Dallas Restaurateur Brooks Anderson Is Obsessed with King's Noodle, So We Went with Him

Categories: Interviews

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Alexander Nahm
The wonton noodle at King's.
It was Day 2 of Dallas' #SLEETSHOW2015. I wore a hoodie; he wore athletic gear. We met in a storefront restaurant in Richardson, and we were, I think, the only people there without Asian heritage. Together, we slurped our way through fine Taiwanese fare while I pondered what the Year of the Goat might mean for my future.

I was with Brooks Anderson, co-owner and co-visionary behind Veritas Wine Room, Bishop Arts' Boulevardier, and the soon to be opened on May 15 Rapscallion on lower Greenville. He'd mentioned that he makes a point to make almost-weekly visits to King's Noodle, a place that could lovably be termed as a "hole in the wall." I wanted to know why, so I invited myself.

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What Dallas Chefs Cook At Home When It's This Cold Outside

Categories: Interviews

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courtesy the restaurant
Don't let this sweet face fool you -- Graham Dodds is mean in the kitchen, even when it's freezing.

It is, regrettably, still cold outside. The weather will soon be warmer, but thanks to the sleet and snow and general disgustingness of our outdoor climate, we've all been holed up in our apartments for way too long. And because people don't bother to brave the weather for even the finest of food, that means that your favorite chefs get to spend the snow day chilling at home, too.

While you're holed up in your apartment praying that there's one more packet of instant ramen in the cabinet, many chefs choose to spend the day cooking the things they like to eat when they're not being forced to turn out four hundred fancy dishes over the course of an evening.

We asked some of Dallas' best chefs what they were eating on these frosty days, and got a pretty wide range of responses. Maybe they'll inspire you to go all Chopped challenge on whatever is rolling around in the back of your own refrigerator.


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Veteran Bartender Alex Fletcher Knows Dallas Drinkers As Well as Anyone

Categories: Interviews

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Catherine Downes
Alex Fletcher
It isn't just chefs and restaurateurs who make the Dallas dining scene tick. For the last few years, local bartenders have been crafting drinks that are just as complicated as the dishes that come out of the city's best kitchens. Still, it seems as if Dallas' diners are still figuring out whether or not they'd rather spend their drinkin' money on a few expertly made cocktail or several shots of Fireball.

Helping guide them along the way is Henry's Majestic barman Alex Fletcher. If you've spent any time in Dallas' finer watering holes, like Victor Tangos and The People's Last Stand, you've probably consumed one of Fletcher's carefully made cocktails. Now that he's settling into his new role as bar manager at Henry's Majestic, I sat down with him to talk about his journey through Dallas' bar scene, the palate of the Dallas drinker, and the weirdest cocktail he ever made.

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TJ's Seafood Chef Nick Harrison Is Building Dallas' Fresh-Fish Empire (Interview)

Categories: Interviews

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Joey Stewart
Chef Nick Harrison, thinkin' about fish.
You don't usually think of a place with a take-out fish counter as a fine-dining restaurant, but that's exactly what TJ's Seafood Market & Grill in Preston Hollow is. When you walk through the doors, you almost don't even notice the case full of fresh fish, mussels and clams. Instead, you're too busy wondering what the hell smells so damn good and gazing longingly at that beautiful cocktail menu.

Executive Chef Nick Harrison is a relative newcomer to the Dallas food scene. Outside of stints with Stephan Pyles and Abraham Salum, you probably don't recognize Harrison from any of your other favorite haunts, because he's been jet-setting across South America as a private chef. Now he's settled down at TJs, and he's got his sights set on an empire. I sat down to talk with Harrison about his crazy-strong culinary resume, cooking in the shadows of TJ's 25-year seafood legacy, and working with Dallas' biggest fish nerd, Jon Alexis.

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How to Become a Better Coffee Homebrewer Through Cuppings and Classes in Dallas

Categories: Coffee, Interviews

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Mark Graham
After a few classes, your home-brewed cappuccino will look something like this.
Chances are, unless you are endlessly wealthy and/or the laziest person on the planet, you sometimes brew coffee at home. Maybe you have retired your plug-in coffee maker in exchange for a French press or Chemex. You even buy your beans from a local or specialty roaster and grind them fresh every day. But something is still missing. It's kinda meh, not like it is at your favorite coffee shop.

See also: The Independent Coffee Roasters Helping Dallas' Craft-Coffee Business Boom

There's hope. Coffee homebrew classes and cuppings have become regular staples at shops around Dallas. Classes give participants a chance to taste a variety of coffees and brewing methods to learn what they like and don't, as well as how to create those flavors at home. If you are remotely interested in learning how to get the most out of your coffee you should give one a try, because if you are paying for quality, you might as well be able to taste it. Here are some options for your homebrew and cupping pleasure:

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How Remedy's Guillermo "Gmo" Tristan Makes Dallas' Wildest Desserts (Interview)

Categories: Interviews

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Kevin Marple
Gmo Tristan, pie king.

