Hoover's Cooking is Texas cooking.
For 20 years, Hoover’s Cooking has been a force in Austin’s community.
TEXAS-GROWN & FARM-FRESH
Hoover Alexander’s roots run deep through Texas. A native East Austinite and a fifth-generation Texan, Hoover and his cooking are inspired by the state itself. Hoover has always associated food with bringing people together, and the delicious and distinct flavors on our menu strive to bring together the melting pot of cultures and people who make up this great state.
Hoover recalls going out to the family farm in Utley, Texas and picking fresh peas, melons, greens, tomatoes from the field and watching his father butcher farm-raised meats. He grew up eating what is now known as "farm-to-table." Hoover’s relationships with area farmers allow us to bring fresh, local food to our tables every day.
NIGHT HAWK LEGACY & A PASSION FOR FOOD
The Night Hawk restaurant holds a special place in both Austin's and Hoover’s history. Harry Akin opened the doors of the Night Hawk in the early 1930s, and it was the first restaurant to stay open through dinner hours (hence the name). Mr. Akin was a pioneer of racial integration in Austin restaurants – for both customers and service staff.
Hoover's discovered his passion for food at the Night Hawk while he was attending the University of Texas. He started working there for extra spending money, rolling out pie dough, making gumbo, and filling in for the head chef, Mr. Leon, on his days off. It was there that he came to learn the restaurant business from the ground up: bussing tables, washing dishes, bartending, working the line, planning menus, and finally, managing.
Hoover honed his newfound skills over the next decade at other Austin institutions like Toulouse, Chez Fred, and Good Eats Café (where he was managing partner for six years). Finally, he landed at home with Hoover’s Cooking, a Texas home-cooking restaurant that encompasses his culinary expertise: Southern, Tex-Mex, Cajun, and, of course, BBQ. The Manor Road restaurant also happens to be a stone’s throw away from his childhood home.
A COMMITMENT TO WELLNESS & COMMUNITY
In 2011, Hoover opened his first food trailer, The Soular Foods Garden, to bridge the gap between soulful cooking and fresh-from-the-garden food. He used the veggie-centric trailer to promote urban gardens and more balanced eating habits. The trailer became a community experience, with gardens planted by the Sustainable Food Center’s gardening classes, benches made by the neighborhood’s Alternative Learning Center, and family entertainment by local artists and musicians.
Hoover has helped organize several food and wellness programs at The Soular Foods Garden, from a small-scale model of the Capital Area Food Bank’s Kids Café, to gardening and cooking classes for the BeHive after-school program, to conducting oral history interviews with elders (some over 90 years old!).
In addition, Hoover is an active board member for Foodways Texas, Texas Restaurant Association, Greater Austin Restaurant Association, and Austin Independent Business Alliance and served as president of the Citizens Police Academy in Spring 2015.
At Hoover’s Cooking, we support and honor our community and our culinary and cultural influences.
So sit back, relax, enjoy some homegrown cooking – and don’t forget to save room for dessert!