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Glow team in full swing at the James Beard House, NYC

Well, we did it. We brought the Texas coast to NYC and served it up at the James Beard house. What a dream come true. It was a surreal experience, simply magical with a bit of deja vu, as though I had been there before. It was everything I imagined it would be.

Getting fish from Rockport, Texas to New York City is no easy feat, but it was well worth it.  Flounder, grouper, black drum, golden tilefish, ike jime’d red snapper, squid, oysters, shrimp…all caught in our backyard for the guests to enjoy hundreds of miles away. I found some gorgeous beets and radish from the Fulton Stall Market down near the South Street Seaport the day before, so we used those in our vegetable pearls. The sole meat dish, our classic bourgignon made with Black Buck antelope was a big hit with the audience as well and probably a nice break from all previous seafood dishes. We even converted a few nonfish eaters on the James Beard staff, saying they had never known fish could taste so clean, so fresh. Hurray!

Dr. Richard and Bunny Becker from Becker Vineyards came all the way from Fredericksburg to support Glow and represent Texas wineries. What a dream come true to share this amazing evening with these Texas wine legends. And it didn’t stop there, with wines from William Chris, Fall Creek and McPherson Cellars paired with the menu and the guests raved about them all. Sharing these wines was made possible by the wineries and I cannot thank them enough. Downstairs in the kitchen we had Kevin, Teddy, Jennifer, Katie, Tara, Jamie, and Erica who cooked, peeled, filleted, rolled, kneaded, poached and scooped their hearts out for over 12 hours straight. Such a hardworking team and still smiling by the end of the night! The staff at the James Beard House were most generous and many have worked there for over ten years – it’s obvious how much they love working for the house.  Most of all, thank you to our family and friends who came out to support Glow and the James Beard Foundation. Thank you for letting us share our passion with you. Thank you.

More pictures on the way, in the meantime the one above is sent from a friend that shows a snippet of the joy we were feeling that night. I don’t think a smile ever left my face.

Les Gras Mouton Muscadet 2010

At Glow we are in the process of revamping our wine list, and I am on a quest to find wines that complement our beautiful local seafood, ones that won’t overshadow but instead lift up the flavors to new heights. With oyster season approaching, I needed a wine that would hit just the right mineral and citrus notes without being too sweet.

Enter Mr. Marc Ollivier and his brilliant Muscadet.   If you love dry, crisp whites like Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc, you will adore this pale, peachy, stunningly pure Muscadet from the westernmost region of the Loire Valley. They hand harvest the fruits, specifically the Melon de Bourgogne, which turns out is a varietal that has almost disappeared, and since been replaced by the famous Chardonnay at its original home in Burgundy.  The vines are 40-80 years old, organically certified and un-cloned.  Ollivier even uses native yeasts during the fermentation process.

The 2010 Les Gras Mouton Muscadet has just the right about of mineral and flinty base for seafood, offset with hints of floral and lemon zest. It’s a subtle yet vibrant Muscadet, and one that reminds us at Glow how much fun pairing seafood with wine can be!

Marc Ollivier with his Melon de Bourgogne vines. (Bertrand @WineTerroirs)

GLOW cookbook now available!

My first cookbook is complete and now available for sale! It’s a self-published book in a modest paperback form, and I sure do hope you find the contents worthwhile and the stories engaging. I hope these recipes and anecdotes bring back memories of being by the water, and encourage folks to visit the coast more often.

Putting together this little cookbook has been a labor of love – at times seeming to take on a life of its own. My original intention was to give a taste, to share a bit about our experiences down here on the Texas coast through a handful of recipes using local seafood.  But then I couldn’t bear to leave out the sea salt, or our bubbly Bobcat cocktail, or how to fold a sailboat napkin! And then with November approaching, it seemed sacrilegious to leave out our sweet oyster:

The start of oyster season is a celebrated time of year on the coast, signaling the change in time and flavors. A special treat in autumn and winter, I like to serve chilled raw oysters on the half shell with chunks of hot sizzling chorizo. The contrast in temperature and textures makes your mouth burst with happiness. For springtime, the wild garlic chives start popping out of the ground and these are delightful with buttery broiled oysters.

With the oyster now in, it seemed appropriate to end the book with a listing of some of our local food heroes, the folks who work so hard to bring us our food every day. Without them we wouldn’t have the pleasure of enjoying these unique flavors and stories. I hope you find this little cookbook to be the perfect gift, especially for those looking to satisfy their craving for the coast!

We are honored to be chosen to share our South Texas Coastal ingredients and Glow dishes with the James Beard House in New York City.  If you can’t make it to New York in November, you can support Glow in Rockport on Tuesday, October 30th, with a 6 course menu featuring local seafood and wine pairings. $85 plus tax and gratuity. We would love to share this very special menu with you! http://glowrockport.com/JBHpreview.pdf

We are taking Glow to the James Beard House!

Little bowls of wild caught Texas Gulf shrimp, mushroom shallot cream and pearly cous cous.

Glow has been asked to cater a few weddings this fall, and it has been such a treat. Guests have flown in to our little town from faraway places like London, Hong Kong, New York City, and seem very charmed by our Texas coast. On two occasions we have catered at Estelle Stair Gallery, a lovely restored building in the heritage district of Rockport run by the beautiful Lisa Baer Frederick. The space makes me want to have a party for no other reason but to celebrate amongst her breathtaking coastal artwork.

We have begun serving brunch at Glow on Sunday mornings and it’s been quite a success. Guests really love our braised goat dish (cabrito) – very popular. Wrapping up a weekend on the coast with a glass of champagne and a bowl of Rockport stew, well, that just feels great.  We’ve also noticed quite a few folks driving in from surrounding areas (like Victoria, Corpus Christi) just for brunch, and then continuing on to see the local sights or hopping on a kayak to explore our local bays.  Lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Wrapping up final edits for my cookbook this week, just in time. I hope it makes a nice little stocking stuffer for folks that love the coast. Gearing up for our James Beard preview dinner on October 30 before we head off to the big apple for the real thing on November 13.  Before we know it, 2013 will be here!  Need to remember to stop, breathe and live in the moment, that always seems to slow time down a bit…

Beautiful herbs from Mark & Marji, patrons of Glow.

Autumn sure is a lovely time on the coast. Cooler temperatures have arrived and the air is crisp. When I am outdoors, I frequently find myself stopping mid-gait in the middle of wherever I was going, just to breathe in. For some reason an uncontrollable smile usually follows. As my sons would say, “isssniiiiiiice.”

Mark and Marji, a couple who frequent Glow, dropped off some breathtaking herbs the other day. They are so fluffy, vibrant, green. Muy verde!  It’s always such a delightful surprise when patrons take the time to give us something that means so much to them. Another patron, Christian recently gave us a generous bottle of limoncello that he made from meyer lemons grown right in his backyard, here on the coast! To know how much care and thought was put into making each of these…please know how much we appreciate them and you!

Beautiful Wild Caught Shrimp

Hope you enjoy my visit down to the marina to get some shrimp for our restaurant – they were some nice big ones that day!

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