By on May 28, 2016 Texas Two-Taste


Chef Philip Speer, Director of Culinary Operations of Uchi, Uchiko, and Uchi Houston is Texas Wine and Trail Magazine’s June Texas Two Taste Chef.  In this ongoing series we  show our readers how to pair exceptional Texas wines with the finest cuisine of our State. We would like to thank Chef Speer for his support of the Texas wine industry.  If our readers are feeling extra adventurous you can attempt to create the dish by following the recipe below…but we highly suggest visiting Uchi to experience this pairing perfection by professionals!


Chef Philip Speer conceives desserts that are an antic­i­pated finish to dinner rather than an afterthought. As a 17 year old, Speer began experimenting as a scratch baker in his home­town of Houston, Texas. Early in his career, Chef Speer gained expe­ri­ence by helping to open the crit­i­cally acclaimed Jean-Luc’s Bistro in Austin, Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Bank in Houston and finally Seven and Star­lite in Austin where he took on the task of revamping their dessert programs.

Speer left Star­lite in 2005 to work at Uchi with recent James Beard Award winning Chef Tyson Cole. Combining elements of surprise and artistry with fresh ingre­di­ents are hall­marks of Speer’s approach to his craft and these tech­niques have garnered him awards in the Austin Chron­icle, the Austin Amer­ican-Statesman andTexas Monthly as well as national recog­ni­tion inBon Appetit, Cooks Illus­trated and USA Today. He appeared as a judge on the Food Network’s “Throw­down with Bobby Flay” as well

as part of Chef Tyson Cole’s team that competed on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America.” Speer has been named a James Beard Award semi-finalist in the overall pastry chef cate­gory for the past two years.

Speer’s talents are rein­vented at Cole’s newest restau­rant, Uchiko. Trans­lated as “child of Uchi”, Uchiko opened in July 2010 to national praise, receiving honors such as Texas Monthly’s “Best New Restau­rant” and one of the “Best New Restaru­ants 2010” by GQ. Uchiko also received James Beard Award semi-finalist nomi­na­tions in the rising star chef of the year (Exec­u­tive Chef Paul Qui) and best new restau­rant cate­gories.


Uchi Machi Cure

Cole’s recently released cook­book, Uchi the Cook­book, features an entire chapter on Speer’s desserts that high­light his inven­tive tech­niques and creative uses of less tradi­tional ingredi­ents. While awards and recog­ni­tion are greatly appre­ci­ated, Speer will tell you  “at the end of the day, it’s all about my love affair with food and working at such a high caliber estab­lish­ment with diverse and talented chefs.”

For the June Texas Two Taste, Chef Philip Speer chose the Uchi Machi Cure to be paired with the 2011 McPherson Cellars Viognier.  Viognier, which originated in France, is becoming one of Texas’s signature wines as our climate and terroir has been a surprising match. The intoxicating aromas of Viognier far exceed those of Chardonnay, helping it become a great wine to discover for enthusiasts seeking an exotic white. Chef Speer added, Notes of bright stone fruit and gripping acidity work well with the savory, textured elements of the Machi Cure and make for a “first bite, every bite” experience.”

Recipe for Machi Cure

2oz smoked yellowtail

½ Asian pear

2oz mixture of golden raisins, Marcona almonds and pine nuts

1tsp white soy

½ oz thinly sliced Tokyo green onion and mixed micro greens

1tsp orange infused oil

½ clove garlic

Sliced yellow into small bite sized pieces, mix all ingredients in bowl and place on plate. Garnish with micro greens.

Article by Leanne Holley, Texas Wine and Trail Magazine

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