Category Archives: Photos


Eat Your Brussel Sprouts!

I have many a fond memory of the fall.  It’s always a relief when the hot Texas summer days begin to wind down a bit and its enjoyable to take a morning stroll around the neighborhood without facing the dangers of dehydration.   Yes Fall!

One of the vegetables I do love to see appearing in the markets and supermarkets are Brussel sprouts.  Yes, I am fully aware the half of the people out there are excited to see this petit cabbage looking vegetable and that the other half wonder whey one would eat such a thing.  The latter half have undoubtable been scarred by the Brussel sprout during childhood.  I too suffered the mental trauma of forcing down over cooked boiled Brussel sprouts.  There were not enough mashed potatoes in the world to cover up that flavor.  These were dark times. Don’t be afraid though.  Face your fears and take another look at this nutritional and dare I say …delicious vegetable!

The Brussel sprout is a nutritional bomb.  Packing a good amount of vitamin c, vitamin k and folic acid.  They are high in fiber, low on the glycemic index, provide some minerals and there is even some research out there that they may have some anticancer properties.  This is a vegetable you must take another look at.

Brussels were very popular in Europe for several centuries and are in many areas synonymous with Christmas Dinner.  I am no genius but I suspect they were quite popular in Brussels.  Wikepedia tells us that they were brought to the United States by French settlers which I think is quite possible.  Again, I am no genius but the French Master Chef, Escoffier, in his Guide Culinaire lists several preparations for this “Choux de Bruxelles”.  Why not bring some along to the new digs?

Brussel sprouts are best when they are younger and have a firm feel and tight leaves.  They can be eaten raw and are good when thinly shaved and tossed with olive oil, salt and lemon juice.  In the old days, it was common to boil them, but I find sautéing and then a quick braise where the liquid reduces and glazes the sprouts is the way to go!

In the recipe below I do a hard sauté of the sprouts in my wok.  There is no reason you need to use a wok, a sauté pan will work just fine, especially a good cast iron.  Preferably one passed down as a family heirloom!  I just happen to have a personal attachment to my wok, nothing to be concerned about, I brought it back from Hong Kong with me and the years of use have given it a beautiful patina…. and it’s fun to use.

I use two types of oil. A neutral oil for cooking and a high-quality finishing oil for finishing.  Be careful though a bitter olive oil is not a good friend to Brussel sprouts.

Brussel Sprouts with olive oil and lemon



1 pound of Brussel sprouts

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 ½ cups stock (vegetable or chicken)

1 teaspoon garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of good finishing olive oil

1 tablespoon of olive oil or blended oil for cooking.


  1. Clean the Brussel sprouts by rinsing in water.  Trim the bottoms of the thickest part of the base and remove any loose outer leaves.
  2. Mince the garlic, juice and zest your lemon and get ready to cook!
  3. Get your pan nice and hot and add the cooking olive oil. Carefully add your sprouts and let them get some color.  Move in the pan from time to time but not too much.
  4. Once they have the color you like add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds then add the stock. There should be a violent bubbling of stock and sprouts so be careful.
  5. Let everything cook until the liquid is almost gone. Check the sprouts and a skewer or knife tip should go through easily with only the slightest bit of resistance.  You can add a bit more stock and cook longer if you wish.
  6. Add the finishing oil, juice and zest. Reduce for 30 more seconds and remove from heat.
  7. Check your salt and lemon to make sure you don’t want a bit more and then enjoy!

Thyme out!








A quick shoot in Owners Box

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

Shiner Octoberfest

Ruben Slider, Beer Sauerkraut, Caraway Aioli

Rahr Octoberfest

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)









IMG_5818 copy


Trinity River Dinner at Texas Spice

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!

Next Thyme!



























The French Room as I Remember

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.

Thyme Remembered,


Some photos from the “Old Days”





Version 2












Rest in Peace Tom and Drew.


Spinach, Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Gruyere Dip

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.


Thyme fly’s




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

  1. Turn your oven to broil and set out your cream cheese to soften.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When the onions are golden brown add the spinach and wilt down.
  5. When the spinach is fully cooked add the wine and bring to a boil.
  6. When the wine is boiling add the everything except the gruyere cheese.  Let everything heat until it is all melted together and hot.
  7. Pour into a oven proof dish and top with the gruyere.  Put in oven on broil and cook until bubby and brown.




Operation Chile Day 3 – “Dinner at Lapostolle”

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.

Thyme Out







Entrance to the “Private Cellar”










Operation Chile – Day 3 “lunch at Casa Silva”

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!




















