Wilder and woollier than ever, André Natera has taken on the biggest gig of his life, and he’s back to boxing, Muay Thai Boxing, wrestling and MMA
by Andrew Chalk
Whatever happened to André Natera, the former chef at the The Pyramid Restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel (according to the Pyramid web site he is still there), later execuchef at Village Kitchen (née Village Marquee (née Marquee Grill)), RIP2? The answer is that he is the execuchef for The Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa, a massive resort and country club complex just 20 minutes from downtown Austin (and three hours from Dallas). With three golf courses adjacent to the property and a fourth, affiliated course, 25 miles away, the resort is one of the foremost golf destinations in Texas. Additionally, there are 11 tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, super spa, a nature trail and complete schedules of kids-only and adult-only activities.
The food operation behind all this is, as they say, André’s oyster. That means the flagship restaurant Hill Country Dining Room, 8212 Wine Bar and Grill, a bar named Barton’s Lodge, pool and cabana service, in-room dining, plus the restaurant in the country club on the same, massive site. In addition, Omni has another country club (Lakeside) about 25 miles away that Natera oversees as well. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
We know that brilliant chefs can cook, and it truly is a form of art. But how are they with the sciences? For sure the art of pastry is a science, where as cooking on the savory side is more of a dalliance of braising or even a tete-a-tete on the grill with their favorite cut of cow. But today we see that the chef’s mind works far more three dimensional than most.
To prove the genius of at least one of our favorite chefs, we examine the paperwork of Andre Natera who provides proof once and for all that “pie equals cake”. Read on for proof. Continue reading
by Brian Wall
A new year and a fresh slate to try beer. On this particular sample, I was given a couple of canned beers from Austin Beerworks from a friend visiting from Austin. He traded me a bottle of Jester King’s Atrial Rubicite but that beer review will wait until I have a special occasion to open that world-class “Holy Grail” beer.
Austin Beerworks offers a few different beers with a German beer theme being the most dominant. German beers have a distinct flavor and are normally set by the “Reinheitsgebot” or the Bavarian Purity Law that simply states beer may not contain anything other than water, barley and hops. This is mostly because the knowledge of yeast was not prevalent in the fifteenth century. With this in mind, most German-style beers have little variance in the way they are made. Fortunately for us, American beer makers don’t have to follow century-old laws from other countries. Austin Beerworks offers two such beers that are German in style- Black Thunder and Pearl Snap Pils. Pearl Snap Pils was sampled and showed me what to expect from Austin Beerworks in the future. Continue reading
by Mark Demming
Austin-based coffee shop Houndstooth is finally set to open in Spring 2014 on Henderson Avenue. Houndstooth Coffee announced last year that it would open a shop in Dallas at a different location but has since decided that the Henderson spot was better suited for the café.
“Henderson has developed a wonderfully supported food, beverage & retail scene here in Dallas. We’re excited to watch the pattern of coffee and people weave into the vibrant cultural fabric here,” said owner of Houndstooth Coffee, Sean Henry. “We can’t wait until the new year when we begin weaving moments between coffees, guests and baristas.”
It’s been a big year for Henry who not only opened his second Austin location earlier in 2013 but also his own roastery and line of whole bean coffees, TWEED, which is also based in Dallas. Continue reading
Opening this winter, Olamaie will bring the taste of the South with a new modern spin, to downtown Austin. Unique to the city’s culinary scene, the restaurant will quickly become one of Austin’s newest dining hot spots. Prior to the opening, Olamaie will host its first exclusive pop-up dinner outside of Austin at Nonna on August 18.
Texas native and CIA-trained Co-Executive Chef Michael Fojtasek (formerly of Lincoln Ristorante and Son of a Gun Restaurant) and CIA-trained Co-Executive Chef Grae Nonas (formerly of Tarry Lodge and Son of a Gun Restaurant) have teamed up with CIA-trained General Manager Ben Hickerson (formerly of The Red Devon and Lincoln Ristorante) to form the talented team at the helm of Olamaie with experience spanning both coasts. Continue reading