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 abroyles@statesman.com or 512-912-2504.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

Making ‘A Chorus Line’ come alive at Texas State
Making ‘A Chorus Line’ come alive at Texas State

The Broadway mega-hit “A Chorus Line” opens at the Texas State University Performing Arts Center in San Marcos on Sept. 26. SEE FULL STORY HERE. Liliana Rose, Jacob Burns, Emma Hearn and Ben Toomer play characters auditioning for a Broadway show in “A Chorus Line.” Contributed We visited a run-through rehearsal...
Listen to this: The ultimate one-hit wonder playlist
Listen to this: The ultimate one-hit wonder playlist

Ain’t no shame in the name. The one-hit wonder, the supernova of popular music, should be neither scorned nor mourned. Instead, we come to celebrate it. In honor of National One-Hit Wonder Day (still waiting for a presidential proclamation on this one), we asked the American-Statesman newsroom, as well as our readers on social media, to name...
From the archives: The curious history of why Americans love s’mores
From the archives: The curious history of why Americans love s’mores

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on May 26, 2010. Sylvester Graham would roll over in his grave if he knew about s’mores. Homemade graham crackers and homemade marshmallows for s’mores. Laura Skelding / American-Statesman The 19th-century minister and diet reformer who invented graham crackers dedicated his life...
How to make a S’mores Skillet Brownie (even if you hate camping)
How to make a S’mores Skillet Brownie (even if you hate camping)

S’mores are always in season if you live in a place like Texas where you can camp all year. There are all kinds of ways you can make s’mores at home to get a taste of that camping experience, but over the weekend, I went a step further and make a s’mores brownie in a cast iron skillet. S’mores inspired this marshmallow-topped...
Weird David Spade mural with Kurt Cobain quote a head-scratcher
Weird David Spade mural with Kurt Cobain quote a head-scratcher

Australian artist Lushsux painted a mural of comedian/actor David Spade on a wall in Linz, Austria last week, alongside a quote that has completely confused social media users. The image of Spade might be pretty good, but there’s just one problem - the quote is wrongly attributed to former Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who died from a drug...
More Stories