Blythe Beck on Cooking With Love and Loving New Kids on the Block

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Yesterday, we brought you a short profile of the unflappable Blythe Beck, executive chef at Central 214. Today, we asked Beck to finish a few sentences for us. Tomorrow, she shares one of her naughty recipes.

(Note: Beck's words are after the ellipses.)

My friends say I'm...nuts.

My momma told me...go big or go home.

If I had 24 hours to live I'd...get everybody I knew together and throw the biggest party with the best food and drink and dress in diamonds. No Champagne. Just vodka and beer.

My guilty pleasure is...booze. But that's everyone's. My secret one is rainbow sherbet. Cheap ass Kroger brand. Blue Bell was too high quality. I eat it at like 3:00 in the morning while I watch Three's Company and Golden Girls.

I cook therefore...I get to eat it.

If I could be anywhere, I'd... go and watch the Rangers clinch the World Series in San Franciso. I'm a huge Rangers fan. I'm also a huge Cowboys fan. [The interview was conducted mid-series.]

Never again will I...Ooooo, there's lots of those. Oh, that's not true. Shit. I don't have a lot of shit I wouldn't do again. I don't. You do it and whatever happened happened. Oh, you know what? Never again will I doubt myself because of something someone else said.

Cat or dog?...Dog. Pug. Mattie Dillon. I've wanted a dog named Matt Dillon since I was a kid. But I got a girl. She's a beast.

The CD I couldn't do without is...New Kids on the Block Greatest Hits. Duh. New Kids on the Block anything. A day doesn't go by that I don't rock it out to the boys. Greatest artists of our time. I can't hold that in.

The concert that changed my life was...Are you new? New Kids on the Block. The first time I saw them was with my mom, February 10, 1990, 5:56 pm. My mom used to take me out of school to take me to concerts. The nuns really liked that. I'm a Jordan girl.

At another New Kids' show I was sitting in VIP, had a cocktail waitress and was watching my boys. Doesn't get better than that.

The people I fantasize about cooking for at...New Kids on the Block. And the Rangers and the Cowboys too. I am a die-hard Bradie James fan. A lot of the players [on the Cowboys] come here. This [Central 214] is Bradie James' date restaurant. Andre Gurode, our center, is right over there. [Beck points two tables down at Central 214 on Friday night, October 29.]

I relax by...Honestly, I drink with my best friend Cory. He's a chef too.

One of my best days ever was when I...went to a Rangers game and a Cowboys game in the same day. I was in my Rangers shirt and then switched into my Cowboys jersey. It was the best sports day ever. I don't know why I like sports so much. Must be the competitiveness.

My personal work space is decorated in...images of me and pink. My screen savers are New Kids and the Rangers and Bradie James. I have happy birthday to me banner up from two years ago, and I go around with a pink bag with pink sequins. I like what I like. I embrace it. I love it. And when anyone sees pink or naughty they think of me.

My signature is...diamonds. When [my sister and I] both "made it," we bought celebration bands. That was a good year. It was like the ring of my ultimate success. This pink sapphire [ring along with the four diamond "topper" rings ] is the biggest FU ever [to the people who don't like me]. I bought it myself. And I bought it with our daddy's money that he left for his children.

One of my dirty, little cooking secrets is...I don't use recipes. When I first saw tbs, I thought, I love that network. When I'm cooking I just taste things and am like, "that needs more booze in that." If I wasn't for cooking, I would be...You're gonna think I'm crazy. I would want to be one of those forensic people. I don't really want to touch any dead bodies. But I am fascinated by that stuff. Creepily so.

Where does that come from? My dad was a lawyer, and I read a lot of true crime. A lot of Ann Rule. Stranger Beside Me -- I could not put it down. Small Sacrifices was the first one, I think.

My food fantasy is...I wanna feed the Rangers. I want to throw out the first pitch [some time]. And when they win [the World Series], I want to cook their victory dinner.

The best cure all is...vodka therapy. Whatever it is, you just gotta go drink about it.

When it comes to what I think the Dallas restaurant scene is... spectacular. I'll give a huge prop to Big Daddy Fearing and Stephen [Pyles] too. Fearing has done so much [for the Dallas food scene]. His mark is all over the place. I think the food is spectacular in this town.

My favorite places to eat in Dallas are...I love Fearing's. I have a total food crush on Scott Romano at Charlie Palmer's. When you can still remember what food tastes like, you know its good. Pappas Brothers. My BFF cooks there, and he knows how to make my steak. I love Lubys. I love the Dixie house. I love Vietnam. Number 87. But with tofu not chicken. I love tofu.

My guilty pleasure food is...mall pizza. It's bendy and you can fold it and all that cheese in your mouth. I love going to fine dining. But don't get between me and foldy mall pizza.

The real secret to food and cooking is...you can't be scared of it. It wants you to love on it. It wants you to touch it in the dirty spots.

Food should always...be good. You should always love on it and be good to it and respect it. Don't ruin it.

And food should never be... overcooked. Under-seasoned. Under-loved. Season everything. Dean Fearing taught me that. Acid and salt makes things dance.

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