Last year’s Austin Food & Wine Festival featured well-known chefs from all over the country, but this year’s talent primarily focuses on chefs from Texas.
Two of the Houston chefs attending the weekend festivities include Seth Siegel-Gardner (pictured right) and Terrence Gallivan (left) of The Pass and Provisions. These two creative chefs command two separate restaurants in one space: Provisions, a casual eatery featuring pizzas, pastas, and other rustic dishes, and The Pass, an intimate dining experience that features a different tasting menu every day.
Along with Justin Yu of Oxheart and Chris Shepherd of Underbelly, Gallivan and Siegel-Gardner are two of the central players in Houston’s recent culinary awakening (we named Provisions one of the best new restaurants of 2012 and featured Pass as the February Pat’s Pick).
We caught up with the Gallivan and Siegel-Gardner to talk about Houston, Austin, and what’s to come at The Pass and Provisions.
Layne Lynch: What will you two be participating in at the Austin Food & Wine Festival?
Terrence Gallivan: We’ll be participating in Taste of Texas Kickoff at Republic Square Park on Friday. Right now, we are planning on doing a bone marrow brioche dish that will be served inside the bone with a ramp soup.
LL: Are there any chefs you’re looking forward to seeing while you’re in town?
Seth Siegel-Gardner: Seeing everyone at the festival will be nice, but drinking with old and new friends [like] Marcus Samuelsson, Chris Shepherd, Ned Elliott, Philip Speer, Sarah Grueneberg, Jodi Elliott, Jamie Zelko, and Josh Watkins will be even better. It’s always nice catching up with everyone and talking shit. Talking about what’s going on at each other’s restaurants, getting some new ideas, what’s working and what isn’t, talking about collaborations, but mostly just talking shit.
LL: Austin has been gathering a lot of national attention for its culinary scene, but it seems as though Houston is quickly catching up, especially after this year. What do you think Houston can learn from Austin?
TG: Because Houston food scene is seeing so many restaurants and bars from first-time owners, I think the most important thing for us to learn is how to be business-minded. It’s nice to learn how first-time owners have succeeded, and how they’ve grown and expanded.
LL: Are there any Austin restaurants or bars you’re looking forward to checking out while you’re in town?
SSG: We always have to go see Ned Elliott [of Foreign & Domestic].We also really want to hit up Lenoir again and see Todd [Duplechan] and Jessica [Maher]. We also want to check out Ramen Tatsu-Ya and get our ramen fix.
LL: You guys have had a pretty stellar year. What’s next for you two and The Pass & Provisions?
TG: Things have been going great, and we feel very fortunate to be where we are and part of this amazing thing that’s happening here in Houston. But, we’ve got a lot to learn and a tremendous amount of growth that needs to still happen with the company. A day off would be pretty cool, too.
LL: Both The Pass & Provisions are known for their creative menus. Since this is your first summer at the restaurants, could you give readers a hint at some of the dishes or ingredients you plan to showcase?
We will have to look at what the local farmers and purveyors have available, of course, but we’ll draw from some our past experiences and places we have worked. For instance, we are excited about our lobster roll dish, which is pretty much the epitome of summer. We have a version of it on both menus.
Photograph by Ralph Smith