Tamara Reynolds (whom you may recognize from Unique Eats) and her husband, Karl, have been hosting an underground Sunday Night Dinner at their Queens apartment for nearly eight years. Needless to say, the couple are used to cooking for a crowd under pressure. But what happens when Cooking Channel sends them down to Fredericksburg, Texas to put on a homegrown feast for the Lone Star State in the new special Married With Dishes?
“Guerilla warfare,” Tamara says. “It’s a stressful cooking situation, as you’ll see. Top Chef’s got nothing on me.”
The pair was given 12 hours to find a location, source ingredients and invite total strangers to a dinner that embodied Texas while still staying true to the area’s (and Tamara’s) German roots.
“There’s a whole German community in the middle of Hill Country in Texas,” she says. “I had no idea.”
A self-taught cook who has learned all she knows through trial-and-error, Tamara is no newbie to cooking on the fly. Will it be enough to make all the dishes for the dinner party come together in a mere 12 hours? Oh, and by the way, it all has to be cooked with just one burner.
The pair met some colorful locals; Karl rode around in a convertible Cadillac with Texas Longhorns on the front scouting locales and finding the cooking essentials. Plus, Tamara learns to shoot a gun for the first time when she runs into a woman who offers to hunt her down a wild boar for the dinner’s main course. Throughout it all, the couple stays married and makes a dinner with fresh, local ingredients.
The night’s menu changed with each new person the couple encountered, but one dish was so good Tamara says she’s made it five times since coming home.
Young greens, tomatillos (in honor of Texas, of course), roasted chiles, chili flake, bacon smoked pork broth and cider vinegar came together in what Tamara names a “South by Southwest Potlikker.”
“Our show is fun and ridiculous,” she says, “But the truth of the matter is anything I make can totally be made in your home kitchen. That’s where I cook on an everyday basis. I hope to encourage more home cooking in America—it’s important.”
Tune in to Married With Dishes April 22 at 8 p.m. to watch the hilarity ensue!