This past weekend, graduate students in Elizabeth Engelhardt’s “American Food” class took part in the second annual Foodways Texas Symposium here in Austin. At this year’s event, Dr. Engelhardt’s class presented work from an oral history project they are doing in partnership with Foodways Texas and the Texas Restaurant Association. In small groups, the students visited four “iconic” Texas restaurants to interview their owners, snap photos, and gather ephemera, and they shared these stories and images at a well-attended afternoon panel.
Dr. Engelhardt notes that “these restaurants have great stories, represent the diversity of the Texas food and restaurant culture and celebrate the racial and ethnic diversity of our state.” Marvin Bendele, Executive Director of Foodways Texas, comments, “We view this oral history project as an opportunity to highlight the diverse food cultures of the Lone Star state by way of its thriving and storied restaurant industry. We expect that through our partnership with the Texas Restaurant Association, we will be able to create an extensive oral history archive that will be utilized by future generations interested in our food and foodways history.”
Stay tuned tomorrow for more on this exciting oral history project (and some beautiful photos!). In the meantime, check out this great write-up on the symposium by Addie Broyles on the Relish Austin blog over at Austin360.