Tag Archives: Lengua Sessions

Alice Laussade, The Cheap Bastard & Meat Fight CEO

Alice Laussade laughs in the face of bar soap. The James Beard Award-nominated columnist for Dallas Observer’s food section likes to write using dirty words and doesn’t care about your delicate constitution. You either get the joke, or you don’t. That’s what she’s like on paper and on the Internet. But if you know Alice, you’ll see that, yes, she has that saucy quality, but she’s also a kind person, happy to help friend or stranger.

Case in point: Meat Fight, an annual barbecue competition benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This year, the smoked-meats soiree is going big, moving from Laussade’s backyard to Sons of Hermann Hall. The Deep Ellum venue will host some of Dallas’ top-dog chefs competing in teams for plaudits handed down by an intimidating panel of judges, including pit wizards Justin Fourton and Aaron Franklin as well as BBQ writer Daniel Vaughn.

If you haven’t already purchased your tickets to Meat Fight, you’re out of luck. The fundraiser is sold out. However, there is room at Cane Rosso, where Laussade will be making face with the oven on Monday, Oct. 29, as part of the pizzeria’s guest chef series. Her turn with the paddle will also benefit the National MS Society.

Did I just blow your cover, Alice? Whatever. You already answered the “Lengua Sessions” interview questions.  Speaking of which: Continue reading

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James Scott, DallasVegan.com & Texas State Veggie Fair Founder

Photo credit: Sylvia Elzafon

You could stand to eat more vegetables. We all could. In fact, veggie tacos are too often overlooked, much to our detriment. James Scott is here to help.

Scott decided to eat a vegetarian diet approximately eight years ago. He wanted to lead a healthier life and decided a month-long trial would be sufficient. One month wasn’t enough. Two years later Scott went vegan. He also founded the website DallasVegan.com. However, he didn’t want to leave the joy of the State Fair of Texas’ fried hurt behind. (As much as we disparage the Big Tex Choice Awards, we ought not lie to ourselves. Texans, especially Dallasites, look forward to the announcement of the finalists each year. Fried butter!)  Thus was born the idea of the Texas State Veggie Fair. The third annual celebration of vegetarianism and veganism—and fried food!—will be held this Sunday, Oct. 21, in a larger venue, Reverchon Park. It’s a free, family-friendly event that has more than tripled in size from the first year in 2010, says Scott. But it wasn’t always soyrizo and tempeh. And tacos needn’t be greasy packages of muscle tissue.

Before you attend the Texas State Veggie Fair, read what Scott has to say about tacos… Continue reading

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Veletta Forsythe Lill, Outgoing Dallas Arts District Executive Director & Mother of Dallas Food Trucks

Do you operate a food truck in Dallas? Have you ever patronized a Dallas food truck? Well, you need to thank Veletta Forsythe Lill. The outgoing executive director of the Dallas Arts District, home to internationally renowned arts institutions and free public events that she’s helped foster, fought to have food regulations reformed so that you could enjoy Dallas’ best-smelling truck and the whiz-bang of K-Mex, not to mention ignite the celebrity of at least one area blogger. So, thank her. Lill is a hero, a champion of arts, culture and cuisine and someone who knows what she likes in a taco.

What is your favorite taco-related childhood memory?
I confess that I grew up in the Midwest in the 1950s and ’60s so tacos were not a staple. Besides the standard casseroles and Jell-O dishes of the period, our ethnic food was more European Union than Latin American. My taco, Tex-Mex, Mexican food addition was born in the 1980s when we moved to Dallas. I am thrilled to say that our city and America has become far more sophisticated about our food over the years. Continue reading

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André Natera, Pyramid Restaurant & Bar Executive Chef

“Lengua Sessions” is a bi-monthly interview series with taco-loving chefs, bartenders, civil servants, artists, persons of interest unluckily cornered and grilled about tacos.

There has been no shortage of accolades for André Natera as the executive chef of the Fairmont Hotel Dallas’ restaurant, the Pyramid. The 35-year-old El Paso native is a wonder. He quietly transformed the Pyramid into a more than a hotel’s food establishment. Natera made the restaurant a fine-dining destination where patrons are awed by classically informed seasonal, largely locally sourced (some of it from the Fairmont’s 3,000-square-foot terrace garden) dishes. Stuffy, Natera and the Pyramid, are not. Continue reading

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