This is an article I wrote about a chef who visited Thousand Oaks a couple weeks ago. He and I went to Santa Monica Farmer's Market, where he was amazed by Rangpur limes (he plans to track them down to make a fabulous super-lime margarita) and baby purple artichokes.
The first line is kind of silly, but all of Tim's talk about a trailride just got me in the cowgirl mood.
Here's his website, the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro.
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
Look out, pardner, Texas restaurateur Tim Love is saddling up to become the newest celebrity chef.
The James Beard House named him one of the "rising stars of American cuisine," and now he is working on taking his creative cuisine to a national audience.
Love, 33, hit the trail this week, teaching cooking classes at three spots in Southern California, including the Let's Get Cookin' kitchen shop and culinary school in Westlake Village.
"He's not afraid to do things that are complicated, unusual and interesting," said Phyllis Vaccarelli, the owner of Let's Get Cookin' who has hosted some of America's most famous chefs in her store.
Love is on his way to a Food TV network special in June and a new New York City restaurant opening within the next year.
He recently released a line of kitchen equipment called Love Style Restaurant Edition cookware.
Love made his California trip to spread the word about his restaurant in the Forth Worth stockyards, the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, and share some cooking tips along the way.
"Don't take the recipes away from this class; take the techniques," he said after spending 10 minutes showing an audience of about 30 how to properly julienne an onion.
"It may sound simple, but it's the little things that make the difference," Love said. "That's why people say the food doesn't taste the same at home as it does at the restaurant."
He explained that onions cut parallel to the root end won't brown evenly but if cut the other direction, they will.
Love made a four-course menu for the class that included lobster cakes in a citrus beurre blanc (he said "In Texas, we call it butter sauce,"), roasted corn and black bean salsa and spice-ribbed buffalo tenderloin.
"We love the menu," said Lynn Gilbert of Thousand Oaks, who brought her husband, Martin Penson, to the class as a one-day-late Valentine's present.
"We'll have to try his restaurant next time we are in Texas," she added.
Love's favorite recipes have complex, layered flavors based on Old West traditions combined with a wild experimental streak.
"I just get in the kitchen, pay attention, make mistakes, and sometimes I come up with some fun stuff," said Love.
Indeed. His cookbook "Tim Love on the Lonesome Dove Trail" could scarcely be more creative.
It contains recipes for coffee-rubbed kangaroo with cilantro-lime mashed potatoes and rattlesnake cakes with guajillo chile aioli.
Love majored in marketing at the University of Tennessee and knows the value of having a gimmick as he spins his skills into culinary gold.
Love created the culinary trail ride, a cooking road show that takes 22 cooks, six horses, two cowboys, a camera crew and three buses across the country.
They collect all their ingredients along the way, stopping outside cities to mount horses and ride in to wow locals with five-course meals pit-cooked in Dutch ovens.
"It's quite a deal," said Love, who has a knack for understatement.
His next trail ride will be to Chicago in August.
Love said his two previous trail rides have raised $60,000 for Spoons Across America, an organization that teaches children to cook healthful and creative meals.
He said the willingness to juggle cooking six nights a week, dinner parties for up to 25 friends every Sunday, expanding his career and being father to three toddlers comes from one thing: his love of food.
"All I want to do is cook and play with my kids," Love said. "That's about it."