When I attended the James Beard awards ceremony earlier this year in New York City, I found myself sandwiched between Maggie Kennedy and Robb Walsh at the dinner table.
Kennedy is the photography director for Garden & Gun, while Walsh has been known to contribute articles to the Southern lifestyle magazine based in Charleston, South Carolina. I found myself quickly nursing a ladycrush on Kennedy, whom -- if you've read Garden & Gun -- I think has one of the coolest jobs in the world. Grass is always greener on the other side, and all that.
My crush on Kennedy and Garden & Gun just grew three sizes with its latest issue, however, which is not only notable for being the magazine's largest ever issue. The October/November issue focused entirely on food for this massive issue, and focused a nice amount of that attention on Houston's dining scene.
In the issue, which is on newsstands now, Houston is spotlighted for its crawfish and cocktails -- among other things -- as Garden & Gun takes a look at the South's 50 Best Foods. Four Texas restaurants made that list, including Fearing's and Smoke in Dallas. But Houston was spotlighted for its unique Viet-Cajun fusion crawfish scene, as the magazine singled out the mudbugs at Crawfish & Noodles as one of the 50 best dishes.
A couple more Houston favorites showed up in Hanna Raskin's article on the resurgence of the classic cocktail scene in the South. Raskin, who is the food critic at our sister paper, the Seattle Weekly, featured Anvil Bar & Refuge in her writeup as well as a recipe from Alex Gregg. Gregg, who won Best Bartender in this year's Best of Houston® issue, saw his twist on a Boilermaker -- the Rooster Cogburn -- spotlighted in the article (seen above).
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And since it wouldn't be an article on Houston's food scene without our unofficial ambassador Bryan Caswell, the chef is featured in a video roundtable discussion (seen below) on the state of Southern food, along with fellow chefs Matt Jamie, Edward Lee, Hugh Acheson, Kevin Callaghan, and Sarah O'Kelley.