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What will you eat when the zombies come? Houston chefs reveal their plans to dine well amid the living dead

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“Like any good Italian, I will stock up on pasta, olive oil, garlic and wine,” says chef Maurizio Ferrarese at Quattro in the Four Seasons Houston Hotel. Photo by Paula Murphy
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“What I’ll miss most is the Chocolate Godiva Cake at Eddie V’s”, says chef Robert Rhoades of the West Ave location. “I’m a big chocolate lover and that dessert is seriously addicting.” Photo via Eddie V's/Facebook
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Haven might turn out to be a haven during a zombie apocalypse. Photo by Barbara Kuntz
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You know it’s coming.

The zombie apocalypse, I mean. Oh yes you do. AMC’s The Walking Dead is back for a second season (yeah!) and Brad Pitt is filming the movie version of World War Z for release next year. Oh, and there are zombie walks and even zombie drinks. They’re everywhere today so you know the big Z war is coming. It’s just a matter of when.

Are your prepared? When the hordes of the living dead are craving your brain what will you be craving? Better hope you’ve got something other than canned beans squirreled away,’ cause that would be really bad for a foodie.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s blog Social Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse (oh yes, there is such a thing because the CDC knows what’s coming) only suggests one gallon of water per person per day and non-perishable items that you eat regularly, which is, well, pretty boring. So we turned to some local chefs to see what they’re stocking up on.

 “Like any good Italian, I will stock up on pasta, olive oil, garlic and wine,” says chef Maurizio Ferrarese at Quattro in the Four Seasons Houston Hotel. "'Cause, you’ll want plenty of wine when the zombies are scratching at the door. I know I will. "

 “Like any good Italian, I will stock up on pasta, olive oil, garlic and wine,” says chef Maurizio Ferrarese at Quattro in the Four Seasons Houston Hotel.

‘Cause, you’ll want plenty of wine when the zombies are scratching at the door. I know I will. And garlic is great because you can spice up even the canned beans with it when you run out of fresh pasta and in case there’s a vampire uprising along with the zombie outbreak you’ll be good to go.

But if the Z war goes on too long and your stock piles of fresh food start running out, what will you really miss then?

“I will miss fresh mozzarella and fresh basil and my mother’s famous homemade giardiniera and antipasti,” says Ferrarese, sadly.

For Max’s Wine Dive’s executive chef Michael Pellegrino, what he’ll miss most when the apocalypse comes is going into his kitchen everyday.

“I wouldn’t know what to do if I couldn't go to work,” he says. “These people are my family.”

Actually, he’s got a pretty good idea of what to do, and yes, it involves drinking.

“Champagne,” he says. “Champagne is great for any occasion and if the world is going to end than I want Champagne. Also, if the world is going to be saved then we will need some Champagne to celebrate.”

Check. Adding Champagne to my zombie apocalypse supply list. Which right now includes canned chili, some sardines, garlic, lots of liquor and…um… maybe some sweets?

“What I’ll miss most is the Chocolate Godiva Cake at Eddie V’s," says chef Robert Rhoades of the West Ave location. “I’m a big chocolate lover and that dessert is seriously addicting.”

Which is why he’s stocking up on some chocolate and cookies to sustain him after the takeover.

And: “As much fresh seafood as possible. Seafood is such a perishable item so I want to make sure that I can get as much fresh fish, crab meat and lobster before the zombie raid.”

Executive chef Adam West of Monarch at Hotel ZaZa says he’ll also miss fresh seafood and foie gras (dude, who won’t?) but he’s a little more realistic about stocking up.

“So, to get prepared for the apocalypse we would need 20 cases of Red Bull, 80 pounds of beef jerky, bottled water, canned tuna, and saltine crackers,” he says.

 “So, to get prepared for the apocalypse we would need 20 cases of Red Bull, 80 pounds of beef jerky, bottled water, canned tuna, and saltine crackers,” says excutive chek Adam West of Monarch at Hotel ZaZa.

 Yeah, now there’s a chef who’s really given this some serious thought. I’m betting he has a stockpile of ammo and axes as well.

You know the old debate about where to hole up when the hordes of living dead are everywhere: An old farmhouse (Night of the Living Dead) or a mall (Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Comet)? Maybe a bar or pub, although that didn’t work out for most of the folks in Shawn of the Dead.

Well, I’ve just crossed those options off my preparedness plan. I’m taking my supplies and Chihuahua and heading to the nearest restaurant.

Maybe not the nearest one; it needs to be a place without too much glass, one that can be fortified against the undead hordes. And one that has a lot of fresh food stored up and where the chef knows how to make some decent Tex-Mex. Preferably one that has some sustainability like a garden, solar panels and rain water cistern in case we survive the initial onslaught.

Okay, now we’re talking Haven. Hopefully chef Randy Evans has some weapons stockpiled as well. (Note to editor: strike that last line, I don’t want half the city heading there when the zombies come. Find your own restaurant.)

Hey, even if I don’t survive, I’ll have a couple of great meals before I go.

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