Triumph of the Grill

From dazzling pomegranate daiquiris to spicy poblano quail, this simple feast—created by three of the hottest young chefs in Texas—is destined to raise the bar for backyard dining.

WHAT KEEPS YOU sane in the onslaught of a Texas summer? A picnic, of course: friends sharing food around a shady patio table or a tablecloth flung on the grass under a tree. Smoke from a grill permeates the air, and in the distance a radio is playing a Lyle Lovett song.

When somebody says the p-word, Texas cooks understand what to do, so we asked three of the most talented young chefs we know if they would share favorite recipes for an outdoor feast. David Bull, the executive chef of Austin’s Driskill Grill, responded with a covey of succulent grilled quail seasoned with poblano, jalapeño, and cilantro. “I love this recipe because it’s so quick and so Texas,” he says. Tim Byres, the co-owner and executive chef of Dallas’ Standard 2706, grew up in California, where artichokes are as common as prickly pear cactus is here. His idea of a summer salad is marinated artichoke hearts tossed with crisp greens and colorful vegetables. Randy Evans, the executive chef of Brennan’s of Houston, holds that northeast Texas’s Fairfield peaches are the juiciest and sweetest in the state (he grew up eating them). These days he marinates them in balsamic vinegar for rustic peach tarts. And just to keep things totally cool, Evans suggests a preprandial toast with chilled daiquiris made from the fruit of the moment, the pomegranate. Margaritas may have met their match.

Pomegranate Daiquiri
RANDY EVANS, BRENNAN’S OF HOUSTON, HOUSTON

Grilled Cilantro-Poblano Quail
DAVID BULL, DRISKILL GRILL, DRISKILL HOTEL, AUSTIN

Marinated-Artichoke-and-Feta Salad
TIM BYRES, STANDARD 2706, DALLAS

Rustic Texas Peach Tarts
RANDY EVANS, BRENNAN’S OF HOUSTON, HOUSTON

Tags: FOOD

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