We are starting an occasional chef-on-chef interview series. The idea was given to us by chef Andre Natera who recently moved from Dallas to Austin where he is the hotel’s executive chef. We suggested he speak with long time co-worker who is the new executive chef at Komali and Salum, Julio Peraza. Peraza is a heavy weight when it comes to affairs of the kitchen, and has a certain passion and leadership ability that made him the ideal choice for the new post. He also makes for a fun interview.
Chef Julio Peraza, born in El Salvador, began his career by attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Upon graduating in 2002, Peraza launched his career as a line cook under the guidance of Chef Joel Guillon at The Argent Hotel in San Francisco, and at Gary Danko Restaurant where he developed his passion for fine dining.
After four years in San Francisco, Chef Peraza traveled extensively and held various positions prior to being promoted to the sous chef position at St. Regis Hotel in Kauai. Two years later, Chef Peraza moved to Las Vegas and worked under Chef Kerry Simon Cathouse as a sous chef. Soon after, he worked as executive sous for Chef David Myers’ Comme Ca located in West Hollywood and at the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas. Continue reading →
by Steven Doyle Trinity River Audubon Center’s signature event, Scissor-tails & Cocktails, presented by the Omni Dallas, is the party to support outdoor education for North Texas children. With tasty treats from celebrity chefs, s’mores around the campfire, birds of prey, live music from the Dallas Family Band, a silent auction and so much more, it’s a fun and festive celebration benefiting Trinity River Audubon Center’s outdoor educational programs for kids. Ben Jones, Trinity’s Center Director, says “At Audubon Texas, we’re passionate about connecting kids to nature and building a foundation for conservation stewardship. Kids from Pleasant Grove to Preston Hollow from Lakewood to Lake Highlands and Oak Cliff to East Dallas – kids from every background and stripe; we believe every child deserves a proper introduction to the outdoors – No child left inside!” Continue reading →
Executive Chef Julio Peraza of Komali Contemporary Mexican Cuisine has launched his new dinner menu, taking the restaurant in a bit of a new direction while maintaining its integrity.
“The food is more up-to-date in Mexico City than most people would probably think, so it was a good starting point for me when I was researching the cuisine. When Chef Salum and I got into the kitchen together, I wanted to take that rich history of amazing food and blend my fine-dining background and modern techniques. We are taking very traditional dishes, but refining what we are putting on the plate. With this menu we wanted to showcase how simple and beautiful the cuisine is, while also taking it to the next level. I am working with the kitchen staff and teaching them that you have to put love on to the plate and into the sauté pan… real serious cooking. I am excited about the changes and look forward to working with Chef Salum and our dedicated team,” explained Peraza. Continue reading →
If you are interested in Mexican distilled spirits then get on to the Komali mailing list. Komali owner Abraham Salum has been holding some of the most interesting tastings in town. Hitherto, they have covered Tequila brands. Last week he hosted Mestizo Mezcal. What is Mezcal? Isn’t it just Tequila with a slug in the bottle?
Actually, none of the above. Tequila is Mezcal, made from the blue agave plant, if that helps. Mezcal is the broader category. The production techniques for high grade versions of each are identical. The heart of the maquey plant is roasted for three days and develops a brittleness that allows it to be crushed and release its liquid. This is fermented and then distilled. The long roasting gives mezcal its distinctive difference from tequila — a pronounced smokiness in the taste. Note no worm (larva). That is totally inessential to the product and probably a marketing gimmick for low-end mezcal in the past. Continue reading →
This past Sunday on craveRADIO we hosted several amazing guests including Elias Pope, one of the owners at HG Sply Co. located on lowest Greenville Avenue. We discussed what the whole paleo diet is, what it isn’t, and he shared some of the more delicious items on the menu. Be sure to taste that lamb shank, it is a giant ball of lamb goodness.
Elias also discussed HG’s philosophy on culling ingredients from local sourcs, something that is extremely popular these days. But Elias has a different take on local, and goes extreme when possible, including tapping into local resources to set up his beer selections (thank you Stephanie Roethlisberger from the Bottle Shop) and a special cocktail temptress to concoct that menu (nods to Emily Perkins at Victor Tango). Continue reading →
Abraham Salum has been busy travelling South America and gearing up for his next appearance at the James Beard House in New York. This time Salum will be taking along his Komali executive chef Anastacia Quinones (AQ to you and me). Continue reading →
Full house for Komali’s largest tequila tasting to date
It was a sea of people last night at Komali in Uptown where owner Abraham Salum put on his largest Tequila tasting since Komali opened two and half years ago. The fêted brand was Casa Noble, a premium Tequila produced since the 1700s near Tequila in the state of Jalisco. Perhaps the high turnout (you could hardly move) was not a surprise, as Casa Noble CEO Jose Hermosillo had flown into Dallas to personally make the presentation as part of a promotional tour of the important Texas market. Alongside the tequilas, Komali chef Anastacia Quiñones served ‘botanas’ to suit each one. Continue reading →