A Quick Shoot in Owners Box
These images were taken in preparation for a Octoberfest menu in the Owners Box at the Omni Dallas Hotel. We are working with the good folks at Andrews Distributing, Shiner, Rahr & Sons, Lakewood and Revolver Brewing. Always great to have good partners and friends! Chef Alex Ayala did a great job on the sliders and I tried to do them justice with my Canon 6d and a 100mm Macro lens.
Thyme to have some fun
Bratwurst Slider, Beer Cheese Fondue, Caramelized Onions, Spice Mustard
Ruben Slider, Beer Sauerkraut, Caraway Aioli
Chicken Schnitzel, Warm German Potato Salad, Spicy Mustard
Lakewood Punkel (pumpkin pie spiced dunkel)
Pork Schnitzel Slider, Mushroom Ragout, Lemon AIoli
Revolver Red Shift (red ale with ginger and other spices)
If you have not tried the spirits from the Trinity River Distillery here in Dallas you really should make a point to treat your self! They are really high quality locally made products and I must say they are some really nice people too!
Texas Spice at the Omni Dallas recently did a dinner with them as part of their Artisan Dining Series. If you did not make it … well at very least you can look at some photos and wish you did!
Chef Donald Chalko, Chef Jan Loov and Chef Kristina Kent did a great job putting the dinner together. General Manager Megan Heald and team crafted some great cocktails.
Check out Trinity River Distillery! https://www.trinityriverdistillery.com/
If you happen to be at Texas Spice at the Omni Dallas Hotel be sure to ask about there current “off the menu” special. Chef Kristina Kent’s Banana Split with Marshmallow Ice Cream, House Made Marshmallows, Chocolate, Caramel and Cookie Butter.
Cookie butter you say? Yes indeed. The famous Texas Spice Chocolate Chip Cookie is, in a effort to never run out, occasionally overproduced. While having the integrity to never serve a day old cookie what is a pastry chef to do wihth the extras? Well . . . I guess you blend them with butter to make a buttery cookie spread. Genius!
Thyme for Dessert,
If you happen to be staying at the Omni Dallas Hotel definitely take the opportunity to try the Avocado Margarita at the pool this summer! The summer pool menu is featuring Avocados from Mexico. The Avocado Margarita has avocado muddled into the drink and is garnished with a cilantro lime popsicle this is a must try.
Thyme to relax,
Texas Spice restaurant at the Omni Dallas Hotel recently hosted a intimate Gin Dinner featuring the local artisan gin from the New Artisan Sprits company called Roxor. Roxor is a deliciously food friendly gin complete with hints of citrus and light juniper. In the sprit of civic pride I am happy to say its a Dallas produced gin which is the brainchild of the legendary chef Robert Del Grande. Chef Robert is one of the “founders of southwest cuisine” along with Chef Dean Fearing and Chef Stephen Pyles. Good company to be sure!
Chef Donald Chalko of the Omni Dallas put together a four course menu and each course was pared with a refreshing gin friendly cocktail. A good time was had by all and another of the Texas Spice Artisan Dinner Series went off with a bang. The two founders of New Artisan Sprits Chef Robert Del Grande and Don Short were in attendance to talk about the gin.
Thanks for all involved!
The last dinner in the French Room as we know it was on June 11, 2016. They have shuttered for remodeling. I had the great honor to be the Chef there for 5 years . . one of the best times of my professional life I must say. I was there from 2004 to 2009. It was a special restaurant with a crew that really bonded. I made some great friends and learned a lot. We had an amazing team of culinarians, awesome servers, and a real thirst to do some cool food. Always trying to do something better, challenge ourselves, and raise the bar. We had two great reviews in the Dallas Morning News, both 5 star. We also had the amazing surprise of being named Zagats number one hotel restaurant in the country, earning a score of 29-29-29 three years in a row!
