It Sounds Like Love: Chef Tim Love
Texas Chef Tim Love is a sonic boom on the food frontier. As sonic booms go, he has a big personality, and generates endless shock waves that delight, entertain and feed our culinary curiosities.
His realm is vast and ranges from accomplished chef and successful restaurateur to TV celebrity and gifted entrepreneur. Love entices us daily with his brand of urban western cuisine; everything from burgers to wild boar … an assortment of exotic meats, including rattlesnake.
Love’s endeavors are one big epic trail-drive. Yet, after the dust settles and the passing sounds of the stampede quiet down, we hear the timbres of family, friendship, community and generosity.
Christi Churchill: With all the troubles in the world, and tensions in our communities, I’ve often thought if we could share a meal with one another we could build bridges of understanding. Sharing a meal is universal, the one thing we all have in common. It’s hard to hate someone you know. How do you think cooking and sharing meals brings out the best in people?
Tim Love: One thing is for sure: Everything happens around the dinner table – good things, bad things, deals, breakups. It’s the one a place your kids tell you what is going on with their lives. We settle things over dinner; we bond over dinner. It’s amazing how comfortable people get around food and the dinner table. Food is a very powerful communication tool. It’s a really cool thing. The dinner table segues into people’s lives. That’s when they’re going to tell you everything about themselves, the good, bad and the ugly.
CC: I read you have six siblings and your amazing mother raised all of you on her own. What food or food experience takes you back to your childhood and what did you mother cook for you?
TL: My mother loves it when I tell stories like this. She worked hard for us and all the time. I’m the youngest of seven … she’d bring the groceries home … you had to get your food and hide it, Cokes – everything! Otherwise, everybody’s friends would be over – our door was always open, a free-for-all. I was a scrapper; I had to fight for a couple of oatmeal pies. I remember her cooking braised chicken with white wine and a little cream; served it with crusty French bread – delicious! And, she made a killer Shit On A Shingle (chipped beef in cream sauce served on toast). Those dishes were definitely highlights.
CC: I understand that you are a conservationist, as well as a keeper of the land. How does this connect back to what you do on a daily basis? What is your philosophy on managing the land?
TL: I grew up on a farm with all kinds of animals and, of course, doing countless chores. That time in my life lent greatly to my success in the kitchen. I was ahead of the game. We have a 5000-acre ranch in Texas. We raise wild exotic game that flourish and survive on their own, which is amazing. We cultivate and care for all kinds of habitats … we respectfully manage the land start to finish – the ultimate circle of life.
CC: You are a philanthropist. You founded Burgers4Babies and you are an active board member of Spoons Across America. Tell us a bit about your passion for these two organizations.
TL: I’ve always been heavily involved in organizations [where] I can make a difference. Burgers4Babies is close to my heart … my girls were born premature. I quickly realized that there was no form of support or help with this issue. Burgers4Babies provides a support system for families going through the trials and tribulations of pre mature birth. Spoons Across America teaches young people and their families about the act of sharing and preparing a meal. The Dinner Party Project consists of 6th-graders preparing a meal from beginning to end for their parents and siblings. They send invitations, shop, prepare the meal, serve it and clean up. They take home a sense of accomplishment and knowledge; now they know how to make roast chicken for their families, and on which side the knife resides.
RECIPE FOR LOVE : Chef Tim Love
2 parts family
1.5 part friends
1 part good food
1 part good libations
1 part good atmosphere
1 100-foot circle of sun to bask in
1 LARGE table for gathering
CHEFS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADDED FLAVOR:
Give back to your community
Empower a young person
Create opportunities for one another
Revere the land
Live in gratitude
Have damn good fun!