The Austin Chronicle


Pies, pastry bags, and Ms. P's

By Virginia B. Wood, January 16, 2015, Food

The Martin Luther King holiday is approaching next week, so Peace Through Pie founder Luanne Stovall reached out to remind us about the pie socials that will be celebrated over the coming week. Stovall is the artist who felt "called by the pie" to develop a grassroots culinary tradition for the MLK holiday. The movement began in 2009 at Austin's Sweet Home Baptist Church (1725 W. 11th) in the historic Clarksville neighborhood, where a group gathered to enjoy pie, share family pie stories, and be uplifted by gospel music and Rev. Steve Manning's stirring reading of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. From that humble beginning, the annual pie social tradition has grown to include other local churches as well as public schools in Austin, Pflugerville, Leander, Del Valle, Hutto, Manor, and Round Rock, in addition to churches and schools in other parts of the country. In her press release, Stovall says, "In our increasingly turbulent world, we have a great opportunity to come together in an intentional way to celebrate diversity as a strength and to cultivate trust. We can see the world as the pie that nourishes us and there is room for everyone at the table." For a complete listing of upcoming local events, go to

Perry Ray of Ms. P's Electric Cock is busy trying to grow her popular fried chicken trailer business into a brick-and-mortar outlet and is hoping to get a boost from an appearance on CNBC's show Restaurant Startup starring Ft. Worth chef Tim Love and New York restaurateur Joe Bastianich. The concept of the show is that would-be restaurateurs pitch their projects, and Love and Bastianich decide whether or not to invest. Ray was the only Texas participant in the second season of the program and flew to Los Angeles to film her segment. While she waits to hear when her segment will air, she's staying busy with one trailer at 1101 South Congress and another working special events. "I took the second trailer off Craigslist and eBay and decided to use it for catering and events such as South Bites coming up during South by Southwest," Ray told us last week. We'll keep you posted about when Ms. P will make her TV debut.

Grab your pastry bag. The That Takes the Cake Sugar Art Show and Cake Competition hosted by the Capital Confectioners at the Round Rock Sports Center is coming up Feb. 21-22. While there's no rush to buy tickets, there is an impressive lineup of cake decorating and sugar art classes taught by a roster of highly regarded industry professionals before, during, and after the show, and it is important to register for those as soon as possible. The class offering 12 students the opportunity to work on a large scale, themed cake installation with two instructors before the show looks particularly worthwhile for cake professionals. For registration information about all the classes, go to

Correction: The original version of this article stated that Ms. P's trailer was located in the Picnic food court on Barton Springs. Ray is using that trailer for her mobile operation. Her correct address is 1101 South Congress.

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