In Texas, beef is a blank canvas. It has the power to bring communities together, to evoke heritage, and to prompt whole new levels of creativity. For Thai-born, Texas-raised Chef Uno Immanivong, a smoky mesquite ribeye topped with a fish sauce and lime-spiked salsa is as close to home as it gets.
"Texas is a melting pot of people. There's this camaraderie about it; that support system still gets me through the things that I'm doing now. I'll share anything that I have with anybody else."
"I love using mesquite to smoke meat because it's really robust. It's a Texas thing." Smoking your own meat doesn't require loads of fancy equipment—just an eye on the clock.
There are few career arcs as compelling as chef Uno Immanivong’s: after working her way up the banking ladder for an impressive 16 years, Immanivong, a lifelong Texas native and home cook with Thai roots, took a chance and competed on ABC’s The Taste. The one and only Anthony Bourdain was so bowled over by her talent and vision that he became her mentor on the show. “That was a moment that really broke through the barriers of what can and can’t be done for me,” she says. “Bourdain encouraged me to believe in myself, and that’s the reason I’m doing the things I am today. I haven’t looked back since.” She lives for educating diners on the versatility and power of Asian flavors.
Restaurant: CHINO CHINATOWN
“Ribeye is my favorite cut, because it has this amazing marbling. I love the flavor; when you char ribeye just right, it’s mouthwatering.” Look for ribeyes with even marbling and bright hue, that feature a well-defined spinalis dorsi muscle—better known as the ribeye cap—along the top edge.