Left a high paying financial exec. job to open my own restaurant/music venue. My place was well recieved and I received a lot of press from many publications including Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, San Antonio Business Journal, Houston Chronicle. Did a few cooking segments for local t.v. and also became the food columnist for The Huntsville Item. I love the history of food and I really believe that it ties all cultures together. I gave up the restaurant to live on a 1,200 acre ranch with my artist cowboy, big herd of Brahman cattle, 5 dogs and one really fat cat. He creates his art (which is well collected nationally) and I create in the kitchen. Our ranch house was built by his great grandparents in 1902 and his greatgrandmother and grandmother cooked many, many meals in it. His grandmother Mama Ruby Emmons was known far and wide for her cooking and her garden. I am happy to carry on the tradition. Next project is growing a large organic garden.
My favorite things to cook
Comfort food with a twist. Real food done real well (that was our restaurant motto). I grew up all over the world and I love all cuisines. I love mixing it up every day. I may cook Mexican food for lunch and Thai for dinner. I really love flavorful food that has a kick (spiced but not pure fire). I love to layer flavors and am constantly striving to serve a perfectly flavorful meal. I love cooking so much that I cannot pick out a favorite. OK maybe one, I love pozole in the winter and I have been told by many native Latinos that it is the best they have ever had!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother is a gourmet cook so I have never eaten fast food, canned vegetables or over processed slop that many unfortunate American children have to live on. We always had wonderful home cooked meals that were pretty over the top for everyday living. I am almost a clone of my mother in the kitchen, although she is much better at foo-foo presentation. We lived all over South America and entertained a lot (part of my father's oil related job), so cooking was always happening in our household. Holidays were week long affairs. My grandparents owned a drive - in (kind of like a Sonic) and restaurants in East Texas and my grandmother was famous for her fried chicken, mac & cheese, chicken fried steak and pulled pork bbq. My mom carried on the tradition by becoming a gourmet cook (adding an upscale level) and I would like to think I am carrying on in their footsteps.
My cooking triumphs
I catered for Nolan Ryan and his wife Ruth. He loves my tri - tip chili. I have cooked for 1 to 150 or so and everytime I pull of a big job, I feel great. I really do love to feed people. The first time a got a write up in Texas Monthly Magazine for my meatloaf and chicken & dumplings was exciting. It's not your average comfort food !
My cooking tragedies
Recently I made the absolute worst rice pudding in the world. It was some recipe out of a cook book that I thought I would try because it said it was so easy (and I needed something fast for that day and something that I had all the ingredients for). It did not involve cooking, rather just adding cooked rice to heavily whipped sweetened cream mixed with raspberry preserves. It was awful and I had to toss it!!!