Will and I have some of the best friends.  The kind we will drive an hour and half or so to spend a  Saturday evening cooking with.  Last Saturday, we had a CookFest.  I don’t believe there are any solid, established rules for CookFest other than come ready to make and eat lots of delicious food, and there will be wine.

We started with some grilled oysters and ceviche.

Will and I found some fresh oysters at Central Market on the way in and prepared them in a similar manner as the wood-fired oysters found at one of our very favorite restaurants, Caracol.

Will had also found tilefish at a local fish market before we left town and we decided to use that in for a bright, citrus-y ceviche. Tilefish is a clean, buttery, flaky fish that we love.  We followed Pati Jinich’s To Die For Ceviche recipe on this one, but we decided that thinly sliced jalapenos were a perfect addition at the end.  Thanks for that tip, Warren!


Garrett had some ribeye in the sous vide. If you haven’t used a sous vide before, it’s so worth trying out.  It’s a water-bath for meat, allowing it to slowly reach a set internal temperature to ensure even cooking.  After cooking in the sous vide, the meat is typically seared on each side and served, as Garrett did at CookFest.  Word is, Garrett also contributed there a killer honey drizzle as well – it was served with some smashed potatoes and blue cheese.

Leslie made some fantastic roasted brussel sprouts with onion, bacon and balsamic vinegar.


Khalil made fantastic polenta cakes with a mushroom ragu.  We fried up some shishito peppers and Warren helped to toss them with lemon and salt flakes.

Will prepared the snapper in one of our very favorite methods for snapper – in the salt dome.  The snapper was stuffed with orange and lemon slices, fresh rosemary and thyme. Making a “paste” out of kosher salt and egg whites, then packing the salt around the snapper steams the fish at it bakes.  The fish itself is extremely moist, tender and seasoned perfectly.

Khalil completely stunned with dessert with two kinds of Crème brûlée – chocolate and espresso.  Both were amazing!  Emma did a great job brûléeing the sugar on the tops of the custard.


CookFest was an absolute blast.  Find yourself some friends and cook with them – it makes for a pretty solid Saturday night!


4 thoughts on “CookFest

  1. What a great evening!!! The food played a strong second to the company. It was something that we need to repeat several times a year. Love and miss you guys. The Blackstock fan club headquarters is in Magnolia, TX.


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