The most memorable meals I’ve ever had were made by men. My mother, who would be neither apologetic nor slighted by my saying this, wasn’t an inspired cook. She had her moments — roast was her specialty — but it was my father who approached the stove or the barbecue pit with the enthusiasm of an artist facing a blank canvas. Born and reared in South Texas, he brought to our table huevos rancheros, cornmeal crusted redfish and what he called “real chili” — no beans or tomatoes. Most of his specialties had Texas origins. But, occasionally, he’d surprise us with a wilted lettuce salad, heavy on the bacon, or a Spanish omelet, which he’d grown fond of during an Airforce stint in Seville.
Luckily, I married a man who can cook. Early in our courtship, the first meal he made for me was sirloin over fettuccine Alfredo, accompanied by a chilled vodka. Maybe it was the company, maybe it was the vodka, but I haven’t forgotten the meal.
The idea that men who cook are a novelty is cliché. We had little trouble finding them in these parts. And studies reveal that more men than ever are cooking, not just on special occasions.
Luckily, for us, they share their best recipes in these pages.
In this issue, you’ll also find our new feature, Nice Rides, which highlights classic and new cars we love around the Upper Texas Coast. And you’ll find all our familiar features on beautiful homes and interesting people.
Coast Monthly extends our sincerest thanks to Bob and Gina Spagnola, who opened their beautiful island home and backyard kitchen overlooking Lake Como for our cover shoot. Gina Spagnola, president of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce, was the consummate hostess.