LY A . H EYS E R
ank Shaw is a self-professed omnivore who says he’s solved his own Pollan-esian dilemma. As a wild-foods advocate, he forages, gardens, fishes and hunts—prepares and eats it
all—and then writes about it. Fans of his cookbooks, podcast and blog look to him for inspiration and guidance in learning about food accessed well outside the corporate food system. This off-thefood-grid former political reporter and restaurant cook is living proof that growing and catching your dinner and cooking up something delicious with it is both doable and rewarding. In the midst of touring for his latest book, “Buck, Buck, Moose”—a compendium of recipes and techniques for cooking all things antlered—we caught up with Shaw to talk about what to do with our meat, foot arches and what makes us all hunters at heart. What’s your biggest challenge as a hunting advocate? It depends on who I’m talking to. If it’s someone who doesn’t have a license, that’s a hurdle. If it’s someone who doesn’t have a place to hunt, that’s a hurdle. The hunting world is an opaque one. If you didn’t grow up in it, it’s hard to know where to begin. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is a very helpful place to start. To get your hunting license, you’ll take a hunter education course. In addition to a great foundation in hunting, TPWD is a great place to connect with resources. They have programs beyond just the basic hunter education. Then there are the more in-depth hunt schools, like the ones Jesse Griffiths teaches through Dai Due. I do a Texas deer school every year, too. Last year, we had three or four first-time hunters and all but one got a deer. These classes are an opportunity to learn how to hunt and get hands-on skinning, gutting and butchering practice. The last piece of the puzzle is knowing what to do with the meat. And that’s where your books come in? Exactly. I’m not going to hate on someone for turning their whole deer into ground meat—they’re eating it and that’s the most important thing. What I am trying to do is give people options. There’s a lot more that can be done with deer, elk and moose, and you can look all over the world for inspiration. Most of the recipes in this book are from the regions where those animals come
“Deer hunting is in our DNA. Deer, in a general sense of the word, is a recognized food item all over the world.”—Hank Shaw
from. Surprisingly, in this country, tradition is a challenge when it comes to expanding people’s ideas about how to cook venison. There is no other meat that’s so laden with folk wisdom and tradition—every hunting family has five or six recipes that they know everyone will eat. A hunter works very hard to get a deer, so if I’m
WHY DEER MAKE US HUMAN
asking you to do something different with a venison tenderloin, it
BY H A N K S H AW
better damn well work. Every recipe in the book has at least three cooks test it…but I don’t let chefs test my recipes. All the recipes are tested by real home cooks.
Excerpted from “Buck, Buck, Moose” by Hank Shaw, © H&H Books
Interest in where our food comes from has increased in re-
cent years. Do you think an interest in hunting has changed our food system in significant ways? Yes, in significant but small ways. Hunting is not easy. The barriers to entry are profound for the average person. Less than five percent of our population hunts, but for those people, hunting represents certainty in an uncertain world. What I hear a lot from newcomers, as well as long-time hunters, is a real loathing of factory farming and a distrust of the corporate food system. As a hunter, you can opt out legally. There’s a deep comfort in knowing where your food comes from—when you open the freezer and pull out a shank, you know exactly where that meat came from. And you develop an enormous respect for that meat. You’re not going to waste any of it. As I say, “You broke it, you bought it.” What do you think draws people to hunt?
ur dance with deer can seem eternal, and in a human sense it is. We have hunted, and deer have avoided us, for so long that when it all began neither of us were who we
are today. We have been hunting something like a deer so long that when we started we were something like a human. A great many in the paleontological community think that it is the pursuit of deerlike animals that made us fully human. Think for a moment about our bodies, and our minds. Thumbs are handy for plucking fruit from trees, but they are also great for fashioning and using tools. Standing upright helps us see over tall grass—both for things that want to get us, and for seeing things we would like to get. But it is our inner life that may have been the most fundamentally changed by hunting. Lots of animals can talk to each other, saying things like, “Look out for that lion!” Or, “Food is over there!” (I’ve always imagined other animals talking in exclamation points…) But no other animal we know of can say, “Tomorrow, when we go down to the river, watch out for the reeds. I saw crocodiles there yesterday.” Or, “We’re going over this hill and when we get there, we’ll spread out. I know that the antelope funnel through there,
We’ve been hunting deer since before we were Homo sapiens.
or at least they’ve done so every year at this time. Louie, you hide in
It’s so much a part of what makes us us. There is no other pri-
the bushes. I’ll sit under this tree. When you see them, whistle like a
mate that has an arch in the foot and can run. And humans are
honeybird, OK?” (I love the notion of a Homo erectus named Louie.)
the only animals…besides wolves…that will “persistence hunt”—
Complex thought and communications appear to be exclusive to us.
meaning, track and chase an animal to exhaustion. We’re the
Yes, the Great Apes, dolphins and some corvids can get pretty com-
only primates that can throw worth a damn, which can be traced
plex, but nothing to the level of us. The most widely accepted reason
back to our very first efforts throwing a spear to hunt. The gen-
for this is that it was an adaptation for hunting. Hunting the antelope
eral consensus among anthropologists is that human speech
and other deer-like animals of Africa.
