56ºF

The love story behind Bludorn, one of Houston’s most anticipated restaurants

HOUSTON – In Houston’s bustling Allen Parkway Corridor stands Bludorn, a highly anticipated restaurant in the Houston food scene serving New American dishes with French and Gulf Coast flair. The restaurant opened its doors to patrons in August 2020 with a beautiful layout conceived with equal measure for health and safety as well as aesthetics. The couple behind the concept, Aaron Bludorn and Victoria Bludorn, has been dreaming of opening this restaurant since early on in their relationship and are beyond thrilled to finally have those dreams come true.

“We’re people that like to dine out a lot,” said Aaron. “As we started getting past the first, ‘Ok, let’s get to know each other,’ [it was], 'Ok, let’s talk about why we like this restaurant. What is something that we want to see in our restaurant.”

The couple met in New York City, while Aaron was working as Executive Chef at Manhattan’s acclaimed Cafe Boulud, and Victoria was working on the restaurant operations side. After years of bonding over food, travel and shared ambitions, the couple was engaged to be married in 2017, which turned out to be whirlwind year for the pair.

“We got engaged in June of 2017, and then Aaron went to L.A. for the Netflix show in September,” said Victoria. “I was on the edge of my seat every single day about what was going to happen.”

Aaron competed in the massive cooking competition show “The Final Table” on Netflix. The show included an array of impressive participants from well known restaurants around the world, as well as celebrities, food critics and Michelin-starred guest judges.

Victoria also experienced additional anxiousness about the well-being of her friends and family in Houston, which was devastated by Hurricane Harvey around the same time. Victoria grew up in Houston, and her family, The Pappas Family, is a prominent name in the city due to their massively popular restaurant business, which includes restaurants like Pappasito’s, Pappadeux and Pappas Bar-B-Q.

“It was very hard to be away from Houston during that time,” said Victoria. “Watching the news, and seeing the devastation, and feeling like I couldn’t do anything...I think that’s when I realized I felt so strongly about Houston. I was like, that’s my home. I can’t imagine living anywhere else."

Aaron Bludorn and Victoria Bludorn pose with the Pappas family.
Aaron Bludorn and Victoria Bludorn pose with the Pappas family. (Copyright 2020 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

And so, in 2019 the couple left New York City to put down roots in Houston. They have stayed busy, never losing sight of their dreams to open Bludorn, which came true the following year. The couple is also expecting their first child this November.

And just in time for the fall season, Chef Aaron Bludorn shared the recipe for one of their menu favorites, Squash Blossoms. Get the recipe below. You can also watch him make it and see the full interview in the video above.

Aaron Bludorn, owner and chef at Bludorn in Houston, shares his recipe for Squash Blossoms just in time for fall.
Aaron Bludorn, owner and chef at Bludorn in Houston, shares his recipe for Squash Blossoms just in time for fall. (Julie Soefer)

BLUDORN’S SQUASH BLOSSOMS

Components:

  • Ricotta Basil Filling (recipe below)
  • Pepper Jam (Can be store bought)
  • Zucchini Pesto (recipe below)
  • Parmesan Breadcrumbs (recipe below)
  • Herb Salad (recipe below)
  • Squash Blossoms (recipe below)

RICOTTA BASIL FILLING

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups ricotta, salted and hung overnight in cheese cloth
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • ½ cup bechamel
  • ¼ cup basil puree
  • ¼ cup garlic confit Paste
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1 egg
  • Tbs. salt

Directions: Combine ingredients in a bowl and taste, then place in piping bag and reserve.

ZUCCHINI PESTO

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups zucchini skins, blanched
  • 4 bunches basil, picked, blanched
  • 1 clove garlic, blanched
  • 1 cup pinenuts, toasted
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Tbs. salt

Directions:

  1. Blanch zucchini skins, garlic clove and basil separately until tender
  2. Place pinenuts, parmesan cheese and garlic in blender, blend with olive oil until smooth
  3. Add zucchini skins and basil and puree until smooth, reserve for service

PARMESAN BREADCRUMBS

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups panko
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese, ground

Directions: Place Panko in blender or food processor and pulse in parmesan cheese until completely incorporated.

HERB SALAD

Ingredients:

  • Celery leaves, yellow only
  • Celery, peeled cut on bias
  • Parsley leaves
  • Fennel frauns
  • Basil leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil

Directions: Combine ingredients.

BASIL PUREE

Ingredients: 4 bunches of basil, picked

Directions: Blanch basil for 1-2 minutes until tender, shock in ice water, ring out until completely dry, then chop up. Blend in blender until smooth.

BECHAMEL

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1 Tbs. white pepper

Directions:

  1. Melt Butter on low heat, stir flour and cook until pale color
  2. Add milk to pot gradually, whisking out any lumps until the sauce is smooth
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Cool rapidly over ice bath with cling wrap to cover

SQUASH BLOSSOMS

Ingredients:

  • 20 squash blossoms, stamen removed
  • Basil-ricotta filling, in pastry bag
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs, whisked
  • Parmesan breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Pipe filling into flowers until full, but leaving enough space to seal with the end of the flower petals
  2. Dust in flour, and coat in egg wash and coat with Parmesan breadcrumbs
  3. Repeat process one more time so that blossoms are double breaded
  4. In medium saute pan, heat canola oil until just shy of smoke point
  5. Add blossoms and cook on all sides until golden brown
  6. Season after with salt

To connect with Aaron and Victoria Bludorn, visit the Bludorn website.


About the Author: