Best of the Food Blogs

By Carrie Gavit

The best local sites for cooking advice, new recipes and restaurants to try.

Jane Ko: A Taste of Koko

Food blogger Jane Ko launched A Taste of Koko in 2010. Although she currently lives in Austin, she grew up in South Texas, and uses this blog as a way to feature her travel experiences and the food she tastes along the way. Her blog is categorized by restaurants, travels and recipes. Within these, readers can find information about Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco and Taipei, Taiwan. Whether you’re interested in brunch, discovering the best coffee a city has to offer or the newest restaurant, A Taste of Koko provides all the must-know information about each of these cities, specifically Austin. As the holidays approach, you may be interested in the recipe section on A Taste of Koko. While some readers may choose to scroll endlessly through the available recipes, others looking for a quicker search can select from the five-minute ideas, 30-minutes meals, appetizers or dessert tabs to narrow the selection. Visit her holiday treats article under the desserts tab to see a multitude of holiday-themed food gifts, family cooking projects and party desserts. These creative desserts vary from gingerbread latte cupcakes, to stained-glass sugar-cookie trees, to peppermint bark. For more food-related gift ideas, check out A Taste of Koko’s Style + Living section, featuring articles on gifts for him and her.

Kathryn Hutchison: Austin Gastronomist

After originally creating a blog in 2003 to keep connected with family and friends once she moved to Austin, Kathryn Hutchison has completely transformed Austin Gastronomist in the 11 years since its founding. Austin Gastronomist is a food blog full of culinary information and advice. Hutchison’s passions are revealed through her posts on cooking, local farms, artisan foods, culinary events and the Austin food community. She breaks down the blog into a variety of sections, including Eating in Austin, Recipes and Menus, and Outside the Kitchen. These categories make information easily accessible and straightforward for readers interested in dining out or experimenting with a new dish or a seasonal ingredient in the kitchen. If you’re one to plan ahead for meals but don’t yet have a recipe box full of options, peruse Hutchison’s multitude of weekly meal plans. And stay up to date on the latest food events in Austin at the click of a button. Hutchison is also the president of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance. Be sure to check out the group’s first self-titled cookbook, released in 2013. And if you’re interested in naturaldisaster relief, Hutchison also leads the team of bloggers behind the Austin Bakes bake sales, which raise money for relief causes.

Jess Pryles: BurgerMary

Food blog BurgerMary is dedicated to burgers and Bloody Marys, along with a variety of Southern-inspired foods. Blogger Jess Pryles shares an interesting foodie perspective, as she splits her time between Melbourne, Australia, and Austin. Even though she is Australian by birth, Pryles also considers herself a Texan. Her blog is broken into three categories: locations, cuisines and recipes. Within each of these, readers can find reviews, information, recipes and restaurants related to Austin, Melbourne and New Orleans. Be sure to check out the By Cuisine tab if you have a special interest in burgers, Bloody Marys, barbeque or Tex-Mex. Each of these is given individual pages featuring recipes and restaurants to check out or avoid. If you’re interested in other foodie blogs specializing in burgers or Austin and Melbourne cuisine, don’t miss Pryles’ Sites I Dig portion of her blog. Along with her blog, Pryles hosts the annual Carnivores Ball held in Australia and Austin. During the ball, attendees enjoy all meat has to offer through a multi-course dinner created and cooked by accomplished chefs throughout Australia and Austin. For a review of the most recent Carnivores Ball, held in Austin Oct. 23, visit burgermary.com.

Elizabeth Van Huffel: Local Savour

This Austin-based food blogger has more than 20 years of restaurant experience, from working in public relations to owning a small catering company. Elizabeth Van Huffel’s blog, Local Savour, focuses on Van Huffel’s goal of creating family meals containing 80 to 100 percent locally grown food. Her blog features a section titled At the Market, in which readers can click on specific months to learn which local items are purchasable throughout the year. Each month, the blog highlights one ingredient, also providing a list of dishes and recipes relevant to all the ingredients of the month. If you haven’t been to a local farmers market in the winter months, be sure to visit one in December. Look for grapefruits, specifically, along with oranges, lemons, limes, sweet potatoes and sweet peppers. Local Savour has also released two e-books titled From Market to Plate, a summer edition and autumn edition. If you’re more of a visual, interactive learner, tune into Local Savour’s cooking channel via the website or YouTube. The videos vary from featuring entire recipes to shorter videos with tips and advice for the kitchen, such as how to roast garlic properly. To encourage farm-to-plate eating, Van Huffel includes a section on local CSA programs for readers to learn more about the process and to discover a variety of farms that participate in the program. Learn more about food in Austin, how it relates to hospitality, health and the future by looking at Local Savour’s recommended food readings.

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