Chef Biography

While producing the National PBS series Great Chefs of the West, featuring the Southwest trends in food, the Great Chefs television team decided to include a “down-home cooking” segment at the end of each episode that featured different Great Chefs from the West and Southwest.

In 1985, the crew visited the Texas State Fairgrounds in Dallas, and taped four of the cooking contest winners.  They were Ray Calhoun with his Sweat Hot Chili (episode # 17); Ray Gregg’s Country Biscuits (episode # 19); Sharon Mooney’s Fried Chicken & Cream Gravy (episode # 13); Charlotte Parks with her Texas Pecan Pie (episode # 21), and Curtis Young’s Triple Chocolate Cake (episode # 2).


Pecan Pie

Serving: 8 Print Pecan Pie By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 Pecan trees are as much a part of the landscape in Texas as they are in Georgia. This version of pecan pie is sweet, but it allows the flavor of the nuts to emerge. Part of the beauty of this pie is its creamy […]

Triple Chocolate Cake

Serving: 10 to 12 Print Triple Chocolate Cake By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 Curtis Young’s from-scratch cake took top prize one year in the Texas State Fair. The rich dates and banana in the cake give it more flavor and texture. While traditional in form, it is a move toward richer, more dense chocolate […]

Southern Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy

Serving: 4 Print Southern Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 This is a recipe from childhood, before we started worrying about fats and just concentrated on flavor. Bacon fat can even be substituted for some of the shortening for even more flavor. You won’t find this at a spa, but […]

Grand Prize Chili

Serving: 8 to 10 Print Grand Prize Chili By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 Chili contests are serious business, with local and regional competition leading ever higher. Ray Calhoun has won his share. But like barbecue, chili can ignite passions hotter than the main ingredients. Cubed beef? Or ground? Tomatoes? Beans? Some say neither, some […]


Serving: 12 to 14 Print Biscuits By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 These biscuits are feathery, light, and sinfully delicious right from the oven, either topped with butter and jam for breakfast, used to mop up cream gravy, or sitting under strawberries and whipped cream in a shortcake. The biscuits are best if baked right […]

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