In Conversation with Philip Speer

Our November N&G Book Club pick was Eat a Peach by David Chang. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to chat with David about his memoir, due to his filming schedule. I reached out to celebrated local chef (and four-time James Beard Award nominee) Philip Speer, and we had a delightful conversation about the book.

Talking to Philip was perfect, as his story has so many parallels to David’s. They both rose to fame in the restaurant industry during the same time period and have weathered many storms. For those who don’t know his story, Philip was named the pastry chef at one of Austin’s best restaurants, Uchi, in 2005, at the age of 28. Nine years later, he got his fourth DUI, receiving a 10-day jail sentence and seven years probation, and he says that was his wake-up call. He got sober, quit smoking, lost 100 pounds, and became an avid runner.

Now the co-owner of popular Austin restaurant Comedor, which opened in April 2019 and was named a Best New Restaurant in America by Esquire, Philip was so candid, honest, raw during our chat. We had a wonderful conversation about Eat a Peach, the restaurant industry, mental wellness, and self-care. He’s even started a wellness program, featuring yoga and a running club, for the staff at Comedor. Several restaurants across the country have followed his lead.

Watch our full conversation in the video below. And then pick up a copy of Eat a Peach, if you haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet. (And make a reservation at Comedor the next time you’re in Austin. The bone marrow tacos are out of this world.)

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