Over the weekend, Metro columnist Ken Herman profiled the "chair guy" at Franklin Barbecue, who rents out chairs to people waiting in the line for $5 a pop.

I’ve always been curious about what goes on at TexSom, the annual wine conference in Dallas, and Anthony Head filed this report about why the event has become a national destination (and not just for sommeliers).

Even though 14 inmate deaths in the past six years have been blamed on extreme heat in Texas prisons, which are not air-conditioned, officials defended the construction of climate-controlled pig barns, which is where pigs are raised for the system’s in-house pork production program.

Freelancer John T. Davis explores the contrast between the Austin Ice Cream Festival and the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, the latter of which takes place this weekend. Multimedia producer Kelly West talks to folks on both sides of the hot/cold food industry for this Austin360 video. (You can check out the gallery from the ice cream festival on the left.)

For today’s food section, Beth Goulart, another rockstar freelancer in the area, wrote this fascinating piece on Martha Cason, who founded the Garza Gardens horticulture program at Garza High School in 1999, which was one of the first in the area.

Liquid Austin blogger Emma Janzen headed out to the Hill Country to check out one of the many grape harvest (and stomps) that take place this time of year. She also has a look inside the new East Austin bar, The Gatsby.

Restaurant critic Matthew Odam says that Bridget Dunlap’s new restaurant, Mettle, isn’t quite as forward-thinking as it hopes to be.

More restaurant news from The Feed: NoVa, the Rainey Street restaurant from Brad Sorenson, who once competed on "Food Network Star," opened last night; former Alamo Drafthouse chef John Bullington is opening a Chinese restaurant on South Lamar; Rebecca Rather has closed her Pink Pig restaurant near Fredericksburg; and Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki have left La Condesa and Sway.

My column today is about two totally opposite back-to-school cookbooks, one from Weelicious.com founder aimed at parents of kids in pre-school and elementary school, and another from AP food editor J.M. Hirsch that is targeted toward older kids (and their brown bag-toting parents).