For those of you who didn't get the memo, one of our own kicked ass recently on Chopped!
Now, he's involved in another national competition sponsored by the James Beard Foundation. In the spirit of sustainable cooking and farming, the Foundation is running The Blended Burger Project in which chefs across the country are invited to submit their creative burger that uses a combination of ground meat and mushrooms. Since there is no paucity of culinary talent in Houston, Tune is one of many local chefs competing; go here to vote for your favorite.
I caught up with Tune recently to learn a little bit about his background. Here are my seven favorite facts about the Chopped! winner:
7. He Played Hard to Get With Chopped Producers. Five years in a row Tune was emailed and asked to audition for the show. He ignored the offers until a friend urged him to give it a go.
6. Kids' Cereal Is Not Off Limits. Tune's favorite variety? It's a toss-up between Fruit Loops and Cocoa Puffs.
5. ..And, For That Matter, Neither Is Ketchup On Hot Dogs. Bridey agrees but recognizes such a belief would get her booted out of Chicago. (Well, whatever, that town doesn't love me back anyway because one of my ancestors tried to burn it down.) Tune does reasonably note that he prefers his customers take a bite his burgers first before drowning them in ketchup, as he pays very special attention to adding other condiments that might be masked by the deluge of Heinz.
4. Fashion Is Other Passion. Apparently his creativity extends to cloth as well as cuisine because he's starting a line of chef jackets.
3. An Admirable International Education. Some serious wanderlust has led Tune to travel to India, Thailand, and Malaysia among other destinations and his all-time favorite meal abroad was in a hut in Negril, Jamaica.
2. Mentors Not Idols. Tune doesn't "idolize" chefs with whom he has never worked, but rather pays homage to those who have mentored him along the way, specifically, Jason Weaver. Wise outlook, my friend.
1. At Two Years Old He Was A Sous-Chef. Tune's mom vividly recalls walking into the kitchen one day to see that Tune (then a toddler) was in the process of pulling out all the ingredients to make chocolate cake in the order in which he had previously observed his mom use them. I CANNOT STAND THE CUTENESS.