Chef’s Corner: Tim Love at Lonesome Dove, Duce, White Elephant, and now, Love Shack

Fort Worth chef Tim Love on where he likes to eat, what he likes to cook, and what he refuses to put in his mouth.

photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

What got me started in cooking:
I needed a job to help pay for college, so I applied at a restaurant. The only job that was available was making salads, so I took it. But I’m a self-taught chef.
Where I go to eat in Dallas on my night off:
Craft and N9NE.

Ingredient I use most:
Chiles. Aji and rocoto peppers from Peru, jalapeño from the Southwest, and serrano and guajillo from Mexico.

On my off-nights:
I cook with my family. My twin 4-year-old girls and my 5-year-old boy like to help. Every Sunday that I’m in town, we host a dinner party for family and friends. We make it all.

My indulgence foods:
Foie gras, cured meats, and room-temperature cheeses.

Every kitchen needs:
A pair of tongs and a cast-iron skillet.

My favorite cookbooks:
Joy of Cooking and Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.

Best secret preparation tip:
There isn’t one. Good things take time. If you want good food in 10 minutes, pick up the phone.

A cooking disaster:
Once when I was catering an event for 300, I watched as the truck, which was carrying all the food, turned in front of me. The hotbox flipped, and the food spread across the street.

An upcoming trend in cooking:
Peruvian food. It’s the latest and greatest. Follow cocktail trends, and you’ll know what’s next in food. People are always more adventurous with what they drink.

One easy cleanup tip:
Get an outdoor kitchen, so all you have to do is spray it down when you’re finished.

A party-hosting tip:
Create a theme, from the music and napkins to the food and dress. Everyone will get in the mood as soon as the first person puts on the party hat.

One easy table-setting tip to help set a mood:
Boil water and add in flavors from the meal such as rosemary and citrus fruits. Pour the mixture in a teacup or bowl with floating candles. The aromas get everyone in the mood for the food.

Best compliment to the chef:
Seeing people smile.

Is there anything you won’t eat:
Sea urchin. I have tried it every possible way it can be prepared, and it’s just terrible.


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