by Steven Doyle
Trinity Groves was hopping last night as Kitchen LTO began its voting ritual in search of its next chef who will take the helm behind the revolving kitchen door. Kitchen LTO’s concept is a unique one where chefs vie for four months as executive chef at the Trinity Groves restaurant. This makes for a heated battle, and entertainment for its patrons who lined up to sample dishes from a small handful of hopeful chefs. Last night chef Scott Townend took top honors in the initial public voting, but all the chefs are still expecting to ultimately win the post through additional public voting online this week. The voting last night was extremely close, with a mere two votes separating first and second place.
We have provided a guide to the chefs to make your voting decisions a bit easier. Check out our guide, then place your daily vote at the LTO website.
Brooke Egger was first suggested by the current LTO chef, Eic Shelton. They both competed on Food Network’s Cut Throat Kitchen, and Egger has now flown to Dallas three times to perform tastings for the chef gig. Egger comes from a long line of butchers dating back to the 1600’s, and there are still Egger Meat Markets in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. She claims to make the very best burger, which includes tarragon, sherry and “other elements”, and uses a Norwegian cheese to top off the special meat blend, along with a Tennessee mustard slaw with a tarragon cream and a salted brioche bun. Egger also has her own line of culinary war in the works. She said she would love to move to Dallas, and winning the LTO spot would secure that decision.
Scott Townend most recently worked under Andre Natera at the Highland Park Village restaurants, Village Kitchen and Toko V. Townend says that his LTO cuisine would be contemporary American with global influences. Townend graduated from the Arts Institute in Dallas in 2005 and has an affinity to source top-notch, seasonal ingredients and executing them minimally with advanced technique. the chef also has plans to consult with new local restaurants and has several projects he is working locally.
We have been following the career of Daniel Tarasevich for several years. The chef has worked at some top notch restaurants including Charlie Palmer’s, Tillman’s Roadhouse Fort Worth, and just recently left The Second Floor in the Galleria where he was Chef de Cuisine. Look for Tarasevich’s cuisine at LTO to be Tex-Asian, and has some very unique ideas in the works. “My observations over the past seven years in the DFW market tell me two things: one, we love Southwestern, and two, we love anything Asian. My concept fuses these two cuisines flawlessly,” said Tarasevich.
You may remember Roe DiLeo from her stint at The Libertine on Greenville Avenue in Dallas where she infused life into the kicked up bar menu, and included many items that had the Vegan community smiling. DiLeo plans on a modern Italian menu for LTO, which would certainly be a welcome addition since the proposed Italian restaurant for Trinity Groves is many months away from being built. Her cooking style is deft and unpretentious. DiLeo lists Boulevardier’s chef-owner as her favorite chef, and says that he is an amazing teacher and friend.
Chef Fitzgerald Dodd is all jazzed about Southern and Creole Cuisine. The self-taught chef locally lists Stephan Pyles and Kent Rathbun as people he admires the most in the kitchen, and that would make sense with the style of cookery he enjoys. The chef says that he tries to create my dishes using simple but bold flavors with a distinct preference for finding and using local and fresh ingredients.