University of Texas
6:05 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Something's Growing at the 'Micro Farm,' UT's Student-Run Garden

The UT Micro Farm east of campus will continue construction through the summer. When finished, it will sell some of its produce to Austin farm stands.
Gefei Liu for KUT News

Herbs and vegetables are growing at the University of Texas’ student operated micro farm.

At the backyard-sized farm, located off of Manor Road, a green house is still under construction. But farmers have planted tomatoes and herbs, including lavender and mint. Workers have about three months until the farm is completely set up.

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1:18 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Smell Bacon? Truck Full of Pork Bellies Catches Fire, Closes I-35

Update (4:30 p.m.): Austin Police are warning that I-35 southbound could be closed through the evening:

Original Story: Southbound Interstate 35 is shut down just past Riverside because a semi truck is on fire. 

Austin Police and Fire crews have moved southbound traffic to the access road.

AFD spokesperson Palmer Buck estimated the closures may be in effect until rush hour. Northbound traffic is also backed up because of onlookers.

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7:45 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

You Can Soon Legally Sell These Foods From Your Home

Time to crack open your recipe books, food entrepreneurs. A bill signed into law by Governor Perry overhauls regulation of so-called “cottage food businesses” to allow people to sell more products directly to consumers from more places: not just from their homes, but also at farmers markets, festivals, fairs and other events. The law takes effect September 1. 

There are a few qualifications to the law, along with a list of banned foods, so here's an easy to digest breakdown of House Bill 910.

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Arts and Culture
4:46 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

A Preview of Top Chef Paul Qui's New Restaurant in East Austin

Qui Restaurant at 1600 E. Sixth will open next week.
courtesy Qui Restaurant/Parallel Architecture

It’s been more than a year since Austinite Paul Qui cooked up a win on Bravo TV’s Top Chef. It was especially sweet because the season was shot in Texas, including here in Austin. Paul Qui took home $125,000, and he could have followed the path of some of his predecessors by opening a restaurant in New York City or something like that, but instead he doubled down on his East Side King food stands in Austin. 

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7:18 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

A Tipsy Texan Watches Austin's Bar Scene Come of Age

Expert bartender David Alan was born and raised in Austin and remembers the years when bar patrons were perfectly comfortable with their margaritas and Lone Stars. Alan watched the city's drinking scene flourish over the past few years as craft cocktail bars opened and new distilleries took root.

Now, he's got a book to document the best of the best. Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State hit bookshelves Tuesday, and Alan came to KUT to talk about spirits of the Capitol City.

12:33 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Kerbey Lane 'Eat-In' Seeks Cafe at Mueller Development (Update)

Mmm, pancakes: Kerbey Lane's signature dish is welcomed by members of the Mueller community looking for a nearby local eatery.

Update: Dennis Mick with the Mueller Neighborhood Association says 119 Mueller and East Austin residents dined at Kerbey Lane last night "to encourage management to consider a location in the Mueller community."

Original post (June 11): How’s this for a chant: What do we want? Migas! When do we want ‘em? Now!

Dozens of residents of the Mueller neighborhood will stage an “eat-in” at the original Kerbey Lane Cafe tonight. Except the purpose isn’t to protest – instead, it’s designed to show residents’ hopes for a Kerbey Lane in their burgeoning Austin neighborhood.

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2:55 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Study Calls for Expansion of Texas' Summer Lunch Program

A new study says that expansion of summer lunch programs could rake in $47 million in federal reimbursements.

A new report spotlights the success and shortfalls of summer lunch programs for Texas students.

The Food Research and Action Center found that the number of lunch programs across the state grew by 17 percent last year. However, these programs only reach about 11 percent of low-income children receiving school lunches.

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5:06 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

After SoCo Food Park Closes, No Shortage of Alternatives

A pastrami sandwich at Melvin’s Deli Comfort.
Matthew Odam, Austin American-Statesman

The food trailer park on South Congress just closed down, and a lot of people were upset about it. But there is still a big food-truck scene here in Austin with a wide range of cuisines; you just have to know where to look.

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12:08 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Judge Overturns Ruling Reeling In Texas' Red Snapper Season

Texas' attorney general applauds a decision that overturned a proposed shortening of the state’s red snapper fishing season.

A federal district judge has overturned a federal emergency rule that would shorten the red snapper fishing season to as few as 12 days in Texas – down from a projected 22 days.

Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger says that he is disappointed in the ruling. The federal decision that would have shortened the season was put in place to stop the overfishing of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

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11:15 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Austin's Uninsured Food Workers Might Get Some Relief

Diners enjoy a fundraiser crawfish boil at Lenoir in April, part of a series of events raising money for uninsured service industry workers.
Courtesy Austin Food For Life

Austin's food scene is booming, but how are its workers faring?

The city has long had HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians) as a stopgap for musicians without health care. As Austin’s food scene rises to national prominence, Karla Loeb and her partner Brian Stubbs have seen a similar need for the city's chefs, busboys, servers and even farmers.

