The Austin Chronicle


By Virginia B. Wood, October 18, 2013, Food

Fans of Jodi Elliott's biweekly bake sales will be happy to know she's finally announcing plans for her new business venture. The bake sales will continue at Foreign & Domestic (306 E. 53rd) through the end of the year, but Ned Elliott is buying her out of the restaurant they built together. Jodi will step away from daily operations there to develop her new business, a pastry shop and dessert bar to be called Bribery. Jodi is still in lease negotiations for the perfect Eastside location, but she describes Bribery as a place with a retail and seating area where customers can grab coffee and something from the early morning pastry menu, choose from a rotating selection of sweet and savory baked treats during the day, or drop by at night for custom cocktails and plated desserts. The website ( is still in development, but more details on the exact location and updates on Jodi's progress should be available there soon. She also tells us that Ned will be taking over the dessert preparation duties at Foreign & Domestic, hearkening back to the days he spent working in the pastry department at Ducasse in NYC.

Ellis Winstanley shared the news that his company has purchased both the real estate and the business at the former Cool River Cafe in Northwest Austin, which closed in June. They plan to reopen the large restaurant as Abel's North Grill & Taproom (4001 W. Parmer) with an opening party on Oct. 26. The new restaurant will include a full menu of steaks, seafood, and burgers, plus a full bar with 60-plus beers on tap. There will be plenty of big-screen TVs and projectors to satisfy sports enthusiasts, private rooms for banquets and parties, and an attractive oak grove for large outdoor events.

The organizers of Austin Restaurant Week have made the wise decision to move that promotion of local restaurants to early 2014, so as not to conflict with the overstuffed fall festival and charity event calendar.

Now, for a lightning round of recent chef changes: Chef de cuisine Tim Dornon has left Qui to return to New York City. Chef Adam Brown and pastry chef Samantha Hughes have left Searsucker, and owner Brian Malarkey has brought in chef Andy "Dizzle" Philips from San Diego to fill the chef position. Andy and Kristie Sasser have moved their family back to Austin; he's in purchasing with Whole Foods SW Region and chef Kristie is looking for work. Austinite Scott Higby has been promoted to chef de cuisine of Trio at the Four Seasons, replacing Grant M acDonald, who has moved to another Four Seasons property. In August, Thomas Riordan was announced as the new executive chef at the W Hotel; Executive Pastry Chef Janina O'Leary has just departed from the kitchen at Trace at the W, and I can't wait to hear where her exquisite confections will be available next.

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