Beatrice Shows Her Southern Charm

photos by Joey Stewart

“Everyone knows that special feeling we get seeing the big blue highway sign as we cross the Texas border into swamp country — ‘Bienvenue en Louisiane. That welcoming embrace is unique to where I spent a large part of my childhood, and that’s the experience I want my customers to have.  I dedicated three decades of my career to Tokyo-style sushi, and I’ve seen how sophisticated diners feel intimidated by Japanese cuisine. Refined and delicious foods shouldn’t include gatekeeping,” chef Michelle Carpenter tells us.

You may recall this chef from Bishop Arts famed Zen Sushi. There she made vegan and non-vegan sushi to the delight of the neighborhood.

The restaurant’s mission is that “Everyone. Is. Welcome.” Its leadership includes consulting Executive Chef Terance Jenkins, a New Orleans native who began his career nearly 20 years ago making gumbo at Commander’s Palace, and who worked his way up the ranks to head kitchens at Screen Door, Cedars Social, and Amberjack’s in Dallas.

General manager is Tina Bentley, a service industry veteran with extensive seafood knowledge and fine dining management experience.

Carpenter began her career in Dallas at Mr. Sushi in Addison, then went to Yamaguchi’s in the Park Cities, considered the pre-eminent sushi bar in Dallas, where she was eventually promoted to Executive Chef under Master Itamae Yama-San.

Maw Maw’s Fried Chicken (all dark meat)
Eggplant Perogie
Grilled Oysters

She opened Zen Sushi in 2007, joining the Bishop Arts neighborhood well before it became the hipster zone it is today; she was also the first to offer vegan sushi, at least a decade before vegan became the major trend.

Restaurant Beatrice will also honor “Mammaw’s” philosophy towards all ingredients with special attention to minimizing food waste. Leadership and staff are collectively working towards implementing measurable operational practices that reflect sustainability concerns.

Seafood Gumbo

Beatrice Carpenter was also a homesteader, and the restaurant will sell “Aunt Bea’s Pantry Staples” including house-made pickles, jams, and rubs, steeped in tradition, hospitality, and the cultural magic of Louisiana.

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