Here’s part two of the Chef Interviews. We explore what Jason Dady, Christina Tosi, Barton Seaver, and Tim Brynes think about food communities.
Chef Jason has been a regular in the Austin food scene since 2001, participating in the Hill Country Wine and Food Festival and Chefs Under Fire events. He’s seen the changes from Austin, and he’s almost close enough that we might as well call him a local.
Chef Jason Dady credits the food portion to Tyson Cole. He says “Chef Tyson showcases as a whole what Texas has to offer. You know what? Listen, I’m going to do Japanese food, and it is going to be the best @#^@# food in the country, and by doing that and envisioning that he kinda shed this cloak over Texas [that it was just Southwestern steak and cowboy cooking]. We’re not JUST cooking this type of food. Tyson is just awesome. He’s the Godfather of the New Texas cooking - it means do what you want, cook what you want, and people will buy into it. Austin has no rules. You really get to write whatever you want. Do what you like.“ Chef Dady adds that the other Godfathers of Texas Cooking, Stephen Pyles, Dean Fearings and Robert Del Grande were responsible for putting Texas out before Tyson came along with a different style of food.
Christina Tosi says “My impression of Austin is a little more ahead of the food scene even in parts of New York. There are parts of New York where there is a momentum in small artisan and craft made foods - where people are really focusing on a specific type of food, like chocolate or ice cream. I feel in some way that there’s a bigger sense of momentum in Austin. Food city is where people eat local - where local artisans are celebrated is the best.”
Christina pictured with Paul Qui
Barton Seaver’s take on what makes a food city is: "A food city is a populous that demands that all food is made with an attention to method. I say method is more than anything else is important - well executed. because if you look at any other city If you look at any other food city, New York or any city in Italy, any level of food you visit is well executed……. it comes down to the expertise and method of the chefs and the populous expectations. People know know what a balanced meal is. That is what elevates the common element of food. A food city is not defined by white table restaurants. It is defined by the level of cooking in its Chinese food restaurants and the taco joints. "
Barton Seaver's 2014 Austin Food and Wine Festival demonstration.
Tim Brynes of Smoke in Dallas says that a food city is a community involved situation - the biggest part about cooking is family cooking. "We’re all about nurturing community and hospitality. How do you build a food community? Sometimes it is an economic. It sometimes happens at home. Look at the big church functions. People are doing cool stuff. For me, sometimes the small cities are where it is at. Sometime these little towns have been doing it for generations. If you look at the circle of commerce, and that’s how they do it. It is cool to join Austin’s food scene. It would be nice for all the cities to join together and work together."
Tim and his oysters. Yum!