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Grant Gordon, James Beard award semifinalist and former chef at four-star restaurant, Tony’s, died this week at the age of 28
Grant Gordon was not only a talented chef, but also a beloved member of the community.
Chef Grant Gordon, one of the most well-known and respected chefs in the Houston restaurant community, died Monday in his home at the age of 28. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed. Gordon was a promising young chef who was quickly rising to the pinnacle of culinary success with several accolades under his belt, including a place in Forbes’ “30 Under 30 in Food and Wine” in 2012, as well as being named a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year award.
Grant, a former executive chef at Tony’s in Houston where he earned a rare four-star review, had just recently announced plans to open a new restaurant in Montrose.
"I enjoyed being a mentor to him," Tony Vallone, Grant’s former mentor, told the Houston Chronicle. "I'm very sad over this tragic news. He loved to learn. His mind was open. He was a great student and had a quest for knowledge."
For the latest happenings in the food and drink world, visit our Food News page.
Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on [email protected]
Meet the 10 chefs who are the rising stars of Dallas' restaurant scene
The action is underway for the 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, our annual event honoring the best in local food and drink, where we spotlight chefs, bars, and restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The category of Rising Star Chef of the Year celebrates emerging stars on the local dining scene, whether they're working the line, running a kitchen, or opening their own restaurant.
We consulted with a panel of judges, consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts, and narrowed it down to 10 chefs as the finalists for 2019 Rising Stars.
Over the next few weeks, we'll spotlight nominees in every category: from best chefs to the best restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Winners will be announced at the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards party on April 25 at Fashion Industry Gallery. We’ll reveal the winners, sip cocktails, and dine on bites provided by the nominees. Tickets are on sale now.
Here are the 10 nominees for Rising Star Chef:
Alice Eva Schermer, Highland Dallas
Schermer is chef de cuisine at Knife by John Tesar, where she's been ruling the roost since November 2017. She's had a wide variety of experience, working in hotel dining at HEI Hotels & Resorts where she was executive chef, as well as fine-dining and entertainment venues. She previously worked Truluck's, Live Nation, and DoubleTree by Hilton.
Donny Sirisavath, Khao Noodle Shop
It was only a couple of years ago that Donny Sirisavath was still working as an aviation technician, and his rise to fame, from hosting popular pop-ups to owner-founder of his own noodle-centric restaurant, has been nothing less than meteoric. The time and place for Khao Noodle Shop is so right. The East Dallas neighborhood where it's located is in the throes of a foodie renaissance, and Dallas is primed for what he offers: spicy Laotian food and unique "boat" noodles he makes by hand. Sirisavath's travels include trips through Southeast Asia, as well as cooking with a prominent Laotian chef at the Beard House.
Eric Freidline, Sevy's
Freidline is the well-liked chef de cuisine at Sevy's who has worked with chef-owner Jim Severson for three years, where he rolls out intriguing foodie specials like parsnip gnocchi with Jerusalem artichoke, caramelized fennel, and leek nage. The nage is what makes it really special. His prior experience includes supervising the development and opening of a small restaurant on an exotic animal hunting resort. He also worked at Chamberlains Steak & Chop House, and Kona Grill. Originally from Midland, he got his degree in culinary arts at the Art Institute of Dallas.
Graham Shockley, Nova
Shockley is a relative newbie in the kitchen but in his five years on the culinary scene, he's moved fast. A native of the Houston area, where he was exposed to a wide variety of cuisines while growing up, he graduated from Baylor, and started learning the ropes by working at a food truck in Waco. When he relocated to Dallas, it was serendipitous that he would move practically next-door to Nova, which won "Best Neighborhood Restaurant" in the 2018 Tastemaker Awards, where he's worked with chef Eric Spigner for three years. He's submerged himself into the Oak Cliff dining world, doing pop-up dinners at neighborhood restaurants such as Taco Y Vino.
Grant Morgan, Velvet Taco
Currently director of F&B for Velvet Taco, Morgan has worked at multiple AAA 4- and 5 Diamond-rated restaurants and cooked for numerous Hollywood A-listers. He began his career in his hometown Sedona at the renowned Heartline Cafe, learning every station until he knew the kitchen inside out. He's worked in resort towns like Las Vegas and Vail, Colorado, at luxury properties such as Park Hyatt Beaver Creek and Spa and Le Cirque at the Bellagio Hotel. He was lured to Dallas to work at Hotel Zaza for three years, before joining the FrontBurner group (The Ranch, Twin Peaks, Whiskey Cake, etc.).
