What lies at the intersection of food, feminism, and finding joy? Austin’s own Addie Broyles! Get to know what inspires her, her lifelong food journey, and how she stays curious ahead of her November 22 conversation with British television cook Nigella Lawson.

Addie sits at a table in a restaurant filled with dishes and glasses
This is Addie 👆
Hello, Austin food family!
It’s a delight to send this invitation for you to join me on Nov. 22 with Nigella Lawson at the Long Center.

I’m Addie Broyles, the longtime Statesman food writer who now spends her days helping people connect with their ancestors via tarot cards (who could have predicted that?!) and writing freelance stories, including a weekly column The Feminist Kitchen, now published as a Substack newsletter. Later this month, we are welcoming the inimitable Nigella Lawson, Britain’s best-known food writer.

A little background on how the one and only Nigella landed on my radar. My life as a foodie began back in the 1990s, when I was one of those Food Network-obsessed teens who watched every show that aired on this newfangled cable channel. By the time I was in college, I was hooked, watching Rachael Ray and Sara Moulton in between journalism classes at Mizzou, never dreaming that I would one day make a living as a food columnist.

Nigella became a food star in England in 1998 with her debut cookbook, “How to Eat,” which became a bestseller almost overnight, followed by a series of book and TV shows that made her a household name in both the UK and the U.S. I first saw her on one of those early Food Network shows, putting together one of her famous feasts with an ease that I still haven’t yet mastered. I knew she was on her way to becoming a food powerhouse.

With 13 books and countless TV shows and appearances, including as a judge on “Iron Chef America,” Nigella became an outspoken feminist and champion of empowering cooks rather than belittling them. In every book she has published in the past 24 years, Nigella continues to encourage cooks to help them go beyond the what and how of cooking and into the why.

I was delighted to hear that Nigella was heading out on a book tour through the U.S. to promote “Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes and Stories,” a collection of recipes and essays that was released during the pandemic, a time when many of us struggled with the monotony of cooking.

Perhaps more than any of her previous books, “Cook, Eat, Repeat” reminds readers that Nigella was a literary journalist before becoming a cookbook author. She penned dozens of small essays scattered throughout the book to give a glimpse into her own philosphy about living a life as rich as the food on the table.

“Although there seems to be an ever-increasing amount of pressure to rise to the occasion of cooking something new and complex and unfamiliar…it becomes our food only when it eases its way into our repertoire, that list of dishes we turn to and repeat, a list that grows and changes, to be sure, just as we grow and change,” she writes.

It turns out that Nigella, too, struggles with what she calls the “Sisyphean drudgery” that sneaks up even on the most enthusiastic of us home cooks. But food nourishes our creativity as much as our bodies. When we’re stuck at home and can’t travel, we can explore different cuisines and cooking techniques, not just once a year but every single night. When we shop for food, we can try a new grocery store or a new ingredient or invite a new friend over to share a meal.

Addie hard at work leveling chocolate on a steel table
Making chocolate at an AirBnB Experience in San Jose, Costa Rica

Helping people feel not so alone while they climb that what’s-for-dinner hill every night was also my mission during all those years putting out the weekly food section. But recipes were the Trojan Horse for deeper stories about the unpredictable experience of being alive including getting married and divorced, raising kids as a single mom, navigating Austin’s exploding culinary scene and unpacking racism and sexism in the food industry and beyond.

My desire to ask “why” and “what if” is what made my work as a food writer resonate with so many of you. It’s what I continue to do through The Feminist Kitchen, where I continue to write columns about the texture and topography of the examined life.

The interest in folk psychology led me to having a tarot practice, now Don’t Fear the Death Card, my tarot education and event business. My desire to know more about the plants around me led me to enroll in not one, but two, local herbalism courses this year. My curiosity might have taken me to unexpected places – including my great-great-grandmother’s hometown in Sweden and a fruit forest in Costa Rica – but it has never failed me.

I can’t wait to take the stage with Nigella later this month to find out what fuels her curiosity. How have her own views on food, history and culture changed over the years? What does it mean to live a good life now that she’s almost 25 years into living a very public life?

I hope you’ll consider joining us on Thanksgiving week to talk about ways to keep that flame alive, not only in your own kitchen but in your heart. They say we eat with our eyes first, but what lingers is the feeling we have in our hearts, not our stomachs.

Addie Broyles poses with Nigella Lawson's latest cookbook release, Cook Eat Repeat
Now, time to feed your curiosity…

Before I leave you, I wanted to share a handful of life-changing, curiosity-feeding books, movies and podcasts that I have been recommending to everyone I know in the past year or two.

