Who Says Never Trust a Skinny Chef?

Bruce Auden of San Antonio’s Fairmount Hotel proves the cliché wrong.

Skinny is as skinny does. One taste of the transcendent grilled oysters in pancetta sauce invented by whippet-thin Englishman Bruce Auden proves it. Auden—all six feet one, 128 pounds of him—is the most underrated of Texas’ bright young chefs working in the New Southwestern-New American mode. He has never been part of the clique that sprang up when interest in regional ingredients surged. Guys like Stephan Pyles, Dean Fearing, and Robert Del Grande get the ink; meanwhile the diffident Auden gets better and better. After stints at Dallas’ short-lived Exposure and Charley’s 517 in Houston, he has moved on to San Antonio’s immaculately restored Fairmount Hotel—a little Victorian Italianate jewel box snatched from its fate as a flophouse by King Ranch heir and hotel co-owner B.K. Johnson, who had it hauled through downtown to a new site. Now Auden is busy turning out the

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