Charity Event

12th Stephan Pyles Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner – Dallas

Time again for Stephan Pyles' Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner and Wine
Auction benefitting the Stephan Pyles Culinary Scholarship Cook-off
Competition, now in its 12th year.


Always a good festive evening. This years scholarship winner was
austin's Renée Morgan, who not only banked a $15,000.00 scholarship
for her school, she also received a $500.00 stipend to travel with
Chef Pyles to a celebrity chef fundraising event and the opportunity
to present a the amuse at this evening's dinner – a lovely Bone Marrow
Brulée Tartlett with Cranberry and Red Onion Relish, as well as
Country Ham and Gouda Goat Fritters; and Tomato Martini Shooters with
Mozzarella & Basil Oil – paired with NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut


^ Guests cocktail as the chef's prep.




^L: David Garrido – Garrido's, Austin:
Scallop with Bacon-Potato ball, red Jalapeno Crema and Pumpkin Seed
Chardonnay Jello
2010 Evening Land Vineyards Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy

^R: Stephan Pyles & Joel Harrington – Stephan Pyles & Samar by Stephan
, Dallas:
Bay of Fundy Salmon Confit with Horseradish Panna Cotta, Honeycrisps
and Manchego Chicharron
2008 Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon


^ Nick Badovinus – Neighborhood Services, Dallas:
Cider Roasted Texas Quail, Butternut Squash Grits, Luxardo-Walnut Compote
2008 Pedernales Cellars Family Reserve Red Wine, Texas


^L: Stephan Pyles.
^R: Joel Harrington. 


^ Jason Dady – The Lodge Restaurant of Castle Hills, San Antonio:
Pan Seared Lamb Loin with Root Vegetable Spoonbread, Fennel, Wild
Mushroom and Smoked Huckleberry Bordelaise
2007 Fontanafredda Barolo “Serralunga”


^L: Rebecca Rather – Rather Sweet Cafe & Bakery, Fredericksburg
Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Garrison Brothers Bourbon, Bacon Caramel
Sauce and Caramel Ice Cream
2007 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve, Alsace, France

^R: Some auction items of interest to me!

Taste of the Nation Dallas coming to Stephan Pyles



I ran over to Stephan Pyles‘ the other day to see what was up – and do the photo-op thing. Here is Crawford Brock, the owner of Stanley Korshak, presenting a $20,000 check to Stephan Pyles for Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Dallas. The national organization raises funds for anti-childhood hunger campaigns at the local level through culinary events. This year’s Taste of the Nation Dallas event takes place this Sunday at Stephan Pyles. It’s nearly sold out now, but there may be a few tickets left. Check them out here.

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After the promotional festivities, Stephan decided to whip me up some grub.

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^ Licorice Root skewered Beef Tenderloin with Curried Sweet Potatoes, a Humita (Corn Tamale with Chorizo), Coffee-Cocoa Glaze. The Tenderloin is wrapped in Hoja Santa Leaves and cooked sous-vide before hitting the grill.


^ Quail – stuffed with Blue Corn and Dates, wrapped in Serrano Ham. With Date Fluid Gel, Paula’s Marscapone, Texas Honey Comb.

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^ L: The Quail; ^ R: Crispy Pork Confit Cake with seared Sea Scallop, Celery Root Purée, and Blood Orange Celery Leaf Salad.

Good Stuff!

TACA Lexus Party on the Green, The Mansion on Turtle Creek – Dallas

May 20th was the date for the annual bash at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek supporting TACA Dallas, the arts benefactor that has awarded over $1,000,000 to North Texas arts organization in each of the last four years (and a total of over $19 million since 1967).



^ Weather brought the party fully indoors this year; ^ the chefs assembled.

Chef’s stations occupied the Pavilion Ballroom, the Promenade, the restaurant dining rooms, and the upstairs event suites.

The dishes:

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^ L: Wolfgang Eberle, Al Faisaliah Hotel – Pan-Seared Scallops with Hummus and Pomegranate.

^ R: Fabrice Guisset, Las Ventanas al Pariso – Chicken Pibil on Avocado and Wasabi Tostada.

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^ L: Ned Bell, Rosewood Hotel Georgia – Ocean Wise Albacore Tuna Tacos.

^ R: Hemant Dadlani, Rosewood Little Dix Bay –  Harissa Lamb Loin with Tamarind “Moong Chaat.”

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^ L: Kevin Garvin, Neiman Marcus – Crab Cocktail with Cucumber and Basil Soup, Watermelon, Hearts of Palm and Avocado.

