on the range

Chef Profiles

Culinary Ladies of the Eighties: Elaine Martin

When Elaine Martin, Dorsey Barger, and James Lance opened a restaurant on Manor Road in 1988, they had no grand designs about becoming the anchor tenant of a busy restaurant row or pioneering the local garden-to-table movement. They did both. 25 years later, Elaine Martin and Eastside Cafe are still there. Read More | Comment »

3:30PM Wed. Feb. 18, Virginia B. Wood

Culinary Ladies of the Eighties: Sharon Watkins

Sharon Watkins did not set out to own a restaurant. In the Eighties, she parlayed her theater arts background into a successful Austin boutique ad agency, Wilson and Wilson. The company was one of the first to represent local restaurants, helping them establish their brands by creating memorable, award-winning marketing campaigns. Read More | Comment »

10:00AM Fri. Dec. 5, 2014, Virginia B. Wood

Erica Waksmunski's Got a Brand New Bag

Earlier this year, Erica Waksmunski walked away from a high profile pastry chef position in order to start the Red Star Southern food trailer, serving Southern comfort food in the parking lot of the Grackle. She's keeping the trailer, but now she's having her cake and making it too. Read More | Comment »

10:15AM Mon. Oct. 27, 2014, Virginia B. Wood

Culinary Ladies of the Eighties: Foo Swasdee

In recent years, we've become accustomed to women with culinary degrees being in charge Austin restaurant kitchens, but since chef Foo Swasdee opened Satay in 1987, she has possibly been the only person with a doctorate in food science owning and running a local restaurant. Read More | Comment »

1:45PM Wed. Oct. 15, 2014, Virginia B. Wood

Gabrielle Hamilton Cooks in Austin

Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner of the popular Prune restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side, will present dinner Friday night on the rooftop deck of the Contemporary Austin Downtown. The dinner is hosted by Tribeza magazine as part of the 11th annual Austin Style Week and benefits Creative Action. Read More | Comment »

3:30PM Wed. Sep. 24, 2014, Virginia B. Wood

Culinary Ladies of the Eighties: Dot Hewitt

By the time readers finally turned me on to the soul-satisfying home-style cooking at Dot's Place in the late Nineties, proprietor Dorothy Nell "Dot" Hewitt had already been in business nearly 20 years. Her place was well off the beaten path and far from any limelight, but it was a definite Austin success story nonetheless. Read More | Comment »

2:00PM Fri. Sep. 19, 2014, Virginia B. Wood

Dynamic Duo Cooking at El Naranjo

Although the high-profile Fiestas Patrias dinners and cooking classes scheduled over the coming week sold out quickly, visiting chef Tomás Dominguez will spend the coming week in the kitchen at El Naranjo alongside chef and co-owner Iliana de la Vega, enhancing her menu with dishes from Veracruz. Read More | Comment »

3:30PM Thu. Sep. 18, 2014, Virginia B. Wood

Tracing culinary family trees to the roots of four local mentors

Chef Genealogy

Making the rounds of restaurant openings the past couple of years, it became apparent that many of the new generation of young chefs could trace their local work history through the kitchens of four important local mentors. This previous generation of chefs helped train and encourage many of the players responsible for our current restaurant boom. Read More | Comment »

9:00AM Tue. Sep. 16, 2014, Virginia B. Wood

Culinary Ladies of the Eighties: Judy Willcott

When Judy Willcott took some homemade baguettes to a dinner party in 1980, she could not have foreseen that the edible gift would ultimately provide the city of Austin with one of its favorite bakeries. Read More | Comment »

4:15PM Thu. Sep. 11, 2014, Virginia B. Wood

Hints from professionals on how to pair wine and food

Siduri’s Sophisticated Pinot Noirs Meet Jasper’s Gourmet Backyard Cuisine

We recently had a prime opportunity to talk with renowned winemaker Adam Lee. Adam was in town to do a wine pairing dinner with Chef Dustin Pustka at Jasper’s in the Domain. Read More | Comment »

