10 Recipes for 10 Years: A Farm to Table Retrospective - The Bend Magazine

10 Recipes for 10 Years: A Farm to Table Retrospective

In honor of The Bend’s 10th Anniversary Issue, Farm to Table curators Justin and Kayla Butts reminisce over 10 years of shared recipes.

photo of Justin and Kayla Butts, curators of The Bend recipes

Justin & Kayla Butts, curators of the Farm to Table section. | Photo by Rachel Benavides

Written by Justin & Kayla Butts

Jordan and Kaley Regas had a vision for this publication: They wanted to create a magazine that captures the energy, the vibes and the flavors of the Coastal Bend. We fell in love with the first issue of The Bend and have written in every issue since. Our mission has always been to develop recipes that are local, simple, healthy and delicious. 

The food on these pages was grown on our farm in Rockport: Cherokee White Eagle corn; Red Kuri and Blue Hokkaido squash; Galeux d’ Eysines pumpkins; Dragon’s Tongue beans; Bull’s Blood beets; on and on, hundreds of varieties of heirloom vegetables. We planted each one from seed, picked them at the peak of ripeness and put them to work on these pages.

We raised cattle, hogs, chicken, duck, rabbit and turkey for these recipes. We hunted deer in our forests, fished our windswept waters and foraged the prickly landscape for our ingredients. We showcased the excellent products of local farmers and fishermen.

Our partner on every page has been the indomitable Rachel Benavides. Rachel is lovely; her photography is gorgeous; and with skill and tenacity, she transformed our food into art.

Every month for the last 10 years, our kitchen has become a photoshoot set. It is a magical place — you can see our ingredients coming to life in the photographs; you can see the pots and pans and plates that clutter our kitchen; you can see the flowers, freshly picked from our gardens, decorating the scene. You can see our creations plated and adorned to perfection.

What you cannot see, though, is the laughter, the hugs, the prayers; the children running around the table (and growing taller each year); the joy that went into every photograph. You can’t see the love we have for you, dear reader, but we hope you can feel it. Most of all, we hope you can taste it.

Jordan and Kaley have a beautiful vision, and you’re holding it in your hands. Their vision now belongs to all of us and it keeps getting better and better. We are turning the page on 10 years of precious memories and we can’t wait to see what comes next. Thank you for cooking alongside us, all this time.

Baked Whole Snapper | June 2014

Photography by Rachel Benavides

The Farm to Table section was first added to the magazine in June 2014, and a baked whole snapper recipe launched what would later become a monthly article. The fish used in the photos was from Morgan Street Seafood. A relatively quick meal, the recipe takes just under an hour to complete. >> Read the full recipe. 


Pulled Pork Sandwiches | September 2015

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Paired with a homemade barbecue sauce inspired by Kayla’s grandmother’s recipe and freshly baked sweet potato chips, this pulled pork sandwich recipe is perfect for any South Texas backyard gathering. >> Read the full recipe.


Holiday Pies | November 2016

Photography by Rachel Benavides

In the first of many holiday-centric dessert Farm to Table sections, the November 2016 issue included holiday pie recipes for a buttermilk brulee pie, an apple pie and a pecan date pie. Each recipe displayed a range of subtle flavors balanced by their natural sweetness. >>Read the full recipe.

Grilled Oysters | April 2017

Photography by Rachel Benavides

 Some flavors are too good to cover up — they just need a little help to unlock their secrets. And oysters … they have wonderful secrets. This recipe focused on a grilled preparation and included the makings of garlic butter and kale slaw to pair. >> Read the full recipe.


Gulf Shrimp Tacos | November 2018

Photography by Rachel Benavides

The shrimp used in the images for this delicious recipe and the November 2018 issue’s cover photo were from Mom’s Bait Shop in Rockport. As Kayla noted in her original recipe introduction, fresh shrimp is one of the best perks of living in the Coastal Bend. >>Read the full recipe.


Homemade Pasta | May 2019

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Inspired by memories in her grandmother’s kitchen as a child, Kayla’s May 2019 Farm to Table section shared the recipes of not one but three homemade pasta varieties: hand-rolled pasta with her all-time favorite marinara sauce, portobello mushroom ravioli and squid ink fettuccine with seared scallops. >> Read the full recipe.


Braised Rabbit | January 2020

Braised rabbit recipe from The Bend's Farm to Table archives.
Photography by Rachel Benavides

Served with a white wine butter sauce and carrots and topped with thyme, this braised rabbit recipe packs in all the flavors. Even the pickiest of eaters will find joy in this comfort meal. >> Read the full recipe. 


Mother’s Day Brunch | May 2021

Photography by Rachel Benavides

When it comes to Mother’s Day, you might be wondering the best way to show mom how much you care. We suggest bringing some elevation to the typical breakfast in bed with a special brunch.  >> Read the full recipe.

Summer Salads | May 2022

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Summer is synonymous with salad. The hotter temperatures demand a cooler palate and less time over a sweltering stove. Crisp greens, crunchy cucumbers and juicy watermelons are life-giving on a muggy summer evening. >> Read the full recipe.


Vegan Recipes | March 2023

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Veganism, the practice of abstaining from animal meat or products, has maintained momentum in the food sphere. With new technology-backed meat, egg, fish and cheese alternatives hitting the market, herbivorous commodities have more real estate on grocery store shelves and in fast food menus. Here are some vegan recipes that are sure to make for an easy and delicious meal. >> Read the full recipe.