When a Mexican restaurant called Beto & Son opened in Trinity Groves, its owners were confident. Trinity Groves' youngest restaurateur ever, Julian Rodarte, had just graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and had come home to work with his dad, Beto Rodarte, who had cooked for investor and restaurateur Phil Romano for many years.
The father-son duo will channel that confidence on Oct. 18, when their episode of Beat Bobby Flay airs on Food Network. Flay's show begins with two restaurateurs, often strangers, competing against themselves before the winner gets to cook against Flay.
In a rare twist, the first challenge pits Beto against his 25-year-old son, Julian.
"Competing against my son was fun," Beto says, "especially knowing that no matter who won, one of us would be competing against Bobby."
They've each got their own strengths: Beto has been working in kitchens for decades. And Julian "cooks for millennials," Romano noted in an interview in 2016.
Beat Bobby Flay then challenges restaurateurs to make their "signature dish" in the final round, while Flay has to try to make it on the fly. Even though the audience seems to be rooting against him, Flay often wins.
Beto says one of the most nerve-wracking things about the show was working in an unfamiliar kitchen. "The kitchen is set up like a studio, not like your typical restaurant kitchen setup, so if the lights, cameras and judges aren't throwing you off, the strange studio kitchen will."
The Texas chefs will host a watch party at Beto & Son on Oct. 18, where they will set up a big TV on the patio.
Beat Bobby Flay featuring the Rodartes airs on Food Network at 9 p.m. Oct. 18.