RGV chef to appear on Food Network competition


Chef Larry Delgado cooks at his restaurant Salomé on Main. (ValleyCentral photographer Sal Castro)

MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — McAllen Chef Larry Delgado will be taking his talents to the national stage on the hit show “Beat Bobby Flay.”

Delgado will be representing South Texas and he says it was an incredible experience. He never imagined he would one day be appearing on the Food Network.

“Being able to compete against one of the world’s best being a kid from the Valley is super cool,” said Delgado.

Chef Larry Delgado poses for a portrait at his kitchen in Salomé on Main. (ValleyCentral photographer Sal Castro)

Delgado’s passion for cooking came at a young age helping his mother in the kitchen. At 6-years-old, he wanted to see people’s reactions and excitement of what he helped create. According to Delgado, he was never the first to eat, but instead, he sat around to watch others. Taking that knowledge and experience he entered his first job at 16 flipping burgers and soon after high school went to Austin to pursue higher education.

Salomé on Main is one of Delgado’s restaurants part of the Delgado Collective. (ValleyCentral photographer Sal Castro)

There he would enter a full-service restaurant and the rest would become history. Delgado returned to the RGV and opened his first restaurant in 2008 with his wife called ‘House. Wine. & Bistro.’ Years later Delgado and his wife have founded the Delgado Collective, a combination of restaurants.

Each restaurant is known for its dishes with its first being focused on Italian food.

“Italian food really drew me in so when I had the opportunity to open my first kitchen ‘house. wine. & bistro.’ down the street that was heavily influenced by Italian food,” said Delgado.

Returning back to his roots in Mexican food, Delgado opened up Salomé on Main, a restaurant focused on providing the traditional taste of Mexican food. Inspired by his trips to Mexico, Delgado is redefining the taste and giving others the opportunity to try Mexican food.

A piece of meat is cooked on the grill of Salomé on Main by Delgado. (ValleyCentral photographer Sal Castro)

“I thought, I knew Mexican food from my mom’s kitchen, I didn’t know anything about Mexican food,” said Delgado. “What I learned, what I knew was my mom’s version of Tex-Mex.”

According to Delgado, those tastes and styles of cooking were essential in making him the chef today and to the region.

Keeping to his roots Delgado took up the mantle of cooking interior Mexican food.

A pile of masa in the restaurant in Salomé on Main is essential to the tortillas served at the restaurant. (ValleyCentral photographer Sal Castro)

Delgado uses the process of nixtamal, a process that involves cooking corn to create masa.

With his appearance on “Beat Bobby Flay” approaching, Delgado hopes he can present Bobby with the tastes and how the Valley works.

“I wanted to make that I challenged Bobby, I didn’t want to trick him — wanted to challenge him on the stuff that he knows and what he does best,” said Delgado. “And take it to him and prove that’s what we do here and that what the Valley is known for.”

A cook at Salomé on Main cooks tortillas on a stove at the restaurant (ValleyCentral photographer Sal Castro)

Not able to say much on what people can expect on the show, Delgado thinks people will be excited and is proud to represent the Valley.

“At the end of the day it’s a positive thing not only for me and our business which is huge but also for McAllen and the valley and for other inspiring chefs, inspiring business owners,” said Delgado.

Delgado’s appearance on the Food Network airs on October 19.

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