Interview with Rene Ortiz, Laura Sawicki, and Margaret Vera of JBF Award–Nominated Launderette

Photo: Giant Noise

 

Rene Ortiz and pastry chef Laura Sawicki had already won over Austinites with their Mexican and Thai-inspired eateries La Condesa and Sway, so it should come as no surprise that their latest venture, Launderette, was a roaring success since its opening last year. With its far-ranging menu featuring “feel-good food” from across the globe, the Launderette team has created a neighborhood joint that extends far beyond East Austin. Read on for our conversation with Ortiz, Sawicki, and co-owner Margaret Vera about the restaurant’s genesis and how the menu reflects their overall philosophy.

 

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JBF: Can you tell us the story behind your restaurant's name?

 

Launderette Team: The property had been a laundromat for 50 years, and we wanted to carry on the tradition of neighbors and friends coming together. “Launderette... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Grae Nonas of Austin's Olamaie

 

Native New Englander Grae Nonas has put down roots in Austin, Texas, with his white-hot eatery, Olamaie. Working in tandem with fellow chef and partner Michael Fojtasek, this dynamic duo uses their expansive culinary knowledge to treat diners to Southern flavors backed by contemporary techniques. We spoke to the 2016 JBF Award nominee for Rising Star Chef of the Year about his culinary perspective, how he showcases the beauty of generic vegetables, and why his former life as a musician is so important to his current gig.

 

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JBF: We hear you collect vintage cookbooks. What’s the most treasured book you have on your bookshelf? 

 

Grae Nonas: My partner, Michael Fojtasek, is actually a more avid vintage cookbook collector, but I do have a small, cherished collection. One of my favorites is The Taste of... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Tyson Cole, Where Should We Eat in Austin?

JBF Award winner Tyson Cole tells us where to eat in Austin.

The 2011 JBF Award-winning chef of Austin’s Uchi and Uchiko gives us his favorite local restaurant picks.

Late-Night Dining
East Side King
“The East Side King trailer at Liberty Bar has amazing buns and Southeast Asian karaage.”

Quintessential Austin Cooking
East Side Café Vespaio Enoteca Asti
“East Side Cafe for farm-to-table food from their garden; Vespaio Enoteca for the amazing pastas and charcuterie; and Asti for the breadsticks and affogato.”

Quick Snack

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On the Menu: August 1 through August 7

Guests mingle in the Beard House. Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Monday, August 2, 6:00 P.M. Enlightened Eaters: A Workshop Our series on cooking seasonally continues when Top Chef contestant and natural foods chef Andrea Beaman returns to teach guests how to prepare delicious summer dishes with just-picked ingredients from local markets. Participants will learn how to maximize the health benefits of locally sourced food by cooking meals packed with nutrients as well as flavor. Tuesday, August 3, 7:00 P.M. Modern Asian When former Buddakan NYC chef Michael Schulson opens a new restaurant, Asian food lovers sit up and take notice. Schulson, as per Frank Bruni, “breathes intelligence and creativity” into his

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On the Menu: March 28 through April 3

Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, March 28, 6:00 P.M. Sunday Supper at Chelsea Market Lined with grocers and charming eateries, Chelsea Market is New York’s one-stop shop for every gourmand’s needs. Back by popular demand, this convivial Friends of James Beard Benefit will feature a diverse group of talented chefs who will gather under its roof to prepare the ultimate family-style meal. Wednesday, March 31, 7:00 P.M. Kentucky Bluegrass Chefs When you bring six of Kentucky’s top chefs and some of the best handmade bourbon money can buy up to the Beard House, the upshot is bound

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JBF Kitchen Cam