What Local Means to Barley Swine’s Bryce Gilmore

By Megan Giller  |  October 31, 2013

The James Beard Award-nominated chef takes local pretty seriously, as those who have been following him since his Odd Duck Farm to Trailer days know. He’s carried that ethos over to Barley Swine, the gastropub that has gotten high marks from out-of-towners and Austinites alike. And he’s definitely going to bring those ideas to the brick-and-mortar version of Odd Duck, which is slated to open in the next month or so (fingers crossed). But did you know that he also convinced his father, chef Jack Gilmore, to cook locally and seasonally? After manning the grills at Z’Tejas, Jack decided to open his own farm-to-table restaurant, Jack Allen’s Kitchen, inspired by his son. Here’s what Bryce has to say about keeping it local at his restaurants.

“We try to stay true to the seasons that we have here, as opposed to the seasons in the rest of the country. If we have broccoli on the menu, it’s because I’m buying from someone who is growing it around here. I don’t just go buy broccoli from California.

“It’s hard to say anything’s 100 percent, because we might buy some butter from somewhere else or something like that. For example, I get whole garlic cloves from California, and I might buy celery from somewhere else for our stocks.

“But things that we want to feature in a dish are local. We don’t have the mindset of ‘it’s local when possible.’ It’s always possible.”