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Chain Gangs
Torchy's Tacos and Verts Kebap: two case studies in culinary expansion
Food Story  March 28, 2014, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Before moving to Austin, Virginia native and Johnson & Wales culinary graduate Michael Rypka had a pretty high-powered career as a corporate chef at such places as the World Bank in D.C. and Enron in Houston..."

Taco Wars
Three homegrown chains thrive on the competition
Food Story  November 5, 2010, by Rachel Feit
"...Compared to the slower, more deliberate growth of Taco Shack and Tacodeli, the rise and expansion of Torchy's seems rocket-propelled. Michael Rypka started Torchy's with a partner just four years ago..."

New menus, new arrivals, new ventures, and other news
Food Column  November 19, 2010, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Two Austin culinary entrepreneurs have been in touch recently with news about menu enhancements at their restaurants. Zen (various locations, founder Adam Weisberg called to share his enthusiasm about some spicy new items on the Zen menus developed in consultation with Torchy's Tacos chef/owner Michael Rypka..."

Bringing the Heat
A devotion to cooking pervades the mentality of many of the 200-plus contestants who enter each year
Food Story  August 27, 2010, by Rachel Feit
"...Michael Rypka should know all about that. He's a longtime contestant who followed his dreams after back-to-back wins in 2004 and 2005 in the individual green sauce category..."

Around town, with an appetite
Food Column  November 17, 2006, by Virginia B. Wood
"...To the frantic reader who asked for help in her desperate search for the recently relocated Torchy's Tacos (1207 S. First, 366-0537): Owners Michael Rypka and Bill Roberts moved their spiffy portable operation to a tree-shaded parking space overlooking Bouldin Creek..."

The 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival Winners
Past winners
Food Story  August 24, 2007
"...G: 1) Michael Rypka; 2) Fernando Erderly; 3) Ciro Jaimes..."

The 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival Winners
Food Story  August 25, 2006
"...G: 1) Michael Rypka; 2) Fernando Erderly; 3) Ciro Jaimes..."

Torchy's and the case of the purloined Taco Bible
Food Column  November 8, 2013, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Usually when we hear about restaurant business lawsuits, they revolve around disputes over names and trademarks, but the lawsuit the Torchy's Tacos folks have filed in Houston is somewhat different. Most everyone in Austin is familiar with Torchy's Tacos; chef Michael Rypka's homegrown business started with one food truck in 2006 and has now grown to 20 brick-and-mortar outlets in Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston, with more on the way next year..."

We picked up lots of newsy tidbits at last weekend's Austin Food & Wine Festival
Food Column  May 3, 2013, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Maybe they can work that out when Griffiths is in the Big Apple for the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Awards... Torchy's Tacos founder Michael Rypka told us that die-hard Andrew Zimmern fans braved the rain Friday afternoon to drop by the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery to meet the very down-to-earth and approachable TV personality....."

Food Story  August 29, 2003
"...Honorable Mentions: Luis Calvo, Matt Morris, Susan McClendon, Jesse Padilla, Debbi Tucker, Michael Rypka, Eric Blanton (Houston), Lia Austin, Lance Brauckman, Scott Nettles, Kathy Warren, Maria Hernandez, Gene and Cathy Hill, Mary Greenjeans, Antonio Lopez..."

Torchy's Tacos Headed to Mueller Market
11th outlet of devilish homegrown chain will have tacos & firewater
DAILY Food  October 16, 2013, by Virginia B. Wood
"...The new store will be known as Torchy's Tacos at Mueller and will be the first outlet in the chain to be created in a previously undeveloped space. Torchy's owner Michael Rypka has made a great success of re-purposing existing restaurant spaces (Virginia's Cafe, Wok-n-Roll, Chango's South, etc.) into popular quick/casual taco joints..."

The 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival Winners: 1991-2004
Food Story  August 26, 2005
"...G: 1) Michael Rypka; 2) Fernando Erderly; 3) Ciro Jaimes..."

23rd Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival
August 25, 2013. 35 photos.
PHOTO GALLERY  August 26, 2013
"...Restaurant special variety winner Michael Rypka (right) from Torchy's Tacos with festival cofounder and head judge Robb Walsh..."

19th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Contest
If you didn't make it to the fest to sample salsas, take this list of winners to the grocery store
Food Story  September 4, 2009, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Honorable Mention: Heath Garcia (Hurst), Eileen Fuessel (Hutto), Maria Estela Flores, Michael Rypka, Rita Huffman, John Cunningham, Marlo Cooper, Jacob J. Serda, Mark Wayne Choban, B&R Salsa, Chris Samarripas, Adam Wear, Rene Moreno Green Sauce..."

Salsa Town
Meet Austin's civic leaders in mouth burn
Food Story  August 23, 2013

Winning piemakers, new restaurant openings, and more
Food Column  January 22, 2010, by Virginia B. Wood
"...The fourth Torchy's Tacos (4301 W. William Cannon, 514-0767, is such a big hit in Southwest Austin, owner Michael Rypka plans to expand the outdoor seating with a big patio in the next couple of months and has already opened a fifth location at 4211 Spicewood Springs, in a building vacated by the Burger House....."

Shuggie's melts into the past while other local food businesses try to accommodate Austinites in the heat
Food Column  July 17, 2009, by Virginia B. Wood
"...We never think it's funny when a good eating establishment fails, but the e-mail announcing the demise of Shuggie's really was hilarious. Chef Michael Rypka's innovative outdoor burger joint was part of the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery on South First, and the demise was cleverly blamed on "drive-bys" committed by national burger chain mascots..."

Torchy's Tacos expands yet again, and Z'Tejas serves up green chile dishes for charity
Food Column  September 5, 2008, by Virginia B. Wood
"...The new space also offers some sidewalk seating and convenient valet parking for those of us who aren't neighborhood loft dwellers... Taco entrepreneur Michael Rypka presented his newest concept last weekend with the opening of the South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery (1311 S..."

A new Torchy's Taco complete with seating and Little Nookies, Quack's political cookies, and more gooey food news
Food Column  February 29, 2008, by Virginia B. Wood
"...This is the second new Torchy's, but this one has inside seating, and though the building is on the small side, there are some picnic tables outside for al fresco dining. Torchy's chef/owner Michael Rypka and his staff served up "damn good tacos" to the appreciative crowd along with their newest signature item, deep-fried chocolate-chip cookies, called Little Nookies....."

Trial by Fire
The 14th annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival results and winners
Food Story  September 3, 2004, by Virginia B. Wood
"...After some quick archival research, it turns out that seven of the nine prizes in the Individual Category were awarded to brand-new faces. This year's repeaters were chef Michael Rypka (now with the Boatyard), who garnered an honorable mention in 2002, and Victor Hernandez, who performed well in 2003..."

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