Clear your shelves, because new titles highlighting Austin's impressive culinary culture are about to hit bookstores. With the Texas Book Festival fast approaching next month, CultureMap decided to highlight a few of this season’s upcoming cookbooks. Whether you’re looking for a chic hostess guide, a Texas cooking guide or seasonal-inspired menus, these books have you covered.
Camille Styles Entertaining
In a few short years, Camille Styles, event planner turned local lifestyle guru, has become one of Austin’s most renowned bloggers. Her distinguished brand, Camille Styles, Inc., showcases a collection of entertaining, fashion, cooking, design, beauty and general lifestyle tips along with daily articles and features.
The company has also undergone a number of exciting changes recently. In addition to the blog being completely redesigned, Lauren Smith Ford, former editor of Tribeza magazine, was brought on as editor in chief, and, of course, a colorful, eye-catching new book, Camille Styles Entertaining, is about to be released.
"Many of the ideas for the book had been floating around in my head for awhile, just waiting to be fleshed out and brought to life," says Styles. "When I started this book, I set out to infuse it with storytelling and show how each party, recipe and piece of advice means something to me personally." The four sections, divided into Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer, offer hostess tips galore for entertaining, party planning, cooking and day-to-day living, ranging in topics from menu-planning to party themes and much more.
Flipping through the gorgeously styled scenery and mouth-watering food, it's evident that Styles drew a great deal of creative and culinary inspiration from Austin. "Austin’s laid-back, easygoing style of entertaining factored prominently into my book," she explains. "Nowhere will you find fussy place settings and elaborate floral arrangements. My style of entertaining is about preparing delicious simple food, pouring great drinks, turning up the music a bit too loud and having fun with family and friends. To me, [it] is a very 'Austin' way to host a party."
In addition to ingenious tips on entertaining, look for decadent recipes like thyme popovers with ginger-pear butter, clementine and vanilla bean upside-down cake, roasted carrots with tarragon brown butter, jam thumbprint cookies, elderflower ginger fizz cocktail and more.
Texas On The Table
When an author decides to pen a cookbook chronicling Texas cuisine, they're undoubtedly up against a mighty hurdle. Our sprawling state is rooted in any number of culinary staples — brisket, chicken fried steak, hamburgers, fajitas, enchiladas, margaritas, pork ribs, kolaches and breakfast tacos just to name a few. However, in her new book Texas On The Table, Terry Thompson-Anderson succeeds at detailing the epic story of Texas cuisine, down to the very roots of our local favorites.
The story, though, isn't just about food. Thompson-Anderson takes readers on a journey around the Lone Star State's varied wineries, restaurants, farms and ranches, weaving together an impressive narrative and highlighting the special personalities behind our beloved state fare. "I wanted this to be a book that told the story behind the evolution of a Texas cuisine and how it has been impacted by the farmers, ranchers, cheesemakers and the burgeoning Texas [wineries]," Thompson-Anderson says.
Though Thompson-Anderson's book travels across miles of Texas' rural plains and urban epicenters, she highlights a great deal of Austin's signature establishments including Dai Due, Confituras, Franklin Barbecue, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, Fonda San Miguel and Jack Allen's Kitchen, and even includes a handful of stellar recipes. Spoiler alert: readers should buy the book if only to get their hands on Franklin Barbecue's recipe for pulled pork sandwiches and Easy Tiger's sourdough bread.
Jack Allen's Kitchen
Jack Gilmore has come a long way since his days as the head chef of Z Tejas. After exiting the Southwest-inspired restaurant in 2009 (after 20 years there), Gilmore has moved on to forage a symbiotic relationship with Texas farmers and purveyors through his namesake restaurant, Jack Allen's Kitchen.
In his first cookbook, Jack Allen's Kitchen, Gilmore delights readers with an abundance of memories and recipes from his years in the restaurant industry, farmers markets, his kitchen at home and beyond. "Our approach in the book was to keep it seasonal. Texas is fortunate enough to have four seasons, and we wanted to give our fans a book that really reflects our state’s seasonal bounty and keeps in line with our tag line: Local in source," Gilmore says.
Jessica Dupuy, CultureMap Austin’s former food editor who also worked on Uchi: The Cookbook and The Salt Lick Cookbook, co-authored the book with Gilmore. Similar to her two other titles, Dupuy ventured beyond compiling a mere collection of recipes. Instead, she and Gilmore artfully narrate stories detailing Jack Gilmore’s evolution as an acclaimed Texas chef. The most brilliant aspect of the book, however, is its ability to highlight the cuisine at Jack Allen's Kitchen whilst still recognizing Gilmore's trusted purveyors. The 327-page book is woven together with gorgeous food photography from Kenny Braun, signature recipes like Gilmore's pimento cheese and tomato basil pie and an account of how the chef became a champion of Texas cuisine.
Cook up some of Gilmore's most decadent dishes like deviled eggs, sweet potato bourbon gratin, cheese grits, fried oysters, blackberry cobbler and more. But please don’t ask Gilmore to pick a favorite among the curated recipes. “I’ll never tell what my favorite recipe is. There is a reason why it is on the menu or featured in the book,” he teases.
Central Market 20th Anniversary Cookbook
It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since Central Market opened its first location on North Lamar Boulevard. In those two decades, this upscale market has expanded to new locations throughout the state and curated a worldly selection of ingredients, libations and cuisines, becoming one of the most powerful and respected grocers in the country. Now, in honor of its anniversary celebration, the market has released a 180-page cookbook, Central Market 20th Anniversary Cookbook, which spills all the details and dishes that make this European-inspired, Austin-born market so special.
"Each Central Market store reflects the character of the neighborhood [where] it is located. Now we have a cookbook to celebrate and reflect the tastes of each community we have served over the past 20 years," said Stephen Butt, senior vice president of Central Market, in a press release.
Similar to Camille Styles Entertaining and Jack Allen's Kitchen, the Central Market 20th Anniversary Cookbook divides its 121 signature recipes in accordance with the seasons. And while the ever-popular blueberry and cream cookie is sadly not featured in the book, standouts like the butter bacon bread, green chile brisket, 4th anniversary salsa and Mexican chocolate ice box cake are. You can thank us later!