I can’t help but wonder if the changes being made will destroy the magic of the place. . . and yes there was some real magic in the room – glittering chandeliers, high vaulted ceilings, great wine service, caring servers and captains, and a culinary team that was really pushing themselves to be better every day.
I was lured off to Las Vegas to open the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on the strip. To be honest, at that time in my life I still had a little wanderlust I guess. I knew I was leaving something special behind but the promise of what is next can be very alluring. As it turns out, opening the Mandarin was a great experience. But, I will never forget my time at the legendary French Room. I hope the long time members of the French Room team (not everyone suffers from wanderlust) land on there feet, get to return if they want to, and hold there heads high for all they accomplished through the years.
Some photos from the “Old Days”
Rest in Peace Tom and Drew.
A quick shoot at Texas Spice Restaurant.
Myself, Chef Jan Loov, Chef Donald Chalko and a little less natural light than desired! Turned out a little moody but cool.
Thyme for more light!
Well yesterday was the Super Bowl and I suppose it could be said this post is a day late. I actually put this together yesterday with out recipe . . . shooting from the hip if you will. It came out so darn good I wanted to post it! During the game it was hard not to keep getting up and having a little more dip, sometimes on the French bread I took to serve with it and sometimes on a chip.
This recipe is easy to make, the longest part is slowly caramelizing the onions which can take a 1/2 hour or so to do right. Low and slow wins while caramelizing onions. This recipe will serve 8 as a appetizer. Serve with chips or French bread to dip.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 ounces bacon, diced
3/4 cup white wine
5 ounces baby spinach
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise (commercial)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 packet Hidden Valley ranch powder .4 ounce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
- Turn your oven to broil and set out your cream cheese to soften.
- You will need to have two pans one to render the bacon and one to slowly caramelize the onions. Begin by rendering the bacon. Heat a pan to medium and add the tablespoon of olive oil to get started but once the bacon starts to cook it will give you all the fat you need. As the bacon cooks you will see a good amount of fat rendering off, this is what you will use to caramelize your onions.
- When the bacon is almost crispy pour most of the fat into your other pan and turn on to medium heat. Add the diced onions and start to cook them. Once they start to sizzle and begin to brown turn it to low. Then slowly caramelize slowly while stirring every few minutes.
- When the onions are golden brown add the spinach and wilt down.
- When the spinach is fully cooked add the wine and bring to a boil.
- When the wine is boiling add the everything except the gruyere cheese. Let everything heat until it is all melted together and hot.
- Pour into a oven proof dish and top with the gruyere. Put in oven on broil and cook until bubby and brown.
It took us quite some time to travel from Casa Silva to Lapaostolle, but the journey was certainly worth it. Lapaostolle the most opulent of the vineyards we visited, the family that owns Lapaostolle also owns Grand Marnier so I would imagine funds are not a issue! We were fortunate to experience so much hospitality here. Not only did we get to tour the family’s private cellar but even finished up with a wonderful dinner prepared by the chef. Lapaostolle is definitely channeling France in the heart of Chile.
Entrance to the “Private Cellar”
After having wine for lunch, snack and dinner for several days the thought of doing this again is rough. Not! Actually it’s awesome. This lifestyle works well for me! I have a renewed vigor to win the lottery or invent a nutritive cereal varnish that will cure obesity, get rich and travel the wineries of the world.
Casa Silva winery was a bit of a journey for us. At the foothills of the Andes this was one of the more stunning vineyards. It felt different than some of the others and I think the reason is the owner and his family live down the road and still work here every day. There are vines here more than 100 years old! This is a business for them, but also a lifestyle. They eat lunch here in the restaurant every day. . . with a view of the polo field and the mountains. Not too bad!
The restaurant had just changed the menu and we were fortunate to be able to take part!
Empanadas, tuna ceviche, grouper, steak, quinoa pudding, creamed corn, and mango cheesecake is not even a complete list of the menu!
Be sure to look out for the Casa Silva Altura and the Casa Silva Micro Terroir Carmenere. You will be glad you did!