October 16, 2014
We live in a city saturated with restaurants, bars, breweries, bakeries, farmers markets and food trailers. It's no secret that Austin has garnered acclaim over the years for its evolving food scene, and while that acclaim is deserved, we — like any other city — have our culinary shortcomings. Cities like New York, New Orleans, San Francisco and Los Angeles serve as melting pots for culturally diverse fare. And when diversity is present, an exciting level of creativity and experimentation can be achieved throughout the whole dining scene.
Sure, we have our glorious breakfast tacos, up-and-coming barbecue stops, signature farm-to-table fare and craft breweries, but there are gaps that need to be filled. So, just where could the Austin food scene use improvement? CultureMap reached out to local chefs to find out just what's missing in Austin's culinary landscape.
African cuisines — "Obviously, I feel like Chinese food of a certain quality is underrepresented in Austin, and we’re aiming to change that with [my new restaurant] Wu Chow. Beyond that, I feel like a good souvlaki is really hard to find. African food, as well." — Mat Clouser, executive chef of Swift’s Attic and Wu Chow
Diversity outside of downtown- "We don't have that many different kinds of ethnic neighborhoods so we can't just point to a specific part of town and say, 'Go there and try to find what you like' in a way that you can in cities like Los Angeles or New York ... We'll get there, but I think the population has boomed well ahead of those types of places." — Mat Clouser, executive chef of Swift’s Attic and Wu Chow