Kent Rollins will review his cookbook ‘A Taste of Cowboy: Ranch Recipes and Tales from the Trail’ for the Coffee Cup Bunch of the Friends of the Library at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Altus Public Library.
“I’m not a chef; I’m a cook,” Rollins explained. Despite this modesty, Rollins has gained national attention for his down-home style of cowboy cuisine cooked the old-fashioned way: in a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet placed over a campfire. He grew up on a ranch near Hollis where, at the age of seven, he discovered that if he helped his mother with the cooking, he could stay out of whatever extreme weather southwestern Oklahoma had to offer on a given day. “I got to noticing that it was either a lot cooler or a lot warmer in the house, so I’d trade off with Mama every once in a while,” he said. As an adult, Rollins cowboyed some, but his primary interest was cooking for the cowboys. Through the years, this camp cookie has worked on ranches in Kansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma and on large Texas outfits such as the Swenson Ranch and the JA Ranch. He also entertains groups with tales from the wagon, based on his real-life ranch experiences and the colorful cowboys he’s met.
Rollins is a cowboy, a poet, a storyteller, and a cook. His new cookbook contains irresistible recipes made from pantry ingredients. During his presentation, this gifted cook will take the audience into his frontier world with simple food anyone can do. He is creative with items found on everyone’s shelves, using lime soda to caramelize Sparkling Taters and balsamic vinegar to coax the sweetness out of strawberry pie. Following his presentation, Rollins will sign his cookbooks which are filled with stunning photos and his lively tales and poetry.
Rollins grew up ranching and began cooking for cattle ranches in 1993 from his 1876 Studebaker chuck wagon. Rollins has appeared on the Food Network and NBC’s Food Fighters. He and his wife, Shannon, run Red River Ranch Dutch Oven Cooking Camp.
The Coffee Cup Bunch of the Friends of the Library meets the first Wednesday of every month. The meetings are free and open to the public.