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The Bend Magazine

Meet Joe Brock

10/25/2018 12:07PM ● By Kylie Cooper

By: Kylie Kinnett  Photo by: Rachel Benavides


How did cooking/food become such an integral part of your life?
Growing up, I had the pleasure of being blessed with five older sisters and one baby brother. So, there were a lot of mouths to feed. My mother, being an only child raised in the countryside of Thailand, always cooked meals from scratch. Coming home from school, I would remember hopping off the bus and running into a house filled with earthy aromas. As you can see, I never skipped a meal and was always in the kitchen with my mom helping out (really just taste testing). That’s when I fell in love with cooking. It was more than sustenance to me. It was nourishment for the person I would become in my later years.


How would you describe your cooking style?
My cooking style is 100 % Asian-Texas-Fusion. Even though I was not born here in Texas, there is no other place I would rather hang my hat at the end of the day. I moved here from Japan when I was 5 and have been eating like a Texan since then – WHATABURGER! I enjoy mixing the flavors from my Asian background with the Hispanic cuisine that I’ve grown to love more than one could know.


How did the opportunity to be on two different cooking shows on Food Network come about?
One day I got a call from a from a mysterious Arlington number, so I answered it. Thinking it was a fraud caller, I greeted with, “Howdy, is this the Texas Rangers finally calling me up to the big leagues, cause if it is I ain’t pitchen’ unless the ‘Stros ask me to throw the cheese.” Baffled the lady said, “Excuse me but this is Kassie from the Food Network. I’m trying to reach Joe Brock.” I completely thought it was a joke and asked which friend had put her up to this. She assured me this was a serious endeavor about being on a cooking show. Kassie then told me she had come across my Instagram page and said the food on my page looked really amazing. Still in awe, I said I would definitely be down to come out and try my hand at Food Network.


What was that experience like?
It was surreal. Everyone who worked with the show was super amazing and helpful. The first show I did was Guys Grocery Games Season 18 episode 1.  I did so well on my episode, the network asked me to come back again and compete on another show called Ultimate Summer Cook Off! I said yes, of course. The whole experience was super beneficial to launching my culinary career locally and nationally. I still keep in contact with everyone from the show. I made awesome friends and amazing memories. Also, it really helped validate the reason I do all this.


Plans for the future?
Well I am super stoked for what is to come. Right now, I’m working on opening a place on the Island with a few partners. We hope to have it open before the end of the year.