Chef Chat

Chef Chat, Part 1: Melissa Hudnall, Bug Chef at HMNS

"I think it's a good idea to cook with bugs because they're so plentiful so you might as well bite back," says Melissa Hudnall of the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Now sure, as the Bug Chef for the HMNS she's probably a bit biased toward the idea of eating bugs, but she does have a point: bugs are everywhere and putting them in their place isn't the worst idea in the world.

Unless you're a truly adventurous eater, the idea of snacking on bugs probably sets alarms off in your brains. There's something about the idea that just makes our modern sensibilities shudder at the thought, even though we don't have a frame of reference to go along with them.

Not that it's particularly difficult to eat bugs in Houston, if you're so inclined to try them. Back in 2013 we talked about the fried grasshoppers available at Hugo's and even asked you if you knew were we could find edible bugs in Houston. It appears that salty or sweet, for now at least, grasshoppers are Houston's favorite bug snack.

Still, while other chefs in the city may know how to cook bugs, Hudnall is one of the only ones that would label themselves a bug chef. She's been working her magic with insects for years now, and you can tell she has a real love for her work when she talks about it. How does one end up as a bug chef? Watch the video above to find out.

Good news: tomorrow we're going to show you how to be a bug chef yourself. Need a quick snack dish while hanging out before Thanksgiving dinner? Do you have some sour cream and onion crickets laying about? Good. Hope your friends and family like Chex mix.

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Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia