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Food Matters: Former Longhorn football players launch cookie company, 'Lunch Line' doc screens at Drafthouse

Staff Writer
Austin 360

NFL players lend their names for Gooden Sweet cookies

If former University of Texas Longhorn and current Houston Texan Kasey Studdard were a cookie, what flavor would he be? Gooden Sweet Gourmet Treats has the answer: chocolate chocolate chip with M&Ms. The Austin-based Gooden Sweet has been selling its "Original Square Cookies" online since April 1, and already Studdard and two more Austin-connected NFL players - Quan Cosby of the Bengals and Chris Houston of the Lions - have lent their names to cookie flavors. The business is owned by Sean Gooden with help from partner Camille Chandler. A cookie baker for more than 20 years (he's also a martial arts instructor and a graphic artist), Gooden turned his hobby into a business in part to honor his brother, Anthony, who died in a sparring accident in 2008.

Gooden Sweet bakes more than 15 blond, double chocolate and chipless varieties, including Callin' Oats (oatmeal raisin), the Sledgehammer (with macadamia nuts and cream cheese), even the nut-fortified Dudley & Bob, named for the KLBJ-FM morning radio jocks.

Cookies start at $12.99 plus shipping for a half-dozen. www.goodensweet.com .

- Mike Sutter

From a pair of documentarians, Another lesson in school lunches

School might be out for the summer, but the debate over school lunches continues even while the kids are out of classes. Earlier this year, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" TV show made millions of Americans take another look at the kind of food served to schoolchildren, but its short, six-episode run left many with more questions than answers.

At 7:30 p.m. tonight, the Alamo Drafthouse at Lake Creek, 13729 Research Blvd., is hosting a screening of "Lunch Line," a new documentary that explores many of the issues related to school food and the attempts to reform it. Michael Graziano, who co-directed the film with Ernie Park, says that this will be one of the first screenings of the documentary and that several local food advocates will be on hand for a discussion after the film.

In addition to its regular menu, the Drafthouse will be offering healthy school lunch foods for this screening. Tickets cost $7 and can be purchased online at www.drafthouse.com. To find out more about the film, go to www.facebook.com/lunchlinefilm .

- A.B.

More than one way to fry a chicken

You often hear about the "art of cooking," but how often to we really recognize that a cook is a performance artist who expresses an individual interpretation of an emotion through food? From 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, explore the art of fried chicken during "Culinary One Acts," an event at the former location of Ms. B's, 1050 E. 11th St., that is part of the Black Arts Movement festival.

After a screening of a short documentary about the late Southern food expert Edna Lewis, food writer Toni Tipton-Martin will talk with three local cooks as they make their unique styles of fried chicken. "These women are known in their communities as great cooks," Tipton-Martin says. "We want to spotlight the differences in style in each person's execution, as well as showcase the personality and family history in each recipe."

Audience members will get to sample each of the three versions of fried chicken, as well as dishes that will appear on the menu of a new restaurant from Homer Hills, the former owner of Mr. Catfish. Tickets cost $15 at the door, and passes for all the BAM festival events cost $65. bamaustin.org .

- A.B.

Opening, closing and coming soon

• Open and relocated: Vegan Yacht and Cheer Up Charlie's. When Cheer Up Charlie's owner Tamara Hoover moved her business from a trailer into a small building at 1104 E. Sixth St., she dropped most of the food items from the menu and was looking for someone to operate a vegan food trailer out back. Mike and Daniel Wood stepped in and opened Vegan Yacht, where they sell vegan smoothies, sandwiches, quesadillas, wraps and chili. Hoover now offers vegan beer, wine, kombucha, coconuts and chocolates. , facebook.com/theveganyacht . 431-2133, cheerupcharlies.blogspot.com .

• Open: The Zubik House, a trailer serving locally sourced dishes, including breakfast, at the downtown farmers market on Saturdays.

• Open: The Crow Bar, a bar at 3116 S. Congress Ave. www.crowbaraustin.com .

• Open: Seoul Garden, a Korean restaurant at 9616 N. Lamar Blvd, Suite 101. 821-1089.

• Open: Jax Neighborhood Cafe, a restaurant serving sandwiches, pizza and salads at 2828 Rio Grande St. 382-1570, www.jaxjoint.com .

• Open: Menchie's Frozen Yogurt, a frozen yogurt store at 4001 N. Lamar Blvd. 452-9866, www.menchies.com .

• Closing: Grapevine Market, the beer, wine and specialty food store in Round Rock.

- A.B., M.S.

Food & wine briefs

• Slow Food Austin continues its series of monthly happy hours from 5 p.m. to sunset Thursday at Boggy Creek Farm, 3414 Lyons Road, with drinks from Bill Norris and David Alan and food from Jesse Bloom of Ecstatic Cuisine. Bring your own chairs and a $10 suggested donation. The organization also is selling tickets for its annual fundraiser from 4 to 8 p.m. on June 26 at Space 12, 3121 E. 12th St. The Texas Artisan Showcase will feature samples from local farmers and food artisans as well as entertainment and a silent auction. Jesse Griffiths will demonstrate how to break down half a hog from Richardson Farm, and the cuts of meat will be auctioned off. Tickets cost $40-$60 ($35-$55 for Slow Food members). For tickets and more information, visit slowfoodaustin.org .

• The tomato season is coming into full swing, and the Bastrop 1832 Farmers Market, a covered market at 1302 Chestnut St. in Bastrop, is celebrating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with a tomato festival featuring cooking demonstrations and tomato tastings. www.bastrop1832farmersmarket.org

• Eat a lot of barbecue? You might get some use out of the Q Card, a new discount card that gets barbecue lovers everything from a free drink or dessert to a discount on meat by the pound. Nearly 20 barbecue establishments around the state have signed on to accept the card, which costs $10 and is good for a year. (If you buy one by the end of June, it only costs $7.50.) To buy one or find out where you can use it, go to www.theqcard.com .

• Author and Austin Chronicle columnist Wes Marshall will be signing copies of his new book, "What's a Wine Lover to Do?" at a wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Whole Foods Market downtown. The five-course dinners ($45) will feature two wine pairings with each course. Call 542-2243 to RVSP and buy tickets.

- A.B.

Culinary academy of Austin to become Auguste Escoffier school

Austin is a long way from the small village outside Nice, France, where Auguste Escoffier was born and where the museum that honors his culinary legacy is located, but an Austin culinary school is set to become the first Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.

On Friday, the Illinois-based Triumph Higher Education Group announced that it had purchased the Culinary Academy of Austin and would be turning it into the first of a handful of culinary schools named for Escoffier, whom many consider to be the father of modern cooking.

Escoffier's great-grandson, Michel, who is president of the Escoffier museum and foundation, will be involved with the development of the Austin school and will be on its advisory board.

Paul Ryan, president of Triumph who once led the Le Cordon Bleu culinary programs in the U.S., said Friday that Austin was a perfect fit for the new venture. "I love Texas, and Austin has always been a city that piqued my interest." Ryan says he was drawn to the Culinary Academy of Austin's size and staff, so he approached Steve Mannion, who founded the Culinary Academy of Austin a decade ago, about acquiring it.

Ryan says he's working to create a collection of five to 10 "boutique culinary schools" that would honor the legacy of Escoffier, who died in 1935, more than three decades after he published his landmark textbook, "Le Guide Culinaire."

- A.B.