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f at first you succeed, package that stuff up and sell it. That might not have been the motto that Joey Victorian started with, but it’s not too far from the experience that led him to start Dirrty Swamp seasonings. Victorian first entered Rodeo Austin’s Barbecue CookOff as part of a team named “the Dirrty Swamp Cookers,” and they did well enough to continue entering other cook-offs in Texas ever since.


“Throughout the years, at various competitions, events and dinner parties, I have been asked countless times, ‘What do use to season your meat?’” Victorian said. “The truth was I always used the same basic spices — I just mixed them together myself as I was preparing to cook. In 2013, after my second year at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, I decided to take my spice mixture and make it something real, so that’s what I did!” Known to his teammates as the “Dirrty Boss,” Victorian was born and raised in Houston by parents who are Louisiana natives. He recalls spending a significant amount of time in Louisiana when he was growing up, and that made all the difference in his cooking. Victorian said his mother’s Louisiana-style cooking was a huge influence. “I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember,” Victorian said. “My mother always told me, ‘If you don’t have a dime on you, you will still be able to cook and feed yourself.’” Victorian’s wife, Kelli, is a talented marketing


Photos by: Cristie Williams


professional and graphic designer with more than nine years of experience designing for some of the top companies in Houston. Kelli was a huge asset in the beginning, as marketing collateral, logos and packaging design can be a major expense for new companies. With his talent in the kitchen and hers in graphic design, Dirrty Swamp is geared towards continued success. Their seasoning comes in three flavors: Creole Seasoning in Hot Creole and Original and Black Pepper Seasoning. They are available in retail stores and online. “It was a long process to get into retail stores, but we did it!” Victorian said. “The first store who wanted our product was Cypress Ace Hardware, and to this day, they sell the most seasoning of any 4

single store we are in. After this store, we were able to get into about 10 more Ace Hardware stores in the Houston and surrounding areas. Then, it took us about six months to get into more than 60 Houston-area Kroger stores and over a year and a half to get into around 145 H-E-B stores.” True to its roots, Dirrty Swamp continues to incorporate their seasonings into their competition cooking under the name Dirrty’s BBQ Company in the Houston and Austin areas. They will also soon be expanding to a food trailer for catering and events. For more information on this fast-growing company, visit their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.



RECIPE: DIRRTY GUACAMOLE “Dirrty Guacamole is a Texas classic, or at least it should be,” Dirrty Swamp owner Joey Victorian said. Next to taste, the next best thing about this recipe is that it’s easy to prepare.

Ingredients: 2 Avocados ¼ Large onion, chopped 1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped ½ Tomato, diced 4 Slices of bacon, chopped 1 tbsp. Dirrty Swamp® Creole seasoning, season to taste 1 Lemon Preparation: 1. In a large bowl, combine avocado, onion, jalapeno, tomato, bacon, Dirrty Swamp Creole seasoning and lemon juice. 2. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with chips.




amed after the nine-banded armadillo, which is the official small mammal of Texas, Nine Band is a brewing company that is Texan through-and-through. From their roots to their brews, everything says Texas.


“Texas is the inspiration for every premier craft beer created by Nine Band Brewing Company,” owner Keith Ashley said. “Every sip serves up a tip of the hat, a nod of the head and a taste infused with the distinctive twang of our distinctive state.” 9

Ashley started the brewing company in February 2015 after gaining firsthand experience working in a craft brewery. The company’s growth since then has been exciting to watch.


“Every day and week is a new highlight,” Ashley said. “We appreciate every placement we get in a retailer, bar or restaurant. When we first started canning, it was a great breakthrough to push our brand and product into further territories. It never gets old seeing a review pop up from a city that’s miles and miles away from your brewery.”

Every day, they are working on new, creative ideas for their beers. Look out for Nine Band beer in restaurants and retailers nationwide. Like many breweries, they pride themselves on the experience of tasting their brews at their headquarters in Allen, Texas. Check out their 5,400 square foot brewing headquarters next time you’re in the Allen area.

Ashley says that “the sky’s the limit” in terms of Nine Band Brewing.

