Barbados Food and Wine Festival Q&A with Chef Tim Love

The chef of Lonesome Dove in Fort Worth, TX, talks game, burgers, and expansion plans.
Chef Tim Love at A Taste of Two Cities at the 2010 Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival in Barbados.
Arthur Bovino

Chef Tim Love at A Taste of Two Cities at the 2010 Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival in Barbados.

Tequila shots with the demo crowd, a big smile, and a let's-have-fun demeanor, Chef Tim Love seems to live, and cook big. During and brief interview at the A Taste of Two Cities event at the George Washington House at the 2010 Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, the chef discussed his game wish list, what makes a good burger, and his philosophy on shift drinks.


What have you been most excited about for the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival?
You mean aside from the beach, the food, and the warm weather when it's getting cold back home? I guess not much.


Have you been here before? Is there a dish or ingredient that you’ve been most taken with?
Flying fish.


What about it interests you?
Well, I’ve never had it before this trip, and it’s a nice thin fish, like sole, but with a completely different flavor profile.


Rabbit and rattlesnake, wild boar, kangaroo, you’ve worked with a wide variety of game, is there one game meat that you like the most?
I just enjoy discovering new types and new cuts of meat and figuring out ways to express the meat better, instead of just finding cuts that are really good.


Any game meats that you still haven’t worked with that you’re most excited about?
I’ve never worked with zebra, and I haven’t worked with a lion’s breast. I’d like to work with another part of that animal.


You have three burger shacks. What makes a good burger?
For us when we started doing burgers it was all about the actual patty and finding our blend. We settled on a blend that is 50% prime tenderloin and 50% prime brisket. And a 3/8-inch grind on the meat. It gives the patty a chew all the way through that makes it feel like a steak, but you know it’s a burger. And we season inside the grind instead of after. That gives it good flavor.


Anything you might have done differently with your restaurant in New York City?
No, absolutely not. I’m a believer that you’ve got to go to New York and pay your dues. I did.


People in Dallas are wondering when you’re going to open a place there. Any plans to expand outside of Fort Worth?
We’ve looked for a space in Dallas for three years now. We’re looking for the right kind of space. We’re hoping that someday it will happen, but I’ve got three kids, and five restaurants, and I also really enjoy my life. So, I’m not necessarily pushing too hard to have it happen.


What’s your philosophy on the shift drink?
I believe in them. We do shift drinks, but not at the restaurant. Everybody gets two drinks, and they can have at the saloon. I’m a believer that the guys and the girls all need to have a chance to sit down and not have the stress of the service to spend some time together and unwind, work everything out. I mean, they’re going to be talking about work the whole time anyway.


What’s the best sandwich in Fort Worth?
The barbeque chopped beef at The Railhead, oh yeah.