Michael Bauer

“I remember back in ‘81 or ‘82 with Routh Street Cafe, Stephan (Pyles) would sometimes use local Texas antelope when he could get it. The supply chain hadn’t really been established. It was catch as catch can, that’s what kept chefs from using it. They wanted to, and they were talking about local products, but it was hard to find the farmers who were doing it. I remember getting releases and things from the Department of Agriculture. Jim Hightower was so important because he really promoted Texas products and what was happening in Texas.“

Michael Bauer was restaurant editor for the Dallas Morning News. At the time, Dallas was still stuck in the whole French continental. He asked himself, ‘Okay, what do you do as a journalist, do you sit back and just report or do you try and get things moving?’ He was at the first meeting with the Gang of Five, a group of chefs led by Anne Lindsay Greer McCann, Robert del Grande, Stephan Pyles, Dean Fearing, Avner Samuel, and Amy Ferguson. That group started getting together and talking about food in the Southwest. That led to a whole bunch of Southwestern-focused ideas. Dallas was ripe for this because you had Jim Hightower doing what he was doing with getting organics, you had chefs who were starting to look at our local products.