Lisa Siva | Editorial Assistant, TRIBEZA
When I was ten, my most prized possession was a red coat with a faux fur-trimmed collar. It was a coat fit for a queen, enveloping me in its satiny lining and rich, unmistakable color. Over a decade later, as I have had wonderful opportunities to meet and write about Austin’s vibrant store owners, jewelry makers and clothing designers, I’ve realized that we all have our own red coat of sorts—the pieces that transform us, the pieces that are windows through which our brightest selves shine. Today, that self is a little Françoise Hardy and a little Jenna Lyons, feminine, with a few touches—a bold boot, a tailored blazer—borrowed from the boys. And with Austin’s eclectic array of well-curated local boutiques, from Girl Next Door’s youthful elegance to Fawn + Raven’s speakeasy atmosphere, this city has been the perfect place to discover a style of my own.
What was your favorite piece of clothing as a child?
As a kid, I wasn’t allowed to wear just anything I wanted to. Once I was out on my own, I was able to figure out who I was and what I liked.
What is your current wardrobe staple?
Red Wing boots, selvedge denim and old motorcycle t-shirts
Which decade in fashion do you identify most with?
I identify most with 60's and 70's biker styling. I am a sucker for soft leather motorcycle boots and dirty denim.
If you could trade wardrobes with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
I love Chet Baker's style in the 1950's. He had amazing style and simple outfits that fit right and looked classic.
What is your favorite place in the world to shop?
My favorite places to shop have to be anywhere that no one else has been—that’s when I feel the happiest.
Killed by Dessert
It all started on Twitter. Last July, Bill Corbett, the pastry chef at Absinthe in San Francisco, tweeted to his pastry chef friends that he wanted to come to Austin for—you guessed it—a music festival. Corbett’s favorite punk and metal bands were playing Fun Fun Fun Fest (No Means No, Fight Amp), and he had to be here.
So goes the story of Austin. Long a destination for musicians, the city has created a booming music industry that has allowed other industries to follow: its “hyperspeed growth,” as Uchi/Uchiko pastry chef Philip Speer calls it, has made it into a national food destination.
“Austin is one of those places that has a soul,” says Michael Laiskonis, the former executive pastry chef of Le Bernardin.
Into The Fire
As line cooks and servers battle for glory, 86’d celebrates the unsung heroes of our culinary community.
Behind a restaurant’s kitchen doors, a secret language comes alive. You won’t find this vivid argot of “bubble dancers” and “hockey pucks” anywhere else, because it’s a kind of mythical shorthand heard only over the clamor of pots and pans, a testament to culinary camaraderie.
Funky Chicken Coop Tour
From blue eggs to a hobbit hole, “funky” doesn’t even begin to describe this coop tour.
Austin is famous for celebrating just about anything. From SXSW to the Zilker Kite Festival, there’s a bullet on Austin’s social calendar for everyone. Even—you guessed it—chicken lovers. The Funky Chicken Coop Tour celebrates the beauty of sustainable living in city dwellings and, more importantly, the communities that surround them.
But before you jump to conclusions (forget that sketch from Portlandia), keep an open mind and remember: this is why we live in Austin. We make “weird” look cool, although there’s nothing weird about cooking fresh, organic eggs for breakfast in the morning. The fact that they might be blue, though—that’s just cool.
Three star pastry chefs and the sweeter side of Austin's culinary boom.
Kyle McKinney is chopping basil when I walk in. A normally spiky mohawk is ungelled, and when he sees me, he follows my gaze to his knife.
“Yeah, this is for the lemon tart I’m working on,” he says. “We serve it with quinoa granola. It’s pretty sick.”
His boss, Chef Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine, is checking items off a clip-boarded sheet, while cooks mill about a modest kitchen, assembling raw ingredients that will become tonight’s heartily-consumed, heartily-Instagrammed dinners. This is the 29th kitchen McKinney has worked in.
“I really haven’t done anything else,” he confesses when I ask him. “I started washing dishes when I was 16 in San Antonio.”
At Barley Swine, before the doors open, you’ll find the kitchen team working to a playlist as diverse as the staffers themselves. The line cooks, sous chefs and steward take us behind the scenes of one of the city’s most celebrated gastropubs.
Bradley Nicholson | Line Cook
While a folksy soundtrack of country classics like George Strait plays in the background, line cook Bradley Nicholson is hard at work. “This industry rewards talent,” he says, “but being all about cooking is what is gonna get you ahead.” Though it’s always a race against the clock, he loves being able to connect with diners through the open kitchen and “see either their surprise and joy.” If you order beer for the staff, he won’t say no to any of the Hops & Grain Greenhouse Beers—It’s For a Cop is his favorite.
The colors of Spring inspired by delectable desserts.