For Chef Justin Turner, Texas was the culinary playground he’d been waiting for his whole career. After a decade of living in the state where cultures collide and hospitality is second nature, Turner’s vision of a Texan beef centerpiece combines a signature low-and-slow Braised Short Rib with Pecan-Pomegranate Tabbouleh—a bejeweled side dish studded with pomegranates and local pecans and designed around easy entertaining.

Turner had his first fresh tortilla at 26, during his very first week in Texas. It was (like most great tortillas) from a tiny taqueria helmed by a pro—and just like that, he was hooked. The South may have beckoned with its diversity and warmth, but it was the fast-evolving food scene that convinced him to put down roots for good.

It’s been a decade since that first tortilla, and now Turner is the creative force behind Bernie’s Burger Bus: a literal moveable feast, named for the grandfather Turner promised a namesake in his first business. Getting that business off the ground serves as both the proudest moment of his career to date—“taking the leap,” as he says—and sheer culinary irony: his first job flipping burgers at Wendy’s turned out to be instructive after all.

Full circle, as Turner puts it.

Artist: Daniel Krall

Because of the mix of cultures, food, and creativity, there is a pride that goes along with the cuisine.

Chef Justin Turner

Share this Story