If you were feeling particularly festive--and hungry--today but weren't sure why, we think we can diagnose that: it's officially Chef Drew Day in Austin. As in, Chef Drew Curren of 24 Diner and, briefly, Top Chef: Texas. Mayor Lee Leffingwell has named Curren's restaurant the "Small Business Of The Month," and they're celebrating with $3 pints of Brooklyn Lager (Curren's favorite, apparently) all day long. There's also a ceremony, because what fun is getting your own day if you don't also get a ceremony? And wear a crown? Actually, we don't know if Chef Drew gets a crown. We're just saying if it was us, we'd want one.
Anyway, 24 Diner has had quite a year according to an announcement sent around yesterday. They've spent $100,000 buying local farm products since January 2010, were named a "destination diner" by Bon Appétit and Texas Monthly put them on their 40 best breakfasts list. But don't take it from us. Take it from the entire, glowing press release.
24/7/365: The Year In Review
Mayoral Proclamation Closes Out A Momentous 2011
AUSTIN – November 29, 2011 – On December 1, 24 Diner will celebrate its second birthday. It will probably be a relatively quiet affair, celebrated by the restaurant’s five local partners over pints and shared plates of corn fritters and chicken & waffles. But on the eve of our anniversary, November 30, Mayor Lee Leffingwell is inviting the whole city to celebrate Chef Drew Day and recognizing 24 Diner as “Small Business of the Month!” There will be a ceremony on site around noon, and we will be offering $3 Brooklyn Lagers (Drew’s favorite beer) throughout the day for anyone who would like to raise a glass in honor of these accolades!
Our 2011 highlights include:
• Chef Drew Curren was a nominee in the People’s Best New Chef competition sponsored by Food & Winemagazine & CNN’s Eatocracy
• “America’s Top Six Destination Diners,” Bon Appétit
• “Best Grilled Cheese in the U.S,” Food&Wine.com
• Our meatloaf & sweet onion gravy recipes were featured in Food & Wine
• “Diners That Are Lip-Smacking Delicious,” MSNBC
• Chef Drew competed on season 9 of Bravo’s top-rated “Top Chef: Texas”
• “40 Best Breakfasts,” Texas Monthly
Perhaps our most satisfying accomplishment to date is the fact that (under Chef Drew’s leadership) we have spent more than $100,000 in purchases from 73 farms since January 2010. Incorporating local and organic fare whenever possible and supporting other small businesses in the community is central to our philosophy.
“Drew and 24 Diner have helped connect us with the community through our fruit. We grow oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit, and Drew’s support has helped our small business grow to the point that we’ve been able to hire more Texans for harvesting and delivery work. This in turn has allowed us to sell more fruit, which has helped us in pricing our fruit to be more competitive. It’s been a win-win situation for us, and it wouldn’t have happened without Drew.” David Strohmeyer, G&S Groves
“The support of Drew and 24 Diner has had a significant impact on our family farm and our business. By providing us with a market for our goods, we are able to diversify into other products more suitable for restaurants that we would otherwise not grow. Drew is also a master at helping us keep up with the newest trends and product lines. The Oak Hill Farms family feels nothing but immense pride when we see the fruits of our labor well-prepared and enjoyed by 24 Diner patrons.” Cora Lamar, Oak Hill Farms
Here’s to Chef Drew and 2012 – and the tremendous support of our customers and the local food community! We look forward to the year ahead.
· 24 Diner [Facebook]
· All 24 Diner Coverage on Eater Austin [-EATX-]
[Photo: 24 Diner/Facebook]