Truly Texas Mexican” – I wrote about this documentary from Houston chef Adán Medrano, available on Amazon Prime, as one of my final pieces for the Statesman in 2021, and it continues to come up in every conversation I have about Texas food, history and culture. It’s so much more than a food documentary and should be required watching for every Texan.

Heavyweight” and “Strong Sense of Place” – These wildly different podcasts are ones that make me drop whatever I’m doing when a new episode comes out. The first is a Gimlet product from former “This American Life” reporter Jonathan Goldstein, who helps guests reconnect with people from their past to get closure on something that has been bothering them for years. The second is a books-and-travel show from former Austinites Melissa Joulwan and David Humphreys, who are now expats living in Prague. I’ve never met anyone as curious as this couple, and their enthusiasm for learning about new places around the world through the written word is infectious.

Braiding Sweetgrass” and “Emergent Strategy” – Ever feel helpless about the state of the world? Me, too. These books are often the only thing that gives me hope about the future. Robin Wall Kimmerer’s celebration of indigenous science is a book I wish I would have read years ago. (It came out in 2013 when I still had a toddler on my hip.) The latter book, by organizer and activist adrienne maree brown, became an instant classic in 2017 in its effort to help us look to nature as we learn to lean into the changing world around us rather than resist it.

Buy Nothing – This free, volunteer-led global movement, based mostly on Facebook, now has an app to help people give and ask freely with people in their communities. Participating in the gift economy left such a profound impact on me that I started seeking out books like “The Gift” by Lewis Hyde to help me understand why. I’m also an admin for our neighborhood group, one of more than 40 in the Austin area.

The Art of Gathering” – Priya Parker’s 2018 bestseller is helping me learn the practical strategies and philosophical ideas that make gatherings more meaningful. The book has been a constant companion as I plan my wedding next year with my partner, Frank, who had me at “squash blossom pizza.”

My younger son and I with Frank at Celis Brewery in North Austin

Yes, I’m getting married again. The boys, now 15 and 12, are thrilled. And so am I. You can follow our journey at thefeministkitchen.com or by finding me on Instagram @broylesa.

I hope to see you on Nov. 22!
Be well,
Addie

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

There’s a slight nip in the air and spooky season is upon us! As you’re settling into your routine, we thought you might be thinking… do I need a new fall hobby?? Enter Adrian Richardson, our Guest Services Manager, who has all the details on volunteering at the Long Center and why you should give it a shot. In this Mid-Week Intermission, hear about their first theater experience and check out our volunteer application so you can hit the ground running this season.

This is Adrian 👆
Hello!
My name is Adrian Richardson, and I am what happens when a Theater Kid grows up into a Theater Adult. (No, really!)

When I was five years old, I took my place as an audience member for the very first time and the proverbial bug took its bite. Amongst the heritage stone buildings in my Canadian hometown, the local high school was best known for its annual Christmas musical, and always invited the surrounding county’s elementary students to attend. We filed in to our seats on giddy legs stuffed into snow pants, and all at once were transported to a world of magic, music, and merry.

The show ended all too soon and took my toddling heart with it. When we’d made it back onto our bus and began to pull out onto the street, a few of the actors, still donned in their costumes, popped their heads out of the building’s back door and waved their goodbyes, sending us off with not a single fourth wall broken.

Twenty years later, and while the stages and acts have changed, my love for live performance has stayed ever the same. I’ve seen shows through the eyes of an usher, actor, assistant stage manager, and spectator, and each new position has only continued to charm me over and over again. These days, I am proud to work alongside Austin’s best in the biz at the Long Center, leading and developing the Guest Services department. Being in front of the house allows myself and my team to see firsthand the same joy and inspiration in our audiences that I felt all that time ago.

There is nothing better than being a part of someone’s first theater experience — trust me, it’s the best! I encourage anyone with an interest in live theater, whether you’re a novice thespian or a seasoned one, to join an ushering team and try it for themselves. If you’ve ever been curious about community volunteering, there’s no better way than to visit longcenter.org and send your application to us. The Long Center can’t wait to see you — we’ve saved you a seat!

So what’s volunteering all about?
a group of Long Center volunteers post for a group picture onstage with Neil deGrasse Tyson after a show

Our dedicated team of Volunteer Ushers are a major part of what keeps our events and shows seamless, safe, and a whole lot of fun! Get an in-depth look at the events you already love from the ground-up by joining our corps of volunteer ushers whose problem-solving skills, customer service, and warm personalities provide an unparalleled, positive experience for all visitors and guests. And did we mention… free shows??

