Rumors of a Burnet Road building boom, Kickstarting cookie cutters, new croissants at Quack's, and other food news
Speaking of new restaurants, up-and-coming architect/designer Jamie Chioco is responsible for the sleek interiors at Lavaca Teppan (1712 Lavaca). The new full-service Japanese eatery is serving teppanyaki for lunch and dinner. Owner Toshiyuki Niizeki is the chef, and the restaurant in managed by his son, Taichi Niizeki... Also new is Chris Rios' Native Nom Nom natural foods cafe inside the Community Renaissance Market at 6800 West Gate Blvd. Native Nom Nom offers handmade pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers made with locally sourced ingredients, plus art installations and regular live music.
I'd heard about enterprising members of Austin's creative class using Kickstarter to raise money for everything from albums to films to theatrical projects, but entrepreneur Keith Kritselis' new offering really appeals to the baker in me. He's designed two sets of rolling cookie cutters with Halloween and Christmas themes and is trying to raise $6,000 to have them produced in time for holiday sales. He says the idea for the tessellated cutters came to him while watching a baker roll out dough and cut individual cookies, leaving scraps that then needed re-rolling. As someone who sold thousands of decorated cut-out cookies back in the day, I can see where Kritselis' tool could be very useful, so I'm curious to see if it generates the necessary funding and actually makes it to the marketplace. See more details at www.kickstarter.com/projects/soypayaso/cookie-connections-clever-cookie-cutters-cut-cleve.
Quack's 43rd Street Bakery (411 E. 43rd) owner Art Silver reports that French baker Gerome Tessier, formerly of Baguette et Chocolat in Bee Cave, is now at Quack's. "He's got us using Plugrá butter in the croissant dough, and his pastries are darker and flakier than the croissants we were making before he came," Silver said. Considering how impressed we were with Tessier's work in Bee Cave, we're glad to hear his pastries are now available in Hyde Park.
Local filmmaker Christian Remde has completed another short for his Twelve Films Project (see "That Time of the Month," Screens, July 15). Check out his documentary about charcuterie and techniques used by chef Lawrence Kocurek, owner of Kocurek Family Artisanal Charcuterie, at www.vimeo.com/26989733, and look for Kocurek products at farmers' markets all over town.
After I enjoyed the excellent cheese plate at Bartlett's recently (see review), I spoke with Kendall Antonelli about how Antonelli's cheeses keep popping up on restaurant menus all over town. "Yes, we're lucky to be working with about 30 restaurants and would like to do more," she told us. "Right now, we're looking for a commissary space near the store with more refrigeration and storage. That will make it possible for us to expand our business, do more catered events, and respond to the increased demand." Good for them.