Bryce and Jack Gilmore talk James Beard, local farmers, and a potential father-son restaurant
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In case you haven’t heard the exciting news, Austin’s Jack and Bryce Gilmore are headed to the streets and avenues of New York to knock on the prestigious doors of the James Beard House. The father-and-son duo from Barley Swine and Jack Allen’s Kitchen are vigorously planning their feast for the James Beard experience, along with Bryce’s brother and Jack’s son Dylan, but took some time to talk with TEXAS MONTHLY about what it’s like to cook with kinfolk, what’s likely to appear on their gourmet menu, and whether or not they plan on opening a father-son restaurant in the near future. For those interested in sampling their James Beard menu, Jack Allen’s Kitchen is hosting a preview dinner on April 3. Check out the event here. Tell me what thought went into creating the James Beard dinner menu? Take me through your planning and preparation process. B: We wanted to bring our own styles together and create a menu focusing on Central Texas ingredients because that is something we have in common. J: Bryce came up with half the dishes and I came up with the other half. It all started with us tasting great Texas wines, and then we selected the food to pair with it. And, of course, we wanted to showcase great Texas food ingredients from our awesome local farmers. What types of meats, ingredients, and dishes did you want to make sure to include on the menu? Why those? B: I wanted to use ingredients that I enjoy eating, but also what is common with this area, like goat, local cheeses, wines, and beer. I love eggs, so that is on there, as is pork. Everything [we’re making] is seasonal and growing right now in Texas. J: Shrimp, goat, great Heritage pork, crab, oysters, chicken, eggs, great cheeses, and vegetables all by our partners that help keep Jack Allen’s and Barley Swine loaded up each week. What do these dishes say or symbolize about you as a chef? B: They represent the type of food we both do. It’s great to showcase what the farmers are doing because they inspire us every day. J: These dishes are all about keeping it fresh and simple with great textures and flavors. Honor the ingredient and let it shine through. What’s it like to work with your family on something like this? Both of you are individual chefs who work your own restaurant, how did you combine those different styles and work together on a project like this? B: We don’t get to cook together enough, so why not do something in New York? We recognize and embrace our differences; this is for fun. J: Working with both my boys, who happen to be my best friends. That’s the main reason I wanted to do this event. I am so proud of them both. What’s next for you guys? Will we ever see a joint project in the future? Perhaps a father-son restaurant? B: Hard to say, but we hope to do something together in the near future. If not a restaurant then more and more dinners. J: People ask that question all the time, and the answer is always the same: I would love to do a project with both my boys, and we will at some point. But, for now, I am concentrated on Jack Allen’s Kitchen number two in Round Rock, and Bryce is real busy with Barley Swine.