Jared Harms, Pyramid
Chef Harms had some solid-gold experience prior to his hire at the Fairmont hotel where he has been executive chef since 2016. Prior to that, he was a sous chef at Rosewood Hotels & Resorts from 2010-2016, and notably, he was a cook at the legendary York Street from 2009-2010. Not too many chefs can make that claim. Harms also has a little something extra in his educational background: He graduated from A&M with a bachelor's in nutrition sciences.
Meagan Stout, Americano
Stout is a UNT grad and is currently sous chef at Americano at the Joule. She's covered a lot of ground: She was sous chef at Breslin Bar & Dining Room, a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York under chef April Bloomfield, and has done stints at Sachet, French Room, and Barley & Board in Denton. She was also a James Beard Foundation grant recipient in the Women in Culinary Leadership program.
Patrick Hildebrandt, Texican
Hildebrandt came to Texican Court with more than a decade of hospitality experience at venues such as Sweet Basil in Vail, Colorado, the Empty Stomach Group in San Antonio, and The Hollow in Georgetown. Now he rules the roost at Two Mules Cantina, a restaurant and bar at Texican Court, a new property from Houston-based Valencia Group Hotels which opened in Irving's Las Colinas Urban Center, across the street from the Irving Convention Center and Toyota Music Factory in 2018.
Reyna Duong, Sandwich Hag
Duong was deep in the corporate world as a buyer for Nordstrom when she began doing pop-ups in 2015. Her goal was to share the joys of authentic Vietnamese cuisine, which she learned while growing up as an unofficial sous chef for her mother, who cooked everything from scratch. "Right down to having me roast raw peanuts over the hot stove while removing its brown peel one peanut at a time," Duong says. She left corporate America in 2016 and opened Sandwich Hag in its permanent location in 2017. It's a point of pride for her that she will make no substitutions, championing bold flavors, vibrant spices, fresh ingredients, never taking any shortcuts, all while respecting the integrity of Vietnamese cuisine.
Zeb Hartline, Sheraton Dallas
Hartline joins the Sheraton with more than 15 years in the food and beverage industry. Hartline hails from southwestern Michigan, where he grew up on a 67-acre produce farm. He earned his degree at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in Orlando, and has earned more than two dozen awards on the professional barbecue circuit. Most recently, he served for four years as executive chef over multiple restaurants and director of restaurants at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. Prior to that, he worked at The JW Marriott & Ritz-Carlton Hotel at Grande Lakes Orlando and Orlando World Center Marriott.
Southern culinary superstars descend on Houston for epic fundraiser
The eyes of the culinary world will be on Houston October 11 when a who's who of Southern superstar chefs descend on the city for an epic fundraiser.
Underbelly chef/owner Chris Shepherd has recruited three of his famous friends — Aaron Franklin of Austin's Franklin Barbecue, James Beard Award winner Sean Brock of Husk, McCrady’s and Minero and celebrated pitmaster Rodney Scott of Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, South Carolina — for an event called Southern Smoke.
Their goal is to raise over $100,000 in one night for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Their goal is to raise over $100,000 in one night for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in honor of Antonio Gianola, the popular local sommelier who worked with Shepherd at Catalan and currently guides customers' choices at Houston Wine Merchant.
The event, which will take over Underbelly, The Hay Merchant and Blacksmith, will add to the block party feel by closing a section of Yoakum and adding live music from local band Folk Family Revival.
Shepherd tells CultureMap he was surprised when Gianola told him about being diagnosed with MS but immediately began forming a plan. "I said, 'I don’t think this is something I want to sit around and feel sorry about. How open are you to publicizing this?,'" Shepherd says. "He said, 'I want to be kind of open about it. I didn’t want to fall into a state of depression or a mind set of not telling anybody.' I said, 'Well, let’s throw a damn party.'"
The issue of MS in the culinary community came to the forefront in 2014 when former Tony's chef Grant Gordon committed suicide after being diagnosed with the disease. "I think the thing about MS is it happens. It’s not anything you can control or anything you can fix. There's no cure," Shepherd explains. "If we can throw money at it, maybe there will be a cure. And a better mentality towards it and understanding . . . It affects everybody in different ways. I just think it needs to be something that’s talked about a little more."
One big dinner
Rather than organizing a series of dinners, Shepherd explains that he decided to organize "one big one" and, after discussing the idea with his business partners in the Clumsy Butcher group (Anvil, Blacksmith, The Hay Merchant), began contacting some of his fellow James Beard Award winners in Brock and Franklin. "Within minutes, they were like, 'I'm in,'" Shepherd says.
