Two parties over the weekend saluted local food.
The "Austin Breakfast Taco" book signing at Tamale House East toasted the fine work of Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece. The pair clearly love the Austin taco community and asked local celebrities to contribute their favorite recipes.
Tamale House East filled with familiar faces — Mike Martinez, Lara Wendler, Kathy Vasquez, Juan Castillo, Omar Gallaga, Janet Pierson, Addie Broyles, etc. — as well as a full brace of kids. They sampled some tacos from local eateries.
I tried the fruity pastor from Papalote Taco House, topped with searing sauce from TacoDeli.
Vasquez, longtime publisher of La Prensa, noted about the changes on East Sixth Street: "It’s no longer the hood."
She’s right. But East Sixth and Seventh have long served as social fault lines, most recently between Latinos and African Americans, but before that between Swedes to the north and Scots to the south. Always appreciate the insights of civic leader Vasquez.
The next day, the Slow Food Trivia party benefited Slow Food Austin at the Shoal Creek Events Center. This four-hour extravaganza pits teams of food experts in the audience against each other. Meanwhile, tasty nibbles beckoned from the sidelines.
I talked a good while with Erin Flynn, who runs a community farm on old Bergstrom land near Decker. I filled her in on Bergstrom descendant and ongoing farmer Rupert Ceder, who banked 450 acres of his family’s land nearby for Austin Parks and Recreation.
Flynn wants to open a learning center at her farm. Cool idea.
Also congratulated Larry Butler and Carol Ann Sayles of Boggy Creek Farm for winning the Snailblazer Award for their pioneering work in urban farming. An honor well deserved.
Both parties demonstrated, once again, the amazing vitality of Austin’s food community.