Proprietor/Chef Jeff Blank
Hudson's on the Bend, Austin, TX
For over 26 years, Chef Jeffrey Blank has been creating and perfecting his inspired and adventurous "Texas Hill Country Cuisine," much to the delight of Austin food aficionados. During this time, he has also won awards and acclaim from regional and national critics: Celebrity Chef (1993), People's Choice Award (1996 and 1997) and "Who's Who in Texas Wine and Food" from Texas Wine and Food Festival. Nominated for the "Tribute to James Beard" and named by Wine Spectator as "1994 Award of Excellence" winner, Blank counts inclusion in Conde Nast's Traveler magazine's "Top 50 Restaurants in America" as his most distinguished achievement.
Located in a rustic, river rock ranch house, Hudson's on the Bend, easily earns its reputation as the most romantic restaurant in Austin. Ever practical, Blank ensures the restaurant grounds are a functional, as well as an attractive, oasis. The smokehouse and beautiful herb, flower and vegetable gardens all produce toothsome ingredients that are incorporated into his unique, locavore menu.
"Fearless cooking" describes the culinary style of Blank and his team as they deliver menu items filled with big, full, Texas flavors to each table. His chefs often layer quail, venison, pheasant, duck, rabbit, wild boar, ostrich, and rattlesnake – not to mention fresh seafood – with pungent spices and sauces before smoking or grilling them over pecan wood.
A proponent of intriguing ingredients and pairings, it's no surprise to find rich, flavorful Fresh Hass Avocados on Blank's menu. Throughout the year and especially during the annual Austin music festival which is usually held in September, Blank serves his signature Hot and Crunchy Avocado Cone. Few customers can resist deep-fried slices of Fresh Hass Avocados coated with nuts, corn flakes, chili flakes and sesame seeds served atop a refreshing mango-scented slaw. "We first offered our Avocado Cone as an option for vegetarians. It's now so popular that we can barely keep up with the demand."
Chef Blank received his culinary education at the Hotel and Restaurant School at Oklahoma State University. Before settling in Austin, he earned his industry stripes in Aspen CO, where he owned and operated The Wineskin Restaurant.