and spatial concepts developed because they allowed us to gang
Deer hunting is in our DNA. Deer, in a general sense of the
up on animals for hunting. Meat-eating started with big game,
word, is a recognized food item all over the world. Even vegans
which makes sense as it gives you more bang for your buck. All
and anti-hunters will acknowledge that it is perfectly normal for
that hard work better yield something that’s worthwhile and will
humans to eat them, even if they are hoping we will end this mil-
feed a lot of people. Hunting deer and other antlered animals is
lion-year habit tomorrow…or maybe next month. Tell most people
absolutely hard-wired within us. Even people who oppose hunt-
you are deer hunting and they will shrug. Sure, OK. No big deal.
ing recognize this.
Now tell them you are swan hunting. Or even bear hunting. You’ll get a different reaction. Humans eat venison. It’s what we do....
Now that you’ve given us food for thought, what do you have your sights set on for 2017?
…First thing you need to know when you have some venison to cook is that the whole world cooks it. That means you can use venison as a substitute for beef, lamb or goat in pretty much any rec-
For me, 2017 will be a year to hunker down and recharge; 2016
ipe—and many of those recipes originated with venison of some
has been so difficult, so grueling, that I need some “me” time.
sort, not a domesticated meat. Curry. Stir-fry. Soups, stews, braises.
But work-wise, I plan on writing my next book, which will be on
Meat pies. Pasta sauces. Mole and salsa. And always over open fire.
upland game birds like pheasants and grouse, along with all the
That said, there are subtle but important differences in cooking
small game animals like rabbits and hares.
beef versus venison, and this book details them fully.
THINK OUTSIDE THE CHOP
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Farm to Feast
March 9, 2017 | Barr Mansion
May 12-13, 2017 | Simmons Family Farm VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE
VENISON WITH CUMBERLAND SAUCE If there is a classic way to eat venison, this is it. Cumberland sauce, which hinges on the tart-and-sweet red currant, is perhaps the oldest wild game sauce still commonly made today. It dates from at least the 1700s, and has been modified only a little since then. Cumberland sauce has persisted so long in our kitchens because it is a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, savory and salty. One thing that really makes this recipe shine is glace de viande which adds a lot to the flavor. [Editor’s note: Find recipe for glace de viande on page 67 of Shaw’s book or online at edibleaustin.com.] Serves 4 For the venison: 1 to 2 lbs. venison backstrap, in one piece Salt 3 T. unsalted butter, lard, duck fat or cooking oil For the sauce: 1 shallot or ¼ c. minced onion ½ c. Port wine ½ c. of glace de viande, or you can use 1 c. of regular, low-sodium stock, boiled down A pinch of salt ½ t. mustard powder ¼ t. cayenne Zest of a lemon or an orange ¼ c. red currant, cranberry or lingonberry jelly (not jam) Freshly ground black pepper
Take the venison out of the fridge and salt it well. Let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Melt the butter in a sauté pan large enough to hold the venison backstrap. When it’s hot, turn the heat to medium and brown the venison on all sides. Use the finger test for doneness to cook the meat to the level you want. I prefer medium-rare. Remember the meat will continue to cook as it rests, so take it out a little before it reaches the doneness you want. Move the venison to a cutting board, and let it rest while you make the sauce. When your meat has come out of the pan, make sure there is at least 1 T. of butter or oil in it. If not, add more. Sauté the shallot over medium-high heat for 90 seconds, just until it softens. Don’t let it burn. Add the Port wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Let this boil furiously until it is reduced by half. Add the demi-glace (or stock), the salt, citrus zest, mustard and cayenne and let this boil for a minute or two. Stir in the red currant jelly and the black pepper. Let all this boil down until it is thick, but still pourable. You can strain it if you want a more refined sauce. Slice the venison into medallions. Pour any juices that have come out of the meat into the sauce and stir to combine. Serve with the sauce either over the meat or alongside.
Meticulously crafted of the highest quality. Every time.
AN UNEXPECTED OASIS BY L I SA WA H LG R E N • P H OTO G R A P H Y BY A N DY SA M S
ucked among far South Austin’s well-manicured lawns, an
the B.V.B. College of Engineering and Technology, where he again
oasis of fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and ornamentals flour-
rose to the top his class and graduated with a B.E. in electrical en-
ishes in a 40- by 60-foot backyard that serves as both an
gineering. The next stop for Venkappa was Boulder, Colorado, in
outdoor laboratory and labor of love for Venkappa Gani and his
1966, where he earned a M.S. in electrical engineering from the
wife, Ratna. In 1997, following Venkappa’s 30-year engineering ca-
University of Colorado.
reer, the couple retired to a neighborhood undergoing construction
He left Boulder for Poughkeepsie, New York, where he was offered
of hundreds of new homes. At the time, the yard was slated as a flat
a position with IBM. Then, while on a trip back to India, he married
canvas for St. Augustine, but the Ganis had other ideas.
