HOUSTON Saturdays and Sundays 4-5 p.m., NewsRadio 740 KTRH
A Presentation of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods
SATURDAY: This week we catch up with Chef Lou Lambert, the culinary side of the family that has given Texas the eccentric and wildly successful hotel developer Liz Lambert. After growing up on a ranch in Far West Texas, Chef Lou was based in Austin for several years. Now home base is restaurants in Fort Worth, plus travels to teach cooking classes, plus a new cookbook coming soon. We talk about all this and more when we chat with Lou between bouts of slicing and dicing before a cooking class. And we try to get our head around the bottle of firewater with the scorpion inside. Yes, that’s what’s visible inside each and every bottle of Scorpion mescal from way down in Oaxaca. We do a tasting of mescal with the American man who produces this one, including the finer points that separate mescal from its better-known cousin, tequila.
SUNDAY: It’s always a pleasure to catch up with the Vallone family, whose pater familias Tony has given Houston one of its most successful and revered restaurants ever. Tony’s newest venture spins off not so much from Tony’s itself as from a more casual Italian eatery in the Gallery aria, Ciao Bello. Caffe Bello, famously now holding down the location of La Strada. Invites us in to talk with Tony’s son Jeff as well as with chef Michael dei Maggi, who’s helping out bigtime after his high-profile adventures at Max’s Wine Dive and the Rockwood Room. Also on today’s show, we taste some excellent and affordable wines from the Central Coast of California. Pietra Santa means “sacred stone,” and something in this soil is pushing along some remarkable wines. Then again, so is the winemaker – an Italian from the Chianti region.
Photo at Caffe Bello: Jeff Vallone, John, Michael dei Maggi.