For what's being touted as his first time serving in Houston, Shepherd says Franklin has promised to put out plenty of barbecue by bringing at least one, 26-foot-long trailer and possibly a second, 22-foot-long trailer. Scott plans to serve whole hog with assistance from CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Rising Star Chef of the Year winner Patrick Feges. Shepherd says he isn't sure yet what Brock is doing, but it will certainly be worth sampling.
Shepherd says Franklin has promised to put out plenty of barbecue by bringing at least one, 26-foot-long trailer and possibly a second, 22-foot-long trailer.
In addition to the culinary luminaries, Southern Smoke will see the first appearance of the HOUBBQ Collective, which consists of Shepherd, Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan of The Pass & Provisions, Ryan Pera of Revival Market and Coltivare and Oxheart's Justin Yu. Shepherd says Siegel-Gardner approached the group with the idea about coming together to collaborate on their version of barbecue.
"I’m not going to try to compete with Ronnie Killen or Greg Gatlin," Shepherd says. "We’re going to do barbecue that we do, whether it be beef bellies or carrots or whatever. It’s just guys who want to get together to do something fun."
If all goes well, Shepherd says he could see some version of the festival becoming an annual event. "It’s just to get us started. Just to bring chefs from outside here and show them what Houston is. And show them how much love we have for each other as the industry goes," Shepherd explains.
"Once you get other people buying in and seeing how great this city is, it’s endless."
A frontrunner on Top Chef Season 11 in New Orleans where she was eliminated after a technicality, Stephanie Cmar is back to show the world she has what it takes. Possessing a genuine passion for cooking from a young age, Stephanie was only 15 when she began working in the food industry at the Muffin Shop in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Stephanie graduated in 2007 from Johnson & Wales University and returned to Boston, Massachusetts, to begin her career at the Top of the Hub restaurant. From there, she went to work with Barbara Lynch Gruppo as a line cook at B&G Oysters, where she quickly rose through the ranks to the position of sous chef. Stephanie continued to further hone her fine dining skills at restaurants like Stir and No. 9 Park, eventually showcasing her culinary prowess by competing on Top Chef. After the show, she opened the pop-up Stacked Donuts in Boston. In 2015, Stephanie joined Fairsted Kitchen as the executive chef, crafting a menu that reflects her personal cooking style with French and Italian dishes that have a Middle Eastern spin. After a year at Fairsted, Stephanie took a position at Venetian restaurant SRV in Boston’s South End, where she worked to master the art of making pasta. During that time she also worked part time as a private chef and discovered that she loved the creative freedom of working for herself and cooking for small groups. She has since become a full-time private chef for multiple families, and also caters upscale intimate dinner parties.
Padma Lakshmi is an Emmy-nominated food expert, television host, producer and The New York Times best-selling author.
She is the creator, host, and executive producer of the critically acclaimed Hulu series Taste the Nation, which received a 2021 Gotham Award for Breakthrough Series. The series has just been greenlit for a second season.
Lakshmi also serves as host and executive producer of Bravo’s two-time Emmy-winning series Top Chef, which has been nominated for 32 Emmys, including her two-time nomination for Outstanding Host for A Reality-Competition Program. Its new season will be premiering in spring 2021.
Lakshmi is co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) and an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Artist Ambassador for immigrants' rights and women's rights. Lakshmi was also appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Born in India, she grew up in the United States, graduating from Clark University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts and American Literature. Known as India’s first supermodel, she began her career as a fashion model and actress working in Europe and the United States.
Laskhmi established herself as a food expert early in her career hosting Padma’s Passport, where she cooked diverse cuisine from around the world and Planet Food, a documentary series, both on the Food Network domestically and worldwide on the Discovery Channel. She also co-hosted Rai Television's Domenica In, Italy’s highest-rated variety show.
She’s a prolific author, writing the best-selling Easy Exotic, which won the “Best First Book” award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Lakshmi followed this with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet and her memoir The New York Times best-selling Love, Loss and What We Ate. She later published The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs. In August of 2021 she will publish her first children’s book Tomatoes for Neela.
In addition to her food writing, Lakshmi has also contributed to Vogue, Gourmet, both British and American Harper's Bazaar, as well as penning a syndicated column on fashion and food for The New York Times.
