Food News

Kent Rathbun Reveals He's A Neat Freak Taco-Bell Craving Mac Lover

Yesterday, we gave you the goods on Kent Rathbun, owner and Executive Chef of Jasper's Gourmet Backyard Cuisine. Today, we asked Rathbun to finish a few sentences for us. Tomorrow, he shares one of his gourmet backyard recipes.

My friends say I'm... a workaholic.

My momma told me... work hard and be kind to people.

If I had 24 hours to live I'd... have a hell of a party.

My guilty pleasure is... Taco Bell. It's just junk food at 3:00 in the morning food. The thing about it is, it's pretty fresh. Fresh veggies. Made fresh. The best of the worst. It you can't get it cheaper.

The one thing I will never cook is... chicken livers. I don't like cooking things that I don't want to taste myself. I did it years ago because someone ordered them. I sautéed them, like gizzards. Now I love gizzards. The livers and the gizzards, those were the prizes. Growing up my family did a lot of country cooking. My mom was a good cook.

If I could be anywhere, I'd go... the most amazing place I've ever visited was Krabi, Thailand. It's the most beautiful place I've ever seen. I've been all over the Caribbean and Europe and Mexico. My next trip is back to Thailand. To Phuket. I'm going to be 50 in April. The trip is to celebrate. I did work for Lufthansa 10 years ago and I'm finally going to cash in the ticket they gave me. I'm going to eat, scuba and take photographs.

Never again will I... wow. Never again will I decide to get on roller blades. Two years ago on January 7, I broke femur in half. I spent a year with a titanium rod in my leg. I had to get a full hip replacement. I hit and heard it break. I've never had pain like that before or since.

Cat or dog... totally dog. My dog is a mutt border collie named Lucy. Lucy the Licker is a very happy dog.

The CD I couldn't do without is... something Sting.

I relax by... cleaning my garage. I'm one of those freaks that really likes to organize. If I have a day that I'm not busy, I love to organize my office or storeroom. You would never, ever, ever see me sit down and read a book. I watch TV or read on the Internet. It was painful as a kid to get me to read. I like books on tape, but I never have the time to listen to them.

If I wasn't a chef, I would be... Steve Jobs. The checkbook is cool. But I think the guy has got to be the most innovative man alive. I'm a complete computer geek. And I love Mac.

The kitchen tool I could not live without... that's an interesting question because I'm not a gadget guy. I need a chef's knife. A sharp chef's knife and a steel. I also love the Vitamix blender. It's a kitchen blender made for chefs with tremendous horsepower and velocity. Whatever you put in comes out silky smooth. It really purees things down. None other can touch it.

If I were stranded on a desert island with only one food, I would want it to be... I could eat my weight in chicken. I'm a protein guy.

The best gift I ever received was... my first wife gave me a picture of my father. I'll try not to get all shook up telling you this story. I got married when I was 21. My father died on the day of our wedding, two hours before we were supposed to be at the church. One year, my first wife gave a photo of my dad to an artist who did a charcoal of him. He was a cool dude, my dad. A musician. He played alto sax. I never saw him play. My first wife had the artist draw in a sax in the picture. Thirty years later it is still the best gift I ever received. It's hanging in my house today and I still get choked up talking about it. It is a really special thing. Of course, the real gifts are my children.

Dallas diners expect... good service. They'll tolerate food that's OK but not lousy service.

One thing that surprises me about the Dallas dining scene is... I am continually shocked that we have some people in this city in the media who don't think we have a good food city.

The changes I'd like to see in the Dallas dining scene are... I think Dallas is very diverse. I would like to see more Italian. I love Nonna. I think they do a good job. But we have room for more Italian. And we need to slow down the steakhouse thing. We have so many steakhouses already.

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Jenny Block