10:30AM Fri. Mar. 7, 2014, Wes Marshall

Chapter Two: Wasota African Cuisine

Sitting quietly at the corner of Bluebonnet and S. Lamar is an unassuming trailer draped with banners printed in the red, green, and yellow colors of the African flag. Wasota African Cuisine, it reads, formerly World Beat Cafe. Read More | Comment »

11:00AM Wed. Oct. 30, 2013, Gracie Salem

Roppolo's Pioneering Pizza on Wheels

In March 2013, the City of Austin Health and Human Services Department estimated there were more than 1,400 food trucks in Travis County. Fourteen hundred! That's almost too many options, spanning too many food genres. How did this booming trend start? Who do we have to blame/thank for the endless parade of edibles on wheels? Read More | Comment »

9:30AM Fri. Sep. 6, 2013, Carly Yansak

Eat. Drink. Empower. a Rousing Success

On Saturday night, Max's Wine Dive played host to Eat. Drink. Empower, a five-course dinner featuring a complement of Austin's female chefs. Max's Executive Chef Erica Beneke was the driving force behind the event, a fundraiser for SafePlace, from conception to execution. Read More | Comment »

2:45PM Tue. Aug. 27, 2013, Melanie Haupt

Corporate Evolution: In-House Chef Serves Efficiency

The office at the corner of Brazos and Eighth Streets is different: The floor plan is open and the desks communal; beer-pong posters replace motivational ones; and employees are spared the daily query, "What am I going to do for lunch?" Welcome to SpareFoot, where chef Ari Dvorin boosts productivity and feeds the morale of employees every day at lunch. Read More | Comment »

1:30PM Tue. Aug. 13, 2013, Carly Yansak

Voters Name Jodi Elliott People's Best New Pastry Chef in the Central Region

The Twitterverse was buzzing last week with folks being encouraged to vote online for Food & Wine magazine's People's Best New Pastry Chef in the central region of the country. Read More | Comment »

4:30PM Wed. Apr. 10, 2013, Virginia B. Wood

Food & Wine Magazine Names Finalists in Best Pastry Chef Poll

Naming the best new chefs around the country has been standard practice at Food & Wine magazine for 25 years, but much-needed recognition of pastry chefs is just getting started. That's why it's great to see four Austin pastry chefs getting some well-deserved acclaim in the magazine's new online poll to choose the People's Best New Pastry Chef. Read More | Comment »

3:30PM Tue. Apr. 2, 2013, Virginia B. Wood

Sportswriter Michael Hurd Is a Cheesecake Genius

Michael Hurd’s love affair with cheesecakes began with a challenge from an Air Force co-worker in 1968. “Everyone was talking about how hard it was to make a cheesecake,” Hurd recalls. “I thought I could do it, and I did.” Read More | Comment »

4:30PM Fri. Mar. 22, 2013, Angela Shelf Medearis

Tools for Telling Stories: Food and Social Media

“Don’t be afraid to tell your story.” That was the message Eddie Huang delivered on Monday at a South by Southwest Interactive panel. Perched at the podium, Huang rattled off self-help one-liners from the Tao Te Ching and held forth about his favorite topic, Eddie Huang, and his journey from unemployed lawyer to celebrity chef. Read More | Comment »

4:05PM Tue. Mar. 12, 2013, Rachel Feit

Nuevo Leon Lives!

Imagine sorting through a stack of bills and realizing how difficult it will be to pay them when you’re looking out at a near-empty restaurant. Welcome to restaurateur Rachel Davila’s world. The hard-working 77-year-old grandmother is fighting persistent rumors that her 31-year-old East Austin restaurant is already closed. Read More | Comment »

5:20PM Thu. Feb. 14, 2013, Virginia B. Wood

Nubian Queen Lola's Cajun Soul Food Cafe

When it comes to foreign cultural and religious celebrations, everyone away from the epicenter is always claiming, "I want an authentic experience." Immersion in the cultural aspect of what is going on becomes the key to feeling like you participated successfully. Read More | Comment »

10:00AM Mon. Feb. 11, 2013, Carly Yansak

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