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Yeti Ambassador


Food & Beverage
Miguel Vidal
Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, Miguel was raised in a home where gathering around a BBQ pit has been a long-standing family tradition, with everyone playing a role in preparing made-from-scratch meals.

Starting out with a small trailer in downtown Austin, Miguel now owns and operates the acclaimed Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in Austin, TX with his wife and business partner, Modesty. Since Valentina’s opening in early 2013, Miguel has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetite, Texas Monthly’s Top 50 BBQ Joints issue, and has made appearances on Travel Channel and Food Network.

For Miguel, there is no BBQ, or Valentina’s, without family. Named after his daughter, Valentina’s offers the Vidal family’s traditional BBQ menu, a family atmosphere, and makes it truly a family business with the help of a few of his siblings and cousins.

Miguel is currently building out his dream of having a full-scale family restaurant and destination location in Austin, and of course, while doing so, everything is Hecho con Amor.

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ Barbacoa Recipe

Yields approx. 8lbs

Feeds 10-15

Trim 15 lbs of beef cheek meat trimming off hard fat and most silver skin. Season meat with

Place meat in full aluminum pan with following items.

  • 2 onions (cut in half
  • 32 oz water (or beer)

Smoke at 250 degrees. Rotate cheeks every 3 hours. Cover about 8 hours in. Cook until fork tender, roughly 12-14 hours.

Serve with cilantro, chopped onions, diced serranos, and a squeeze of lime with flour tortillas. Sub corn tortillas if preferred.


Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ Flour Tortilla Recipe

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Cup lard (or oil)
  • 1 to 1.5 cups warm water

Work hot water into flour slowly. Knead dough and form a large dough ball. Pinch into smaller dough balls and roll out to desired size and thickness. Cook for a few seconds one each side on a high heat comal.

A Conversation with Miguel


What goes through your head when you first wake up in the morning?


The temperature of my pits and if our fires are burning consistently and clean.


Tell us a favorite story.


One of my favorite times was hosting our VIP event which allowed me to give back and show appreciation to those who have supported me from the beginning and the ones who have become close along the way. It allowed me to express my cooking not only through BBQ but from every aspect of cooking and what I have learned in my career.


How do you up your game year after year?


I up my game every year by keeping an open mind, working hard, and I’m always learning – whether it’s from a leader or top chef in my industry or from my wife or kids. Being a father and teaching my kids the ways of the world and how to be inspiring, strong, motivated individuals drives me to be better as well, as I am the example.


If you could do anything better, what would it be?


If I could do anything better it would be fixing and building things along with just becoming better at my craft. There is always room to grow.


What haven’t you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?


I aspire to become fluent in French and learn other languages, and build my brick and mortar. I would also like to farm and raise livestock.


What part of you, or what you do, reflects a spirit of restlessness?


I feel that the fire constantly burning inside of me represents a spirit of restlessness. My mind is always burning with ideas or new ways to get to the next level. Long days and even longer nights, I strive to reach new limits and push myself and those around me to accomplish things others may not think possible.


If there is any love-hate relationship with any aspect of what you do, can you describe what that is?


I love what I do but sometimes I hate the hours. I love and want to always be at work or cooking but I hate the time it takes away from my family.