Chef Andre Natera celebrated his year at the Fairmont Dallas last month with little fanfare but with a personal excitement for the Dallas food scene and bigger hopes for making our city more destination than it is today.
How does a single chef perform such an audacious feat single-handedly? He doesn’t. The Zen-chef who adheres to French technique with a vast respect for all things local has always maintained that it is the responsibility of each chef to promote and encourage the next generation of cooks that will take their place in front of our plates.
This sometimes begs me to question the role of an executive chef. Is it their responsibility to grow young chefs to eventually replace themselves, or should they be more concerned with promoting their own brand? Perhaps the answer is both.
Natera does just these things each evening at the Pyramid, once the blinding star of dining in Dallas not too unlike the Pegasus that stands atop the Magnolia building that at one time could be seen as far as Waco.
The chef has elevated the staff, menu and execution with both respect for the past and a vision for the future at the Pyramid. For those living in the Dallas area it is well worth the easy drive downtown to check out what Natera has set in place.
There you will also find his sous chef Paul Peddle who most recently won first place in the Rising Star competition at the Dallas Food and Wine Festival with his dish that made its way to the Pyramid menu, the Pan Seared Halibut, Glazed Vegetables, Sweet & Sour Tomatoes, Lemon Caper Butter Sauce.
The dish is subtle allowing the individual components to speak for themselves. You can taste additions from the roof-top garden and the bounty collected from local sources.
Last evening we were invited to sample some of the new things happening at the Pyramid and we would love to share some of the dishes with you today. Be sure to check out their website where they invite locals to join them at their roof-top pool for movie nights. You can also gander at the gardens and bee hives.
Pork Dumplings, Lemongrass Broth, Thai Basil, Cilantro & Jalapeno paired well with Gaia, Thalassitis, Assyrtico, Santorini, Greece 2009
The broth was so intense it begged to be soaked up with the variety of bread offerings.
Roasted Lamb, Rosemary Sauce and Glazed vegetqable paired with Massaya, Classic Rouge, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2007
Amazingly tender and again served with simplicity and elegance. Interesting pairings are normal for Sommelier Hunter Hammett.
The Chocolate Marquis is a creation by Maggie Huff (most recently of Stephan Pyles) made of Peanut Butter Ganache, Bourbon, Caramel Sauce and served with Salted Caramel Ice Cream paired with Jorge Ordonez, No 2, Victoria, Malaga 2007