Each Texan has a story to tell. Each story comprises one thread in the special tapestry that is the Lone Star State. Some threads seem to sparkle especially bright, glowing with special passion. Following are eight such Texas stories. Though not household names, these Texans are respected in their fields. By virtue of talent, good luck, and fortitude, they have done extraordinary things. Each story is unique, yet together they reflect an enduring commitment to sense of place.
Tom Perini grew up in Abilene in the ’50s, but spent weekends on his family’s ranch 15 miles south at Buffalo Gap. He loved cowboying—being outside, working with cattle, and cooking for the hands. Perini was so good at cooking steaks that other ranchers, including Watt Matthews of the famous Lambshead Ranch in Albany, asked him to cater their shindigs. Matthews even steered Perini’s career from raising beef to cooking it. In 1983, Tom Perini turned the ranch’s hay barn, at the end of a long dirt road, into the rustic Perini Ranch Steakhouse.
In the February issue’s Taste department, writer Jessica Dupuy embarks on a wine-tasting trip on the Rio Grande with folks from Terlingua’s Far Flung Outdoors Center and Lubbock’s Llano Estacado Winery. Along with wine, she and the rest of her companions enjoy gourmet meals prepared over a campfire or in Dutch ovens. We thought we’d revisit some old favorites with these classic Dutch-oven recipes from the Texas Highways recipe vaults. (You can make these dishes in a regular Dutch oven, as well.) Enjoy!