by Steven Doyle
Now in its eighth year, Bombay Sapphire and GQ Magazine’s “Most Imaginative Bartender” program traveled to over 40 US cities and welcomed more than 3,500 participating bartenders in 2014. With the aim of advancing best-practice bartending, cultivating mixologists’ skills and encouraging their creativity, the “Most Inspired Bartender” program has played a pivotal role in recognizing up-and-coming cocktail cities, as well as strong holds such as New York and Portland.
The local contest which sends the winner on to compete nationally was held this week in Dallas, and the winner of the competition was Bonnie Wilson, the beverage program manager for Frontburner’s Fork It Over Restaurants (The Ranch at Las Colinas, Mexican Sugar, Whiskey Cake, Velvet Taco). As good fortune would have it, we spoke to Ms. Wilson recently and had a spirited conversation in this Q&A. Continue reading
by Jennifer Thomas
Twin Peaks CEO Randy DeWitt will be featured on a special episode of CBS’s hit reality series “Undercover Boss” this Friday, March 7 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT). DeWitt returns to “Undercover Boss” for a second look at his company, but this time, he sends Twin Peaks Girl, Marissa, who was featured in the Twin Peaks episode on September 27th, to do the undercover work.
“Going undercover last year was one of the most meaningful and eye-opening things I’ve ever done,” said DeWitt, “I loved passing this opportunity on to Marissa to see if managers are implementing the company-wide changes I initiated after my undercover experience.” Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Last week we checked out The Ranch in Las Colinas and looked in on Bonnie Wilson who just made the switch from Whiskey Cake where she had bar duties. Wilson now manages the Front of the House in addition to the bar where she is creating a slew of new cocktails. The restaurant, which is a huge homage to Texas dining, has historically sold more beer and wine, but now is venturing off into to craft cocktails. A welcome addition, to be sure. Wilson has the talent to carry the bar, along with her very capable staff.
But the Ranch is not just about libations. With chef Grant Morgan at the helm there is plenty being cooked up in the kitchen. Morgan has a fantastic background as chef and has worked in some fine kitchens, including ZaZa’s Dragonfly. He is a soft spoken and affable guy who enjoys his work, and it shows on each plate.
The Ranch is owned by the same restaurant group behind Whiskey Cake, and numerous other restaurants including Velvet Taco and Twin Peaks, all of which share the talent of corporate chef John Franke. Continue reading
by Steven Doyle photos by Robert Bostick
Another week of craveRADIO and this past Sunday we enjoyed chatting with Chef John Franke from Frontburner, the restaurant group that operates Whiskey Cake, Velvet Taco, Ojos Locos, The Ranch In Las Colinas, Twin Peaks and Red Dog Right. Franke works the menus at each of the concepts along with a staff of chefs from each location.
The good chef brought in some tasty bites from Whiskey Cake including some addictive fire roasted shishito peppers, made simply with lemon and sea salt. He also served up a platter of bbq duck wings that were meatier than your average wing. And of course we shared plates of the namesake Whiskey Cake topped with fresh whipped cream. Continue reading