This week in Austin food, we talk book deals, long overdue restaurant reopenings and fun food competitions.
Aaron Franklin to write new book
Closely following the announcement of his new PBS TV series, Aaron Franklin confirmed this week that he has a book in the works. Franklin will collaborate with Jordan Makay, a wine and and spirits writer for San Francisco magazine, to pen his first-ever barbecue-centric cookbook. The Ten Speed Press title is still in the early stages of writing, but Makay was able to give CultureMap some insight into what readers can expect.
"In writing this book, I’m thrilled to get to spend time in the kitchen and amongst the smokers with Aaron Franklin. After even just a short bit of time with him watching him cook, it’s very clear why he’s had such success … The reasons include his insane dedication to quality and a technique honed over years of intense work," says Makay.
"In the book, we want to go beyond the recipes into the intangibles that separate the good barbecue from the great and the great from barbecue like Aaron’s that haunts you for the rest of your life. In addition, he’s a really creative and original thinker with a hilarious sense of humor, all of which we hope to capture in the pages of the book." Makay says.
Don't get 86'd
Local culinary competition Citywide 86’d kicks off this Saturday, February 8, at the Auguste Escoffier School. The first round of the Chopped-esque competition features chef participants from the likes of Parkside, Uchi and Qui. During the gourmet throwdown, each of the participating chefs will be given a mystery basket of unconventional, oddly paired ingredients and asked to create their own inspired appetizers, entrées and desserts. Texas Monthly’s Pat Sharpe and Barley Swine's Pastry Chef Kyle McKinney are just a handful of the participating judges.
Odd Duck open for lunch
After a stellar debut in December, Odd Duck is now embracing a lunch menu — and lunch crowd. Beginning Monday, February 3, Bryce Gilmore’s second acclaimed restaurant opened for mid-day meals. Here are a handful of the menu highlights: swordfish taco, bacon, soy, citrus cabbage; grilled quail, chile, orange, roasted cauliflower; chocolate potato chip cookie, buttermilk cookie.
If you’re feeling rather generous, head on over to Noble Sandwich Co.’s fundraising page on Greenman-Group.com. The growing sandwich enterprise is utilizing the charitable portal to raise money for its upcoming Central Austin location on Burnet Road. Some of the details that remain for the shop include purchasing specialty equipment, restoring a vintage Dr. Pepper sign and finishing up the final, crucial touches on the building. With a donation to the cause, individuals can secure dinners, apparel, discounts and a variety of other swag.
Italy in Austin
Congress Executive Chef David Bull will host a Tuscan wine dinner with Jacopo di Battista of Querceto di Castellina Winery in Tuscany on February 27 at his downtown restaurant. The intimate, Italian-centric dinner features a menu of fine Tuscan wines and authentic Italian cuisine. The worldly feast is one of several in the works over the next few months for Bull, who is preparing to lead a five-day culinary trip through Tuscany this July 7-12. The abroad experience will feature cooking classes and tours throughout Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and small Chianti towns. Bull's pre-vacation dinners have limited seating available; each costs $95, excluding tax and gratuity. Contact Congress for more information.
Southern happy hour
If you're looking to celebrate the weekend with all the bar flies, head on over to Qui on Friday night. The restaurant celebrates its recent recognition in Southern Living's 100 Best Bars in the South with a special happy hour. The East Sixth Street restaurant will feature half-price large format cocktails from 5-7 pm.
After a year-long closure and renovation, Titaya's is finally reopen for business. The local Thai-inspired favorite reopened as promised on Tuesday, February 4. Along with old menu classics, Titaya's has also incorporated an array of new menu items, with the help of the owner's brother, Ek Timerek (of the now-closed SPIN Modern Thai).