As one of my titles on the Examiner has now become “Cheap Eats” it wouldn’t surprise many to know that I love opening my mail during the week of my birthday – between now and February 16th, I’ve acquired a free cheesecake offer, a free meal offer, free burger and $10 store credit for world market. So its Valentine’s Day this week – and I’d make a cheap date for that night too (hint, hint.)
However, this isn’t about cheap eats or cheap dates – but it is about another celebration. I received an email from the Examiner telling me that it was my “3rd Anniversary” of becoming an examiner. It’s hard to believe just three years ago, I was a culinary student who wanted to conquer the world one plate, blog and review at a time! I am a big fan of the celebrity chef, because there are so many different chefs with a point of view and cooking style that can make food understandable to everyone. One of the most down to earth celebrity chef figures that come to my mind is Blythe Beck. I became a fan of hers, she is an example of how strong a female has to be in a kitchen(a world that is generally dominated by men) and how her personality would shine through. She encouraged me to be myself, to own my personality and be proud of it. It is no surprise to see that she has an army of adoring fans that connect with her as often as possible, thanks to the convenience of social media. I’ve done a brief interview and story on Chef Beck for the examiner previously and after reading some of her facebook posts this past Thanksgiving, I had to do another. Chef Beck was cooking at the Dallas Cowboy game on Thanksgiving Day. Being something of a football fan myself, my curiosity was struck and I had to ask some questions!
So here’s a little background information that Blythe provided:
BB: “Let me just start by saying I am huge football fan!! However, I did not become a fan until I met Bradie James. We were both at an event and neither one of us knew who the other was, and when I made an ass out of myself and asked him what he did for a living – we eventually bonded over my pork ribs with smoky peach bbq sauce and I’ve cooked for him often ever since. He is fun to cook for but very specific about what he likes to eat. Since I have been a chef in Dallas, I have cooked for a ton of athletes. I have cooked for Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, his wife and brother in law, Miles Austin, Mike Modano and Andre Gerard, just to name a few. Each athlete has a very unique way of aeting and you can always tell if they are eating in or out of season. As a general rule, when they are in season, they tend to eat very protein heavy, no booze, no desserts and nothing fried. I find it an honor to get to cook for anyone, anytime, no matter what you do who you are or how much money you make!
SB: “Was this the first year you cooked for the Cowboys?”
BB: “Yes! It was wonderful and I would do it again in a heartbeat!”
SB: “Who do you cook for – players or the fans? “
BB: “You serve the VIPS in the A T & T Club level. You make 100 portions and they are priced at $20.00 apiece. “
SB: “How did you come up with the menu? Were there any dietary restrictions to consider?”
BB: “Since I did not feed the players, I did not take in their dietary needs but I did consider who I was cooking for. I thought to myself what the game watchers would rather eat…something tailgately, footbally or something Thanksgiving and traditional. I figured something that tasted like Thanksgiving, was carby enough to soak up the booze, and something that gave they guests value for their $20.00. That is how I came up with the ultimate Thanksgiving sandwich. It is always an honor when you get to cook for people especially their holiday meal.
SB: “Being a recent culinary school grad – we were all about the prep. What was the prep time like for this event?”
BB: “The prep time for this event was (4) days. I shopped the first day, and thawed turkeys out and then I slow poached the turkeys in butter until the meat literally fell off the bone. It was almost like turkey confit. My mom used that method last year on her bird and it was AMAZING!!! It took forever to cook the birds but they are so essential to a great Thanksgiving that I didn’t mind. I babied those birds until they were just right. I then turned their poaching liquid into the gravy and then used part of the gravy to make the stuffing. “
SB: “What kind of staff or assistance did you have?”
BB: “Each Chef was allowed (2) of your own assistants, but the Cowboys were so incredibly helpful and provided anything and everybody you needed. We did not want for anything. The staff was friendly, fun and professional!
SB: “What was the best part of this experience?”
BB: “I had a couple of memorable moments. I really enjoyed being on the huge screen at the stadium, I believe they call it diamond vision. However, the best part was when this woman came up to me and said – I have been looking for you all over this stadium and this is the first time in (19) years I didn’t have to cook because I knew you were doing the cooking. – “I have to say that was a pretty special moment and one that stands out to me. “
Thank you Chef Blythe Beck for giving me a wonderful story to write and share with my fellow football foodie friends and readers! If you ever need an assistant for future games, even though I’m a die-hard Dolphin’s fan, I’ll show some love and wear some Cowboy swag in the name of cheffing any day!!
To check out more about Chef Beck go to www.chefblythebeck.com.