Reminder: Foodways Texas Symposium is Fun as All Get-Out


Our 2013 Symposium, Our Barbecue, Ourselves, will be held April 4-6 in Austin, Texas. We’ll take a look at Texas barbecue culture from a variety of perspectives, much like we did last year with preserving in Texas. Two days of speakers and panels and five full meals are included in the price. We’ll make an announcement about speakers, pitmasters, and chefs in the coming weeks, but here’s a little info for your interest: Aaron Franklin will serve up brisket and you won’t have to wait in line (well, maybe a little line). Hope we see you there!

See the recap of our 2012 Foodways Texas Symposium below:
We’ll make this recap brief since so many of our symposium guests have already posted their own experiences, but we need to send out a big thank you to all of our speakers, chefs, volunteers, and guests for making our second symposium such a great success (find a list of speakers & chefs here). You’ll find other recaps, stories, and memories linked below.

Before the weekend kicked off, we got into the Texas Preserved spirit with a canning class led by Stephanie McClenny of Confituras. Stephanie makes gourmet, locally sourced jams and preserves (candied grapefruit & chile marmalade! Carrot jam! Watermelon pickles!) and she loves sharing her knowledge with other aspiring canners. Quote of the day: “You’re gonna get sticky when you’re making jam.”

Our speakers and panelists covered topics from the history of sugarcane in Texas to the history of the cocktail in the South, from the effects of the 2011 drought on the food supply to the future of soul food among many other topics. We even witnessed a canning demo by Stephanie McClenny with a little Texas native fruit and berry history provided by food writer and historian MM Pack.

Our board member Elizabeth Engelhardt and her grad students in the American Studies Department at the University of Texas presented the Texas Iconic Restaurant Oral History Project, an effort to document the tales of restaurant greats around the state. You’ll be seeing more on this project soon, including the launch of our online archive sometime next week. The archive will include photos, transcripts, and audio clips from the interviews. We’re currently working on four other oral history projects as well, so the archive will grow quickly throughout 2012.

And of course, we were treated to some mighty fine chef-prepared meals. Chef Justin Yu of Oxheart in Houston prepared a “Coastal Bycatch Luncheon,” serving many delicious, little-known species of fish. We enjoyed John Mueller’s Barbecue with Hoover Alexander of Hoover’s Cooking providing the sides for our “Central Texas Barbecue Heritage Dinner.” Saturday found us visiting local urban farmers Glenn & Paula Foore of Springdale Farm for lunch and Larry Butler and Carol Ann Sayle of Boggy Creek Farm for dinner.

Matt McCallister formerly of Campo Modern Country Bistro and soon to be chef and owner of his own restaurant, FT-33, in Dallas, treated us to a hyper-local lunch of goat and greens sourced directly from farms in the area (including our host Springdale Farm).

We served an 1840s-style dinner by Chef Sonya Cote of Hillside Farmacy at Boggy Creek Farm to close out Saturday. Boggy Creek is a historical site on the East Side, and as its owner Miss Carol Anne Sayle recounted, it’s very likely that Stephen F. Austin himself dined in the same beautiful courtyard we sat in that night. Cote presented slabs of Red Wattle hog from Revival Market in a family-style setting that sent everyone home satisfied and ready for next year. Finally, on Sunday morning we sent all our friends off with a chuckwagon brunch a la Tom Perini of Perini Ranch Steakhouse. Tom spun tales of the old trail drives while we got a taste of the fare that cowboys once enjoyed on the trail.

It was a magical weekend, but don’t take our word for it. Check out the following recaps from some of our guests.

Kelly Yandell from
Addie Broyles of the Austin American-Statesman
Pat Sharpe of the Texas Monthly
Virginia Wood of the Austin Chronicle
Robb Walsh of Texas Eats
Laura Davenport of White Fluffy Icing provided an extensive list of stories about Texas Preserved

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