One of the first ladies of Texas hostesses; any Lone Star state-themed food party without a recipe from the great Mary Faulk Koock would be a naked sham.

No less a luminary than James Beard was instrumental in placing Koock on the national stage with the landmark The Texas Cookbook,(1)first published in 1965. Beard was sent to Texas by Little, Brown and Company, the Boston publishing house, at the behest of J. Frank Dobie, a lion of Texas letters perhaps best known for his work saving the Texas Longhorn from extinction. Beard and Koock worked in tandem on the now-legendary tome. It is the cornerstone of our Texas kitchen work.

Mary Faulk Koock first rose to prominence in the 1940s when she opened her family home as the now-legendary Green Pastures restaurant. Back then, Austin was quite a bit different than today. One imagines the food bloggers of the era, had they existed, would have had quite the time instagramming photos of preening peacocks strutting about the grounds as Koock assumed the role of queen of the party-every party-no matter who was present-Koock’s raw dynamism assured that the spotlight was focussed on this supernova of a woman.

Mary Faulk Koock passed in 1996 leaving seven children, fourteen grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren to carry on in her stead.

We are proud to be serving a savory rice dish from this woman’s legacy of recipes at our 13th pop up restaurant food party; Saturday November 16th 2013 at Tamale House East.

You won’t leave hungry.

1. “[A]s exuberant as the state, and full of amusing information and good recipes from every part of it. . [G]reat fun for Texans and non-Texans alike.” –New York Times Book Review

ed note: we couldn’t secure photo rights to a picture of Mary Faulk Koock so we harvested a classic Texas hostess photo from tumblr for this article.

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