Lakshmi created a fine jewerly line The Padma Collection, which sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. She also designed a home décor line under the same name featuring tabletop dishware, stemware and hand-blown glass décor pieces, was sold nationwide in Bloomingdale’s. In addition, Lakshmi created Padma’s Easy Exotic, a collection of culinary products ranging from frozen organic foods, fine teas, natural spice blends and home goods. In 2018, Lakshmi collaborated with MAC Cosmetics for a worldwide capsule collection called MAC Padma which quickly sold out in both India and the United States.
After unknowingly suffering from endometrisis for decades, in 2009 she co-founded the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA) alongside Advanced Gynecological Surgeon Tamer Seckin, MD. The EFA launched the first interdisciplinary research facility in the country for Gynepathology, as a joint project between Harvard Medical School and MIT and Lakshmi gave the keynote address at the Center’s opening in December 2009.
Her efforts were recognized on the floor of the New York State Senate, where she succeeded in passing a bill related to teen health initiatives. The organization’s ENPOWR program has currently educated over 32,000 students about endometriosis in high schools across the state of New York.
Lakshmi is a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has received the 2018 Karma Award from Variety, as well as the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
According to producer David Page, who created the Food Network hit Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy Fieri is impossible to work with. He said that as Fieri's fame grew, so did his ago. "Almost everyone who becomes a star in television develops an abnormal sense of self," he told City Pages. "In the worst-case scenario, they become surrounded by sycophants who tell them everything they want to hear."
A big ego is one thing, and not exactly unusual among famous people, but Fieri is also allegedly homophobic. Page shared a story about a time Fieri stormed out of a restaurant because he "had decided that the two men running the restaurant were life partners." Fieri reportedly told Page, "You can't send me to talk to gay people without warning! Those people weird me out!"
It sounds like Fieri needs to be reminded that he's living in the 21st century.
Michel Roux, 78, Dies Helped Bring French Cuisine to London
He was appalled by English food, particularly peas. With his brother, he established the first British restaurant to win three Michelin stars.
Michel Roux, a French-born chef who lifted fine dining in London to a new plane in the late 1960s when, with his older brother, Albert, he opened Le Gavroche, the first British restaurant to earn three Michelin stars, died on Wednesday at his home in Bray-on-Thames. He was 78.
A statement by his family said the cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease for which he had been treated for some time.
Mr. Roux, a pastry maker by training, spoke no English when he followed his brother to London and helped him open Le Gavroche, on Lower Sloane Street in Chelsea. It was named after the urchin in Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables.”
Surveying the landscape, the brothers had decided that the city was ripe for conquest.
“There was no life, no substance to food,” Michel Roux told The Good Food Guide in 2017. “People wanted big portions of hot food, all of it overcooked and mostly reheated. What a sad, terrible time. It was like someone had forgotten to switch on the light. And we did it, we switched on the light.”
In his memoir, “Life Is a Menu: Reminiscences and Recipes From a Master Chef” (2000), Mr. Roux recalled with particular horror the sight of English peas being served at a corner cafe. “Like a witness to a terrible atrocity,” he wrote, “I told myself I had to put this out of my mind as quickly as possible.”
The brothers offered a rigorously classical menu, with ingredients imported or, in some cases, smuggled from France. Sauces were rich and standards were high. Londoners with deep pockets were transported by dishes like lobster mousse with caviar and Champagne butter sauce, duck foie gras with truffles, and a signature double-baked Swiss soufflé.
The restaurant, awarded a third Michelin star in 1982, attained crown-jewel status and served as a training ground for such future stars as Pierre Koffmann, Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay.
Mr. Roux and his brother added luster to their already exalted reputations when they opened the Waterside Inn in Bray, Berkshire, in 1972. Like Le Gavroche, it received a star when Michelin published its first British guide in 1974. It was awarded three stars in 1985.
In 2005, The Caterer, a British publication, called Mr. Roux and his brother “godfathers of modern restaurant cuisine in the U.K.” The brothers, they added, “put Britain on the culinary map and raised standards across the board.”
Michel Roux was born on April 19, 1941, to Henri and Germaine (Triger) Roux, above his grandfather’s charcuterie in Charolles, in central France. It was an auspicious beginning.
“When you’re born above a charcuterie, every day has a different flavor — one day it is pâté, another day it is sausages or rillettes or ham,” Mr. Roux told Radio Times in 2012. “You eat food, you breathe food, you talk about food: Food is in the blood.”
His father, who moved the family to the outskirts of Paris after World War II and opened his own charcuterie, was a gambler and ne’er-do-well who left his home, his wife and his failing business when Michel was 10. Mr. Roux credited his mother, “an inventive, instinctive cook” whom he enthusiastically assisted in the kitchen, for inspiring him to be a chef.
