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Kitchen Confidential: Chef Gail Tells All

As Executive Chef in the kitchen of The Black Marlin, Agave Cantina, and REDS Patio Bar, Texas Super Chef Gail Huesmann, has made Palmilla Beach Resort a culinary destination on the Gulf Coast. The only luxury development on Mustang Island with three separate eateries, Palmilla boasts an array of food options not found elsewhere as our Master Chef reimagines Gulf flavors with a new culinary twist.

One of Gail’s earliest memories is her great grandmother’s hearty potato soup, produced in a Virginia kitchen with a wood-burning stove and no electricity or running water. Is it any wonder Gail grew up to be an extraordinary chef in her own right? That love of food combined with modern cooking utensils and appliances created a world culinary talent who fell in love with Port Aransas. From the peppery smell of the air blowing across the dunes to the pescatarian smorgasbord of the Atlantic seaboard, Gail decided to make it her home as well as a five-star stop on the world’s food train.

Renowned for American regional comfort food, Chef Gail is a Top 10 Finalist in the World Food Championships-Seafood Recipe Category. The ever-humble Gail, also a star of the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, shares her success with the superstar culinary group she has built at Palmilla. Gail has enticed fellow Chefs, Vita Jarrin ( World Food Championships Top Ten-Chili Recipe) and Kate Meyer-McDowell (World Food Championships Top Ten-Sandwich) to follow her here and together they have established the Texas Gulf Coast as a foodie mecca.

Left to right: Chef Vita Jarrin, Chef Gail Huesmann and Chef Kate Meyer-McDowell

Understanding what Texan beach goers want has been the basis of Chef Gail’s success, and her menus feature the winning combination of gulf fish and shellfish cooked in new ways to recreate timeless favorites with exciting new flavors. Gail’s reinterpretation of comfort foods in bold new ways speak to Texans and coastal food lovers everywhere.

From her Bang Bang sauce (a smoky Thai style sweet and sour chili sauce) to the Perfect Purées (Napa Valley products) Gail relies on in her kitchen, there is no dish that doesn’t evoke a familiar yet original note on the palate.

Incorporating Texan flavors and coastal style food is a winning recipe that has propelled Palmilla Beach to the top of the Gulf food chain. From barbecue to Cajun, the tastes of Texas can be found here, and as Texas continues to receive national attention for its innovative contemporary cuisine and eclectic fusion dishes, the coast has become a gastronomic hot spot. Hosting The Texas Super Chef Throwdown, Port Aransas attracted over 1,400 cooks from 42 states and 15 countries. Chef Gail continues to compete in food sport and her singular creations attract connoisseurs, gourmands, and people who love good, simple food the world over.

With graduate degrees in Culinary Arts, Education, Patisserie and Baking, Gail celebrates the geographic influences of regional cuisine throughout America. She presents her food in an unpretentious and delicious style that reflects what Texans want to eat and where they want it.

The Black Marlin’s menu contains the beneficence of the ocean including shrimp and grits, étouffée, lobster rolls, and grouper Reuben, plus steaks, pastas, burgers, poké bowls, and salads. For dessert expect cheesecakes, brownies, crème brûlée, and if you are lucky, Vita’s pound cake specials. The icing on this cake is a selection of artisanal gelatos from Chef Gail and Chef Vita’s À La Mode Gelateria on North Padre, voted one of the Ten Best Ice Cream Shops in Texas.

The poolside Agave Cantina has lighter options such as turkey clubs, wraps, smoked fish dip, quesadillas, burgers and a killer Cobb salad. This spring Chef Vita takes over the Agave with her signature style (she likes figs!).

At REDS Patio Bar, an outdoor kitchen, expect ocean breezes and icy cocktails while you enjoy a selection of tacos, (mahi, chicken, shrimp or carnitas) chips and queso, tacos, Frito pie, hot dogs, and chili. From REDS you can relax and watch the action on the grand lawn, play a giant game of Jenga, cool down after a round of golf, listen to a band, or watch the game. Casual and beachy, sophisticated but never fussy, REDS defines the Texas oceanfront lifestyle and is a welcoming retreat for chilling after a day at the beach or celebrating with family and friends. Gail is inspired by the sight of the sea, the smell of the ocean air, and the bountiful gulf ingredients. We are proud that Chef Gail calls Palmilla home and where her gastronomic fare earns the distinction it deserves.

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