STEAKS, JUDGES, AND HEAT STROKE

Hico, Texas was the site for last Saturday’s Texas Steak Cook-off, Beef Symposium, and Tourist Trap. It was a two-tired competition: backyard experts and celebrity chefs. Would have been great fun if I hadn’t worn a black shirt in the 102 degree heat. (With about 50 huge grills fired up, the actual temperature was more like 150.) At 1:00 the “celebrity judges”: Moi, DMN’s Dotty Griffith,TM’s Pat Sharpe, and local freelancer Spencer Michlin (plus several others I never met) sat down to gorge on huge steaks. Have you ever eaten nine steaks in the heat? I hope you never do–my legs are still shakin’ and I still feel like I swallowed a boulder. Winner? Not well-know steaksters Al Biernat (Biernat’s), Gerard Thompson (Rough Creek Lodge), Todd Erickson (Hector’s), Michael Thompson (Michael’s in Ft.W.), Marc Depetris (soon to open downtown Urban Market), or Nelson Gonzales (Sushihana in San Antonio). For the second year in a row Mansour Gorgi, the Iranian chef/owner of Canary Café in Addison, beat those cowpokes tongs down. (Second place was awarded to Tim Love (Lonesome Dove), third to Manuel Gutierrez of Morton’s, The Steakhouse.) I haven’t a clue who won the $3,000 amateur prize, I passed out from the heat and woke up here.

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