Mike Torres, a grill master and Texas native, lived in Austin for 12 years and is now settled in Lockhart. He grew up in his parent's restaurants and bakeries where he developed a love for fine foods and cooking. He specializes in curating outdoor, open flame cooking experiences.
Q & A
Why is it important for you to know where your food comes from?
Before I was a chef I owned and operated a 6 acre organic farm. It was a daily struggle to educate people around me on the importance of supporting their local farmers. There's an endless amount of reasons for why it's important to know where your food comes from, but in short, I have immense respect for animal life and the humane harvesting of animals is something that should be important to everyone. I am also greatly concerned about the environmental impacts of mass producing meat with the ultimate priority being profit over sustainability.
Who inspires you?
My parents. Both being immigrants who traveled to the United States with few resources and managed to provide a great life for my sister and I and built two restaurants and one bakery that operated in Texas for over 25 years.
What is your most memorable meal?
I was in New Zealand in my early 20's. I went to a restaurant the specialized in mussels, which I'd never had before. The freshness was incredible and they were so delicious! It truly marked the starting point for my culinary interests.
What’s your favorite meat dish or meat preparation? Do you have a recipe you would like to share with us?
My current favorite meat dish is a simple bone-on beef short rib. My recipe is very simple - salt, pepper, bay leaf, and oregano sous vide for 24 hours then smoked for 2 hours.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Being with my wife for almost 20 years and being a good father to my son.
How do you stay motivated?
I want to maintain a comfortable life for my family and am willing to work endlessly to achieve that. I want to be a good role model for my son and provide him with the opportunity to learn important life skills.
What’s the one thing in your kitchen you couldn’t live without?
My knives! I recently invested in a beautiful set of Japanese knives and I cannot live without them!