Diego Fernandez Named Chef of Fauna, Stephan Pyles Flora Street Café’s Private Tasting Room


Chefs Stephan Pyles and Tim Byres of Stephan Pyles Flora Street Café at HALL Arts have announced their vibrant, out-of-state chef pick for their private tasting room “restaurant within a restaurant,” Fauna. Opening late April, Fauna will be led by Chef Diego Fernandez, formerly of Chicago’s Alinea.

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Chef Diego Fernandez has always pursued excellence within the restaurant industry. Beginning his career at the age of 15, Fernandez began his culinary adventure alongside his father, who was also a chef and eventually served as Diego’s role model and mentor.  Diego’s experience includes an array of well-known, award-winning restaurants, including his own in San Antonio.

“We are thrilled that Chef Diego will be returning to Texas to join us for the reimagining of Flora Street Café,” said Chef Stephan Pyles. “He is articulate, technically astute and his creativity will help Fauna become the dynamic destination dining experience we are envisioning.”

Fauna, scheduled to debut later this month, will feature a 10 to 12-course tasting menu, with two updated price levels of notable, small vineyard wine pairings. The room will offer a more formal, upscale setting poised to become one of Dallas’ most exclusive dining experiences in an ultra-luxe environment five nights a week. Fauna will also offer a window to view the chefs in action. Diego Fernandez, Executive Chef of Fauna, will oversee the intimate and elevated dining experience within the private tasting room.

“Of the carefully-selected candidates,” said Tim Byres.  “We are thrilled to see this exciting concept, Fauna, come to life with this talented young chef.”

Décor in Fauna will offer a warm “club-like” feel with lush draperies, a dramatic chandelier and colorful paintings by Dutch artist Arie Van Selm. Internationally renowned fiber artist Tim Harding, who created the iconic large art piece in the main dining room, has been commissioned to create an original silk piece for the room as well.

Prior to accepting the role as Chef of Fauna, within Flora Street Café, Diego most recently worked under Chef Grant Achatz at Chicago’s Alinea. Before that, he experienced San Francisco’s culinary scene while working at 3 Michelin-Star restaurant Quince. Fernandez, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, opened his own restaurant in San Antonio, Starfish, at the age of 28, garnering notoriety through Texas Monthly’s “Best New Restaurant” list and more.

This news comes shortly after the unveiling of new programming featuring experiential dining and events at Flora Street Café. Offerings include a more casual main dining room with a new lunch menu, released April 1, and a new dinner menu which will present a greater value for Flora Street’s guests. Additionally, a Sunday brunch was recently launched offering some of Smoke’s favorite brunch dishes as well as Chef Pyles’ signature dishes.

Stephan Pyles Flora Street Café is located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District at 2330 Flora Street, Suite 150, Dallas, TX 75201. It is open for lunch Monday through

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