What did you miss this week in food? Cooking computers, celeb-sightings, barbecue praise and a marriage of cheese and local food.
Computers can cook
Remember that time a computer competed on Jeopardy and actually won? Well, now that very same computer (Watson is its name, by the way) is testing its skills in the kitchen. According to KVUE, IBM is using the supercomputer to dream up an array of recipes for consumers to customize and choose from during SXSW. "Some people say that creativity is the crowning achievement of human intelligence, so the question here is can computers help people to be more creative,” Steven Abrams, IBM’s engineer and director, said of the quirky pop-up food trailer. The tech-savvy truck is tucked downtown with an array of other food trucks during the SXSW festivities. If you find a sign that reads “Welcome to cognitive cooking," you've come to the right place.
International cheese marries local food
Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and Farmhouse Delivery are partnering together to feature a special cheese pairing class this Wednesday, March 19. Antonelli’s expert cheesemongers will discuss how to marry seven specially selected cheeses with an array of Austin-local artisanal foods carried by Farmhouse Delivery. The BYOB class begins at 8 pm and the $40 tickets can be purchased on the Farmhouse Delivery website under the special events tab.
Famed Gourmet editor savors Texas barbecue
Ruth Reichl, former editor-in-chief of the now defunct Gourmet magazine, turned up at none other than nationally acclaimed Franklin Barbecue. The New York-based food critic has been off the print publication grid for a few years, but that didn’t stop her from taking to her popular website to praise Aaron Franklin’s beloved restaurant. Reichl says the experience dethroned her once-favorite brisket experience at City Market in Luling. The famed foodie writes, "I was stunned by the flavor, the texture, the sheer amazing wonderfulness of what I was eating. (The ribs were great too, the sausage superb, and I was crazy about the espresso-enhanced sauce. But it was the brisket that simply stopped me cold; I'd been waiting to taste that for 15 years.)"
Qui is at it again
Amidst all the SXSW excitement, Food & Wine released their highly acclaimed "Sommeliers of the Year" list. The culinary magazine, which has already found much to love about Paul Qui’s flagship restaurant, recognized Qui resident sommelier, June Rodil, along with six other wine experts across the nation. The magazine describes Rodil’s talent as such: “She has created an amazing list of affordable, esoteric bottles (plus a page of pricey 'baller' Bordeaux) and trained everyone on her staff to be a sommelier — from the servers to the cooks who deliver dishes directly to tables.”
I spy celebrities
This week, the celebrity sightings were aplenty at Austin restaurants and food trailers. The Peached Tortilla attracted none other than Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion), serving him his namesake breakfast sandwich made with thick Texas toast, sweet grape jelly, American cheese, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage and bacon slices. Banger’s Sausage House & Beer hosted controversial pop star Justin Bieber for a performance on Sunday, March 9. And yet, perhaps the coolest celebrity sighting was the king of rap himself, Jay Z, who ordered 18 pizzas from Via 313 Pizza. Don’t believe us? Check out the receipt!
Hopdoddy's newest burger is insane
If you’re in the mood for a seriously guilt-inducing burger, check out Hopdoddy’s limited edition, appropriately named Boss Hog burger. The combination bovine-swine sandwich is prepared with freshly ground Angus beef, a huge heaping of pulled pork, housemade sweet mustard barbecue sauce, slices of tender applewood smoked bacon, Tillamook cheddar cheese, smoky chipotle coleslaw and pickles. Don't say you weren't warned...
Shake it out
P. Terry’s is mixing it up this spring with the addition of a creamy special shake: the Caramel Turtle Fudge. The seasonal dessert is mixed together with caramel, chocolate, pecans, and "zero actual turtles."