Ratna. Eventually, IBM led the couple to Austin where the seeds that
They managed to opt out of sod in favor of soil, and got start-
were planted during elementary school took root in a retirement
ed planting a border of fruit trees. “I grew up in the garden,” says
that’s redefining what’s possible on a modest plot of land. Venkappa
Venkappa—explaining that growing food was at the core of the
now serves as a sought-after and award-winning gardening expert.
school curriculum in the farming village where he was born in the
Entry to the Ganis’ backyard is via a dense canopy of crim-
southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. To help the village thrive,
son-flowered Rangoon creeper vine, then suddenly, a wildly pro-
all students were given a plot of land to cultivate, which required
lific, Eden-like setting is revealed. Venkappa appears to have de-
hauling buckets of water to tend their plants. Every year, as they
fied any number of well-accepted notions of what can thrive amid
moved up a grade, they were given a bigger plot.
Central Texas’ scorching heat, occasional freezes and often subpar
Formal education was customarily expected to end at the eighth
soil. Fruit trees—primarily along the edges—include pomegranate,
grade, but as the top student in his class, Venkappa advanced to the
persimmon, papaya, peach, fig, jujube, Texas red grapefruit, Meyer
local high school—walking three miles to and from school, every
lemon, kumquat, Dorset apple, olive, pineapple guava, Orient pear
day. Graduating at the head of his high school class, he went on to
and banana. In the center of the fertile plot, divided by limestone
blocks and brick pathways, are edibles, ornamentals and leafy
crop exceeds what they can consume—which is often—it’s sold
herbs that are indigenous to just about every corner of the globe
through co-op yard-to-market booths at the Sunset Valley SFC
and include lamb’s quarters, papyrus, bay laurel, thryallis, Swiss
Farmers’ Market on Saturday and the HOPE Farmers Market on
chard, coriander, dandelion, curry plant, tarragon, bitter gourd,
Sunday, where the couple can often be seen chatting with custom-
hibiscus (for tea), butterfly weed, pequín chili pepper, okra, rose-
ers and sharing gardening tips.
mary, oregano, tomatoes, broccoli, peas and garlic.
Over the years, Venkappa has become a solid fixture in the
Growing up without running water or electricity, Venkappa takes
local-growers circle. He’s a life member of the Travis County Master
neither for granted. He was among the first to benefit from the City
Gardeners Association, a member of The Garden Club of Austin
of Austin’s rebate program for solar energy in 2004, and put his elec-
and a past president of the Austin Organic Gardeners club. He is
trical engineering degrees to work to install solar panels on his roof.
also the founder of the Organic Farm & Learning Center at Green
City rebates also came into play the following year with the installa-
Haven Ranch in Hutto, Texas—a community-wide education ini-
tion of two 1,500-gallon tanks for rainwater harvesting.
tiative that offers hands-on training and workshops on organic
As is his tradition, Venkappa never uses chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. A hearty compost heap is the source of an
gardening, rainwater collection and solar energy. In 2005, the Texas Master Gardeners Association named him Gardener of the Year.
occasional nutrient boost to the soil, and if there’s a secret ingre-
Accolades and other projects aside, Venkappa’s home garden
dient, it might be his all-natural Gani Coco Coir product. It’s made
continues to be a beloved and comforting personal haven. When
by extracting coconut husk fibers from coconut shells and com-
asked whether Ratna’s love of the garden is at the same level as
pressing them into lightweight blocks that serve as an extremely
that of her husband’s, she says, unequivocally, “I love it more!” And
water-retentive planting medium. Venkappa sells the blocks at var-
then she offers one of her favorite ways to cook their bounty: “Add
ious gardening centers around town.
whole mustard seeds and whole cumin seeds to hot oil,” she says.
The backyard garden is a significant source of sustenance to
“When the seeds start to pop, add onions and vegetables and sauté.
Venkappa and Ratna, who are both lifetime vegetarians. When a
Finish with curry powder, salt, lemon and tamarind, to taste.” Yum.
SUSTAINABLE FOOD CENTER
A REAL FIELD TRIP BY K AT I E PAC E
s educators know, teaching is easiest and most effective when
they learn about plant anatomy, food production, life cycles, polli-
learning feels like play. Some lessons, like grammar, may be
nation, water conservation and a range of other environmental top-
harder to turn into games, but other lessons can easily become ad-
ics. They might be asked to count flower petals or identify different
ventures as long as teachers have access to fun, hands-on learning
shapes, or lounge beneath a tree and sketch or write about the garden.
tools. One such tool is JP’s Peace, Love and Happiness Foundation
These activities are simple, but because they involve exploration, dis-
Teaching Garden, made possible by philanthropist and Austinite
covery and play, they generate enthusiasm about the learning process.
John Paul DeJoria of Paul Mitchell salons and Patrón tequila fame.
