Cannon + Belle’s new head chef aims to bring fresh flavors to the table.
By Abigail Rosenthal, Photos courtesy of Hilton Austin
As many Austinites know, in 1842, Angelina Belle Eberly fired a six-pound cannon into the wall of the General Land Office, alerting fellow Austinites that Sam Houston aimed to move the Republic of Texas archives to Washington-on-the-Brazos. In response to this perceived act of thievery, the locals retrieved the records and Eberly was considered a hero.
Now, 175 years later, at the Hilton Austin, the restaurant Cannon + Belle is committed to making food as exciting and Texan as its namesake, with its Texas-inspired, farm-fresh—or “Tex-fresh”—menu.
Since taking on the position of head chef in May, Yesica Arredondo has had the opportunity to create special dishes—like a Caesar salad-inspired creme brulee for one of the restaurant’s wine dinners—and is currently crafting her own menu for the fall season. Originally from California, Arredondo has been working at the Hilton Austin for seven years, overseeing banquet responsibilities for the hotel.
“This is definitely the first time I’ve written a full-blown menu that represents me and the restaurant as well,” Arredondo says. “Just getting the ideas from the cooks, the bussers, the servers…everybody here has an idea of a different concept and what they think food represents. It’s fun getting those ideas and trying to create something that represents all of us but represents Cannon + Belle as well.”
Featuring ingredients from local farms, Cannon + Belle’s all-day menu offers multiple opportunities to partake in Tex-fresh fare. The restaurant doesn’t shy away from variety, offering everything from a seasonal cold-pressed juice bar and huevos rancheros breakfast pizza topped with chorizo, black beans and egg to the Belle Burger topped with pimento cheese and house-made pickles, to Gulf shrimp and grits featuring smoked Gouda cheese. Diners can also find Texas-themed cocktails at the bar, many of which incorporate locally made spirits. Highlights include the Hill Country Mojito, Angelina’s Punch and A Kick in the ATX.
Cannon + Belle embodies Southern charm in a way that seamlessly complements the food. Leather accents, dark wood and the occasional deer-patterned booth keep the restaurant cozy and separate from the hustle and bustle of the hotel lobby.
Looking ahead, Arredondo is excited to infuse some of her own tastes into the menu while staying true to the restaurant’s established flavors.
“We want to stick with the whole Texas-fresh flair, representing local farmers, products, ingredients [and]techniques,” she says. “I definitely want to represent that Southern flair as much as I can. I’m not really Southern, but I love food and I love the challenge and being able to work with that and bring my flavors to the table.”