Restaurant News

Are You Listening, @TexasMonthly?

If you follow @PapaBeav, you were either amused or annoyed by his recent Twitter campaign to get @TexasMonthly to do a cover story on him and the restaurant he heads as chef, Beavers. So many Twitter users bombarded @TexasMonthly with messages about @PapaBeav -- real name, Jonathan Jones -- that the person in charge of the @TexasMonthly account finally responded: "OK, fine. I'll bite. Who's @PapaBeav?"

To date, the campaign hasn't been successful, not that the press-hungry Jones doesn't already get plenty of coverage. (Several Eating Our Words commenters have subtly, politely let us know they've seen enough of Beaver's in these pages.) But he's in the news again...

Jones appeared in today's New York Times story on Houston's restaurant scene - right at the top of the article, there's a photo of him serving a beer to go with a cornmeal-fried oyster and shrimp po-boy at Beaver's. Problem is, he wasn't mentioned by name. We're pretty sure that hurt. Why didn't the paper identify him?

The article is an excellent primer, by the way, for people who think Houston means only Tex-Mex and barbecue. It features five restaurants serving cutting-edge cuisine in non-traditional spaces - Beaver's, Reef, Stella Sola, Textile and Block 7 Wine Company. Writer Salma Abdelnour points out what Houstonians have long known -- that we are seeing a "rising generation of culinary stars." She also notes that these chefs have their own way of doing things: "Instead of playing catch-up to restaurant trends elsewhere, Houston's most talented chefs are finding their own voice: uncovering the food traditions of the area's ethnic populations, experimenting with little-known seafood varieties from the nearby gulf, and embracing Texas's strange agricultural rhythms."

Anyway, maybe Jones being featured in the New York Times is the push Texas Monthly needs to do a story on him. If that isn't enough, we'd have TM know that Jones is nothing if not a good interview. He's responsible for what remains one of our all-time favorite quotes in an Eating Our Words blog entry. Asked about his favorite things to eat, he replied, "Other than women?"


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Cathy Matusow
Contact: Cathy Matusow