Foxtail Supper Club Adds Camaraderie to Your Socially Distanced Dinner Table
Share a meal with friends in separate homes
Austin dinner parties got a makeover when local chef Page Pressley, best known for his work at Emmer & Rye, launched an at-home immersive dining concept after the pandemic threw a wrench into plans for a brick-and-mortar. Foxtail Supper Club, in collaboration with online platform Assembly Kitchen, goes beyond wine pairings with a five-course interactive Zoom experience.
Camaraderie no longer takes a back seat when everyone's meal is delivered to their individual door, complete with live virtual instruction. The best part? Foxtail has thoughtfully prepared everything with seasonal ingredients from Austin and the Hill Country in collaboration with farmers and specialty purveyors like HausBar Farm, Peeler Ranch, the Caviar Company, and Barton Springs Mill.
Pressley's goal is to create community through food, something he's been working toward throughout his career – from his origins in Santa Fe, N.M., to the Culinary Institute of America in New York to Austin in 2011 as Uchi's sous chef and then back to the line at Pujol in Mexico City. In 2015, Pressley returned to Austin to open Emmer & Rye as chef de cuisine and partner and most recently served on the opening team of McGuire Moorman Hospitality's Swedish Hill as executive chef.
When the pandemic shifted his plans, Pressley aimed to create a restaurant that provided a space for people across the country to experience simultaneously. He said, "Foxtail was to always be expressed through two very different but equally important offerings, with a tasting menu in the supper club contrasted by a fun, mindful, and healthy all-day cafe. As so much has changed in the world, two things remain, perhaps, more clear than ever. We can still provide our guests with a space to connect, celebrate, and share joy, and our responsibility to get high-quality local food to as many people as possible in a safe and affordable way is greater than it ever has been."
Once the box is ordered through the website, guests receive an email with a Zoom link and instructions on preparation before joining the party, hosted by Pressley himself. The built-for-two kit includes two lighter courses, two main courses, dessert, and a bonus breakfast dish for the next morning. Offerings include dishes like Parker House rolls with cultured butter and raw honeycomb; Wagyu carpaccio with Peeler Farms rib-eye, horseradish crème fraîche, and white sturgeon caviar; blue crab salad with charred olive relish, apple gems, and bone marrow mayo; roasted spaghetti squash wedges with Comedor's salsa macha; and laminated hazelnut brioche, honeycrisp caramel, and vanilla Chantilly cream.
And when the COVID-19 veil eventually lifts, Foxtail will continue the virtual supper club with the goal to incorporate the original brick-and-mortar concept. Pressley said, "As the core offerings of the concept are community, health conscious, and affordable offerings – and creating a space to celebrate and connect – we realized that those things were, in many ways, needed now more than ever and are some of the pillars of human needs from hospitality and restaurants. With those values in mind, we will continue to evolve our experiences and offerings as we build a physical space for these ideas to call home."
Foxtail also launched a podcast and video section on the website, aka "the dining room" of their digital restaurant, to shed light on their journey, and they're launching prepared healthy bowls (under $15), available online in Austin by June.
There's an added value beyond just the elevated cuisine. Pressley said, "The ability to prepare exceptional restaurant-quality food yourself in your home with relative ease is something we take very seriously – the experience [will] provide enough time and space for you to relax, laugh, connect, and forget about everything but that moment. This is our job as chefs and restaurateurs. And while I can't invite you into my restaurant just yet, I'm so excited to invite you into my home. That connection of food and farmers and the conversation around the table is something we can and will continue to give to people. – Jessi Cape
For more information, please visit www.foxtailsupper.com and @foxtail_supper_club on Instagram.
Keep Calm and Party On With Other Local Meal Kits
As a perfect accompaniment to the Oscar-winning film Parasite – now available for streaming on Hulu – the fusion-forward Peached Tortilla offers new do-it-yourself ram-don kits, each containing instructions and all the ingredients needed to make a dish to feed 2-3 people. Those ingredients? Tokyo wavy noodles, Korean black bean sauce, ram-don seasoning mix, marinated steak, caramelized kimchi, onions, green onions, bean sprouts, and lime. If you just said "yum" out loud, don't feel stupid – we're right there with you. Get it at www.thepeachedtortilla.com.
Breakfast isn't just for supper anymore, but any time of day will do when it comes to the mighty Mexican meal kits from Austin's Suerte. Bring their signature goodness to your own kitchen with a Suadero taco kit that includes confit brisket, tortillas, black magic oil(!), avocado crudo, cilantro and onion, fideo seco, charro beans, and salad. Or make your mouth water with their migas kit, replete with a half dozen eggs, fried tortilla strips, fermented chile salsa, avocado, aged cheese, and (of course) corn tortillas. Bonus: Add an extra like red chorizo and send your taste buds even closer to heaven. Get it at www.suerteatx.com.
We don't know about His Infernal Majesty, but you may definitely care to build your own happy hour with any of the handy kits from that acclaimed Mediterranean restaurant and bastion of booze called Devil May Care – featuring cocktails, wine, or Champagne, all paired with an array of favorite DMC tapas. Or, you incurable plague-time romantic, go for their luxe Devil Does Date Night setup with an entrée, dessert, libations, a "custom activity" – ahem – conversation cards, and even a game of Quarantine Bingo. Get it at www.devilmaycareatx.com.
Pizza and beer go together like self-isolation and movies, obvs, which is why the brewski maestros at Jester King Brewery are hawking partially baked pizzas and country sourdough kits for your at-home completion and subsequent suds-enhanced devouring. Our personal recommendation? Get you a Jester King pizza, a few bottles of their Dark Matter imperial coffee stout, and send it all past your gums while watching Bruce Robinson's brilliant 1987 comedy, Withnail & I. Get it at www.jesterkingbrewery.com. – Wayne Alan Brenner
Sign up for the Chronicle Cooking newsletter
If you want to submit a recipe, send it to email@example.com