A remote ranch where cell service is patchy. Some of the best views I’ve seen out of my kitchen window have been on the Bell Ranch in Northern New Mexico and the Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle.
How do you up your game year after year?
Cowboys are the best folks to do cooking experiments on because they’re a captive audience. There’s nowhere else to go! I try out a lot of new recipes on those fellers and I have gotten more creative with the ingredients I use and the dishes I make. I also like to challenge myself with TV cooking competitions that are outside my comfort zones to show folks I can cook in any location with any ingredient and make it cowboy worthy.
If you could do anything better what would it be?
I would really like to work with kids more and spend time teaching them all about Dutch-oven cooking and the cowboy lifestyle.
Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?
My heroes are all those old ranch cooks who paved the way for me and Shannon so many years ago. I tip my hat to them for all the trails they traveled and hands they fed. I also look up to God first and then my wife, they both continually inspire me to work hard, have faith, and be ever thankful of life’s little blessings.
What haven’t you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?
I would love to have my own cooking show to introduce the ranching and cowboy lifestyle to many folks who don’t know that it’s still a thriving industry.
What part of you, or what you do, reflects a spirit of restlessness?
I truly love cooking outdoors because every meal is a new experience. We have to adjust to the climate and conditions and always have to have a plan B if you forgot the milk because the nearest grocery store is 75 miles away. I have to be challenged in order to be happy, and outdoors in Mother Nature’s kitchen is the best place for that.
If there is any love-hate relationship with any aspect of what you do, can you describe what that is?
I do despise building a fire in ol’ Bertha (our wood stove) when it’s hot and humid. There have been times I’ve built a fire when it was 114 degrees outside. A constant howling wind is also the other aspect of outdoor cooking that I could sure do without.