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Steve and Vangie Henry toast their meal of stuffed pork.



teve and Vangie Henry joined forces 20 years ago and have been cooking up all kinds of projects ever since. Many of them involve food. “I love to eat! I’m planning dinner when we’re eating breakfast, which baffles Steve,” says Vangie. The fact that pork often takes center stage in the Henry household is just a given. Steve, who grew up on a crop-dairy-swine farm near Longford, went on to earn a degree in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University with a specialty in swine production. He joined an Abilene veterinarian practice in 1976, and in the 1980s he began sharing his knowledge as both a national and international consultant. With the exception of bacon, Steve prefers fresh pork over cured, citing favorites that include pulled and barbecued pork, pork loin, pork shoulder (used in Vangie’s tamales) and ground pork. The duo, in conjunction with one of their grandsons, even created “Piggy Back Burgers”—a grilled ground pork patty that includes finely chopped jalapeños, onions and peppered bacon. Vangie, who was born in Texas, learned to cook alongside her mother. “All of us kids, eight in all, learned to cook typical Mexican dishes as well as American-style foods,” she says. Ever since then, she’s enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. “I get bored eating the same thing, so I like to experiment with different dishes,” she says. “I’ll have to admit not all of them are keepers! Steve gets to be the guinea pig, and he’s usually too kind to say anything. But if he doesn’t ask for seconds I know it’s not a keeper.”

chef’s table

A cello-playing swine specialist and an enthusiastic caterer create pleasing menus

Sunflower living spring 2014

Photography by Larry Harwood


Story by Meta Newell West



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