Staffing changes: Trio at the Four Seasons announces new chef de cuisine

Credit: Trio at the Four Seasons
Credit: Trio at the Four Seasons

Trio veteran James Flowers has been elevated to the position of chef de cuisine at Trio, the steakhouse and seafood-loving restaurant at the Four Seasons in downtown Austin. Flowers’ move comes on the heels of the departure of former chef de cuisine Scott Higby.

A native of Alabama, Flowers worked at Austin staples Cipollina, Asti and Wink before joining the Four Seasons in 2011. He serves under longtime Four Seasons executive chef Elmer Prambs.

“TRIO has always been the big leagues for me,” Flowers says on the restaurant’s website. “I can’t think of anywhere else in Austin with the same opportunity to serve such a variety of guests. The scope of our operation is staggering and the efficiency with which our team works is without comparison.”

 

 

Deckhand Oyster Bar now open on South Lamar

Credit: Facebook.com/DeckhandOysterBar2
Credit: Facebook.com/DeckhandOysterBar2

The Asian-influenced Deckhand Oyster Bar opened its second Austin-area location Sunday. The restaurant owned by the Saybounkham family is located in the space of the former Outback Steakhouse at 4211 S. Lamar Blvd. in the Lakehills Plaza near Ben White Boulevard. The expansive menu includes an array of global flavors, from Thai (tom yum seafood soup), to Texas (crab-stuffed jalapenos), Japan (roe-topped oysters) and Louisiana (boudin). The restaurant is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Bon Appétit Magazine names Austin restaurant one of 50 best new restaurants in America

The accolades keep rolling in for executive chef Kevin Fink’s Rainey Street restaurant.

Emmer & Rye puts a spotlight on heritage grains, like the white Sonoran wheat used to make an excellent pappardelle with pork ragout. Deborah Cannon / American-Statesman White Sonoran Pappardelle, Pork Ragout and Basil at Emmer & Rye on Thursday, February 11, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Emmer & Rye puts a spotlight on heritage grains, like the white Sonoran wheat used to make an excellent pappardelle with pork ragout. Deborah Cannon / American-Statesman
White Sonoran Pappardelle, Pork Ragout and Basil at Emmer & Rye on Thursday, February 11, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The pasta-loving Emmer & Rye landed a spot on Bon Appétit Magazine’s list of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America today. It is the only Austin restaurant to receive the acknowledgment this year. The hip food-lovers at Bon App praised the restaurant for the “unmistakable textures and flavors” of their pastas made with heritage grains and also gave some love to the pastry dim sum cart at brunch. Fink was also named one of the Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine in April.

Also earning a nod this year was the incredible Hotel Emma in San Antonio and its collection of eating and drinking options, from the farm-to-table restaurant Supper, to the luxurious room service, the majestic Sternewirth bar and the smartly curated Larder delicatessen, coffee shop and provisions post. If you haven’t been to Hotel Emma, you should check out one of the coolest urban staycation options in Texas.

Trompo in Dallas and Houston’s Thai restaurant Foreign Correspondents rounded out the Texas spots on the list.

Read the full list here.

Favor delivering free* Tacodeli breakfast tacos Tuesday morning

001 (1)*Updated with caveat: Favor will still charge a $5 delivery fee, its nominal processing fee and space for a tip (suggested about 20 percent), so these “free” tacos will still cost you about $7-$8 dollars.

Homegrown deliver app Favor is gonna court the Austin public tomorrow with free Tacodeli breakfast tacos. When users open the Favor app on Tuesday between 9 and 11 a.m., a Free Taco banner will appear. Tap that and it’s off to the races. There is a limit of two tacos per person, either migas or potato egg and cheese, and there is a limited supply.

Given Favor’s higher delivery fee than UberEats and and the addition of a substantial driver ip that accompanies each order on normal days, it appears Favor is trying to curry, um, favor with local users.

This is the first time Favor, which last week doubled its delivery zone, has given away free food.

 

 

Benji’s Cantina on West Sixth Street closes

The exterior sign at Benji's in Austin on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.  DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
The exterior sign at Benji’s in Austin on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Tex-Mex restaurant Benji’s Cantina (click here for 2014 review) will close permanently following brunch on Sunday. The West Sixth Street restaurant will close, but chef Blake Keely will continue to operate under the brand, serving the restaurant’s cuisine at catered events. The KPG Hospitality group which owns Benji’s, as well as Kung Fu Saloon and Brew Exchange, said in a release that it will soon have an announcement about plans a “re-concept” for the space.