Like all outdoor classrooms, the Teaching Garden also offers
Located in East Austin at the Sustainable Food Center and tucked
children a number of health benefits. Increasingly, studies show
into a larger community garden, the Teaching Garden is a thriving,
that the microfauna present in soil boosts humans’ immune sys-
organic food haven that also serves as an outdoor classroom. Each
tems. This fauna has a particularly powerful impact on the immune
year, the garden hosts hundreds of children through school field trips
systems of children and infants. Students also exercise both their
where visiting students can learn about a wide variety of subjects
minds and bodies—breathing the garden’s fresh air and receiving
and develop social, academic and artistic skills through self-man-
a healthy dose of vitamin D from the sun, and gardening supports
agement, cooperation, communication and decision-making. There
mental health by relieving anxiety, stress and depression. Last but
are also opportunities to learn important math skills and practice
not least, studies show that children who grow food are more likely
scientific inquiry, data analysis, writing, crafting and drawing.
to enjoy eating healthy food, so the health benefits of a trip to the
Students harvest from garden beds, smell and taste herbs, venture
Teaching Garden can last a lifetime.
through the garden in search of various plant parts, observe bees and
butterflies pollinating flowers, stumble upon frogs and lizards, and
Sustainable Food Center’s Teaching Garden hosts field trips for
discover other wildlife such as colorful caterpillars and elegant lace-
children in pre-K through 12th grade. If you’d like to schedule a
wings. They also plant seedlings in pots to take home. In the process,
field trip to the garden, visit sustainablefoodcenter.org EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
RECHARGING WITH HOMEMADE ELECTROLYTE DRINKS BY KATE PAYNE • PHOTOGRAPHY BY JO ANN SANTANGELO
n my youth, I handed over ear-
keep you hydrated and supplied
ly mornings to the predawn
with much-needed minerals.
dread of jumping into the pool
Coconut water is packed with
for swim practice. After the dread,
potassium and other minerals. En-
though, I loved every minute of the
joy a salty-sweet version with the
two hours spent moving my body
recipe below, or add it to beverag-
through the water. Throughout this
es, smoothies and soups in place of
competitive-sport time of my life, I
some, or all, of the water.
recall grape-flavored, rehydration
Fermented pickle and kraut
sports drinks with fondness. But
brines are another great resource
after recently exploring the label
for hidden electrolytes. During my
on these bottles, I found all sorts of
years of teaching food preservation
suspect ingredients in there.
classes—some of which are five-
First up, let’s decode the electro-
hour workshops—I began tipping
lyte buzz. Electrolytes are mineral
the pickle jar to balance the ener-
salts that enter our system through
gy expended and on-my-feet time.
food and drinks and are then dis-
Fermented foods are packed with
solved by fluids in our bodies. The
minerals and typically, sea salt is
most common electrolyte-forming
the primary vehicle for transform-
minerals are sodium, calcium, chlo-
ing ordinary veggies and fruits into
ride, magnesium, phosphate and
acidified nutritional powerhouses.
potassium. Once absorbed into the
For a perfectly pickle-y pick-me-
many fluids of the body, electro-
up, I dilute my brine remainders
lytes carry a positive or negative
using a 1:4 or 1:5 brine-to-water ra-
ionic charge. These charges are
tio. Many of the artisan pickle and
essential for our nerve, muscle and
kraut brands sell stand-alone kraut
heart cells (and others), where they are used to maintain voltage
or pickle shots and dilution is not required, but the standard shot of
across cell membranes and carry nerve impulses and muscle con-
straight-up brine is a bit more intense than I personally care to sip.
tractions across these membranes and to other cells. Electrolytes
Mineral-rich sea salt is exactly what the hydration doctor or-
also help regulate fluid levels and maintain fluid balance in various
dered. It may seem counterintuitive to add salt to beverages when
areas of the body.
looking to hydrate, but the minerals found in good sea salt (think
There are lots of great hydration options out there now, but
hints of gray or pink color and moist crumb) are exactly what our
making our own electrolyte-rich beverages is a simple task that can
bodies are looking for. Highly refined salts (even sea salts) don’t of-
involve what’s already in the refrigerator or on the pantry shelf.
fer up the ancient traces of the sea and all the minerals and plant
Whether you prefer making impromptu combinations of the follow-
life that came with it, so invest in a small stash of a Celtic sea salt or
ing list of power hydrators or using actual drink recipes, all will help
other traditionally harvested salt from around the world.
Whey is another nutrient-dense and hydrating addition that might already be on the refrigerator shelf in one form or another. Beyond supplying the multiple benefits of proteins, B-vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, immunity-supporting compounds and probiot-
FIGHT HUNGER TODAY
ics, whey is also mineral-rich—offering up a fine balance of potassium, iron and zinc. If making yogurt at home is not yet a part of your weekly routine, straining store-bought yogurt (labeled with as few additives as possible) is a great way to end up with whey for drinks. Sweeten these tart and tangy drinks with sweeteners that don’t work against the goal of hydration. Natural sweeteners, such as raw honey and pure stevia powder, are my favorite ways to brighten up a tart drink. Blackstrap molasses is loaded with minerals, but the flavor it imparts is overpowering and heavy, so I rarely pick this one as an electrolyte drink sweetener. Instead, I save it for hot cocoa or oatmeal where other ingredients help to balance the flavor. Fresh-squeezed citrus juices contain enzymes, vitamins and sugars that our bodies digest easily and that can add some sweetness and balance to an electrolyte drink. Other pure fruit juices can also serve as sweeteners to offset tartness. Enjoy and improvise on these drink recipes. I’m always experimenting with splashes of whatever is in the fridge—even the experiments that could taste better are pretty easy to guzzle down without waste. Once made, each of these recipes will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
COCONUT LIMEADE Yields 1 serving ¾ c. coconut water ¼ c. freshly squeezed lime juice 1 /8 t. sea salt Stevia extract powder, to taste Combine all ingredients in a pint-size mason jar and shake.
