Mandy Rea, originally from Plainview but now living in Amarillo, makes one mean banana pudding.
“Banana pudding is a southern dish,” Rea says. “Comfort food is important to southern chefs to be able to share with people. What better way for a southern chef to express their love for people, their love for those around them, than sharing a comfort food?”
The recipe was passed down to her from her mother, who found it when Rea was in grade school. And like many family recipes, there’s a secret ingredient. But Rea says what makes this banana pudding is also about the technique.
“It’s about how you assemble the ingredients and how you make the dish,” she says. “It is creamier and fluffier and, I think, richer than most banana puddings – but I may be a little biased.”
Rea has a 5-year-old daughter who also loves to cook. She’s helped her mom put together the family secret recipe more than a few times.
“She doesn’t necessarily know which ingredient is the secret ingredient, and I’m confident that she can’t rattle her recipe off to anybody,” Rea says. “As long as she doesn’t know the recipe, I think that we’re safe for now.”