After serving an apprenticeship with the pastry maker Camille Loyal in the Belleville neighborhood of Paris, Mr. Roux found work in the kitchen of the British Embassy, where Albert was a chef. He was later hired as a junior chef in the household of Cécile de Rothschild, of the wealthy banking family, rising to the position of head chef after completing two years of military service in Algeria.
Albert had, in the meantime, moved to England, where he began cooking for Peter Cazalet, trainer of the queen’s racehorses. His employer’s august circle of acquaintances backed the brothers when it came time to open Le Gavroche in Chelsea in 1967.
The opening-night guest list included Charlie Chaplin, Ava Gardner and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. An overnight success, the restaurant moved to sumptuous quarters in Mayfair in 1982.
Mr. Roux is survived by his brother and three children from his first marriage, Alain, Christine and Francine. He and his wife divorced in 1979. His second wife, Robyn Joyce, died in 2017.
For a time, the brothers operated several bistros and brasseries in London, including Le Poulbot, in the financial district, and Gavvers, in the original Gavroche. In 1984 they created the Roux Brothers Scholarship, a prestigious competition intended to foster a new generation of British chefs. One winner each year apprentices at a top restaurant, then receives coaching by the Roux brothers.
“The idea was that if somebody won a competition and became a Roux Scholar, it gave them enough credibility so the chefs in France would not be able to refuse them,” Mr. Roux told The Caterer in 2013. “It gave us the chance to prove to the continent that there were some really promising young chefs in Britain, which they thought didn’t exist.”
With his brother, Mr. Roux wrote several cookbooks, notably “New Classic Cuisine” (1983) and “At Home With the Roux Brothers” (1988). His own cookbooks included “Desserts: A Lifelong Passion” (1994), “Pastry: Savory and Sweet” (2008) and “The Essence of French Cooking” (2014).
The brothers went their separate ways in 1986. Michel kept the Waterside Inn, which he turned over to his son, Alain, in 2002. Albert took over Le Gavroche, which is now run by his son, Michel. The restaurant lost its third star in 1993 and now has two. In 2018, Mr. Roux and his son opened Roux at Skindles, a brasserie in Taplow, not far from the Waterside Inn.
“We came to point the way forward knowing that we would face either a quick death or quick success,” Mr. Roux told the British newspaper The Independent in 2017, looking back over his career. “Luckily, it was the right time. Now, in restaurant terms, we have landed on the moon and Mars, all in 45 years.”
‘Hell’s Kitchen’ season 19 episode 10 recap: Who was eliminated in ‘There’s Something About Marc’? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]
Uh-oh — should Marc Quinones‘ many fans be worried that his name appeared in the title (“There’s Something About Marc”) of this week’s episode of “Hell’s Kitchen“? This 37-year-old executive chef from Albuquerque, New Mexico has been on the chopping block several times already in Season 19, including last week when he almost went home. But he’s been able to save himself each and every time thanks to his sheer passion. With only eight people left in the running to join the “HK” winners list, did Marc’s time finally run out on Thursday night? Or did another chef-testant go home instead?
Below, read our minute-by-minute “Hell’s Kitchen: Las Vegas” recap of Season 19, Episode 10, titled “There’s Something About Marc,” to find out what happened Thursday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite aspiring chefs on Fox’s reality TV show and who you think has what it takes to win the entire competition. The remaining contestants are:
RED TEAM : Jordan Savell, Kori Sutton, Mary Lou Davis and Nicole “Nikki” Hanna
BLUE TEAM : Cody Candelario, Declan Horgan, Marc Quinones and Amber Lancaster
Keep refreshing/reloading this “Hell’s Kitchen” live blog for the most recent updates.
Meet the 10 best chefs in Dallas defining our culinary landscape
The annual 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards celebrates the best in Dallas-Fort Worth food and drink, spotlighting bars and bartenders, restaurants and chefs.
Chefs are the biggest factor in the personality of any restaurant. They're often the reason people come to a restaurant in the first place. The best ones combine skill, dedication, and creativity — and that includes all 10 nominees in this list.
Our panel of judges, consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts, had the tough job of narrowing it down to one that will win the top award.
You can find out who when the winners are announced at the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards party on April 25 at Fashion Industry Gallery. Tickets are on sale now.
