Scott Cohen is wild for game. The executive chef at Las Canarias in San Antonio (La Mansión del Rio Hotel, 112 College) learned to cook deer up north after hunters began bringing him backstraps to roast. Texas’ high-quality game ranches have expanded his repertoire. Here he takes a tender rack of young venison and covers it in a peppery mushroom–bread crumb crust. A side dish of creamy, allspice-dusted sweet potatoes provides a touch of richness, and mustard greens sautéed with garlic and shallots add an agreeably sharp note. “Initially we did this dish as a special,” says Cohen, “but it was so popular, we had to put it on the menu.”

Recipe for Scott Cohen’s Mushroom-Crusted Venison.