For more information on Nine Band Brewing Company, visit their website.





s summer starts to wind down, we turned to our friends and GO TEXAN member Neil Sperry for some planting and garden tips. Timing is very important when it comes to vegetables, and now is the time to start planting fall vegetables. Those living in South Texas should plant beans, cucumbers, squash and corn in midAugust. North Texans should plant broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts now. Southern Texans should do so by late in the month. Leafy and root vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets and radishes should be planted late in August in North Texas and early September in the South. For your lawn, it’s good to plant warm-season lawn grasses, including St. Augustine, Bermuda, zoysia and buffalograss, because this will give your grass the longest time to get established before winter. Water morning and evening daily for the first two to three weeks, as roots are developing at this time. For your flowers, annuals for fall color are

ready to be planted, including marigolds, celosia and zinnias. Go ahead and plant from 4-inch potted transplants that are in bud, but not yet in bloom, because plants already in flower stall out after planting. Wax begonias and impatiens from hanging baskets into large patio pots late in the month for immediate show in the fall. Perennials as fall-flowering types come into nurseries about this time. These include: chrysanthemums, fall asters, Mexican bush sage and Mexican mint marigold. You can also plant fall-flowering bulbs at this time, including spider lilies, naked lady lily, fall crocus and oxblood lily. If you like wildflowers in your landscape, sow seeds into gently tilled, low-fertility soil. Plant wildflowers in full sun and where grass will not compete with it next spring. Use acid-treated bluebonnet seeds, available from wildflower seed sources, for most uniform germination. For more gardening information, visit Neil Sperry’s Gardens website. 13



he Pappas chain of familyowned restaurants has built a fine reputation as a popular restaurant in Texas. You’ve probably eaten at one of their more than 75 locations across the state, or perhaps even one of their eight out-of-state locations. Pappas restaurants feature vastly diverse ranges of cuisines from Tex-Mex at Pappasitos Cantina to Cajun at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen to steakhouse favorites at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Pappas is committed to providing customers with a high-quality fine dining experience. Their drive to serve the best food is one reason they often choose to feature Texas-grown products on their menus and are a proud GO TEXAN member. Pappas happily participated in the GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up again this year. Locations across the state served up some great fare featuring locally-sourced products, including: • Grilled shrimp bruschetta with warm Texas goat cheese and fresh tomatoes at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen and Pappas Seafood House;

• Revolver Brewing Company’s Blood & Honey at Pappasito’s Cantina; • Warm pecan pie featuring the large Texas-grown pecans from Central Texas at Pappas Bar-B-Q; • Karbach Hopadillo Texas IPA at Pappas Burger; • Duchman Family Winery Trebbiano served at Yia Yia Mary’s (Pappas Mediterranean Kitchen); and • Barbeque quail and venison loin at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. In addition to serving great food, all of the Pappas Restaurants strive to be good neighbors in their communities. Pappas sponsors the Boys and Girls Club, the Periwinkle Foundation, Prepared for Life and many other local charities. One of the charities that they give to in each community is the local food bank, which is a key component that directly benefits from the GO TEXAN Restaurant Round-Up. For more information on Pappas Restaurants, visit their website.




rban Coop Company has got to be hands-down the coolest chicken coop company around, and it’s even cooler that they are from Texas! Husband and wife duo, Dyan and Montie Twining, started the company in 2012 after Dyan saw that there was an untapped market for a well-designed and well-built chicken coop. She then tasked Montie


with building a coop that was easy to assemble, functional and stylish. The Twining family takes great pride in producing a quality product. The company sources all of the materials used in producing their coops from the United States. They use cedar wood from the Northwest, metal roofing


from the East and fasteners made here in the U.S. On top of using the best materials available, the coops are made in Dripping Springs with local labor. The company currently offers four different chicken coop models that can accommodate anywhere from two to 30 chickens. Urban Coop also sells

accessories and attachments to further customize a coop for multiple needs. Among their accessories are snow/storm panels and run extensions. The storm panels are fantastic for people that live in climates with “fowl weather.� The run extensions are also great for those who want to allow more room for the chickens to roam while in an enclosed area. 17


