You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Will home cooking lose to takeout, delivery?

If I’ve learned anything from this year’s South by Southwest, it is that it’s easier than ever to not cook.

I was on a panel last week with Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru, Anna Tauzin Rice of the Texas Restaurant Association and Jag Bath, CEO of Favor, where we talked for an hour about all the new ways that consumers are getting food today: in a box or bag delivered to their front door in every state of production, from a CSA box with produce fresh from the field to an online grocery delivery from Instacart to a hot meal from Favor to a meal kit from Blue Apron. (You can search the hashtag #newfoodsxsw on Twitter to see audience tweets from the session.)

And all those options are just for how we’re getting food at home.

How, where and why we buy food has changed at every meal — and every minute of snacking in between. Earlier in the conference, I heard a conversation led by Epicurious editor David Tamarkin about the state of cooking and what we can or should do about it.

The panelists all had interesting answers. Go to Facebook to watch our livestreams, said the Food Network producer. Buy our meal kits, said the meal kit founder. Said the rep from 365 by Whole Foods Market on the panel: Come to our grocery store to buy fresh ingredients to cook, or a meal kit, or a fully prepared meal that requires no cooking at all.

I’m not sure how cooking at home will evolve as revolutionary changes continue to come down the pipeline, but it was good to go over so many aspects of the food system in some very good panels at this year’s SXSW.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the state of home cooking amid all this disruption and innovation in the food system. Do meal kits replace trips to the grocery store or to a restaurant? Where are the new places where people are learning how to cook, besides the Internet? Do you just prefer to get takeout? Share your thoughts at or 512-912-2504.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Austin360 Eats

We tried that: Working on a food truck for a day

What we tried: It seems like everyone and their mother wants to open a food truck. Literally. On my way to meet Stephanie Swanz, owner of the Empamamas empanada food truck, my Starbucks barista said that her mom wanted to open one.  When I mentioned this to Swanz, she smiled knowingly and nodded. She gets that a lot, she said. Swanz has owned...
Owners vow to rebuild Long Island bar frequented by Kerouac
Owners vow to rebuild Long Island bar frequented by Kerouac

The watering hole had been a fixture in this Long Island village for decades, wedged in one of the storefronts on the main street that runs past a drugstore, an ice-cream parlor and a row of restaurants before ending at the harbor. But on this recent afternoon, none of the regulars could come inside Gunther’s Tap Room for a drink. The walls were...
Mexican beer is becoming our favorite import — it's not just about the food
Mexican beer is becoming our favorite import — it's not just about the food

Chef Diana Davila ran the first part of our meal to the table. It was two tacos, one robustly meaty and salty, the other a nuanced, layered vegetarian delight. She set the plates down with a smile and began to walk off. It was a lively Saturday night in her shoebox of a restaurant, but I stopped her. "What's your favorite beer on the menu?"...
Potluck this weekend? We have 4 dips you'll dive for
Potluck this weekend? We have 4 dips you'll dive for

With the heat of summer coming, it's time to take a dip. That is, it's time to bring a dip to a summer picnic. You could stir a packet of dried onion soup into a tub of sour cream, of course. It's delicious, but everyone would know exactly how much effort you spent on them (none). You could buy a tub of hummus, but that involves even less effort _...
Got corn? How to use up the season's bounty
Got corn? How to use up the season's bounty

Corn takes a lot of flack. There's all the confusion about its identity, whether it's a grain or a vegetable. The fuss over whether it's nutritionally beneficial. The fact that it's not easy to digest. And don't get me started on high-fructose corn syrup, one of the most maligned ingredients of our time. But as we revel in the summer corn season, we're...
More Stories