Food Matters: Art that expands your recipe box, Austin360.com's new restaurant scores, Austin Beer Week events
Author cooks french both old and new
Working with Julia Child on her television series and the book "Baking with Julia" brings back great memories for Dorie Greenspan. The memories include some of the highest praise from Child, who told Greenspan that her detailed recipe explanations were like her own.
Now, years and many cookbooks later, Greenspan, a James Beard award winner, is publishing a new book, "Around my French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours" ($40, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). She says this book is unique in that it pays tribute to both the classic and modern French cooking styles.
"People had been intimidated by French cuisine for so long. We skirted it because we were intimidated by it, but it's nothing to be intimidated by," Greenspan said. "My book isn't a rule book. It's more personal. I want people play with the recipes and find a way to make it their own."
Greenspan will teach a cooking class at Central Market, 4001 N. Lamar Blvd., from 6:30 to 9 p.m. today. $70, includes the book. 206-1014.
- Layne Lynch
Contemporary art that expands your recipe box
For the past 11 months, contemporary art center Arthouse has been closed for renovations. Ironically, from the piles of rubble and fragments of construction, one artist wrought a beautiful culinary work of art. In creating his exhibition "More Art About Buildings and Food," artist Jason Middlebrook utilized wood, metal, steel and glass pieces from the center's renovation to create artistic dining room pieces and other pieces tailored to the art of dining.
The inspiration for the exhibition came from Middlebrook's belief that art and food stem from similar artistic mediums. "I did a residency in Sweden, and a lot of the artists spent a lot of time cooking," Middlebrook said. "Each person would cook a certain night, and it was this interesting thing that happened: For the first time in my artistic career we weren't talking about art; we were talking about food."
In addition to eclectic furniture, Middlebrook also received more than 150 recipes after posting a query on the Arthouse website seeking passed-down, cherished recipes from the Austin community. Transcribed on the walls surrounding Middlebrook's furniture are recipes that resonated with him and those who submitted them. "I wanted these recipes to have stories," he said. "I find there is a correlation between making food and making art. You have a recipe you want to create in your studio, and you have a recipe for making food."
He is also encouraging any viewers to bring in any recipes for transcribing on the exhibition's walls.
Middlebrook's exhibition will be on display at the gallery's free public reopening celebration from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday on Congress Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets.
In reopening an Austin artistic staple, Rachel Adams, curator of public programs, said she thought it was also important for the gallery to include food trailers, which have become a fixture on Austin's food scene. The trailers Best Wurst, ChiLantro, Coolhaus and Old School BBQ & Grill will be some of the vendors serving at the event. "Food trailers resonate with the Austin community," Adams said.
Inspect austin360.com's new restaurant scores
Austin360.com is launching a search tool to help you find restaurant health inspection scores from the Austin Travis County Health and Human Services Department.
Go to austin360.com/go/inspections . My favorite method is just to leave all the fields blank and hit "search." That returns more than 19,000 results, from the newest inspections to the oldest. If you'd rather search alphabetically, just take that same result and click on "restaurant name" in red type, and the list will re-order itself alphabetically. The less specific your request, the more results you'll get. Type in "La Condesa," and you get the restaurant on West Second Street (most recent score 89). But type in just "la," and you'll find out that the Laura Bush Elementary cafeteria scored 100.
For serious research or for idle curiosity, there's no more massive snapshot of restaurant cleanliness. But it doesn't tell you everything. Low scores might come as much from technical violations as they do from the kind of filth that poses an immediate health risk. Trailers aren't in this database, although they're subject to regular health inspections. But if you want to know how Wingstop on Parmer Lane compared to Wink on North Lamar on their latest inspections, this is the place. (They tied at 94).
- Mike Sutter
Beer me! brewers fill up Austin Beer Week events
Austin Beer Week runs Sunday through Oct. 30, brought to you by the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. There are things going on every day all over the area, but highlights include a prix fixe dinner at the just-opened Black Star Co-op and a fall beer dinner at HomeField Grill in Round Rock. Most everything you need to know is at www.austinbeerweek.com . One lead-in event will be the Draught House Pub and Brewery's 42nd anniversary party at 4112 Medical Parkway from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday , with rarities and barrel-aged offerings.
- Patrick Beach
Openings, closings and coming soon
• Open: Trifecta on 3rd , a bar and restaurant featuring more than 100 kinds of bourbon, plus pizza, paninis, empanadas and more at the base of the 360 Condos tower at 360 Nueces St., No. 30. 320-9909, www.trifectaaustin.com . Open 4 p.m. to midnight Sundays-Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays.
• Open: Red Mango, a frozen yogurt and smoothie franchise at 2222 Rio Grande St., No. C120. 476-1496, www.redmangousa.com . Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays-Saturdays.
• Open: A second location of East Side Pies, with pizza for delivery and takeout only, at 5312 Airport Blvd., Suite G. 454-7437, www.eastsidepies.com . The pocket-sized original is at 1401-B Rosewood Ave. (524-0933). The opening sets up a pizza dilemma in the North Loop area. House Pizzeria is just down the road at 5111 Airport Blvd. (600-4999, www.housepizzeria.com ).
• Closed: Croissant Time, a bakery at 6705 U.S. 290 W. in Oak Hill.
Food and wine briefs
• The Austin Film Festival holds its Film & Food gala from 7 to 10 p.m. today at the Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St. The event, benefiting the Young Filmmakers Program, features an open bar and food from Austin restaurants including Garrido's and Siena. $85, $70 festival members. Tickets at the door or at 478-4795, www.austinfilmfestival.com .
• Asti Trattoria will host a four-course `Slow Taste of Italy Dinner' with Slow Food Austin and Edible Austin at 5 p.m. Oct. 27. Chef Jason Donoho will cook recipes from Jessica Theroux's new book, "Cooking with Italian Grandmothers." $95; includes a signed copy of the book. Wine pairings $35. Dinner for two with one book $165. 451-1218, www.astiaustin.com/asti/reservations .
• Aquarelle (606 Rio Grande St.) and the Jack T. Clark Foundation will host a benefit to help people with cancer from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the restaurant. The $25 ticket includes steak frites, croque monsieur sandwiches, shrimp po' boys and dessert. Cash bar available. Tickets at www.tagd.org/donations , 244-0577 or at the door.