Chef Chat, Part 1: Ozzie Rogers of III Forks

Categories: Chef Chat

OzzieRogers.jpeg
Located in Houston Pavilions downtown, III Forks is an upscale dining establishment that encourages patrons to relax with a nice bottle of wine and a big steak. Ozzie Rogers is the man mostly responsible for those impressively behemoth cuts of beef (as well as the decadent side dishes). EOW recently sat down with Rogers to find out why he is so insistent on serving Houstonians quality cuts of meat.

Eating Our Words: Hello, Ozzie. Would you please begin by telling us how you became the chef and proprietor of III Forks Houston?

Ozzie Rogers: I have been in the restaurant business for 27 years now. I began when I was 15 years old. I started out washing dishes because I wanted to get a car. Dale Wamstad, Del Frisco, said that I was the worst dishwasher he had ever seen. So he moved me to the line and I worked my way up from a line cook to the manager at Del Frisco's when I was 17. I really enjoyed broiling steaks. I knew how to do that. Then they sold Del Frisco's to Lone Star and I stayed on for about a year. Eventually I moved my way on up, and when it was time to open III Forks in Houston, they sent me here.

EOW: Because there are several III Forks, correct?

OR: There is one in Houston now, one in Dallas, one in Austin, and several other locations. I like the look of the Houston location. It's different, more modern and well-lighted.

EOW: And where are you from originally?

OR: I'm from Fort Worth. I like Fort Worth. My family is still there, so I travel back often on the weekends. My son recently came down to visit me, and the first thing he wanted to do was to come to the restaurant and get a steak.

EOW: Because you are the steak man! Tell us about the food at our Houston location. Does it differ from the other locations?

OR: At some of the other locations, they do sided plates. Here everything is a la carte, which just gives people more options to choose what they want to eat. We only use USDA Prime Beef, which is the top 2 percent of beef produced. We are very picky about our beef. When the shipment arrives, if it was not aged properly or it is not up to our standards, we automatically send it back.

EOW: What are some of your favorite menu items?

OR: My favorite is the Bone-in Ribeye. I love a flavorful, well-marbled steak. I like the local favorites, too, like the chicken fried steak, and the Kobe Beef hotdog. The Tomahawk is also something I order from time to time, and it's very popular. It's a huge, expensive cut of meat, but people come in and finish the whole thing. People in Houston know how to eat well. They come in, order a bottle of wine, and relax for two or three hours. And we will never rush them out. Even if they're ordering only a burger and a coke, they will be treated as well as someone ordering the Tomahawk and expensive wine.

EOW: Can you finish the whole Tomahawk yourself?

OR: I have before, but I like our sides too much, so I'm always eating things with the steak which makes it harder to finish the whole thing.

Check back tomorrow, when we get Chef Ozzie to divulge his secret to a great steak.


Location Info

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III Forks

1201 Fannin, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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6 comments
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Billstevens
Billstevens

Just because you can cook a steak does not make you a chef. Just because Geri Maria Harris can type doesn't mean she knows anything about the culinary world and should not be allowed to write such RETARDED articals. We all know the chefs in steak houses are nothing but line cooks who know how to manage a kitchen.

Fulmer
Fulmer

Having worked in and dined at most of the high end steak houses, I think many of the executive chefs, sous chefs & chef de cuisines indeed are quite skilled. Your comment reveals a lack of perspective and experience. True some are merely culinary grads with an knack for nothing much more than back of the house mangement, but many have considerable culinary acumen. I have have had the priviledge of sampling many of their creative wares which are commonly revealed in wine dinners and daily off the menu features. Having a dependable revenue stream AND benefits is often problematic in an industry (in TX) that has not codified health benefits as part of employee compensation. I would not go to a steak house expecting "next level" cuisine or ultra modern gastronomical fare. I would expect excellence within their parameters and hope that the somewhat narrow window for individual expression would reveal some creativity in approach and execution. I find it interesting that you all cap 'retarded' juxtaposed with a misspelling of 'article'.

PM
PM

"RETARDED articals" ---> Just because you know how to type inflammatory posts on a blog comment wall doesn't necessarily make you literate.

stwilhelm
stwilhelm

I work downtown and have been to III Forks twice -- and I will not return. The food was tasteless, overly priced for what you received and the service quite frankly, sucked. If any of these happen on one occassion, I typically give them another try, which I did. All was exactly the same --

Kyle
Kyle

The prime rib for $25ish is a really fantastic deal and absolutely delicious, and the bartenders are pretty good at their job. It is a place with a pretty nice atmosphere as well.

That said, I was annoyed to hear a while back that iii Forks is making the ladies who work there dress in skimpy outfits now, and I haven't been back. Not that this is the chef's fault, necessarily.

Wuwu
Wuwu

I went in Dec '09, right after they opened and had one of the most tasteless meals I can recall. Food terrible, service worse and the staff had no level of understanding of the product. Guess my fault for going so soon. Lesson learned just go to Fleming's and get this type of clone food.

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