^ R: Sharon Hage, formerly of York Street – Green Tomatoes with Local Chevre, Pistachio-Mint Cucumbers and Crumbled Texas Cornbread.

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^ L: Anthony E. Dawodu, Caneel Bay – Caribbean Conch Spring Roll with Papaya Salsa and Mango Barbecue Sauce.

^ R: Yann Giacomoni, Jumby Bay – Shrimp with Hibiscus Sauce and Confit Sweet Potato.

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^ L: Tim Byres, Smoke – Smoked Allspice Rabbit Sausage with Fresh Herb Salad and Pickled Relish Vinaigrette. Always fun stuff from Tim.

^ R: Brian C. Luscher,  The Grape – Country-Style Duck Terrine with Dried Fruit, Pistachios and Foie Gras. 

Luscher’s was one of my favorites. I was asked to be among a handful of judges to award the best dish. This was at the top of my list. I was over-ruled however – so, moving on…  

Intermezzo time. I joined Mansion Sommelier and Wine & Beverage Director Michael Flynn in the Hospitality Suite for my kind of refreshment – Krug!


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^ A lovely view from the suite’s terrace. Back to it:

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^ L: Juan A. Rosado, Rosewood Crescent Hotel – Slow-Roasted Pork Belly, Smoked Rosemary Oil and Masa Onion Tart.

^ R: Peter Rudolph, Rosewood Sand Hill – Louisiana Grey Shrimp with Asparagus, Potato Mousse, Chorizo and Candied Peanuts.

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^ L: Scott Romano, Charlie Palmer at The Joule – Rabbit Agnolotti with Sweet Peas, Root Vegetables, Black Garlic and Rabbit Jus. Nice.

^ R: Graham Dodds, Bolsa – Veal Cheeks Braised in Milk and Graham’s Honey with Local Greens.

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^ L: Luca Rutigliano, CordeValle – Pressed Watermelon and Crab Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing.

^ R: Daniel Echasseriau, Rosewood Corniche – Lamb Kofta over Hummus and Tabbouleh on Grilled Pita Bread.

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^ L: Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An – Seaweed Salad with Shrimp.

^ R: Jacques Sorci, The Carlyle – Beef Short Ribs with Carrot Puree, Brussels Sprouts and Zinfandel Sauce.

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^ L: Bruno Davaillon, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek – Lobster Tartare with Fennel Puree, Bouillabaisse Jelly and Green Olive Crostini. My favorite version of this dish from Bruno.

^ R: Chefs know what’s up – congregating around Sharon Hage are Tei-An Chef/Owner Teiichi Sakurai, Mansion Exec Chef Bruno Davaillon, and outgoing Mansion Exec Sous, Eric Brandt (it was Eric’s last night!).

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^ Nicolas Blouin, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek‘s new Pastry Chef created this Lollipop Flower Garden. We ate the many styles of these delightful confections late into the evening.

Taca-dessert-1 Another great night at The Mansion with an impressive turnout by patrons and the chefs alike.

20th Annual Cotes du Coeur Gala – 2011, Dallas


Welcome to the 20th Anniversary Côtes du Coeur International Fine Wine & Celebrity Chef Dinner. One of my favorite events of the year, the black-tie affair (benefiting the American Heart Association) includes a fine wine auction and a tasting of plates from 16 of Dallas’ finest chefs paired with two wines each from some exceptional winemakers. The event has raised well over $12 million over the last two decades.

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^ As soon as we walk in, Dean Fearing of Fearing’s Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton presents his Apricot Barbecue Glazed Quail with Iceberg Wedge & Blue Cheese Dressing; paired with 2007 Martinelli Bondi Home Ranch Pinot Noir and 2008 Bookwalter Foreshadow Merlot Columbia Valley.

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^ 2006 Amizetta Cabernet Sauvignon and 2008 Justin ISOSCELES; with The Adolphus chef Marcus Strietzel’s Pan Seared Tenderloin of Buffalo, Creamy Polenta with Fresh Coriander & Goat Cheese, Chimichurri Sauce.

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^ David Holben of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House offers Orange Sea Salt Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Grilled Endive & Charred Bell Red Pepper Vinaigrette; with 2006 Revana Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Hill Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. 

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^ 2007 Karl Lawrence Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2007 Terra Valentine Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon; with Scott Romano, of Charlie Palmer at the Joule‘s Braised Lamb Ravioli with Spring Peas & Chanterelle Mushrooms.

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Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek Executive Chef Bruno Davaillon and Executive Sous Chef Eric Brandt; and Paul Blanck wines “ambassador” Tom Wesner.

