How do I love Austin? Let me count the ways. I love it because of the great Tex-Mex cooking. And for a great cooking school where I’ll be teaching: Central Market.
I love it because it’s the veritable epicenter of great Texas barbecue. Put a pin in a map of Texas in Austin. Draw a 100 mile circle around it and you’ll find a half dozen of the best bbq joints in Texas–hell, in the whole U.S. Cooper’s in Llano; the Kreuz Market in Lockhart; Louis Mueller’s in Taylor; Southside Market in Elgin (home of the best “hot guts” barbecued sausage–in Texas, not to mention two justly popular Austin haunts–Sam’s and the Salt Lick.
I also love Austin because it’s the home of my cousin, Dave Raichlen. Physical anthropology doctoral student by day and diehard pit master nights and weekends, Dave has initiated a second generation of Raichlen’s into barbecue madness. His recent accomplishments include barbecuing a whole hog for a baptism (our poor Jewish grandfather turns over in his grave). You can read about some of Cousin Dave’s other exploits, including his Grill Top Shrimp Boil, in BBQ USA.