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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Reds Fest highlights Texas flavor

Red+Fest.
Photo by Photo By: Wesley Holmes
Red Fest.

Although thousands of Aggies flocked to Dallas over the weekend to watch the 2015 Southwest Classic, those who stayed in the Bryan-College Station area were able to sample a wide selection of wine, beer, steak and live music at the 9th annual Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival.
The festival included live music on five different stages, a grape stomping competition, a kids zone, a sports zone to watch college football, wine and beer tasting and a steak cook-off.
Matthew LeBlanc, a member of the committee in charge of wine selections and tasting, said the festival celebrates and promotes buying local products.
“It celebrates grapes and wine and we have that in Brazos County, it celebrates wonderful Texas beef that we have an ample amount of here and now we’ve added craft beers to it and it’s also one of the best music festivals in Texas too,” LeBlanc said. 
Kristy Petty, a volunteer, cook-off coordinator and the 2014 chairperson for “Texas Reds,” said the Downtown Bryan Association took over the management of the festival last year. Petty said the festival is a fun way to showcase Downtown Bryan to about 10,000 to 12,000 people.
Brian Smith, captain of the steak cook-off team “El Toro Bueno” — a play on “Good Bull” — said his two chefs, both professors at Texas A&M-Kingsville, have been perfecting their recipes for the event all year. The team participated for their fourth year this weekend.
“Cook-off is a tremendous opportunity to learn from other folks and how they cook and it’s a chance for us to showcase what our cooks can do here and enter in the competition,” Smith said. “My wife and I would come down and enjoy the Reds Festival, then we decided about five years ago we should have a cook-off team and we’ve been doing it ever since.”
Tanner Machado, Texas A&M-Kingsville animal and meat science professor and El Toro Bueno chef, said this year the team took an untraditional approach by making a beef-inspired sushi appetizer as part of their selection. 
“We’re using bacon, we’re using beef obviously — beef is gonna be kinda like the rice of the product — then in every nice sushi roll they have something centered so we’re putting vegetables and cheese and we’re gonna dress it up with some sauce on top and French onions, just to really try to mimic a sushi roll,” Machado said.
LeBlanc said the cook-off is one way for the under-21 crowd to enjoy the festival. The live local music is also a big drawing point, said LeBlanc.
“First of all, it’s music, you can walk through here and never have a glass of wine or a beer and hear some of the best music you’re going to hear in Texas this weekend,” LeBlanc said. “I think beyond that though, there’s steak everywhere, so you get to eat a great steak, you get to come look at the vendors and shop from them.”

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  • Red Fest.

    Photo by Photos By: Wesley Holmes
  • Red Fest.

    Photo by Photo By: Wesley Holmes
  • Red Fest.

    Photo by Photo By: Wesley Holmes
  • Red Fest.

    Photo by Photo By: Wesley Holmes
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