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^ Bruno’s Day Boat Scallop Carpaccio, Bouillabaisse Gelee, Green Olive Crostini; with 2008 Iron Horse Vineyards UnOaked Chardonnay and 2007 Domaine Paul Blanck Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling

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^ 2007 Ehlers Estate One Twenty Over Eighty and 2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon; with Blythe Beck of Central 214‘s Slow Braised Kobe Short Rib on an Exotic Mushroom Bread Pudding & a Carmalized Onion Demi Glace.

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Nubu-Dallas Executive Sushi Chef Mutsuhiro Eguchi’s Trio of Tuna – Tuna Tataki, Spicy Tuna roll, Traditional Nigiri; paired with 2008 Torii Mor “Deux Verres” Reserve Pinot Noir and 2008 King Estate Domaine Pinot Gris.

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^ 2008 Benovia Bella Una and 2007 Panther Creek Freedom Hill Pinot Noir; with Bijoux chef Scott Gottlich’s Smoked Pheasant Terrine with Cherry Jam.

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eatZi’s Market & Bakery chef Jay Valley’s House-made Veal Sausage & Peppers on Grilled Ciabatta Bread; with 2006 Peju Cabernet Sauvignon and 2009 Colby Red Cabernet.

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^ Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto; and a selection of Cheeses from Central Market.

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^ Brad Albers of Eddie V’s offers Jonah Crab Pot Stickers; with 2009 B.R. Cohn Chardonnay and 2008 Coquerel Wine Estates Terroir Sauvignon Blanc.

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^ 2008 J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah and 2006 Cain Concept – The Benchland; with Gerard Thompson of Rough Creek Lodge & Resort‘s Pancetta Wrapped Elk Loin, Anson Mills Farro Salad, Baby Arugula & Rhubarb.

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^ Kevin Garvin & Anita Hirsch, Neiman Marcus Restaurants: Lobster Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup with Truffled Potato Chips; paired with 2008 Ceja Napa Carneros Chardonnay and 2008 Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Chardonnay.

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^ 2007 William Cole Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvée Claire and Realm Cabernet Bordeaux Blend; with Kent Rathbun’s (Abacus, Jasper’s, Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen) Braised Short Rib with Marsala Herb Demi & Roasted Carnival Cauliflower, Pearl Couscous.

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^ Scott Murray rallies the crowd; Chamberlain’s goods.

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^ Richard Chamberlain (Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House, Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill) offers 40 day aged Ribeye, Parsnip Potato Puree, Smoked Garlic Sauce; with 2006 Alexander Valley CYRUS and 2006 Egelhoff Cabernet Sauvignon.

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^ Regina Martinelli of Martinelli Vineyards; and the Severson’s.

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Sevy’s Truffled Duck Confit, Melted Leeks & Blackberry Thyme Sauce; with 2008 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast and Santa Helena Pinot Noir Selección del Directorio Pinot Noir.


^ Our group (Regina Martinelli, Tom Wesner, Philippe Blanck, Bruno Davaillon, Eric Brandt) planning to hit the event bar in the lobby:


…where Roederer Champagne was served in dramatic fashion. The event was a tremendous success!

Check out the previous night’s shenanigans at the Grand Tasting here

Cotes du Coeur Grand Tasting 2011 (and Afterparty at Kent Rathbun’s) Dallas


This year, the Côtes du Coeur Grand Tasting (where the participating wineries pour a select reserve of their wine for Côtes’ top level patrons and sponsors) was held at Cityplace’s 24th Floor Atrium.

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^ I started out with my pals at the Paul Blanck table.

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^ Happy wine lovers; Scardello Artisan Cheese.

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^ Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards; D’Lynn Proctor with Dr. Madaiah Revana of Revana Family Vineyard.

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^ a selection of nib chocolates.

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^ My pals Regina Martinelli & Philippe Blanck; we check out Master Somellier Joseph Spellman and the Justin ISOSCELES.

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^ Lisa Chamberlain chatting with Daryl Groom, who happens to have made the 1990 Penfolds Grange recently enjoyed with some buds at Veritas Wine Room.


As evening falls, we head over to Kent and Tracy Rathbun’s penthouse pad at The Heights at Park Lane.

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^ Wine types chow down on Kent’s grub:

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Great time! Next up – the main event: the Côtes du Coeur 20th Anniversary Gala.

11th Annual Stephan Pyles Celebrity Chef Dinner, Dallas


Time again for Stephan Pyles’ Celebrity Chef Dinner benefitting the Stephan Pyles Culinary Scholarship at The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas. Always a great event.