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6:07 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Matt's El Rancho Co-Founder Dies

Janie Gaytan Martinez, right, died Saturday. She's pictured with her granddaughter Audrey Glickert and daughter-in-law Estella Martinez.
Joy Diaz, KUT News

The co-founder of one of the oldest restaurants in Austin died over the weekend. Janie Martinez helped her husband open Matt’s El Rancho in 1952.

Martinez died Saturday at the age of 90. Her death comes almost a year after the Tex-Mex restaurant celebrated its 60th anniversary. Matt himself died in 2003.

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4:53 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Long Live Tequila!

Mexican culture is celebrated all over Austin, but none of it perhaps quite as exuberantly as tequila. To learn more about the popular spirit, we talked to Austin food writer Lucinda Hutson, whose new book ¡Viva Tequila! hit book stores this month. 

4:01 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

'How to Prepare a Possum' & More Grub from Austin's Foodie Past

For most of the 800 people in Austin in the 1840s, the daily meal consisted of what they could grow or kill. (Undated)
Austin History Center; J133, Hubert Jones Glass Plate Collection

A new exhibit at the Austin History Center is especially close to local hearts – and stomachs.

How to Prepare a Possum” is an exhibit that explores 19th century cuisine, and how early Austinites brought Texas heat to the kitchen. But before I could explore any further, I had to ask: What’s with name?

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4:46 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Up-and-Coming Chefs Face Off

Citywide 86'd is down to four kitchen competitors for the June 17 finals.
courtesy Citywide 86'd

There has been a cooking competition going on right under our noses in Austin, with some of the city’s best line cooks and sous-chefs.

We spoke with CultureMap food editor Jessica Dupuy about the culinary elimination event Citywide 86’d.

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Arts and Culture
8:08 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Twinkies' Return Is Mostly Sweet News For Kansas Town

Hostess Twinkies are offered for sale in Chicago, part of the last shipment of Hostess products the company made in 2012.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 4:17 am

The news of Hostess' return to Emporia, Kan., sparked an ecstatic response in this beleaguered town — even though there will be only half as many jobs.

The new company, formed when investors bought Hostess' snack cake business, has hired longtime snack cake production veterans Pat Chambers and her husband, Bob, to help get the bakery here running again. Pat lost her job at the Hostess plant when it closed last November. Now, she sits beaming on her front porch, wearing a dirty Hostess work shirt.

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5:01 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Neighborhood Restaurants Bring Dining Close to Home

Épicerie recently opened in the Rosedale neighborhood off Burnet Road.
Ashley Landis, Austin American-Statesman

Neighborhood restaurants, those located in residential areas, are often welcome members of a community. Sometimes they trigger concern over issues such as traffic, as was the case with Épicerie Cafe & Grocery in the Rosedale neighborhood. 

But now that the has restaurant been open for several months, Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam has had a chance to taste the menu, which is the subject of his latest review.  Odam joined me to talk about Épicerie and share some of his other favorite neighborhood restaurants. Listen to our conversation by clicking the player above. 

Arts and Culture
4:47 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

A Tour of Texas Barbecue Joints

Daniel Vaughn's new book is on Anthony Bourdain's new publishing imprint.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News.

If you’re ever looking to take a barbecue road trip through Texas, you’d have trouble finding a better book to guide you than The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue by Daniel Vaughn. It’s the first book published on Anthony Bourdain’s new HarperCollins imprint, Ecco. KUT’s Nathan Bernier talked with Vaughn about what goes into good brisket and how to find the good out-of-the-way spots.

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3:52 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Where Else Could Pres. Obama Have Eaten BBQ in Austin?

The President could have enjoyed these slabs of brisket at John Mueller BBQ.

President Obama visited Austin yesterday and had lunch at Stubb's BBQ, a choice that some food nerds found surprising, given the growing list of choices on offer in Austin.

So where else could the President have dined on brisket and pork? To help answer that question, we asked Austin American-Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam.

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5:13 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

The Artisan Tradition of Barbecue

"Barbecue Crossroads" looks beyond the brisket.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

We love our barbecue in Texas, and one Texan who knows a lot about it is Robb Walsh, a James Beard Award-winning writer from Houston. He has a new book out, Barbecue Crossroads, and for the book he traveled across the South, documenting various barbecue styles, not just the food but the history behind the food and the restaurants that he ate at. We spoke with Beard about the real appeal of barbecue.

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5:33 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

A Permanent Farmers Market, and 5 Other Ways Austin Can Become A Foodie Capital

City of Austin officials visited Pike Place Market in Seattle to see how a permanent farmer's market might operate.

The City of Austin is thinking about helping to create a permanent farmers' market that would operate seven days a week. It was the first recommendation in a recent report produced for the city by Texas Perspectives, a local economic analysis and consulting firm. 

"Permanent food markets and food hubs could well speak to all the major findings of this report," TXP wrote, "as they offer the possibility of enhancing the Austin food sector in a way that appeals to both tourists and locals." 

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