Travel & Leisure dubbed Austin as the new epicenter of all-things food in the country. From imaginative sushi, barbecue, regional fare, to Filipino cuisine, the city has everything that makes it worthy of a food pilgrimage for writer Peter Jon Lindberg.
Barbecue gets a big focus up front, when Lindberg hit up the line for Franklin Barbecue. After devouring the brisket, ribs, and sausages, he came to believe the Aaron Franklin is "a cosmic smoke-sorcerer sent to save us from our boring Earth food." He also went into the musical differences between other barbecue trailers (La Barbecue with Guided by Voices and Micklethwait with Dinosaur Jr.).
Lindberg marked the opening of Tyson Cole’s Uchi in 2013 as the beginning of the "New Austin Dining" scene. That led to the success of Paul Qui today and his various ventures. Originally, Qui didn't want to settle in the city and had his eyes set on New York, but he changed his mind.
"[...] 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."
Then there are the locavore chefs, like Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine and Odd Duck), Jesse Griffiths (Dai Due), Todd Duplechan (Lenoir), and Ben Edgerton (Contigo and Gardner), who all use their connections to farms to create and define what Austin cuisine is. For Edgerton, the city is unique because it has:
"that frontier mentality, that connection to the hills and the plains, the Panhandle and the Gulf. You couldn’t just transplant it to Oregon or upstate New York."