Beef sears and bike gears are two important topics in which Robert Hale is well versed, and rightly so! He is the Manager of Culinary and Foodservice at the Texas Beef Council and a cycling enthusiast.
Robert has spent most of his life in the restaurant business and always called the back of the house home. He now works to strengthen the demand for beef in Texas among the many different restaurant groups, independent chefs, high school/post-secondary culinary students, and educators, in addition to chef and restaurant associations across the state of Texas. When “off duty,” Robert can be found spending quality time in Austin with his wife of 26 years, Dawn, and their two daughters, Ainsley (20), a Corporate Communications major at The University of Texas, and Ezri (13) – and also staying fit! In the past, Robert has run five marathons and lots of half marathons, but today primarily focuses on cycling and long rides, naming the Hotter’N Hell 100 in Wichita Falls as his favorite event.
As a beef advocate and professional, Robert’s tried-and-true meal the day before an endurance event is Spaghetti Beef Bolognese. “Currently,” says Robert, “my favorite beef cuts are always changing; the ribeye cap is always a favorite and a bone-in New York strip is always a great choice.” Of course, as a talented chef, he thrives on experimenting and developing new recipes. Two of Robert’s signature recipes are a 72-hour sous-vide beef tongue dish and Korean-style, cross-cut short ribs.
For those of us not as experienced and cooking with beef, or who are stuck in a rut, Robert offers tips. “Don’t be afraid to be creative when using beef; try different cuts and plating methods – it makes all the difference. Also, don’t be afraid to season your beef; it can take it!”
During his career, Robert has had many exciting opportunities working alongside top chefs as part of the Lone Star Chefs of Texas featured at a dinner at the James Beard House in New York City. Development of the Chef team for the Beef It’s What’s for Dinner 300 Nascar race in Daytona for the past three years. “However, one of the biggest rewards,” elaborates Robert, “is representing the hard-working and dedicated cattle-producing families of Texas.”
Education: The State University of New York at Cortland with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
Industry Involvement: Fellow at the Culinary Institute of America, Past Director of Marketing with the Texas Restaurant Association, current Director of the Austin Chapter of the Texas Chefs Association, Board Member of the Texas Chefs Association, and Advisory Board Member at St. Phillip’s College in San Antonio. Previously a Board Member of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation and the San Antonio Restaurant Association.
Difficult Part of Job: Organizing chefs can sometimes seem like herding cattle!
Favorite Beef Cooking Methods: Sous-vide and braising.
Favorite Burger: Chef John Tesar’s “Ozersky Burger” at Knife in Dallas.
Favorite BBQ: Terry Black’s BBQ in Austin on Barton Springs Road.
Other Sports: I enjoy playing golf and watching basketball. In 2015, was inducted into the Batavia High School Athletic Hall of Fame for football and ice hockey. Played quarterback for Marshall University football team from 1992 to 1994, winning a Division 1AA National Championship. Also, led The State University of New York at Cortland to the Division III Playoffs in 1996 and 1997.