Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Local chef serves up an unforgettable culinary experience

Brad Green was eight years old when his parents took him on a cruise ship for the first time. Born in small-town Louisiana, Green was awestruck — not only by the size of the boat but also because he’d never been in a situation where he could eat as much food as he wanted, whenever he wanted. And truth be told, he went in thinking his options were limited to burgers, pizza, and mac and cheese.

But he couldn’t have been more wrong, and what happened next changed the trajectory of his entire life.

“I saw Kiwi for the first time. I saw star fruit, yellow watermelon, baked Alaska — you name it,” Green said with a laugh. “I was a typical kid who knew little about real food. But that experience resonated with me, and I’ve been intrigued ever since.”

He added, “I’m 47 now, and food is one of those things I can’t stop thinking about.”

Green said in the years following that trip, he vividly remembers recording cooking shows on a VCR and rolling the TV into the kitchen — where he proceeded to burn everything. But he was learning, and today he’s a classically trained culinary chef with a resume that includes time spent cooking at restaurants, golf clubs, hotels, catering companies, special events, private parties, cooking classes, and even owning his own restaurant. There’s nothing he can’t make from scratch or an ingredient he’s unwilling to experiment with.

And if you ask anyone who’s been to his Saturday night underground dinner parties, his food is better than any main course you’ve ever tasted. Green, his wife, Paula Ann, and their sons Gage (19) and Kierin (17) operate a business called Food. Adventures. Memories. (FAM) at their Argyle home where they host savory nine-course dinners and private events for up to 20 guests almost every weekend.

“I’m a perfectionist with my food,” Green said. “I want it to be as perfect as possible when I set it down in front of someone. In fact, my goal is to put something in front of someone that maybe they’re questionable about eating, and then they say how much they love it.”

Green’s dinners have gained a ton of fanfare since he started them in January 2020. Each menu is a nine-course dining experience served omakase-style, which means details of the foods and flavors are left up to the chef. And at the heart of it is a genuine family. Paula Ann is Brad’s “world’s greatest sous chef,” while Gage and Kierin serve as waiters. Every meal starts with a complimentary signature cocktail and charcuterie board. From there, courses are broken up into three sections of three, with small breaks between each section. Each dish is served with a brief history of the dish, inspiration for its placement in the menu, and an explanation of the ingredients used.

Chef Green makes everything from scratch, right down to the breads, butters, pastas, sauces, and dressings. And they tirelessly work to only include fresh ingredients. This commitment has introduced them to new foods and farmers across Texas.

Interested guests can visit their website (eatatfam.com) and make a reservation for $125 per person. While there are plenty of private parties where all seats are reserved, the majority of gatherings see complete strangers sitting around the table to eat, talk, and share about life with each other. It’s out of the ordinary to have the opportunity to meet with new people in this way, Green said.

“We try our best to do these twice a month, but not every month works out that way because of holidays, etc. And it is open to the public — they can click the link, buy tickets, and show up for a great evening,” Green said. “I remember sitting around talking about this idea with a friend four years ago, and it seemed almost ridiculous at the time. But we were already cooking for friends of ours every week — we’d hang out, drink wine, and I’d cook seven or so courses. So this really developed from that. I started with seven courses for our first-ever dinner, and the feedback was very positive yet too much food. Naturally, I told Paula that we needed to do nine courses. She said that didn’t make any sense. But I figured the more you make, the less you serve of each course.

“When I’m working on that many courses, I’m always two courses ahead.”

At FAM, guests come ready for an experience that will shift their perspective — on food and so much more. Conversation is lively. Adventure is on every plate. And meeting Chef Green is like visiting with your childhood best friend. When he talks to you, you feel like you are the only person in the room. That amount of attention and hospitality is real.

When Green isn’t serving up good food and company at home, he keeps himself busy hosting cooking classes and participating in charity events where he and several of his teammates cook for participants. He’s been an active member of a cycling club called Big Pig Racing for 18 years, and a huge piece of their mission is to raise money for cancer research and their non-profit, the Big Pig Cancer Foundation. Their largest event of the year is the Ray Porter Memorial at the Erwin Mountain Bike Trail in McKinney. The event is named after their dear friend who passed away from cancer.

“Food is my passion, and it absolutely keeps me busy,” Green said. “Even when career choices took me away from the culinary field, I was still cooking five to six times a week. It means a lot, and I couldn’t have done it without the best sous chef, the great Paula Ann.”

To learn more about FAM and schedule a reservation, visit eatatfam.com.

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