The restorative powers of pie, an urban farm code update, and Qui closing in fast
There is plenty of great pastry news this week! Pie lovers and a huge circle of friends and fans will be pleased to learn that Colleen Sommers is cancer-free and easing her way back into business as Pie Fixes Everything. Order her pies for the Fourth of July holiday at Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria (1912 E. Seventh). Check their website (www.saltandtime.com) for pie selection, prices, ordering, and pick-up information... Manor Road's Restaurant Row will be expanding later this year. Look for Olivia O'Neal to open the second outlet of her Cupcake Wars-winning Sugar Mama's Bakeshop (1905 S. First) in a space she's just leased at 2406 Manor Rd. O'Neal hopes to be open by Thanksgiving. We're also hearing that a larger space in the same building will become a restaurant to be designed by A Parallel Architecture, but no word yet on a name... And speaking of holiday pies, Bud the Pieman is at it again. This time, the owner of Royers Round Top Cafe will deliver 500 holiday pies and $25 Walmart gift cards to the victims of the devastating tornado in Moore, Okla., for the Fourth of July. Another generous cafe patron is underwriting the cost of the pies and their delivery trip, so Royers is asking their customers and pie fans to chip in for the gift cards before their departure deadline of June 30; donate to the Eat Mo'ore Pie Project at store.royersroundtopcafe.com... Kudos to chef Paul Qui on his wins at last week's 2013 S. Pellegrino Cooking Cup regatta in Venice. Qui garnered both the Young Chef of the Year Award and the Inside the Cooking Award, impressing the international panel of judges with variations on his signature dashi broth and steamed egg custard. After hosting a book signing for his pal chef Edward Lee and the whirlwind trip to Italy, Qui is back in Austin for the grand opening of his eponymous Qui restaurant (1600 E. Sixth) on June 20. He will also host a $150-a-plate luncheon at the restaurant to benefit Urban Roots on Saturday, June 22. Tickets to that can be purchased at www.urbanrootsatx.org/events. Just reading Qui's schedule makes me dizzy... I attended last week's Town Hall meeting on the urban farm code update and came away concerned that some of the one-size-fits-all regulations being proposed could stifle the diversity and originality of our urban farms, not to mention their community outreach and profitability. The best suggestion posed during the meeting was to extend an invitation to all members of the City Council and the Planning Commission to visit all of the existing urban farms before any more regulations are adopted. I mentioned the potential visits to Council Aide Andrew Moore and Councilman Chris Riley at the W Hotel's Bee Party and got a positive response. Kristi Willis (@kristifarm2tbl) is working to make the visits happen.