Best Chefs Heating Up The DFW Culinary Scene

August 8, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

Move over New York, Texans lead the nation in dining out, with Dallas-Fort Worth at the front of the pack. Not only does DFW offer excellent dining options for a fraction of the cost compared to other large cities, but the area is booming with culinary talent, many of which are reaching the heights of national stardom. So attention foodies and gourmands—here’s the latest hot list on who’s cooking up the best dish in DFW.
marqueegrill Best Chefs Heating Up The DFW Culinary Scene


The Celebrity Top ChefTre Wilcox
Village Marquee Grill & Bar
33 Highland Park Village
Dallas, TX 75205
(214) 522-6035

You’d never guess that working in fast food restaurants as a teen would lead to culinary stardom, but that’s exactly where Tre Wilcox landed after working his way up to the top at Abacus, then as a contender on TV’s “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef America.” Now he’s captivating audiences with his contemporary-global cuisine at the Marquee Grill. A true performer of perfection, Chef Wilcox creates intensely flavorful and original masterpieces like his Mexican mole interpretation featuring a coffee-ancho chile rabbit tenderloin with chocolate panna cotta, pumpkin seed powder and jalapeño honey. He’s good with pastries as well, so save some room for the pecan tart with bacon paper and butternut squash ice cream. It’ll be worth every calorie.

Related: Best Celebrity Chef Restaurants In Dallas/Fort Worth

tiffanyderry Best Chefs Heating Up The DFW Culinary Scene


The “Top Chef” StarTiffany Derry
3232 McKinney Ave
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 754-4744

From a “Top Chef” alumni to endorsement deals, a cooking show in the works and another restaurant venture on the horizon, Tiffany Derry’s brand and business empire is growing as grand as the flavors that emanate from her soulful kitchen. Chef Derry’s gastronomic repertoire derives from a mix of international travels, as well as her Texas roots, culminating into a menu featuring dishes from Asian-inspired pork buns to her highly-acclaimed chicken fried in duck fat. If you want to go private, then take a table in the dining room, but if you want to go social, hang out in the bar to share some small bites.

Related: Restaurant Review of Private|Social

oakdallas Best Chefs Heating Up The DFW Culinary Scene


The Up-and-Coming ChefJason Maddy
Oak Restaurant   
1628 Oak Lawn Ave
Dallas, TX 75207
(214) 712-9700

A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Jason Maddy has been head chef in some of the most prestigious kitchens around the nation—from New York’s Danube restaurant and the Austin’s Driskill Grill to the Mansion on Turtle Creek. Now as executive chef at Oak, he’s cooking up global foods with a decidedly creative edge inspired by his culinary experiences and travels around the world. While the menu offers many expertly-crafted selections from opening salads to fish, meat or fowl, one of the most popular is his daring appetizer of tender Moroccan octopus with crispy pork jowls atop colorful sauces of cilantro and aji panca. Chef Maddy’s adventurous and unique culinary skills distinguish him from most others, leading him to become one of the newest stars on the culinary scene.

ellerbefinefoods Best Chefs Heating Up The DFW Culinary Scene


The Trendiest ChefMolly McCook
Ellerbe Fine Foods  
1501 W Magnolia Ave
Fort Worth, TX 76104
(817) 926-3663

When it comes to famous chefs, Fort Worth pales in comparison to Dallas. But there are some exceptions like Molly McCook, whose delectable farm-to-table cuisine has earned her restaurant national recognition— including a spot on Bon Appétit magazine’s best restaurants list. Chef McCook’s creative use of locally-sourced food happens to be one of the hottest restaurant trends today as more people become interested in sustainable dining. Chef McCook’s inspiration comes from her Louisiana roots and her culinary experience in California where the farm-to-table concept has been practiced for years. McCook turns out dishes that are bold and flavorful like her braised veal short ribs with mascarpone grits, plus her bread puddings are out of this world.

chefdat Best Chefs Heating Up The DFW Culinary Scene

(credit: Chef Dat/Facebook)

The Underground ChefDavid Anthony Temple (AKA Chef DAT)
(214) 714-0892
Dallas, TX

Chef DAT isn’t just a chef, he’s a culinary maestro who’s creating a name for himself without needing a restaurant or cooking show to prove it. His creative and elaborate menus are shrouded in secrecy. The location remains a mystery until the last moment and only people on his email list will find out how to score one of the hottest meal tickets in town. You’d think doing underground dinners in Dallas, New Orleans and Hawaii would keep Chef DAT busy enough, but he still finds time to whip up dinners for charitable causes. If you’re wondering why everyone’s vying for a coveted spot at one of Chef DAT’s dinners, maybe the seared Hawaiian tuna with candied orange zest in absinthe butter and his famous black garlic ice cream will give you a clue.

Related: Best Bistros In The Dallas Area

With a passion for adventure, Ilene Jacobs has spent 25 years traveling around the globe. A native of Dallas,Texas, she has also lived in Europe studying and working in marketing and tourism. Ilene is constantly researching interesting places to visit and enjoys sharing her findings with her readers. Her work can be found at