It has been said many times before that pastry is very much a neglected part of the culinary world, at least in the United States. Pastry chefs are among the most revered culinarians in France, but folks in the States were perfectly happy to eat grocery store cake for decades. Now, as the country's culinary renaissance continues, our palates have changed. Pastry is in, and the chefs that so expertly and precisely bake it are finally getting the spotlight they deserve.

In the opening of Remedy, Pastry Chef Guillermo "Gmo" Tristan's decadent retro-themed desserts got top-billing alongside Chef Danyele McPherson's comfort food. And for good reason. Tristan is known as one of Dallas' best dessert makers, and the menu at Remedy shows off those skills. Now that Remedy has been open a few weeks, I sat down to talk with Tristan about his background in the pastry industry, how he built the menu at Remedy from family memories, and why he eschewed culinary school for real-world kitchen experience.


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Cafe Momentum's Chad Houser Is "Cooking to Save Lives" (Interview)

Categories: Interviews

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Stanton Stephens
Chad Houser in his natural habitat.
Not many chefs can say that their dishes profoundly impact the lives of other people, except for Chad Houser. The veteran chef, who once helmed Dallas institution Parigi, is currently head of one of the country's most interesting culinary concepts, Cafe Momentum. In his kitchen, you'll find 37 interns, all of whom spent time incarcerated for non-violent offenses.

After four years of pop-up dinners scattered across the city, Cafe Momentum finally has a permanent home in an old Downtown building. Here, Houser and his staff are deeply devoted to ensuring that the young men who participate in their culinary internship know that they have a future, that their lives matter. Through teaching skills like manning a fry station and proper plating technique, Houser is helping some of Dallas' most at-risk youth build a handsome resume of skills while also putting out fine dining-quality food.

It's a difficult task, but Houser is relentlessly optimistic in his pursuit. In the midst of the always-crazy opening week, I sat down with Houser to talk about the process of opening Cafe Momentum, how he has tweaked the cooking process to work best for his employees, and the primary driving force behind his cooking: saving lives.

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Meet the Marfa Cocktail Guru Who Will Infuse the Perot's Social Science Event Tonight

Jennifer Boomer
Don't put ginger ale in this you dilettante.
When Ashley North Compton isn't busy as a graphic designer or psychology graduate student, she is making homemade bitters and herbal infusions in her Marfa home. Compton's interest in homemade bitters and infusions is really a secret cover for her love of herbs.

"Herbs have really amazing restorative properties and many also happen to go really well with different liquors," says Compton. And she'll be sharing her love and knowledge of herbs, infusions and cocktails at two separate Dallas events this weekend as part of a partnership with Oil and Cotton, Oak Cliff's favorite collaborative creative space.

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Clark Food & Wine Chef Randall Warder Is Building a Smoky Empire on Greenville (Interview)

Categories: Interviews

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courtesy Clark Food & Wine
Randall Warder, chef and business whiz.

The explosion of growth that Greenville Avenue is having when it comes to quality restaurants is really unprecedented. The once neglected street has transformed into a culinary hub, thanks in large part to enterprising and independent chefs with a good eye for the next big thing. One of those chefs is Randall Warder, of Clark Food & Wine.

Warder is as much a businessman as he is a chef, able to spout off food cost statistics and business plans with the same ease as the restaurant's intensive pork rillete recipe. In this new world of restaurants, that's exactly the kind of savvy that is necessary to survive. I sat down to talk with Warder about the opening of Clark Food & Wine, his diverse experience in all facets of the restaurant industry, and his big plans for opening a new restaurant just three short months after launching his first.


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How Hunter Pond, East Hampton's 27-Year-Old Owner, Became Dallas' Sandwich King (Interview)

Categories: Interviews

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Courtesy of East Hampton
Hunter Pond: Sandwich magnate in the making.
There is no one sandwich that reigns supreme in Dallas, something that just isn't true of other cities. As such, our fair city has played host to a variety of sandwich concepts that have attempted to elevate the ham sandwich you eat for lunch every third day. Some have been more successful than others, but there is a growing crop of restaurateurs hoping to cash in on upscale, refined sandwiches.

For East Hampton Sandwich Company's Hunter Pond, that risk has paid off beautifully. Just one year after opening his first shop in Snider Plaza, the 27-year-old Pond has already planned multiple new locations of his restaurant for Dallas, along with being named one of Forbes magazine's "30 Under 30," an award given to innovative young entrepreneurs.

I sat down to talk with Pond about receiving such a prestigious award, the challenges of opening a restaurant as a baby-faced 25-year-old, and how he's managed to make East Hampton one of Dallas' biggest restaurant successes of 2014.

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