Interview With James Beard Award-Nominated Chef Bryce Gilmore Of Austin

Barley Swine is a farm-to-table hotspot in Austin featured on the 101 Best Restaurants in America for 2017 by The Daily Meal. The unique concept is serving a shared plate tasting sequence and an always-changing seasonal menu contingent upon the regional ingredients available from local farmers and purveyors. After an exclusive interview with owner and executive chef Bryce Gilmore, I invited three girlfriends to join me for dinner and a restaurant review.

Our evening started with snapper ceviche, cured summer squash, and akaushi bavette steak. Each item was presented in small plates, served in periodic intervals, and shared family style, so everyone at the table had an opportunity to taste Gilmore's culinary masterpieces. This dining format made for great conversations since the dishes became the centers of attention with an inviting atmosphere of camaraderie and interaction. Soon after, the shiitake pasta arrived along with smoked lamb shoulder and classic fried chicken. A few surprise items from the executive chef's secret menu were revealed such as the grilled shishito peppers with spiced chicken fat dressing and the chorizo cinnamon roll. The group's favorite was the grilled beet steak, a tower of refreshing ingredients including fennel, strawberries, and almonds. Barley Swine offered an extensive wine and beer collection. I challenged the master bartender to create a sweet cocktail infused with berries. His interpretation was a strawberry jam daiquiri assembled inside a wine glass with white, red, and white layers reminiscent of a parfait. We concluded our evening with buttermilk pie.

The Daily Meal: If you could recommend just one dish on your menu, which one would it be?
Bryce Gilmore
: The shiitake pasta. It's our only permanent dish on the menu since we first opened Barely Swine in 2010.

From all the different cuisines to choose from, why farm to table?
It became very important to me where my food was coming from and establishing relationships with the people who were growing it. I wanted to open a place where people can rely on, as far as knowing that everything they were eating was sourced responsibly. This has always been our philosophy.

Describe Barley Swine in just three simple words.
Local, innovative, and happy!

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