Turkey Day Pro Tips with Gnar World Order's Pete Hesher

Gnar World Order
Gnar World Order Photo by Whitney Andrew

You’ve got mere hours left to get the Thanksgiving meal on the table for your family and friends and maybe you need a little 11th-hour help. Martha Stewart is unlikely to waltz into your kitchen, so we’ve asked the next best person to step in and help save the day. Meet Pete Hesher, your Turkey Day savior.

Hesher is executive chef at Brews Brothers in Galveston. He’s charged with designing and plating culinary delights for patrons of the Strand-area establishment. You may have seen him on television earlier this year when Travel Channel’s Food Paradise stopped by the brewpub to talk grub. If he seemed familiar, you might be a Houston/Galveston music fan. Hesher is also the longtime vocalist and front man for Gnar World Order. The band is a featured act on Hometown Hoedown. Houston Undrgrnd host the the 11th installment of the punk/metal/thrash music fest this Friday.

Hesher is very busy these days. For one, he’s prepping for a live show Friday night. GWO is one of seven acts playing the $7 show. That’s right, you get a Black Friday deal of one buck per band. For the uninitiated, we asked Hesher to describe his band’s live set.

“Loud. Very energetic and punchy,” he said. “I'm screaming at everyone, trying to spit as fast as Victhor drums, while the guitars — Fredo, DJ — attack and Johnny grooves on the bass. We have some fresh songs on our set, and more in the works. They go from fast, to really fast, then it gets slow and heavy, and then we go really fast again.”

GWO’s rapid-fire pace might be the right music to stream while steaming, baking and roasting in these final, ticking hours 'til Thanksgiving. Combined with a few helpful tips from Hesher, you might just get that meal done in time for your thankful diners.

click to enlarge Hesher, left, was featured in the "Brew-Haha" episode of Travel Channel's Food Paradise this year - PHOTO BY JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Hesher, left, was featured in the "Brew-Haha" episode of Travel Channel's Food Paradise this year
Photo by Jesse Sendejas Jr.

Hesher Pro Tip #1: Brine Your Bird

“If you want a juicy and flavorful fowl this holiday, be sure to brine it for a good 12 hours before cooking time. Salt, sugar, water and any seasonings you like,” Hesher said.

We asked how he got his start in the kitchen.

“Just like anyone else — eating food. I grew up hating Tex-Mex and I wanted to be able to cook Mexican food as good as my grandmother, who still cooks for me and my bandmates; so, I taught myself to cook in high school,” he said. “Started with beers and carne asada, then eventually took culinary classes at Galveston College.”

Hesher Pro Tip #2: Fresh Vegetables Over Frozen or Canned

“If you really want your side dishes to stand out, this is important. You will never get a tender-crisp green bean from a can, and if you bought ‘em fresh and they still are limp and sad then you overcooked ‘em,” he stated.

Hesher’s speaking from experience on the freshness front.

“We are already known for our big burgers, which use 44 Farms beef, and our signature tacos,” he said of Brews Brothers. “Right now we are currently working on an update for our menu, adding more salad options and new dishes. I'm also focusing on interior Mexican cuisine in regards to our weekend specials.”

Hesher Pro Tip #3: Prep Ahead

“For those of you that do all the cooking solo, why not make it easier on yourself? Mix your salad, make your dressings and sauces, cut your vegetables the night before,” he advised. “When it’s time to get cooking, you will have less mess, less stress and more time to enjoy the holiday.”

If you’re going to have more time, Hesher recommends you use it to find a good show to attend soon. If not Hometown Hoedown, he recommends November 29’s The Silhouette of the Nude (Tokyo) and Mother Harvey show at Drunken Monkeyz, which he booked.  There’s also the December 11 show at Brews Brothers featuring FuzzQueen, Kink Shame and Blast Dad, which includes three of Gnar World Order’s members.

GWO plays No Sleep Festival on December 14 at the Galveston VFW. Hesher says Clinic Booking presents the two-day fest showcasing mostly hardcore acts. Finally, there’s BEATMAS III, December 22 at Devil And The Deep Brewery, which Hesher says is an annual Christmas party featuring beat makers and MCs.

Pro Tip #4: (this one is courtesy of the Houston Press) Burn Those Holiday Calories at a Show

It doesn’t have to be Hometown Hoedown, but get to a show this weekend and burn that pumpkin and pecan pie off by dancing, moshing, skanking, etc. If you do attend Hometown Hoedown, get there early to see your favorite act. The band’s set times are determined by drawing at the beginning of the evening, so don’t be late.

Hometown Hoedown returns for its 11th installment 7 p.m. Friday, November 23, at Houston Undrgrnd, 850 McKee. Featuring Gnar World Order, DDA, KTCM, Fuska and others. All ages, $7.
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Jesse’s been writing for the Houston Press since 2013. His work has appeared elsewhere, notably on the desk of the English teacher of his high school girlfriend, Tish. The teacher recognized Jesse’s writing and gave Tish a failing grade for the essay. Tish and Jesse celebrated their 33rd anniversary as a couple in October.