Cookbook commemorates the king of Texas caterers

Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:08am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Don Strange, founder of Don Strange of Texas, built a catering empire before his death in 2009 by keeping it fresh and ignoring the rules.

His wife, Frances, has gathered his stories and 100 recipes in a new cookbook called "Don Strange of Texas: His Life and Recipes."

Strange's disregard for rules allowed him to be creative, which could mean anything from paring cranberry sauce with beef to flying half a frozen cow across country in what looked to airport personnel like a coffin.

"He didn't know there were any rules," said Frances, his wife of 48 years.

President George H.W. Bush and music trio Lady Antebellum have attended Don Strange events, and country music stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert held their wedding at the Strange ranch last May.

Frances Strange spoke to Reuters about her husband, the San Antonio-based company that bears his name and the sometimes outrageous lengths he would go to amaze his guests.

Q: How did your husband's catering business begin?

A: "It started with his parents' grocery store in 1952. There was a barbeque pit in the back and the rest is history."   Continued...