Dan Pastorini has worn several hats over the years. Actually, more helmets than hats.
He is the creator and pitchman for Dan Pastorini’s Quality Foods, which includes a line of BBQ rubs and seasonings. The seasonings are family recipes.
“My father was a butcher by trade,” Pastorini said, adding that his parents, Dante and Dorothy, owned a restaurant – Pastorini’s Longhorn – in Sonora, Calif., for 37 years.
As a youngster, Pastorini bussed tables and made salads as he watched his father cook.
Dan at an HEB working with his Texas Style BBQ Rubs
“The food – Italian American – was very good. Dad’s prime rib was exceptional,” Pastorini said.
Pastorini said it was in about 1985 (two years after retiring from the NFL) that he and an old friend, Lee Donabedian, began a friendly cooking competition that was part of an annual charity event. For the cook-off, Pastorini re-created his family’s rub recipe.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that the friends decided to market Dan Pastorini’s Texas Style Rub, along with two variations of it.
Dan calls himself a “basic griller,” adding that is why it makes him a great spokesman for his rubs.
“The seasonings make it simple to having success (in the kitchen),” Pastorini said. “(Dan Pastorini’s Texas Style Rub) is sweet and very low in sodium. It makes everything better. I’ve even put it on vanilla ice cream.”
Pastorini said his Garlic & Herb Seasoning reflects his father’s favorite flavors, and the Texas Style Hickory Rub can be used to make a good fruit dip as well as a rub for grilled meats.
Dan said he and his partners will consider expanding the line down the road, but for now they’re just trying to get established with the three rubs. “We’d like to grow faster, but we’re doing our due diligence,” Pastorini said. In the meantime, he’s holding frequent cooking demonstrations and appearances at retail stores. “Once people taste it, they’re sold.”
Pastorini’s rubs are sold at select H-E-B Foods, Hodge’s Food Basket in Spring, Phoenicia Specialty Foods (Houston), Randalls, Rice Epicurean, Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods and Texas Star Pellet Grill Co. They’re also sold online at dpqualityfoods.com.