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Philip Speer of Uchi | Austin Food & Wine Festival

May 2, 2013

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Saturday of the Austin Food & Wine Festival we were able to sit in for a demo of “Classic Dessert’s” led by the extremely talented Philip Speer of Uchi Austin. From Uchi’s bio on their Executive Director of Culinary Operations, “Chef Philip Speer conceives desserts that are an antic­i­pated finish to dinner rather than an afterthought. As a 17 year old, Speer began exper­i­menting as a scratch baker in his home­town of Houston, Texas. Early in his career, Chef Speer gained expe­ri­ence by helping to open the crit­i­cally acclaimed Jean-Luc’s Bistro in Austin, Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Bank in Houston and finally Seven and Star­lite in Austin where he took on the task of revamping their dessert programs.

Speer left Star­lite in 2005 to work at Uchi with recent James Beard Award winning Chef Tyson Cole. Combining elements of surprise and artistry with fresh ingre­di­ents are hall­marks of Speer’s approach to his craft and these tech­niques have garnered him awards in the Austin Chron­icle, theAustin Amer­ican-Statesman and Texas Monthly as well as national recog­ni­tion in Bon Appetit, Cooks Illus­trated and USA Today. He appeared as a judge on the Food Network’s “Throw­down with Bobby Flay” as well as part of Chef Tyson Cole’s team that competed on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” Speer has been named a James Beard Award semi-finalist in the overall pastry chef cate­gory for the past two years.

Speer’s talents are rein­vented at Cole’s newest restau­rant, Uchiko. Trans­lated as “child of Uchi”, Uchiko opened in July 2010 to national praise, receiving honors such as Texas Monthly’s “Best New Restau­rant” and one of the “Best New Restaru­ants 2010” by GQ. Uchiko also received James Beard Award semi-finalist nomi­na­tions in the rising star chef of the year (Exec­u­tive Chef Paul Qui) and best new restau­rant cate­gories. 

Cole’s recently released cook­book, Uchi the Cook­book, features an entire chapter on Speer’s desserts that high­light his inven­tive tech­niques and creative uses of less tradi­tional ingre­di­ents. While awards and recog­ni­tion are greatly appre­ci­ated, Speer will tell you  “at the end of the day, it’s all about my love affair with food and working at such a high caliber estab­lish­ment with diverse and talented chefs.”

AFWFest-PhilipSpeer{ClaireMcCormackPhotography2013}-9551 AFWFest-PhilipSpeer{ClaireMcCormackPhotography2013}-9554Claire McCormack Photography 2013

 

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