A cookbook cafe opens in a Texas library


What could be better than going to a library and browsing through stacks of cookbooks, thumbing through the pages and discovering new cuisines? How about eating at a cafe in the library where all of the recipes come from cookbooks in the library? That’s what is happening at the new central library in Austin, Texas

Conceived two years ago by chef Drew Curran,  Cookbook Bar & Café is a cookbook lover’s dream come true. Every item on the breakfast and lunch/dinner menus is based on recipes from some of Curran’s favorite chef and restaurant cookbooks. Selections include whole-wheat raisin scones (Zoe Nathan’s  Huckleberry, chicken pot pie (Ad Hoc at Home, by Thomas Keller), and a watermelon agua fresca (Alice Waters,  Chez Panisse Fruit).

When dining at the café, you can sit at a communal area surrounded by cubbies of cookbooks – all of which you can check out of the library. While there are literally hundreds of books from which Curran could choose, representing cuisines from all over the world, the chef is placing some limits on the menu. “I wanted to keep it Southern,” he says. “I wanted to represent Mexico and Texas. And I wanted to represent my mentors.”

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