Many people are curious about the time and maintenance that goes into keeping chickens. “Our coops are built with ease of cleaning in mind with various features like oversized removable doors and wire flooring,” Dyan said. “Maintenance time varies with the number of chickens, but it shouldn’t be more than one hour per week.” For those who have spent little to no time around chickens, you may be wondering why you would want to own chickens or how keeping chickens could benefit you and your family. Knowing where your food comes from and what went into it is a valuable lesson to teach kids, and having a backyard coop can provide a great outdoor family bonding experience where children can also learn responsibility. “With backyard chickens, you know where one item on your table has come from, and you get to intimately know the animal that produced that egg,” Dyan said. Montie went above and beyond with the design process for the coops. He consulted with the Texas A&M poultry department, industry experts and FedEx. The amount of time and research that he and his wife have spent in designing these coops really speaks for the quality of the product. The coops receive top marks in all areas, as they are easy to clean and maintain, built to last with high quality materials, and can be shipped and assembled with ease. For more information on Urban Coops, visit their website. 19


One of the most time-honored traditions to beat the intense Texas heat is to go swimming in Texas waters. Texas state parks provide plenty of places to swim, including some 51 lakes, rivers and creeks, as well as four ocean swimming spots and eight state parks with pools. Many of these state parks are located within reach of one of our GO TEXAN communities. Three of note are: Wright Patman Lake, located in the GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community 20

of Atlanta; Big Spring; and Tyler State Park located outside of the GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community of Longview. Remember when planning your family outing, all children age 12 and under play for free in state parks. When you head out this summer, make sure you’re swimming smart and following these simple principles:

lightening); and • underwater currents sometimes exist, as well as sudden drop-offs, water depth changes and potential for unseen limbs, rocks and marine life, etc. in the water. Our friends at Texas Parks and Wildlife have water safety tips online to help you safely make the most out of your swimming trip. Click here for a Texas-sized list of swimming spots. • Open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, oceans, bays and ponds) are vastly different from neighborhood swimming pools and therefore, warrant extra precautions. The key differences are: • there are no lifeguards on duty, so you swim at your own risk; • water conditions can change rapidly, as can weather conditions (high winds, 21 21


Take the Challenge and WIN PRIZES! 22

Grab your mobile devices / cameras and send us pictures of the GO TEXAN mark — on products on the shelf or in your hands, on signs, vehicles or printed materials. Get creative!

Prizes include GO TEXAN t-shirts, glasses and hats.

To enter, tell us where you saw it and post your photo (be sure to use the #GOTEXAN hashtag) on We will judge your social media Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. post or email photo (based on We will share your posts and originality, creativity, composition, select winners once per month. the “fun factor” and, occasionally, You may also enter by emailing us we’ll randomly pick winners!). If you your photo. win, we will notify you that we’re about to send you some stylish Have fun ... and happy hunting! GO TEXAN swag. 23


UPCOMING TEXAS EVENTS Aug. 17: Wine & Chocolate, Grapevine Aug. 20: Harvest Festival Grand Finale Gala, Bryan Aug. 26: Kick Off Party, Pearland Aug. 26-27: Messina Hof ’s Harvest Festival, Fredericksburg Aug. 27: 5th Annual Pearland Wine and Food Festival, Pearland Sept. 10: 18th Annual Show of Wheels, Fairfield Sept. 24: Fall der All, Van Alstyne View more Texas events here. 25


Launched in 1999 by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), GO TEXAN, with its signature mark in the shape of Texas, celebrates, promotes and supports the business savvy and plainspoken grit Texas agriculture is known for throughout the world. Whether it’s grown, sewn or served up on a plate, nearly 27 million Texans shop, travel and dine out in support of Texas businesses, agriculture and communities, looking for the GO TEXAN mark to light the way. To learn more about the GO TEXAN program, call (877) 99-GOTEX or visit the GO TEXAN website. Tell others about GO TEXAN! One great and easy way is to forward them this electronic publication. All your friends have to do to is click here to subscribe, and they’ll start receiving the Go Local. GO TEXAN. free monthly e-zine.

About the Texas Department of Agriculture

TDA’s mission is to partner with all Texans to make Texas the nation’s leader in agriculture, fortify our economy, empower rural communities, promote healthy lifestyles, and cultivate winning strategies for rural, suburban and urban Texas through exceptional service and the common threads of agriculture in our daily lives. 26

Go Local. GO TEXAN. August 2016 e-zine  

The latest news on Texas food, wine, restaurants, recipes, gardening, style and more.