Food is a Family affair
The football foodie: Houston Texans' Jarvis Green on loving wine and fightingGordon Ramsey
"You think about football players drinking shots or liquor or beer," Green said on Monday night at the Houston Wine & Food Week kick-off dinner at Kirby's Steakhouse. But not Green, a oenophile who will serve as the Wine Wizard Master of Ceremonies throughout the week.
Green says he had a passion for food from a young age, and his father's military service moving the family abroad to Germany offered him a chance to try new things.
"It expanded my palate," Green says. "It kind of set me apart from other kids."
Green's love of food is a family affair: His wife Rakia is currently a student at the prestigious Johnson & Wales College of Culinary Arts in Denver. The couple even met while both were working at Winn-Dixie while growing up in Louisiana.
Green's passion for food was lately put to the test by one of the world's most famous chefs — Gordon Ramsey. Green will appear Tuesday night auditioning for the second season of Master Chef(Channel 26, 7 p.m.), Ramsey's cooking competition show for amateur chefs.
"That Gordon Ramsey, he's an asshole," said Green. "He was doing his thing, busting some balls and he got in my face and I started giving it back to him."
Green said Master Chef was an interesting experience but that he was surprised how much "Hollywood" went into the reality show.
"When they get to Take 28, it's just like, come on!" said Green. "They wanted me to wear my [Super Bowl] rings while I was cooking. I was like, 'Do you want me to cut my fingers off?'
"My friend from Denver, he's Italian and they wanted him to wear a tank and a big chain like a guy from Jersey Shore, but he said no way. This other guy from Chicago, they wanted him to be like the godfather and they had him wearing a suit all day. That guy was sweating in this hot, dusty warehouse in a suit for four days."
For the kick-off dinner, Green designed a menu of eight dishes and wine pairings that correspond to his favorite food cities with NFL teams: oyster jambalaya and a La Vendemia Rioja represented the New Orleans Saints, the Atlanta Falcons had fried green tomatoes with a pinot grigio pairing, and the Carolina Panthers were represented by chicken and waffles with a Shiraz.
Houston Wine and Food week events continue through Saturday, culminating with the Wine Rendezvous Grand Tasting & Chef Showcase on Saturday evening at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott. Master Chef airs Green's audition Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on Channel 26.