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

Get your calendars out, Austin, we’ve got a new holiday for you! Last month, Mayor Adler officially declared September 30 to be Texas Reading Day. To celebrate, we teamed up with H-E-B’s Read 3 program and Camila Alves McConaughey to host the largest read-in event in Texas history. Everything is bigger in Texas, and this was no exception — over 100,000 students from across the state banded together to read McConaughey’s new book, Just Try One Bite! We even got to meet H-E-Buddy (try to contain your jealousy).

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The Read 3 initiative encourages parents, caregivers, and families to read with their children at least three days a week for 30 minutes… but more is always better 😉 Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It also helps them develop language and listening skills and builds a bond between reader and listener. One study even showed that kindergarteners who are read to at home come into school having heard over 1 million more words than students who weren’t read to 🤯

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
“I’m honored to partner with H-E-B to emphasize how important reading with children is for both literacy and help enable that connection for families in Texas and around the country.”
-Camila Alves McConaughey

H-E-B’s reading event even made national headlines. Check out this segment from the Kelly Clarkson Show 👇

Next year’s Read 3 Read-In will be on September 29, 2023. Registration will open September 1.

Special thanks to our friends at H-E-B for encouraging literacy for all Texans, whether we’re young or just used to be.

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

Where do Austinites go when the curiosity bug bites? Well that’s easy… Austin’s PBS station! From gardening, local news, and all those loveable kids characters, to the longest-running music series in American television history and everything else under the Texas sun, KLRU pretty much has it all. So in today’s Mid-Week Intermission, we’d like to introduce to you Luis Patiño, the new President and CEO of Austin PBS, but no stranger to Austin. Check out what’s curious in the Austin PBS neighborhood and why you should tune in the next chance you get.

Luis Patino
Luis Patiño
I’m super excited to be back in Austin!

Having lived in Austin for 10 years prior to moving to Southern California, we established some deep roots in Texas and when the opportunity to return came about, we jumped on it.

Thrilled to be leading Austin’s PBS station, KLRU, and the family of brands that make up the media portfolio. Some of you readers might know me from having led Univision, the Spanish language media group in Texas, and others might remember me from my days serving on the Long Center Board of Trustees during the early years. I truly look forward to integrating back into the Austin community. My associations with iconic institutions like the Long Center will be a big part of this.

Having been back in Austin for six months, it didn’t take long for the community to embrace my family and I in my new role as President and CEO for Austin PBS. The Austin community has been, and continues to be, one of the most welcoming cities in America. Every day we see examples of that warm hospitality. It’s been amazing to pick up where we left off with old friends and exciting to be making new friends in this city that is filled with fascinating, civic-minded leaders. The mission for KLRU is simple: continue to evolve into a modern media organization that embraces new technologies while never losing sight of our mission and purpose. Austin PBS will continue to focus on enriching lives and transforming communities through the power of media. Our viewers will likely see more local programming and increased focus on the performing arts.

A skyward look at Austin PBS's new lobby
View of the Austin Media Center

Having been in the media business for over 25 years, one cannot help but remain curious. Curiosity allows for innovation to flourish. Without this, we become stagnant and even lose relevance in this fast-paced world. Not only must we maintain that deep sense of curiosity in the workplace, it applies to one’s personal development as well. I love to read and learn from history so as to better understand the present. Having context for when and how things came to be has always been important for me. 

Take Austin City Limits for example, many people in town don’t associate Austin PBS with ACL when in fact we have been producing this show for 48 seasons. The show was created to explore traditional Texas music, but throughout the years it has taken various paths, leading to music discovery for many. Now, it is a beautiful, eclectic mix of sounds and genres. Most of this happened by design as a way to modernize our own music tastes, but some happened organically as content curation is all about taking risks and being curious.

Luci Baines Johnson and Daniel Tiger

Public media, and especially PBS, is having a renaissance of sorts. We are bringing in new content and attracting new audiences. While broadcast television viewing has seen better times, we seem to be filling a need for the stimulating, uplifting and aspirational storytelling that people are craving. Our journalism constantly wins awards and accolades for its fact-based, trustworthy reporting. Combine our excellent storytelling, highly credible journalism, passion for the arts and sprinkle in some educational and engaging kids programming, and you have the perfect reason to lose yourself in PBS content exploration. Look for us on the PBS Passport streaming platform.

…we seem to be filling a need for the stimulating, uplifting and aspirational storytelling that people are craving.
The Patino family poses for a photo on the Long Center's H-E-B Terrace with the skyline and candy-cane columns in the background
The Patiño Family, December 2015

As a lover of the holidays, attending Ballet Austin’s rendition of the famed Nutcracker at the Long Center is a treasured memory and definitely a Patiño family tradition we are excited to pick up again.

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.