For the first time since 1991, Austin has another James Beard award winner with Tyson Cole, chef/owner of Uchi and Uchiko. I remember the first time I tasted something of Cole’s. It was strawberry scented salmon at the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Festival’s Stars Across Texas several years back. Cole had recently opened Uchi and was receiving rave reviews so I was anxious to sample from the new Wunderkind. The salmon was so subtlely flavored and fresh, the first thing I tasted was the fatty meaty salmon with just a breeze of strawberry fields on the back end. So simple and so good.
Flash forward seven or eight years to the present. Tyson has a gorgeous new cookbook out, a new sister restaurant, Uchiko, on North Lamar, a James Beard Award for best chef Southwest (tie with Saipin Chutima of Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas), and just recently announced that he will be teaming up with fellow chef Tim Love, C3 events, and Food and Wine magazine to takeover the Texas Hill Country Wine and Food Fest and turn it into the Austin Wine and Food Fest. Think Austin City Limits for foodies.
I love the irony that the festival I have loved so much, the fest that I first tasted Cole’s food at is now his new project. So congratulations to Tyson on a well deserved win and best of luck with the new venture. It will be very interesting to see what this new fest turns into.