Category Archives: Food & Entertainment

Valley Cheese Finds New Markets

Adam Thompson socializes with some of his goats and one of the family dogs.

After placing in the top 25 out of 400 entries in the H-E-B grocery store chain’s Quest for Texas Best competition, the pace of business at Thompson Dairy Farms has picked up dramatically. And, with a little luck, the farm’s goat cheese may next find a global market. Owner and head cheese maker Adam Thompson began marketing hand-crafted aged cheeses from goat’s milk at Rio Grande Valley farmers markets, where…

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Pharr Celebrates New Avocado Distribution Facility

Index Fresh Board Chairman John Grether and President and CEO Dana Thomas (holding scissors) prepare to cut the ribbon on the company’s 60,000-square-foot avocado packing and ripening facility in Pharr.

Officials break ground for Index Fresh Latin American avocados headed for tables in the United States have a new place along the border to stay cool and ripen. Index Fresh cut the ribbon on a new 60,000-square-foot packing and ripening facility in Pharr on Jan. 9. “I am just overjoyed to be here today,” Index Fresh President and CEO Dana Thomas said. “I love the new plant. If you are…

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BBQ Joints Listed Among Best in Texas

January 2018 cover

Texans love their barbecue. Whether grilling or smoking meat in the back yard, or visiting a favorite eatery, barbecue aficionados’ varied tastes and favorite cooking methods can spark lively debates as to what makes the best of the best. They may even argue about the correct spelling: barbecue, bar-b-que or simply BBQ. In the Rio Grande Valley, where dozens of restaurants large and small specialize in classic Texas barbecue, only…

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Cooks Sought for BBQ Cook-Off

H-E-B market managers Alvaro Martinez and Isidro Maldonado of the H-E-B BBQ Cooking Team. (photo McAllen Chamber of Commerce)

35 teams part of “Sizzling in the Tropics” H-E-B and the McAllen Chamber of Commerce are looking for cooking teams to be part of the seventh annual “Sizzling in the Tropics” BBQ Cook-off. Taking place April 21, the event includes 35 cooking teams competing in barbecuing the ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, beans, and pan de campo for everyone to enjoy. Teams will also compete in Showmanship and a People’s…

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Carlito’s Takes Patrons on a Journey

Mercedes and Luis Betancourt worked to create a comfortable, inviting space at Carlito’s Wine House. (VBR)

Walking into Carlito’s Wine House, if you feel transported to another place then Luis and Mercedes Betancourt will be happy. Inspired by their love of wine and the Texas Hill Country, the couple designed their downtown Harlingen business as a getaway from life’s daily grind. Just inside the door there is a traditional bar with stools, but much of the space is appointed with comfortable sofas and chairs grouped around…

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Building a Dream with Chocolate

Veronica Barrera-Cuellar with gift baskets prepared by Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for special occasions. (VBR)

After managing 16 school kitchens in North Texas as a nutritionist, Rio Grande Valley native Veronica Barrera-Cuellar returned home with a dream of attending pastry school. She ended up selling chocolate. “I love pastry and I wanted to go to pastry school, but life happens,” she said. Needing to find a livelihood, she teamed up with her sister Patricia and began looking into franchise opportunities to start their own business.…

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Making Dreams Come True

Owner Carrie Fullerton moved Glitzy Glam Parties to downtown Harlingen about a year ago.

Gliztzy Glam caters to princesses Every little girl dreams of being a princess. Carrie Fullerton can make that happen. Fullerton’s business, Glitzy Glam Parties, offers an all-inclusive upscale party planning service with specialty themes for children ages 3 and up. She takes care of all the details, right down to the invitations and clean up. “I have been doing parties for 17 years and I was an elementary teacher for…

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Harlingen Farmers Market Expands in New Location

Workers put the finishing touches on a shade structure at the new location for the Harlingen Farmers Market.

Market reopens in two days Workers are racing to complete a shade structure before Saturday’s reopening of the Harlingen Farmers Market at its new location at First Street and Tyler Avenue next to City Hall. “We will have shade for 20 vendors,” market manager Kate McSwain said. “We have 32 vendors lined up right now. That’s a big increase over last year. I’m very excited.” The market will be open…

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TSTC Culinary Institute Cooking Demos

TSTC’s Culinary Institute hosts its Saturday cooking demonstrations Sept. 16, Sept. 30, Oct. 28 and Nov. 11, inviting the public to learn secrets and enjoy meals. (photo TSTC)

Public invited to participate Texas State Technical College’s Culinary Institute is hosting its first-ever Saturday cooking demonstrations Sept. 16, Sept. 30, Oct. 28 and Nov. 11. The three-hour sessions are open to the community, who is invited to ask questions, learn professional trade secrets and also taste partake in meals. Saturday cooking demonstrations are hosted by TSTC’s Meat Preparations class at the culinary kitchen and dining room. Here, students prepare…

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A Pro Teaches Home Cooks

McAllen Culinary Academy makes cooking comfortable Food excites Chef Marcel, and he shares that enthusiasm with cooks who turn to him to sharpen their skills in the kitchen. The McAllen Culinary Academy may sound like a school for cooks wanting to become professional chefs, but that’s not what inspires Marcel. “I’m not looking to teach professional cooks,” Marcel said. “I am more for people who want to better themselves for…

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