Austin received more national media attention this month, as our city’s dynamic food scene gets major play in the latest Travel + Leisure. The web headline reads: “It’s Official: Austin is America’s Next Great Food Town.” It’s not exactly a revelation for veteran travel writer Peter Jon Lindberg. The story’s author has been making sojourns to the Texas capital for years and has a strong familiarity with the scene. Lindberg begins with a funny and tight lede:
“Every day, 164 people move to Austin, Texas, the nation’s second-fastest-growing city. The next morning, they all get in line at Franklin BBQ.”
The lengthy and heavily reported piece focuses on our barbecue scene and other major players like Paul Qui, Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due, Todd Duplechan of Lenoir, Bryce Gilmore of Odd Duck and Barley Swine, the Contigo-Gardner team of Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton, and Tyson Cole, whom Lindberg correctly identifies as being as the forefront of Austin’s culinary wave that started 12 years ago.
Edgerton on the marriage of cultures in Austin:
“Austin is the only place in the country where I can wear my cowboy hat into a hipster bar and not get a second look,” he says. “Anywhere else? They’d laugh me right out of the joint.”
Qui on why he chose to stay in Austin:
“My plan was to save some money and move to New York,”he recalls.“But then I started seeing Austin’s potential, the passion of the people I worked with—and suddenly my mind-set switched. Spending my whole career here? I’ve met more chefs and restaurateurs I admire than I would have if I’d moved away.”