Tribeza Talk: Food
An insider’s guide to what’s buzzing around Austin
by Nicole Beckley
By the Spoonful
What if you could create a delicious yogurt without dairy? The brainchild of Erin Asaad, Culina yogurts rely on a plant base, making them lactose-free and veganfriendly. Flavors like bourbonvanilla and blueberry-lavender use coconut cream and maple syrup for an ultra-thick texture and natural sweetness. Find Culina at Whole Foods and Central Market.
Juicy news for barbecue lovers: Micklethwait opened its second location, Micklethwait Market & Grocery, in Smithville in February. Like its original East Austin outpost, the new spot will serve up smoked brisket and ribs. Plus, visitors are in for even more treats in the form of baked goods, deli meats, beer and wine, and a selection of home goods.
Before launching Frankly Organic Vodka last year, Kristen Risk and her husband, Philip, were focused on living a healthy lifestyle. “We were running marathons and eating healthy and never really gave a thought to what we were drinking,” Kristen says. The couple, along with Kent Croutcher, who’d worked with Kendall Jackson and Deep Eddy, wanted to do something different, starting with putting an ingredient label on Frankly’s bottles. “The sprits industry doesn’t have the same transparency requirements that all other food and beverage products must abide by, so many consumers don’t even question what’s in their vodka or their spirit,” Kristen says.
The vodkas focus on organic fruits and ingredients like turmeric, ginger and maca roots. “Those functional ingredients are in our bottles, and that goes to that healthy lifestyle we like to lead,” Kristen says. “And we feel as though it contributes to the depth of flavor in each one of the profiles.”
Set sail with Antonelli’s this month as it takes its cheese expertise to Lady Bird Lake. Grab a spot on one of Antonelli’s Cheese-y Sunset Boat Cruises for an evening of tastings in a scenic setting. After a bubbles-and-bites kickoff, the award-winning cheese purveyors lead a guided tasting with recommended wine pairings. And if you’re hungry for more, the Hyde Park shop, started by John and Kendall Antonelli in 2010, regularly hosts Cheese 101 classes, honing in on seven styles and food pairings.
“After a career in tech and having semiretired, I went to cooking school really as a treat,” David Perkins says. “I wasn’t really planning on being in the food business.” Fast-forward a few years and Perkins is the founder and CEO of Beetnik, an organic meals company. After studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Perkins was curious about finding a way to bring organic animal proteins, like beef and chicken, directly to customers without preservatives and chemicals. “We went to some grocery stores, and there were no organic meals available to consumers, other than vegetarian meals, and we saw that as an opportunity.”
Launched in 2014, today Beetnik is a family affair, as Perkins, his wife and three of their four children are involved. And the idea of family extends to the meals they make, too, as Beetnik offers more-family-size options. “Our goal is to make organic, convenient things not just for individuals, but increasingly we’re focused on everybody in the family,” Perkins says.
For her seventh cookbook, Paula Disbrowe expanded her grilling repertoire by adding wood chips and logs to a typical charcoal grill. The smoky flavors created became the basis for “Thank You for Smoking,” a collection of 100 recipes meant to add some flame-kissed dishes to weeknight meals. For a May night, Disbrowe recommends a Lefty’s Mezcal Sting cocktail, adding, “It would be delicious with Hot Luck Tri-Tip, named after Aaron Franklin’s food festival later [in the] month, or the Lemongrass Pork Chops with Charred Green Beans — two of my favorite recipes!” Photograph by Johnny Autry, courtesy of Paula Disbrowe and Ten Speed Press.