by Steven Doyle
New Years Eve 2015 is so very close and the very best restaurants are filling quickly. We have it on good authority that one of Dallas’ best fine dining establishments has some openings. Abacus, owned by chef Kent Rathbun, has been one of our very favorite restaurants in the city. It opened 16 years ago and ages like a fine wine. Many of our very top chefs have worked at Abacus, and Rathbun himself comes with an amazing pedigree. You may also know him from his winning stint on Iron Chef where he slayed Bobby Flay in an Elk challenge.
It isn’t very often that you are able to get a sneak peek at a New Year’s dinner as we have for you today. Abacus invited us in to taste and give a foreshadowing of the many dishes that will be offered New Year’s Eve. What a joy this was as the food that the chefs have prepared for the big night are all simply amazing. Each course you will have a choice of offerings that range from Naked Cowboy oysters with a Cava Mignonette, Blood Orange, Creme Fraiche and Sturgeon Caviar, to a delicious Golden and Red Beet dish heavy on Jumbo Lump Crab, a Meyer Lemon Creme Fraiche with Chicory and Chives.
Other fond selections include a Miso Butter Poached Main Lobster with a Shiitake Mushroom Dashi, Crispy Pork Belly, Fresh Ramen Noodles, Edamame and a Farm Fresh Egg. Talk about a flavor bomb.
Dallas Chef Kent Rathbun revealed today that he and Paradies, a leading airport restaurateur and concessionaire, have been awarded the contract for three new restaurants at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport’s (DFW) Terminal D. Delivering exceptional menus and distinctive atmospheres, the restaurant trio consists of The Lounge at Abacus by Kent Rathbun, KR’s Whitetail Bistro and Kent Rathbun’s Aviator Bar.
This is the second consecutive dining contract Kent Rathbun Concepts and Paradies have earned in the past two months, with Rathbun’s new Hickory restaurant opening next year in Terminal B. Continue reading
On September 29th Dallas-area diners are in for a treat as two of the country’s best chefs team up to create a special Italian feast. Kent Rathbun (Abacus, Jasper’s, Hickory) and Nick Stellino, best known for his national public TV show Cooking with Friends, will prepare appetizers and four courses to be paired with delicious Banfi wines.
What better way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Stellino’s show than to share two styles of Italian cooking with diners. Chef Rathbun will prepare classic Tuscany dishes while Chef Stellino will be making plates native to Sicily. All attendees will also get a peek behind the curtain, as the chefs will offer demonstrations and cooking tips throughout the evening, giving foodies a rare opportunity to glean some advice, and eat some delectable cuisine, from two of America’s most accomplished chefs. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Kent Rathbun entered the food industry at age 14, washing dishes at a local Sambo’s, a job for which he had lied about his age, claiming to be one year older. By the end of his first day as a dishwasher, he had asked to help the night cook, who within three weeks recommended that Rathbun be promoted to the cooking station. At age 17, he was working as an apprentice in the 5-star dining room of Kansas City’s La Bonne Auberge restaurant, where his mother worked as a maitre d’.
The fine dining experience changed his culinary tastes, causing him to come home determined to educate the experienced cooks in his household: “When I started learning how to work with fresh vegetables and snails and foie gras, that’s when my taste just exploded. I told my mother, `I can’t believe it. All those things you and Grandma have been cooking all these years – you’ve been overcookin’ ’em.'” Continue reading
The Greater Dallas Restaurant Association kicks off summer with a sizzle with the return of the Sunday Supper Club Series. On June 14, Kent Rathbun, celebrity chef and creator of Abacus, Jasper’s and soon-to-open Hickory in Plano, is hosting a summer backyard barbecue at his Dallas home. Guests will enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Chef Rathbun in his personal outdoor kitchen and backyard. All proceeds benefit Greater Dallas Restaurant Association. The heat is on; don’t miss out on this fun and food-filled experience. Continue reading
Christopher Patrick has been named the new chef de cuisine at Abacus. Chef Patrick began his tenure at Abacus in 2012 as Sous Chef, and has since worked his way up the ranks to Executive Sous Chef and, most recently, Chef de Cuisine. Now he will be leading all kitchen operations, from development of staff, sourcing ingredients to executing dishes, creating new menu items and overseeing quality control on all levels of the award-winning restaurant.
Chef Patrick credits his grandmother’s made-from-scratch, homestyle cooking for inspiring him to become a chef. And as a child, he learned from his mother how to plant and harvest vegetables in the family’s garden. Continue reading
by Kent Rathbun
Reflections and Predictions
Looking back and looking forward is something we all do this time of year. For me, 2014 was busy and productive – and I can’t lie, it was a whole lot of fun! Tracy and I were lucky enough to explore China and Italy, as well as a few of the best places in the US.
Our travels are one of the best sources of inspiration for our restaurants. Each time we explore new places and try new dishes while we’re on the road, we bring back ideas that fuel innovation at Abacus, Jasper’s and Shinsei. While in China, we ventured out on a “Peking Duck Research Tour”. We happily report that the Peking Duck on our menu is really good! The culinary highlight of our travel-year happened at the base of the Great Wall where we marveled over a modest family-owned restaurant that served simple, yet delicious farm-fresh scrambled eggs and fresh tomatoes. The very best ingredients, prepared properly and served in an amazing environment is always a winning combination. Continue reading