State Fare: June Naylor is in the Kitchen with Tim Love
When Michelle Obama announced recently the new White House initiative to fight childhood obesity, I was delighted – if frustrated that such a plan had taken so long. It’s been clear for a long time that most kids aren’t getting fresh, healthy foods at school, but yet there are chefs everywhere who are donating their time to address the situation.
One such chef is Tim Love, owner of Lonesome Dove Bistro and Love Shack in Fort Worth. Love works with a national charity called Spoons Across America, which provides food and nutrition education to teachers and to children and their families. And two years ago, he worked with All Saints’ Episcopal School in Fort Worth, where his three children are enrolled, to infuse healthy options into its school lunch menus.
A few days ago, Love told me about working on a gardening project he wants to introduce to schools in the Fort Worth ISD. At his family’s new home alongside the Trinity River on Fort Worth’s west side, he’s built five raised beds, roughly 200 square feet each, for vegetable gardening research.
“I had gardens when I was growing up, and now I can do this with my kids,” Love said. “We’ll experiment and document our progress, then present a plan to the schools.”
While Love’s showing his love for kids’ health, he’s keeping busier than ever with other work, as well. For starters, he’s rubbing elbows this weekend at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s BubbleQ event on Friday with Emeril Lagasse, Todd English, John Besh, Susan Spicer, and plenty of other glitterati of the food world.
In April, Love will be cooking at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine event. Then, in June, he’ll tear up Aspen at the Food & Wine Classic with Mario Batali and a few other buddies.
And that’s just scratching the surface: Tim’s begun cooking once a month for a morning segment on the CBS Early Show. You can find the schedule on his website, www.cheftimlove.com.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying some really good meals at his restaurants in Fort Worth.
A recent dinner at Lonesome Dove included a cold-smoked acorn squash soup flecked with toasted pepitas and housemade guanciale (bacon made from pig jowls), with just a tiny chile kick at the finish. Alongside, there was a buttery little toast topped with foie gras (talk about gilding the lily!). With a plate of velvety slices of New Zealand venison, Love paired a tender frill of slow-roasted hen of the woods mushrooms. With a tiny ricotta pillow wrapped in a crunchy jacket of angel hair pasta, he paired the 2002 Foley Syrah from California’s Santa Rita Hills.
At the new Love Shack at So7 in Fort Worth, Love’s burger place, I’ve been digging on Tim’s Dirty Love Burger, which combines prime steak and brisket into a patty, then tops it with a fried quail egg. Who would have thought it would go so swell with Love’s signature margarita, infused with a cucumber and jalapeno, while seated on the patio beside a big pinon wood fire.
Go try it and see what I mean.
June Naylor is State Fare Editor of EscapeHatchDallas. A Fort Worth-based food writer, cookbook author and restaurant critic, June has been a journalist on the Texas food scene for more than 20 years. Join her on one of her culinary adventures: TexasToastCulinaryTours.com.