The Other Side of
From Left to Right: Jesse Griffiths (Dai Due Supper Club) and Ned Eillott (Foreign & Domestic)
to work at Uchi for free.) Having graduated from the Texas Culinary Academy in 2003, Qui already had a cadre of culinary skill at his disposal, as well as a sophisticated palate and a well of untapped creativity that began to reveal itself with each new challenge he received from Cole. Within a short while, Qui had more than proved himself as Cole’s protégé and was given the role of executive chef at Uchiko from the very beginning. Though he pulls from a world of culinary experience including that of his Filipino heritage and works with a wild array of proteins and vegetables, Qui is a master with fish. And his daily selections from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market prove it. Though he has worked with his fair share of tuna and salmon, Qui loves to serve and eat mackerel, black bass, sea urchin and ishidai (striped beak-perch). “I like ishidai because they mainly eat sea urchin, which makes them taste just like sea urchin,” says Qui. Having worked under celebrated seafood chef Shane Stark at Paggi House, Ben “Chili” Huddleston recently took the helm of the restaurant as executive chef. With seafood as his preferred protein of choice, Huddleston not only uses as much fresh catch from the Texas coast as possible for his daily menus, but he’s also an avid angler himself. He particular loves fishing shallow coastal waters and bay fishing. “I love using fish because it’s so delicate,” says Huddleston who loves working with Tilefish for its great texture and flavor. “You really have to use exact precision when you cook, handle and flavor it.”
The Locavores & Nose-to-Tailers
e all know it’s environmentally friendly, health-conscious and ironically chic, for chefs to use quality, locallygrown or -made ingredients. And Austin is certainly benefiting from this new culinary perspective. But long before well-liked Bryce Gilmore was serving up local delights from the Odd Duck trailer, restaurants such as Zoot, Wink and Vespaio were doing their best to use local fare. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that a few local chefs took eating local, and wasting as little as possible, to a whole new level. Take Jesse Griffiths for example. Though not the chef of a traditional brick and mortar restaurant, Griffiths’ wildly popular Dai Due Supper Club is at its heart, a statement about how we should eat. (Just read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma and you’ll know exactly where Griffiths is coming from.) If it’s not in season, he won’t use it. (Not even onions!) And if he’s going to butcher a hog, you better believe he’s going to use the whole thing — hooves, snout, ears and all. He even holds clinics for interested guests to learn how to roast and use a whole pig, as well as a hunting course on killing, skinning, gutting and preparing a Texas whitetail deer. But Griffiths isn’t alone. Gilmore of Odd Duck and Barley Swine and James Holmes of Olivia take this creed to heart when tribeza.com
over the past few years, it seems that Austin has become more thanjust the Live Music Capital of the World as the ever growing food scene ha...