WHEY LEMONADE Yields 2 servings 1 c. filtered water ¼ c. whey ¼ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice ¼ t. sea salt Stevia extract powder, to taste
VOLUNTEER IN OUR COMMUNITY KITCHEN The Central Texas Food Bank’s community kitchen supports on-site meal preparation for our programs. Currently, we are preparing meals for our Value Added Meal program, which helps reduce food waste and creates nutritious meals distributed through our Partner Agencies across Central Texas. Preparation of these meals is not possible without support from dedicated community volunteers. Sign up today to help make a difference in the lives of thousands of Central Texans in our community. Volunteer opportunities in our kitchen are available Tuesday - Friday, from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. Sign up today at centraltexasfoodbank.org/volunteer
Combine all ingredients in a quart-size mason jar and shake.
GRAPEFRUIT-ADE Yields 1 serving ½ c. filtered water 1 t. raw honey ½ c. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice 1 /8 t. sea salt Heat the water to a simmer, remove from the heat and combine with the honey in a pint-size mason jar to dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature, then add the remaining ingredients. Shake to combine.
There are many ways to help your neighbors in need all year long! Find more ways to get involved at centraltexasfoodbank.org EDIBLEAUSTIN.COM
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THE DIRECTORY ARTISANAL FOODS Antonelli’s Cheese Shop We love cut-to-order artisanal cheese and all that goes with it. Order a picnic platter, take a class or host a private guided event. Free tastings daily. 512-531-9610 4220 Duval St. antonellischeese.com
Delysia Chocolatier Handcrafted in Austin. Our products are handmade using fine quality, sustainable chocolate and only the freshest ingredients. 512-413-4701 2000 Windy Terrace, Suite 2C delysia.com
Bending Branch Winery Bending Branch Winery is a premier Hill Country winery with award-winning wines, including our signature Texas Tannat. Visit us Thurs-Sun. 830-995-2948 142 Lindner Branch Trl., Comfort 830-995-3394 704 High St., Comfort bendingbranchwinery.com
Lost Draw Cellars Lost Draw Cellars produces stellar Texas wines from our vineyards in the Texas High Plains, sourcing grapes from some of the best wineries in the state. 830-992-3251 113 E. Park St., Fredericksburg lostdrawcellars.com
Messina Hof Lick Honest Ice Creams Artisan ice creams celebrating the finest ingredients Texas has to offer! Handmade in small batches in our Austin kitchen. Natural, local and seasonal. 512-363-5622 1100 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 35 512-609-8029 6555 Burnet Rd. ilikelick.com
Lone Star Meats Delivering high-quality products chefs desire with a meticulous eye on consistency. 512-646-6220 1403 E. 6th St. lonestarmeats.com
Est in 1977. Messina Hof is a family owned winery based on the three cornerstones of family, tradition & romance. 979-778-9463 4545 Old Reliance Rd., Bryan 830-990-4653 9996 U.S. 290, Fredericksburg 817-442-8463 201 S. Main St., Grapevine messinahof.com
Paula’s Texas Spirits Paula’s Texas Orange Liqueur & Paula’s Texas Lemon Liqueur—all natural and handmade in Austin since 2006. Available throughout Texas. paulastexasspirits.com
Spec’s Wine Spirits and Finer Foods
Family-owned since 1962, Spec’s offers expert service and Texas’ largest selection of wines, spirits and beers along with gourmet foods and more! 512-366-8260 4970 W. US Hwy. 290 512-342-6893 10515 N. MoPac Hwy. 512-280-7400 9900 S. I-35 512-263-9981 13015 Shops Pkwy., Bee Cave 512-366-8300 5775 Airport Blvd. specsonline.com
Texas Coffee Traders
Winery, vineyards, and tasting room with wines for tasting and for sale. Lavender fields, lavender products and annual Lavender Fest. 830-644-2681 464 Becker Farms Rd., Stonewall beckervineyards.com
East Austin’s artisinal coffee roaster and one-stop shop offering a wide selection of certified organic and fair trade options for wholesale and retail. 512-476-2279 1400 E. 4th St. texascoffeetraders.com
BAKERIES Blue Note Bakery Blue Note Bakery is Austin’s premier custom cake shop, meticulously creating one-of-a-kind desserts for your special occasions. 512-797-7367 4201 S. Congress Ave., Ste. 101 bluenotebakery.com
Texas Keeper Ciders
Small-batch cider made in south Austin from 100% apples. Available in stores, bars, and restaurants throughout Austin, Houston, and DFW areas. 512-910-3409 12521 Twin Creeks Rd. texaskeeper.com
A custom catering company specializing in tailored menus, incredible food, and surprisingly good professional service. 512-656-4348 401 Sabine St., Ste. B pinkavocadocatering.com
Spoon & Co. Catering
Tito’s Handmade Vodka Tito’s Handmade Vodka is handcrafted from 100% corn and distilled six times by Tito Beveridge in Austin, TX at America’s original microdistillery. Gluten-free! 512-389-9011 titosvodka.com
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 spoonandco.com
EDUCATION Twisted X Brewing Craft brewery nestled at the foot of the Hill Country. Our tap room is open weekly with 13 locally brewed beers on tap, it’s a great place for a party or to simply enjoy a pint. 512-829-5323 23455 W. RR 150, Dripping Springs texmexbeer.com
