In sleuthing around for the primary culinary influences on Casey Thompson -- yes, the same Casey Thompson who first impressed The Mansion's Dean Fearing, bowled over the Dallas dining establishment with Shinsei, wowed the cable-ready food world on Top Chef, and whose Brownstone in Fort Worth is the area's latest temple of locavore dining -- you need look no further than her grandparents.
More specifically her matched set of grandmothers -- one with roots firmly buried in the loamy soil of Texas, the other who can chirp "La Marseillaise" flawlessly because she hails from France.
The 32-year-old, Lewisville-born Thompson can credit many languid childhood weekends spent with those two grand-matriarchs with the early molding of what would become Thompson's eclectic, homespun approach to restaurant dining.
Thompson's flour-coated memories of her "Texan" grandmother include her scratch biscuits, and a formidable chicken-fried steak, surrounded by an armada of sliced tomatoes, okra and hush puppies.
"She was such the real Texan grandmother, that she always seemed to have a fresh-fruit cobbler ready," Thompson says.