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Edible Communities 2008 Local Hero Awards
Honoring Local Food Leaders, Community by Community
This year’s Local Heroes were selected via an online voting process whereby readers of each magazine could nominate and vote for their favorite candidates in each of five categories including best farm/farmer, chef/restaurant, food artisan, beverage artisan and non-profit organization. The amount of participation and interest generated by our readers was staggering.
By Carol Ann Sayle
Photography by Carol Ann Sayle
Oh my, the pace of growing and harvesting vegetables quickens, and to complicate matters, it’s March, the month we can’t completely trust. The tomatoes are planted; they look so jaunty in the bright sunlight! We go to bed dreaming of ripe orbs in May, and in the middle of the last dream, a cold front silently skulks in and freezes the pre-dawn dew. Frost-coated leaves, hit by the morning sun, blacken beyond redemption; the plants die. Try again! It’s still early!
Photography by Jenna Noel
Whole Foods Market’s Jenny Brown loves her job. As program administrator for their Local Producer Loan (LPL) program, she plays a pivotal role in helping small local producers procure low-interest loans. The daughter of a serial entrepreneur, Brown grew up witnessing how much hard work her father put into his businesses; she knows firsthand how her program can change lives.
By David Alan
Photography by Jenna Noel
Most drinkers, regardless of their own personal tastes, would identify whiskey as the quintessential American spirit. Though it was not invented here—and it was pushed from the top of the best-seller’s list decades ago by vodka—there’s something distinctly American about whiskey. But whereas vodka is like a frontier, with virtually limitless new products and flavors (and no shortage of gimmicks) appearing almost daily, there’s something staid about whiskey—something permanent.
Story and Photography By Jim Long
I began making my own crackers years ago as an alternative to the high-fat, high-calorie, chemical-laden packaged snack crackers available on the market. When I first started looking for recipes, though, I quickly discovered that cookbooks rarely offer instructions for making crackers from scratch. I began experimenting and soon realized that cracker making is simple—easier than making cookies—and uses very basic ingredients that you probably already have on hand.
Baby food. Saying the words conjures up thoughts and feelings that can, at best, be described as zzzzzzzz. The mush is typically bland, boring and only so-so for successfully piloting kamikaze spoon missions. But there’s a newborn on the baby-food block that’s whirling locally and sustainably farmed ingredients into surprisingly vibrant yummies for wee foodies. Gather the family and pass out the cigars; Local Baby has arrived.
By Jody Horton
Chef Matthew Taylor at BC Tavern presents Braised Loncito's Lamb Shanks with ParmesanPolenta and Spring Green Pesto: Shanks from Loncito's Lamb (Dinero), carrots, turnips, kale and green onions from Springdale Farm (Austin).
By Elizabeth Winslow
Photography by Andy Sams
“You don’t want to get anywhere near Obama’s mouth,” cautions Erin Flynn of Green Gate Farms. On a chilly December morning, she and a group of students from Austin’s Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts huddle together at the farm to begin the 125 hours of hands-on work that make up the Farm To Table Experience portion of the school’s curriculum. In response to their befuddled looks, Flynn chuckles and explains wryly, “Hey, he was the smartest pig in the litter!”
Co-presented by Edible Austin and Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce
Edible Escape 2013 will take place on Sunday, September 29 from 4–8 pm at the Lakeside Pavilion in Marble Falls—only a drive away from Austin or Dallas! The event will highlight regional chefs, food artisans and winemakers from areas North and Northwest of Austin. You'll also be able to enjoy stunning views of the Hill Country and Lake Marble Falls at this casual, Texas-style artisanal picnic on the water. Cowboy boots and Texan flare encouraged!
Matt and Mark Seiler, the brothers behind Maine Root Root Beer, learned brewing at an impressionable age. The 37- and 40-year-old sibs, whose company, despite its name, is based in Austin, say they actually began boiling hops while still in high school in New Hampshire.
“We weren’t old enough to buy it,” Mark, the older brother remembers. “Being little derelicts, we got pretty good at it, too.”
The switch from alcoholic beer to Free Range Root Beer—an intensely flavored, organically sweetened fizzy drink that tastes like summer itself—occurred just as the brothers were sharing a semi-midlife crisis. They decided to make soda together full-time as a way to see each other more often, “and not just at funerals,” Mark says.
Maine Root Root Beer took off—it’s now available locally at farmers’ markets, Whole Foods and Central Market, among other venues, but also in 42 states and the UK. And this summer the Seilers, now both living in Austin, will debut a new, decidedly Texan soda.
By William Norris
Photography by William Norris
Sebastien Bonneu’s life has taken him from his native Bordeaux to the Brazos River Basin; from delicate French pastry to pasture-raised poultry.
Today, Bonneu and wife Esther raise two varieties of chicken—the familiar Cornish Cross and the Naked Neck, which Bonneu likes for “its delicious rich flavor.” He also raises two varieties of duck—Muscovy, noted for its leanness, and the lesser-known Moulard, prized for its rich fat content and flavor, a trait that makes it particularly suited to the grill.
By David Alan
Photography by Jenna Noel
Fall in Central Texas is such a brief period—if you’re not paying attention, you just might miss it. While we may be short on hayrides, twinkling aspens and months of clear crisp days, this is not to say we don’t have ample reason to celebrate. And with celebration comes beverages.
The early part of our fall is often hot enough to masquerade as late summer, (who can forget the countless Halloweens it was too hot to wear a costume?), so when you’re thinking of drinking, take some cues from summer mixology.
On a recent damp Wednesday, under a gray sky and a forecast of plunging temperatures, “brisk” more aptly described the weather than the business at the Austin Farmers’ Market at the Triangle.Despite the light crowd, more than a few shoppers stopped by the booth run by Lawrence and Lee Ann Kocurek, owners of Kocurek Family Artisanal Charcuterie.
