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Roving restaurants adventure through Austin

By Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Nov. 2, 2012

Pop-up restaurants are a hot trend just now. Our own top chef, Paul Qui, just returned from participating in one in New York City, and the folks from the roving culinary adventure company Outstanding in the Field were in Austin last week – hosting farm-to-table dinners at Boggy Creek Farm (with La Condesa's Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki preparing the meal) and also at Green Gate Farms (where Lenoir's Todd Duple­chan and Jessica Maher did the cooking). Each dinner served about 150 people, at $200 per plate, and we're told that many of the guests came from other cities and states to enjoy the meals... This coming week, Austin hosts another pop-up, when pastry chefs from around the country drop into town to join forces with local talent for an event called Killed by Dessert, raising money for Share Our Strength's national No Kid Hungry campaign. Jodi and Ned Elliott will host the party at Foreign & Domestic (306 E. 53rd) on Monday, Nov. 5, along with Philip Speer of Uchi and Plinio Sandalio of the Caril­lon. They'll be joined by San Francisco pastry chefs Lincoln Car­son and Bill Corbett, as well as Michael Laiskonis, Francisco Migoya, and Christina Tosi of New York City, to present a culinary event based around reflections on their favorite things. Tickets are $150, still available at ce.strength.org. Here's hoping the storm along the East Coast doesn't throw a monkey wrench into anyone's travel plans.

The only thing missing from an otherwise perfect Texas Book Festival weekend was a coffee and hot chocolate vendor, who would have made a fortune!

Sunday dawned bright and brisk, just the right weather for the annual Green Corn Project at Boggy Creek Farm. Organizers Lisa and Emmett Fox put together an eclectic lineup of local restaurants, with everyone from Hoover's Cooking and Barley Swine to Thai Fresh and the Alamo Draft­house. Small sandwiches were a popular item (pork schnitzel buns from Fabi + Rosi, sausage on pretzel buns from Easy Tiger, pork belly from Congress) and hot soups were particularly welcome (pozole from the Alamo, winter vegetable with polenta croutons from Wink). While craft beers, Texas wines, and fresh-brewed teas were available, the most interesting drink I found was Richard Heinichen's Happy Water, a new carbonated offering in the Rainwater line... Between bites and sips, we also gathered some tasty news items: Chef Jacob Weaver and much of the staff have recently left Mulberry (360 Nueces #20) for other local kitchens and have been replaced by chef Kristine Kittrell, who's busy making much of the menu her own and looking for qualified cooks... Cafe Josie's (1200 W. Sixth) founding chef, Charles Mayes, just completed the sale of his restaurant to longtime General Manager Cody Taylor and Executive Chef Brandon Fuller, who were busy working the cafe's booth while Mayes worked the crowd. Chef Mayes isn't quite sure what his next venture will be, but said he plans to find a way to "stay relevant" in the Austin culinary scene... Look for more local restaurant news in our On the Range blog, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @ACFood – because food events are nonstop!

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