- Urban Innovator
This Chef Limits His Ingredients—With Amazing Results
Austin’s Jesse Griffiths goes for months without lemons and onions when they're not in season. It's all part of his vision to create a regional, sustainable cuisine.
Critics greeted Austin’s Dai Due with wild acclaim because it does something new, and it does it deliciously: The majority of ingredients used in the restaurant are grown in Texas. We’re not just talking local kale and farm eggs. For months on end, chef Jesse Griffiths and his team cook without onions, because Texas has yet to yield onions that will keep all year. Ditto for lemons—when they’re not in season, he finds other sources of acidity. Something on his display counter that looks like a classic French pain au chocolat most certainly isn’t: Since chocolate doesn’t grow in Texas, the pastry is filled with mesquite beans. The restaurant doesn’t own a can opener. But this chef, known for