Food is something that everyone can relate to. Everyone eats, no exceptions. When people gather over a meal, some of the best conversations happen. Don’t you agree? There’s just something magical about sharing a meal with someone, whether it is a friend or family member, a colleague from work, or someone you look up to. This is what Patrick Scott Armstrong believes in and seeks to recreate every week with every episode of the Lone Star Plate Podcast.
Food For 15 Years and Counting
Since his early days growing up, Patrick was surrounded by good food. He spent summer vacations in Mexico where his mother is from, and his love for food began there. He started late in life in the business, waiting tables, bartending and working his way up the restaurant ladder, eventually managing some of Dallas’ hottest restaurants and wine bars.
Having worked in every area of the restaurant business, he fell in love with food, not just for the taste of it but also with every process involved – purchasing fresh ingredients, cooking, serving, entertaining, marketing and so on. The creative side really hit a mark with him.
He’s been featured in Travel+Leisure Magazine, the Austin Chronicle, the Austin Statesman, D Magazine, Eater, Rolling Stone, and appeared on Fox, ABC and NBC local affiliates doing cooking segments. He’s worked with Apple, Dell, eBay, the Showtime Channel and the Recording Academy (Grammys) as well as with the nonprofit Keep Austin Fed.
Having racked up nearly fifteen years of experience in the industry, he worked for well-known chefs like Stephan Pyles, Jon Thompson, Alex Astranti, Joel Harloff, and more on his way to becoming the industry professional he is today. Early on, he was inspired to travel and taste the flavors of Spain. His first adventure: the Camino De Santiago.
In 2010, he traveled the way of Saint James or Camino de Santiago – a network of pilgrims’ trails that end in the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, located in northwestern Spain. It wasn’t a religious journey but more of a spiritual adventure to see the countryside, meet interesting people and experience the food and wine. There are several paths to take, but Patrick took the French Way which is the most popular and scenic among the routes.
The pilgrimage starts from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles. Then, going through major cities like Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, and León, another 780km needs to be traveled on to Santiago de Compostela. The full French Way can take about 34 days to accomplish by foot. Patrick finished in 29 days.
While on the trail, he tasted all kinds of extraordinary dishes. What was amazing to Patrick is most of the food in each of the small towns he visited was uncomplicated and straight-forward, not requiring a lot of ingredients or even secret techniques. The realization further cemented his belief that great food can be pure and simple.
While in Galicia, he made his way to O Grove – a municipality in the province of Pontevedra. There he found work in a restaurant called Samar. This is the restaurant where he met his wife, Vanesa, who was also working in the same restaurant at that time. They married and Patrick became a resident of Spain and a member of the European Union.
During his travel, the most unforgettable food for Patrick was Jamón, which is dry-cured ham. Typically placed on a jamonero stand in the kitchen, anyone passing by can just slice away with a thin knife. Being the centerpiece of the kitchen, the jamón can be enjoyed by itself in thin slices, or the pieces can be added as an ingredient to other dishes. It’s one of the best foods that represent the country, Patrick said.
Food Truck and Beyond
Two years of sojourning in Spain ignited his aspiration to create something he can call his own. He moved to Austin, Texas, and began a food truck and catering business called BOCA in 2014, serving Spanish tapas. Patrick has always been a creative person so he did his own thing and created recipes inspired by his Mexican-American heritage as well as his journey through España. He created unique experiences for people through his food.
In the process, he discovered that he wanted to cook for the love of it. After five successful years in the food truck and catering business, he shifted to another facet – social media, consulting and marketing, which brings us to today.
Lone Star Plate Podcast
Meeting through a mutual friend, Patrick met Sebastian Sauerborn (Founder and CEO of Texas Real Food) and Emmett Glynn (Producer). There was instant chemistry between the three. Inspired by the Texas Real Food mission of bringing awareness to local and sustainable food options, Patrick joined the team and together they developed the Lone Star Plate Podcast.
One of the goals of the show is to educate people on where to find all-natural or organic, and locally-sourced ingredients. The podcast is also another resource for people who are always looking for something good and new. And, rest assured the guests will range from chefs to singers to comedians. Think of it as a fusion restaurant.
Join Patrick Scott Armstrong on the Lone Star Plate Podcast every week. It’ll be like sitting down with a good friend, talking about life and all its wonders, over a delicious meal and who knows; maybe we learn something.