BOOKSELLERS BookPeople Texas’ leading independent bookstore since 1970. Located in the heart of downtown, BookPeople has been voted best bookstore in Austin for over 15 years! 512-472-5050 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com
University of Texas Press Our mission is to advance and disseminate knowledge through the publication of books and journals and through electronic media. 800-252-3206 utexaspress.com
CATERING AND MEAL DELIVERY Bespoke Food Full-service caterer creating menus exclusive to each event for corporate and private parties. Truly bespoke. 512-323-0272 bespokeaustin.com
The Farmstead at Driftwood Farm fresh veggies and fruits delivered to your door. 512-731-8655 194 Darden Hill Rd., Driftwood thefarmsteadatdriftwood.com
Headwaters School Headwaters School serves students from early childhood through grade 12 with a Montessori foundation progressing to the International Baccalaureate® Diploma Programme. 512-480-8142 801 Rio Grande St. 512-804-2708 9607 Brodie Ln. 512-443-8843 6305 Manchaca Rd. headwaters.org
EVENTS Austin Food + Wine Festival Join chefs from Texas and beyond as they spice up the weekend in the culinary capital April 28-30! Get tickets for a feast over a huge fire pit, nightlife events and much more. 888-512-7469 austinfoodwine.com
Whim Hospitality The Whim Hospitality family of services includes catering, event and tent rentals and florals. Separately, or as a package of services, we help make your next event memorable. 512-858-9446 2001 W. Hwy. 290, Ste. 107 Dripping Springs whimhospitality.com
FARMERS MARKETS Sustainable Food Center SFC cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. 512-236-0074 400 W. Guadalupe St. 3200 Jones Rd., Sunset Valley 4600 Lamar Blvd. 2921 E. 17 St., Bldg C (Office) sustainablefoodcenter.org
Wiseman Family Practice
44 Farms Founded and Family-owned since 1909 in Cameron, 44 Farms is the U.S. premier producer of ethically raised Angus beef. Our ranchers produce beef with no added hormones, antibiotics or artificial ingredients. 254-697-4401 963 PR 44, Cameron 44farms.com
Wiseman Family Practice is an integrative medical practice in Austin, Tx that focuses on health education and natural approaches to wellness. 512-345-8970 2500 S. Lakeline Blvd. Ste. 100 Cedar Park 300 Medical Arts St. 3801 S. Lamar Blvd. wisemanfamilypractice.com
YMCA of Austin
Capra Premium Dorper Lamb Locally raised, All Natural, Premium Dorper Lamb. 325-648-2418 1110 E. Front St., Goldthwaite caprafoods.com
GROCERS Royal Blue Grocery Downtown Austin’s neighborhood grocer—with dairy, prepared foods, beer and wine, Royal Blue has it all, in a convenient and compact format. Catering too! 512-499-3993 247 W. 3rd St. 512-476-5700 360 Nueces St. 512-469-5888 609 Congress Ave. 512-386-1617 301 Brazos St., Ste. 110 512-480-0061 51 Rainey St. 512-524-0740 1645 E. 6th St. royalbluegrocery.com
Building programs for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility that promote strong families, character values, youth leadership and community development. 8 Austin Area Locations 512-322-9622 austinymca.org
HOUSEWARES AND GIFTS Callahan’s General Store Austin’s real general store…hardware to western wear, from feed to seed! 512-385-3452 501 S. Hwy. 183 callahansgeneralstore.com
Copenhagen Imports Contemporary furnitur e and accessories for home and office. 512-451-1233 2236 W. Braker Ln. copenhagenliving.com
LANDSCAPE AND GARDENING
PHOTOGRAPHY AND ART
Barton Springs Nursery
Blanton Museum of Art
Locally grown Texas native plants. Organic pest management. Environmentally friendly soil amendments. Beautiful gifts. 512-328-6655 3601 Bee Cave Rd. bartonspringsnursery.net
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 blantonmuseum.org
It’s About Thyme Garden Center Top quality herbs for chefs, and native plants for gardeners. A nursery with expert staff and pocket-friendly prices. Free lectures most Sundays. 512-280-1192 11726 Manchaca Rd. itsaboutthyme.com
Selling the highest quality natural and organic products. 512-542-2200 525 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-345-5003 9607 Research Blvd. 512-206-2730 12601 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave 512-358-2460 4301 W. William Cannon wholefoodsmarket.com
HEALTH AND BEAUTY Peoples Rx Pharmacy and Deli Since 1980, Austin’s favorite pharmacy keeps locals healthy through Rx compounding, supplements and prescriptions, holistic practitioners and natural foods. 512-459-9090; 4018 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-444-8866; 3801 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-327-8877; 4201 Westbank Dr. 512-219-9499; 13860 Hwy 183 N. peoplesrx.com 64
Retail gourmet kitchen shop, featuring cookware, cutlery, bakeware, small electrics, textiles and kitchen gadgets. 830-997-4937 258 E. Main St., Fredericksburg littlechef.com
Kettle & Brine Kettle & Brine is a curated kitchen and home provisions store, specializing in high-end, heirloom quality goods, that inspire people to cook and eat together more. 512-375-4239 908-C W. 12th St. kettleandbrine.com
The Ransom Center presents original exhibitions drawn from its collections of literature, art, photography, film and performing arts. Free admission. 512-471-8944 21st & Guadalupe St. hrc.utexas.edu
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. wildflower.org
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. naturalgardeneraustin.com
Der Küchen Laden Whole Foods Market