Here are our 10 nominees for the 2019 Tastemaker Awards Chef of the Year:
Anthony Dispensa — The French Room
This Houston native grew up in a food household before attending Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. He's worked with a variety of acclaimed chefs including Lydia Shire, Gordon Ramsay, Masaharu Morimoto, and Alan Ducasse, in cities across the world from London to Dubai. At the French Room, he's managed to continue the fine-dining tradition while infusing it with a breath of fresh air.
Bruno Davaillon — Bullion
A native of the Loire Valley in France, Davaillon began cooking at age 16 and has cooked in some of the world's most legendary restaurants, such as Restaurant Lasserre, a temple of classic French gastronomy near the Champs-Élysées. He came to Dallas in 2010 to take the reins at the venerable Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, before opening his gorgeous restaurant, Bullion, in downtown Dallas in 2018.
Matt Ford — Billy Can Can
Ford is an MVP whose resume runs from pizza and pastas at Americano to contemporary American at CBD Provisions and Craft Dallas, all places he worked before joining up with restaurateur Tristan Simon at this Victory Park hotspot. Billy Can Can's menu is modern Texas with a French influence, using Texas-raised beef and game, Gulf seafood, and locally grown produce including some from Ford's personal garden.
Joel Orsini — Izkina
The kitchen at this casual restaurant in Deep Ellum may be tiny, but chef Joel Orsini is putting out some big food. He attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked in New York City, before returning to Texas, where he worked in Austin as well as Dallas restaurants such as CBD Provisions and FT33. He's a farm-to-table proponent, currently building an apiary and rooftop garden atop the hostel where Izkina is located.
Jose Meza — Jalisco Norte
This high-profile chef is perhaps the only chef in Dallas who has worked at the famed NOMA in Copenhagen, Denmark. A native of Mexico City, he's worked at Enrique Olvera's Pujol in Mexico City, Moxi by Enrique Olvera in San Miguel de Allende, and Carolina Restaurant at The St. Regis Punta Mita Luxury Resort. He brings an elevated sense of Mexican cuisine to this Oak Lawn Avenue restaurant.
Manny Vera — Truluck's
Dallas native took the lessons he learned at home and has achieved a sweet success story at Truluck's, where he's worked for more than 20 years. Climbing his way up from prep cook to cover every station in the kitchen, he's now the executive chef and a partner in the organization, where he oversees the kitchen and executes to the standards of this high-quality steak and seafood chain.
Misti Norris — Petra & The Beast
A return nominee (for Rising Star in 2015), Norris has had a banner year, with accolades from across the country for her highly personal restaurant on Haskell Avenue. She honed her chops working at some of Dallas' most acclaimed restaurants including Nana, during the Anthony Bombaci reign, and Design District hot spot FT33, both now closed. She's a creative innovator who delves into the process, whether it's butchering her own meat or making her own charcuterie.
Nick Barclay — Fish n Fizz
A native of England, Barclay is having a renaissance in Dallas, where he ran an acclaimed restaurant in the '90s, before going to England to run an inn by the sea. He and his wife returned in 2018 to open their fish & chips joint, Fish & Fizz, in Richardson. It's not just that their approach is authentic it's also that they execute it with care.
Rodman Shields — Common Table
Shields is officially the chef at Common Table, but you can find his imprint on many menus across town. If you're a restaurateur without the capital to hire a fancy chef full-time, Chef Rod has carved out a niche as the go-to consultant who can whip up a menu for your kitchen to execute. He's a graduate of Johnson & Wales in South Carolina who has also worked as a chef at high-end restaurants such as Nick & Sam’s and Cool River Cafe.
Wade Burch — Perle on Maple
Burch trained at the School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards and Windows on the World Wine School, and has worked at The Plaza Hotel in New York, The Pan Pacific Hotel in San Francisco, and The Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas. He's also appeared on Food Network's Chopped. His menu of bistro classics with a Texas twist has helped revitalize this restaurant at the grand Le Méridien Dallas The Stoneleigh hotel.
Thomas Hill - Carl Conrad Coreander
Thomas Hill, who portrayed the all-knowing librarian Carl Conrad Coreander in The NeverEnding Story and the 1990 sequel The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, made a number of TV and film appearances throughout the course of his career—most notably, his turn as Jim Dixon in Newhart. Hill passed away in 2009 at the age of 81.
Smoked Trout Pâté
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This pâté is delicious on crackers or thinly sliced grilled toasts. If you prefer a smoked trout salad, keep the fish pieces larger and, rather than mixing the fish to break it up, gently fold it into just enough sauce to coat it. Throw this together with our Moscow Mule recipe for a quick and easy dinner party appetizer.
Game plan: You’ll need to make the smoked trout before you begin.