by Steven Doyle
What do you do with a chef who graduated from the California Culinary Academy, worked at Spago, Abacus, Five Sixty and numerous other spots of similar caliber? Some might say have the chef move to McKinney and open a café that sells great burgers and beer. That is the case with chef Craig Brundege who operates Square Burger in McKinney.
Square Burger has been running strong for over four years offering their power-house line up of great burgers and daily specials that will often include fresh fish and pastas. But what drives us 30 miles up I75 to downtown McKinney from the inner-workings of Dallas are those haunting burgers. Continue reading
by Andrew Chalk
Rich Rogers, owner of Scardello Artisan Cheese, is nothing if not persistent. At the American Cheese Show last year he tasted a cheese named Salers and had an aha moment. It was God’s cheese and he had to have it. He gave the vendor an order for a wheel, price unseen. Only later, while waiting for delivery from France, did he have symptoms of buyer’s remorse at not having firmed up the price. It turned out price would be the least of his ‘Salers Problems’.
His east coast importer called to confirm that his wheel was on its way and just entering customs. It never made it out. The FDA, always protecting us from ourselves, had seized the wheel because it contained cheese mites. Cheese mites are tiny organisms that both live on certain cheeses and contribute to flavor. They have existed virtually forever. Their crime? According to the FDA, some people are allergic to them. Continue reading
by Rich Rogers
Rich from Scardello, our city’s resident caseophile, sends word that his cheese has been highjacked. Listen in on his tale of woe and console him by checking out a few cheeses that made it to the shop on Oak Lawn in Dallas.
The Salers cow in the picture is not happy with the FDA, and neither am I. Is it bad to say that about a department of your government? If it is I don’t care. They have my cheese and they aren’t going to let it go. They’re only doing it to protect us, but lately they have been overly protective. Queso in point – my cheese.
The best thing I tasted at the winter Fancy Food Show was a piece of Rodolphe’s Salers. This incredible hard cow’s milk cheese was so packed with complexity and incredible flavor. (His 3 year old Mimolette was not far behind in the amazing category.) I liked the Salers so much I ordered a 50 pound wheel and didn’t ask how much it was going to cost. I didn’t care what it cost, it was THAT good! Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
The Second Annual Big Texas Beer Festival, which is hosted by two very special local beer enthusiasts Chad and Nellie Montgomery, was a wailing success. The festival which takes place in the Automobile Building at the Texas State Fairgrounds brings in a slew or brews from around the country. This year over 400 beers were on the ready to be sampled, and we went through a majority of them two ounces at a time.
The $35 price of admission gave each reveler a punch card good for a dozen samplings, and a small glass for tasting. For an extra two dollars you could grab another round of twelve, making the day inexpensive and fun. Continue reading
by Ali Kay Hammer photos by Steven Doyle
Editor’s Note: Earlier this month Ali married a beer. Just yesterday we announced that the young cheese monger had created a biscuit for Hypnotic Donuts using some fun, local ingredients. Today Ali sends word on how this all came about, and her thoughts on the process of creating the biscuit. The story was far too fun not to share with our audience, so find her words below. If you tried her biscuit and wish to offer comments, send her your cheers (or jeers) in comments. Having personally tasted the biscuit in question, I know you will all love this.
When James and Amy asked me to do a guest spot for January, they had no idea what they were getting in to, or maybe they did! I’m no chef, or cook, or any of that by any means. I’m simply an advocate for doing things that make you happy. For me, it’s easy. I like great food and I like to laugh, all of which I learned from my dad.
When I’m able to expose someone to the things I enjoy most and it brings a smile to their face, it makes everything I do worthwhile. Life is too short to not be ridiculous, and this biscuit is a reflection of just that. Go big or go home, I say! Let’s take it the extra mile, put MORE CHEESE on that; heck, throw some bacon on it too. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Ali Kay Hammer is back on our radar again, this time the Scardello cheese monger is getting her biscuit on at Hypnotic Donuts on Garland Road in East Dallas. If you recall, just a week ago Ali was rocking the Peticolas house during their first anniversary with her wedding to the beer Velvet Hammer.
Beginning tomorrow and at least through the end of the month of January, you can experience what it is like in Ali’s mouth by ordering her version of the chicken biscuit. This is an ongoing program at Hypnotic and there have been more than a few fun versions of the chef driven biscuit since owner James St. Peter decided to invite chefs to play in his wacky kitchen once a month. Last month we all enjoyed The Grape owner Brian Luscher’s homemade sausages in a bun, this month we see what Ali has to offer. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle photos by Thomas Garza
Our friend Ali Kay is off the market and freshly married to a fine beer, the Peticolas Velvet Hammer. When we interviewed Ali for the original story where she announced her engagement we were at a restaurant, and our neighbors to the right of our table were horrified to learn that this young woman would marry a beer. The heart wants what the heart wants, and in this case Ali wanted a beer for life so she married one. Continue reading