Harry Ransom Center
LODGING AND TOURISM Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm Cooking classes, beautiful dining room venue for private events, hill country cabin rental. 830-833-0910 5818 RR 165, Dripping Springs juniperhillsfarm.com
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Austin Label Company Custom labels up to 10 x 20 on paper, foil, synthetics, multiple adhesives, embossing, hot foil and UV coatings. Proud members of Go Texan, FTA and TWGGA. 512-302-0204 1610 Dungan Ln. austinlabel.com
CG&S Design-Build CG&S Design-Build is a high-end Austin residential remodeling firm specializing in full-service design and construction services. 512-444-1580 402 Corral Ln. cgsdb.com
REAL ESTATE Audrey Row — Keller Williams Realtor assisting residential selling or buying clients in the Austin/Dripping Springs and surrounding areas. Land and Residential market. 512-789-1633 1801 S. Mopac, Suite 100 austinanddrippinghomes.com
Central Texas Food Bank The Herb Bar Best place to cure what ails you and a resource center since 1986. Our Optimal Health Advisers are highly trained, knowledgeable and compassionate. 512-444-6251 200 W. Mary St. theherbbar.com
The Central Texas Food Bank is on the front line of hunger relief in a 21-county area, helping nearly 46,000 Central Texans each week access nutritious food when they need it the most. 512-282-2111 6500 Metropolis Dr. centraltexasfoodbank.org
Barbara Van Dyke Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty RealtorHelping buyers and sellers move to the next chapter of their lives. 512-431-2552 4301 Westbank Dr. B-100 barbaravandyke.kuperrealty.com
Green Mango Real Estate
Cannon + Belle
Jobell Cafe & Bistro
Boutique firm specializing in Central Austin since 1987, especially the 78704 where we have sold more homes than any other single realtor. 512-923-6648 905 Avondale Rd. greenmangorealestate.com
Cannon + Belle is a dynamic, multi-station open kitchen restaurant featuring a delicious Texas-fresh menu plus specialty tap wine and cocktail program. 512-482-8000 500 E. 4th St, cannonandbelle.com
We offer a carefully selected and prepared take on French bistro fare with wonderful wines all served amidst the intimacy and charm of Texas Hill Country. 512-847-5700 16920 RR 12, Wimberley jobellcafe.com
A farm-to-table restaurant serving entrée salads and botany-inspired drinks/cocktails. Patio dining and parking available. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 512-852-8791 2201 College Ave. 505-820-9205 709 Don Cubero Alley, Santa Fe, NM 505-842-5507 1828 Central Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM vinaigretteonline.com
Kerbey Lane Cafe
Judd Waggoman — Christie’s International Real Estate Your ultimate source for luxury real estate in Los Cabos. Ranked #1 Realtor in Los Cabos, Mexico by InMexico Magazine. 530-751-6797 judcaborealestate.com
East Side Pies 512-524-0933 1401B Rosewood Ave. 512-454-7437 5312 G Airport Blvd. 512-467-8900 1809-1 W. Anderson Ln. eastsidepies.com
Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. Locally-sourced lunch and dinner. Craft brewery, live music, good people, dog friendly, creative community. #beermakesitbetter #ouratx 512-298-2242 1305 W. Oltorf St. theabgb.com
Barlata Tapas Bar Located in the heart of South Lamar. Barlata offers a variety of tapas, paellas, regional Spanish wines and cavas. Come and enjoy a bit of Spain with us. 512-473-2211 1500 S. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 150 barlataaustin.com
Bistro Vonish Elevated vegan cuisine, showcasing the freshest flavors of Central Texas. 203-982-7762 facebook.com/bistrovonish
At Flyrite, we believe fast food should be real food. Our delicious sandwiches, wraps and shakes are fresh and made to order. Drive Thru. Eat Well! 512-284-8014 2129 E. 7th St. 512-243-6258 6539 Burnet Rd. flyritechicken.com
Honey’s Pizza Neapolitan pizza, baked goods, ice cream and burgers. 512-237-5627 109 NE 2nd St., Smithville honeyspizza.com
Hut’s Hamburgers An Austin tradition since 1939 featuring grassfed Longhorn beef and bison burgers. 512-472-0693 807 W. 6th St. hutsfrankandangies.com
Kerbey Lane Cafe is a local Austin haunt serving up tasty, healthy food (mostly) 24/7. Stop by any of our 6 locations for a delicious stack of pancakes! 512-451-1436 kerbeylanecafe.com
The Leaning Pear Café & Eatery Serving the Texas Hill Country fresh and seasonal favorites using local ingredients. 512-847-7327 111 River Rd., Wimberley leaningpear.com
Whip In Beer & wine bars with restaurant. Gujarati (Indian) style food. Huge selection of beer & wine retail. Fill growlers with 72 draft beers. 512-442-5337 1950 S. I-35 whipin.com
Wink Restaurant & Wine Bar
Lenoir 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. lenoirrestaurant.com
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. winkrestaurant.com
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 thundercloud.com
The Turtle Restaurant Your destination for food prepared from locally available, seasonal ingredients. 325-646-8200 514 Center Ave., Brownwood theturtlerestaurant.com
SPECIALTY MARKETS 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. makeitsweet.com
What's for dinner? quick weeknight dinner // special occasion // gluten-free // vegetarian // dairy-free // or just trying something new! Search our database of over 1000 recipes perfect for every season.