It seems like this happens every year, but I was once again chatting up Pyles’ Private Dining Director Lisa Moore over a few glasses of Champagne – and missed taking pics of the hors d’ ourvres by this year’s scholarship recipient, Keith Hildebrandt… sorry dude!

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^ Pyles getting his tweet on; ^ Nobu-Dallas exec chef Matt Raso, and exec sushi chef Mitsuhiro Eguchi.

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^ The Nobu boys put together Hirame Dry Miso and Tuna Tataki with Cilantro Dressing.

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^ Ft. Worth’s Grace exec chef Blaine Staniford prepares Maine Diver Scallop with Sea Urchin, Celery Root and Beech Mushroom.

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^ Craft-Dallas exec chef Jeff Harris tending to his cavatelli as the frozen foie torchon awaits…

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^ The dish: Duck Cavatelli, Swiss Chard & Shaved Foie Gras.


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^ Chef Tim Byres (L) of Smoke plates his sensational Pork Jowl Bacon & Half Sour Cucumber Salad with Sweet Chile, Mustard & Molasses.

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Stephan Pyles exec chef Matt McCallister and the Portuguese Grilled Cap of Ribeye, Kale-Bacon Fried Cornmeal with Caramelized Pearl Onions and Fall Spiced Apple Chutney.


^ One of my favorite dining rooms.

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^ Persimmon Pudding, Brown Butter Chestnut, Membrillo and Citrus-Butternut Squash Spoom by Katherine Clapner, Dude Sweet Chocolate; ^ and a cool shot of Stephan with his former exec chef Tim Byres (L) and outgoing exec Matt McCallister (R).


^Stephan Pyles, Tim Byres, Katherine Clapner, Matt Raso, Jeff Harris, and Blaine Staniford – being auctioned off. The lot was to have them ALL cook at YOUR house – the winners got a steal on this one. There was a good turnout for the event and is was a great night.


Matt McCallister will be in the kitchen at Stephan Pyles for about another month – then new adventures await. We look forward to his next venture, and the next chapter at Stephan Pyles!

One of 48 Nights: Chef John Tesar Edition, Dallas


The “guerrilla” restaurant concept 48 Nights @ SYLVAN | THIRTY from Dallas restaurateurs Chris Jeffers, Chris Zielke and Tim Byres has nearly run its intended course.


When the six month experiment concludes on July 27th, around 24 well regarded chefs will have served nearly 3000 covers and raised tens of thousands for the Mass Care Task Force (American Red Cross Dallas Area Chapter, North Texas Food Bank, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Area Command, and Volunteer Center of North Texas).

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I, of course, chose to show up and cover John Tesar’s dinner. This is a document of the two seatings for the Monday dinner. With many friends in the kitchen and in the dining room, we just had fun.


Between eating scraps from the chef, begging wine from Flynn and Barber, and trying to keep out of the way in the TINY kitchen – I didn’t notice that my camera was set up kinda wacky. So – this is an arty kinda photo essay type post. Just look at the pretty colors. Tesar knocked it out – and you can always see more detailed (and in focus) shots of his food elsewhere on this blog. Here we go:

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^ Former Mansion mixologist Michael Martensen whips up a Flaming Rum Punch w/ Ancho, Sea Salt and Mansion pastry chef David Collier’s Cotton Candy.

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^ Marinated Hamachi Vietnamese Style – Nuoc Mam Vinaigrette.

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^ The peeps enjoy as JT works the risotto.

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^ A little Uni Butter; then plating the Uni Risotto w/ San Diego Sea Urchin – Wasabi Tobiko and Lobster Consommé. …Martensen and I were eating a massive pot of this at the time – so you get no pic of the plated dish (told ya).

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^ My friends LK, C-LaB and sommeliers Scott Barber and Michael Flynn; Trays of perfectly butter-poached lobster.

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^ The Butter Poached Lobster – Rhubarb Compote, Shaved Foie Gras, White Balsamic Reduction.

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^ At the second seating, the crew is literally prepping the Halibut by candlelight.

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^ Hen of the Woods Mushroom and Fine Herb crusted Pacific Halibut – Parsley Lemon Nage, Tom Spicer’s Purslane. Very Tesar, and very good.

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^ Milk fed Tenderloin of Pork – Potato Puree, Truffle Nage.

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^ Prepping the Carrot Cake w/ Carrot Juice Shake and Lime Marshmallow.


Great venue. Great food. Great friends. …Great concept. Here’s to another 48 nights, soon.