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Austin360Eats: Philip Speer on eternalizing a perishable form of art

Addie Broyles

This Q&A is part of our Austin360Eats launch, which appears in Friday’s Austin360 tab. Through our new project, you can share and view food and drink photos from around Central Texas by using the #Austin360Eats hashtag on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Keep up with the Statesman’s food and drink coverage by liking the Austin360Eats Facebook page.

Philip Speer, director of culinary operations at Uchi, Uchiko (

What is it about food that makes you want to pause for a second before eating it to capture and share it?

Food is the only art form that uses every sense, and capturing one of those senses — sight — for me, eternalizes a very perishable form.

If you could recommend only three places in Austin to eat to a visitor, where would you send them?

I guess I’ll stay away from my obvious first answer and give you three others! This was so much easier to answer 10 years ago; Austin has so many great restaurants now. I would want to offer three suggestions that really embody what Austin is, or at least to me: Contigo, Franklin BBQ and East Side King at the Liberty (specifically). But where would I eat tomorrow? Swift’s Attic, Parkside, Ramen Tatsu-Ya.

Can you pick an all-time favorite Instagram post, food or otherwise?

The whole collection that I have of our cooks’ and chefs’ work really inspires me everyday. I love how Instagram has become a place for inspiration and learning about what goes on in our community, around the world.