department of ORGANIC YOUTH
MY LIFE IN FOOD BY S H R EYA RA M A N AT H A N
he smell of onion, garlic
medicine, where ingredients such
and spices fills my noisy
as herbs and tree bark are used to
and chaotic school cafete-
prevent and even cure diseases.)
ria during lunchtime. Today in my
Some of my friends feel that
lunch, I have basmati rice and a
eating a vegetarian diet is only to
lentil soup with vegetables called
stay healthy and maintain weight,
dhal. Whenever I bring Indian
but it probably means I’m miss-
food to school, my friends are al-
ing out on some key flavors and
ways fascinated. They constantly
foods. Even though I don’t eat
pepper me with questions such as:
meat, I believe that I still get all
“What is that?” “Is it good?” “Can
the different flavors and textures,
I try it?” or “Is it spicy?”
and I never feel left out. When we
My family is from tropical
go grocery shopping, for example,
south India, where there’s an
the entire cart is filled with differ-
ent types of produce—including
and very colorful, juicy fruits. At
several greens—and it’s very col-
home, we eat a lot of whole grains, rice, dairy products, vegetables
orful! My friends and I have very different cultures and we all eat
and especially dhal. Both of my parents, although engineers, are
differently, but their cultures surround me and I get to experience
great cooks, each in their own way. A typical dinner might include
them through their food and our friendships. And they get to expe-
curried dhal with collard greens, baby potatoes and basmati rice or
rience some of my culture through my food, too.
fire-roasted eggplant cooked to perfection with a bell-pepper-to-
When I am old enough to cook and go to college and beyond, I
mato-onion sauce in a blend of cumin and coriander spices and a
hope to be able to continue my family’s food traditions, which not
side of baby okra curry with roti (flatbread). They are always ex-
only bring satisfaction for the stomach but also for the soul, by
perimenting with recipes that incorporate Indian spices into inter-
providing nourishment, warmth and a sense of belonging.
national dishes. Being at the crossroads of culture right now in the U.S. feels very familiar to people like me, as India herself has been
Shreya Ramanathan is 13
at the crossroads of culture ever since the Silk Route.
years old and lives in Austin
From day-to-day life, to celebrations and festivals, to just main-
with her mom, dad and
taining health, there’s always a large portion of time devoted to food
10-year-old brother, Vedanth.
and eating in my culture. When we visit our family and friends in
When she grows up she
India, we are always welcomed with hot chai and a variety of home-
aspires to be a doctor who
made snacks, which is heartwarming and proves that even everyday
has holistic knowledge to
food can be soul food. And one of the most prominent festivals we
heal ailments. Among many
celebrate is called Diwali (the festival of lights). During this time,
other things, she loves food,
people host immense parties, shoot fireworks, perform poojas (cer-
emonies that include guests of honor) and prepare lots and lots
tacos and her mom’s special
of food. And even on “normal” days (or especially when I’m sick),
jack fruit curry.
foods prepared with ingredients such as turmeric and ginger help create well-being and promote healing. (This method of natural healing where diet plays a major role in health is part of ayurvedic 66
No Artificial Preservatives No Artificial Sweeteners No Artificial Flavors No Artificial Colors In Any of the Food We Sell
We Believe in Real Food
DOMAIN: Just off Mopac, North of Braker | NORTH: Highway 183 & 360 | DOWNTOWN: 6th & Lamar SOUTH: William Cannon & Mopac | WEST: Hill Country Galleria @wholefoodsATX
This issue focuses on our respect for the Earth’s ability to grow the food we need and provide the environment that sustains us. Let’s come...