Some visitors were curious first-timers lured by the offer of duck-bacon samples. Others were return customers bringing friends—eager to open their eyes and taste buds to the Kocureks’ handmade specialties: smoked-pork rillettes, hot-salami-stuffed duck neck, brown-sugar bacon and duck and fruit pâté among them.
The art of charcuterie was finessed by the French some six hundred years ago. Originally developed to cure and preserve meat before the availability of refrigeration, the process born of necessity has evolved into a competitive culinary art form. Salting, curing, brining and smoking are all methods employed to create distinct flavors.
By Lucinda Hutson
Photography by John Pozdro
My younger brother and I drove an old blue Volkswagen from Amsterdam to Spain in 1972—staying in hostels and eating on a student budget. Arriving in Nice, on the French Riviera, I was ready to splurge. As we sat outside a crowded café on the promenade, basking in Mediterranean sea breezes and sunshine, I eagerly awaited the famous salade Niçoise I'd heard so much about.
Story and Photography By Amy Crowell
Everything we eat is related to something that was once wild. Our ancestors began collecting, domesticating and cultivating wild foods nearly 10,000 years ago, and over time our foods changed and began to look quite different from their predecessors. But many wild ancestors of our modern-day crops still grow, unassumingly and abundantly, in vacant lots and on street corners all over the world. And we can still eat them!
By Mary Bryce
Photography by Mary Bryce
There is nothing better than a just-out-of-the-refrigerator cold wedge of pie.
I know from experience; I’ve had a lot of pie in my life. I associate it with long road trips to Oklahoma where, the minute we arrive at my grandma’s house, we’re presented with a gorgeous coconut cream pie from one of the magnificent local greasy-spoon diners.
By Shannon Oelrich
Photography by Marc Brown
Aquarelle co-owner and chef Terry Wilson has eaten at some of the finest restaurants in France, but there’s a special place in her heart for her mom’s cooking. “I remember going to bed as a kid and dreaming about the leftover mashed potatoes and gravy,” she says wistfully.
The 2011 James Beard Foundation Publication of the Year Award:
EDIBLE COMMUNITIES PUBLICATIONS
The national network of magazines that started in Ojai not even a decade ago and has grown to include 70 magazines around the country, including Edible Austin.
This year, the Journalism Committee of the James Beard Foundation Awards has decided for the first time to present a special award for what it deems to be Publication of the Year. The Publication of the Year Award recognizes a publication—in magazine, newspaper, or digital format—that demonstrates fresh directions, worthy ambitions, and a forward-looking approach to food journalism.
The publications produced by the Edible Communities company are “locavores” with national appeal. They are locally grown and community based, like the foods, family farmers, growers, retailers, chefs, and food artisans they feature. The company’s unique publishing model addresses the most crucial trends in food journalism; the publications are rooted in distinct culinary regions throughout the United States and Canada, celebrating local, seasonal foods with the goal of transforming the way we shop, cook, and eat. Their underlying values speak to today’s spirit of shared responsibility: every person has the right to affordable, fresh, healthful food on a daily basis.
Edible Communities is more than a group of high-quality, regional print magazines with compelling storytelling and visual narratives. Through electronic and digital platforms—websites, social media, Edible Radio podcasts, and popular local events—its food journalism carries regional stories to national and global audiences. We believe that in years to come the collected work of these unique publications will serve as a valuable resource for exploring the impact of regional food and agriculture from a grassroots perspective.
At a time when journalists are reinventing traditional publications and embracing digital formats, the Journalism Committee of the James Beard Foundation is proud to recognize Edible Communities for this first-ever award. Edible Communities’ body of work reflects excellence in the ever-changing world of food journalism. Its publications inform and connect today’s food-savvy readers with local communities that stand for a healthful, flavorful, and sustainable food supply.
— The Journalism Awards Committee
We love getting involved in our community by putting on a variety of events throughout the year. From our family-friendly Children's Picnic to our Chef Auction fundraiser, we try to mix it up season-to-season to offer fun events for a variety of people. As you might guess, our primary focus for events is on introducing guests to local chefs, restaurants, artisans and beverage-makers!
To stay updated on food-related events by Edible Austin, sign up for our e-newsletters here.
For more events in Austin or the Central Texas area, take a look at our Events Calendar.
The 3rd Annual Austin Bacon and Beer Festival will be on Sunday, June 12 from 2:30–5 p.m., presented by Edible Austin in partnership with Eat Boston. The festival has previously sold out in Austin, Boston, Denver, San Francisco and Philadelphia! A portion of the proceeds will benefit Central Texas Food Bank.
Edible Austin organizes a series of annual events that support the theme of each of our six yearly issues. Click through below for more information on the past events and for 2015 information!
*Please be patient as we are still updating our website with information. If the images don't click through, check back soon.
By Suzanne Hurley
Even before the first day of school, Rebecca Vore knew what her students would come to school asking about—the last day of school. The kids weren’t already sick of school, just excited about another Pizza Day, and not the fast-food frenzy most parents expect, either. At Austin Discovery School (ADS), a K-5 charter school in East Austin, Pizza Day is the culmination of the school’s yearlong focus on nutrition and gardening.
For a week before Pizza Day, the kids make sauce from the tomatoes and herbs grown in beds outside their classrooms. Then they harvest all the vegetables left in their gardens—from squash to cherry tomatoes to Swiss chard—and sauté them to use as pizza toppings.
Volunteers from Green Corn Project (GCP) dug the school’s first biointensive garden bed in 2005. In the spring of 2006 they added a second bed. Since then, ADS has been gradually filling its 200-acre campus with vegetable gardens. ADS is one of the 10 local schools where GCP has installed a garden.