A pastry a day is a given at Hope & Glory
I like the way Jesse Kelly-Landes thinks about sweets.
The owner of Hope & Glory Pastry says that pastries should be an indulgence. "It's not a treat for good behavior. It's not just for special occasions," she writes on her website (www.hopeandglorypastry.com ). "No day is complete without a sweet little nibble or a morsel of something rich and buttery."
Kelly-Landes was a clothing designer in Austin when she realized that though her "hobby gone haywire" was fun, she didn't feel compelled to learn any more about it. "The only thing I wanted to learn about was food, and I saw that as a sign that I needed to change."
She enrolled in a six-month pastry program at the San Francisco Baking Institute, where she thought she'd learn to become a bread baker, "but once I was there, I just fell in love with the pastry," she says. "I still love bread, but I don't want to make it in large quantities."
She moved back to Austin and eventually started Hope & Glory, which launched with five products ($2.50-$3.50 each or $8-$11 per half-dozen): brown butter shortbread, salted pecan praline polvorones, raspberry chipotle chocolate rugelach, a pecan-, caramel- and chocolate-topped salty sweet butter cookie called a magic bar and a gluten-free, spiced-filled meringue ball. To make the items, Landes uses local ingredients as much as possible, including eggs, pecans and honey.
You can buy Hope & Glory pastries at several shops around Austin, including Whip In, Cafe Caffeine, Genuine Joe, Royal Blue Grocery, Little City Coffee, Antonelli's Cheese Shop, Breed & Co. and Farmhouse Delivery.
- Addie Broyles
Supper club plans to serve more dinners to fill summer schedule
Stephen Shallcross calls his Supper Friends Supper Club the most unusual restaurant in Austin, "because it's only available when we're able to cook."
Several times a month, the owner of 2 Dine 4 catering, along with Jeffrey's alum chef Chris Chism, hosts a multicourse, BYOB meal at the Swoop House, a renovated Hyde Park house that Shallcross moved to East Austin in 2008.
2 Dine 4 operates out of the commercial kitchen space and a house-turned-office at 3012 Gonzales St., just off East Seventh Street, but about a year ago, Shallcross realized that the Swoop House was more than just a pretty office space. He acquired a restaurant permit so he and his staff could host dinners when they weren't preparing food for a wedding or event.
Called the Supper Friends Supper Club, the dinners cost between $40 and $60 and, because it's a restaurant/supper club hybrid, feature whatever kind of menu Chism is in the mood to serve.
At a dinner earlier this month , it was South American-themed with pappas rellenas, black bean tamales, a saffron-infused Brazilian shrimp stew called moqueca baiana and chicken served over a roasted garlic and caramelized onion tart.
Dinners usually start around 7:30 p.m. with cocktails based on recipes from Austin's Tipsy Texans starting at about 6:45. Shallcross says that because weddings and other events slow down in July and August, they'll be hosting several dinners a week. You can book reservations and find a schedule online at www.supperfriends.com .
Take comfort at trailer serving up savory pies
Kate Bellinger has been cooking in restaurants for 25 years, doing fresh bistro food at East Side Cafe and Chez Fred, seafood at Shoreline Grill and Cajun dishes at Jambalaya and Blue Bayou. Now she's putting her experience to work at her own shop, an Airstream trailer at the mouth of Zilker Park called Kate's Southern Comfort.
Every day from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Bellinger fries half-moon pies to order for $3, but her stories about the evolution of the Austin dining scene are on the house. The choices might include a "Bleudin" pie, using boudin sausage that Bellinger makes herself, mixed with a little blue cheese for tang and bite. A thick étouffée fills the crawfish pie, and juicy ground beef and pork with a bite of black pepper rounds out the `Natchitoches Classic.' My favorite was the simplest, the fittingly named `Humble Pie,' just chunks of sweet potato with tender collard and mustard greens.
The little handfuls are deceptively filling. 1900 Barton Springs Road. 573-5215.
- Mike Sutter
Opening, closing and coming soon
• Opening Thursday : J.R.'s Barbecue, a shop owned by Ben and Gracia Dukes at 1900 Rosewood Ave. With more than 35 years of barbecuing experience, Ben Dukes specializes in pork ribs, brisket and sausage smoked over oak and pecan. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays.
• Opening soon: Stuffed, a Cajun meat market and specialty food store specializing in crawfish, chicken, turkey, pork, sausage, fish, beef and boudin at 12226 RM 620. 848-7867, stuffedfoodstores.com .
• Open: Sno Springs, a New Orleans-style snow-cone trailer at 1900 Barton Springs Road.
- A.B., M.S.
Natural Epicurean Academy moves to South Lamar spot
After years of hosting classes in educational space next to Casa De Luz, the vegan restaurant on Toomey Road in South Austin, the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts has been purchased by the owners of Yoga Yoga and will be moving to 1700 S. Lamar Blvd. The new facility is scheduled to open next month, but the school, which focuses on macrobiotic, ayurvedic, vegan and raw food preparation, will host a grand opening celebration in the parking lot in front of the new facility from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature cooking demonstrations, tastings and tours of the new space.
Starting in July, the Natural Epicurean will host cooking classes that are open to the public. The classes start at $45 and cover everything from aphrodisiacs and macrobiotic basics to how to create healthy foods that kids will like. There are still spaces available for the 900-hour culinary arts program that begins in August.
For more information, go to www.naturalepicurean.com .
Food & Wine briefs
• Pamela Walker, author of `Growing Good Things to Eat in Texas,' will be signing copies of her book from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Boggy Creek Farm, 3414 Lyons Road.
• East Side Show Room chef Sonya Coté is hosting a benefit dinner from 8 p.m. Saturday at Big Red Sun (1102 E. Cesar Chavez St.). The proceeds will go to the HOPE Farmers Market, which takes place every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of East Fifth and Waller streets. Cote has created a cruise ship-themed menu made with locally sourced ingredients (cruise ship attire encouraged). Information and tickets ($100) at cotecatering.com .
• Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar (4800 Burnet Road) is teaming up with local chocolatier Delysia Chocolatier for a champagne, wine and chocolate pairing from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday . Choose from one of three pairings of truffle with wine, champagne or coffee ($10-15). www.apothecaryaustin.com
• Former La Condesa sous-chef Patrick Hieger is launching gastroGIANT, his new supper club, this month with several events, including a locally sourced tomato-themed dinner, including tomato cocktails and desserts, at 7 p.m. Sunday at King-James Ranch, a farm in East Austin. Tickets cost $65 and are available online at www.gastrogiant.wordpress.com .
• The South Austin restaurant Olivia will host a six-course dinner featuring beers from (512) Brewery and pork from Richardson Farms at 7 p.m. July 1. $50. 2043 S. Lamar Blvd. 804-2700, www.olivia-austin.com .
• Less than a year after completing a $4.6 million renovation and expansion, Wheatsville Food Co-op has won the 2010 Howard Bowers Fund Cooperative Excellence Retailer of the Year Award, which honors the co-op for outstanding service to its members and community, including more than $40,000 in donations to charities last year.
- A.B., M.S.