Operation Chile – Day Two “Borago”


One of the top 50 restaurants in the world Borago is a very forward thinking restaurant. They are foragers, seeking local ingredients as a way of life. They say “as one forages the other cooks”. The chef although cooking in a modern way uses only ingredients from Chile and has tremendous respect for the Mapuche, who are the original inhabitants of the area, using the foods they would have lived on as a major inspiration for his cooking. If you are any where near Santiago, Chile this is a must go!  Although you will need a open mind and be ready for a true Chilean experience.

Upon arrival the restaurant is modern, very busy, the aroma, very appealing of food but not always recognizable. We are greeted warmly and offered a small snack before being seated.  What ever they said the snack was, I have no idea, but it was good.

We had a choice of a six course or a nine course “Endemica” Which is a journey across Chile. What was to follow was about nine courses not including what they call “snacks” which appear randomly in between courses, seemingly at the whim of the kitchen.



Berlin De Pate’

Fermented and Raw Pewen, Pebre of Toasted Flower Marraqueta

Sea Urchin, Green Salsa of Chia Seeds

This was a bit of a first course. The sea urchin was very fresh and the most surprising part of the dish was the green chia seed salsa. Slightly chilled and served underneath the sea urchin which was perched on a unique gray cracker, the chia seed salsa was incredibly fresh with just the right acidity. A bit of the chia salsa on the sea urchin was a great balance. Were we supposed to combine the two? No idea, but I’m glad I did!


Crudo of Deer from Valdivia, Locos Mayo

Again very fresh and flavorful. Not only a unique presentation but the venison had a great “pop” of lemon.  Pictured in the back of the photo is the restaurants take on the famous Chilean drink “Pisco Sour”.


Cold Pulmay, Jevia from Central Coast and Apples

Tasty and again very fresh, but a bit too tart.  I think this was a cold cuttlefish stew with apples.



Chupe of Mushrooms from Quintay and Salad of Plants from the Shore

The stand out dish of the night! Served in a bowl that is wrapped like a package in what appeared to be a burlap type of blanket “infused with the essence of the earth”. Cooks deliver the dish and unfold the package, Immediately an olfactory explosion which does indeed completely smell of the earth, like being in a cave of dirt and mushrooms. Sounds questionable? It’s not. Tasting the Foraged Mushroom Chupe and salad while being surrounded by the aroma of the earth made for one of the best courses I have had, here or anywhere else. A very forward thinking take Chupe, a warm seafood dish often served here in the winter.


Skins of Piure and Skins of Tangerines

Piure is a native seafood which lives in the rocks, it is not beloved by the Chileans. In this case the skin of the Piure, raw I believe, is stuffed with tangerine skins. . . The Piure is not beloved by me either. A very interesting dish to be sure, however it’s a challenge to love this. One thing to note this dish was the first of the “Sequence of Rocks”


Rock Puree served with Rock Broth (Rock Broth poured tableside and not pictured)

I truly have no idea what this was, tasted a bit like a flavorful black bean puree in a “soy type broth” with some pickles. The unique thing the bean like substance was baked around a rock which you had to scrape off with a spoon. Very earthy and had a good feeling of umami. Enjoyable! Always nice while visiting another country to scrape a delicious but unidentified substance off a hot rock. Earthy broth. . . bonus!


Conger Eel on the first Sea Stars of the Season

Perfectly cooked conger eel seemed to be brushed with a local honey and seasoned well. Then baked, the honey formed a crust which was perfect to adhere a lot of sea stars. Sea stars being little flowers that are around once a year for a few weeks. The cook delivering this dish was very excited about the flowers, and I mean excited. He had been waiting all year. The flowers were very good and being locally foraged by the cooks, even cooler. I must say however the conge eel stole the show. I would say this dish ended the “sequence of the rocks”.


Free Range Veal and Flower from Trees of Early Spring

Very tender veal cooked in local cow’s milk. The flowers were foraged, again by the cooks, from around the city of Santiago. Also a surprise on this dish, they were able to make yogurt from 100% almond milk, simply by introducing the bacteria and keeping it at the proper temperature.



This was a off menu treat!  A ice cream treat that tasted just like chocolate but was made from a local nut our seed.  There is also a dehydrated carrot preparation hanging from the branches, if you look closely.  This was not only fascination but really full of flavor



Ulpo of Espino and Mushroom Ice Cream

Inside the pod, the Ulpo,  a unique sweet make with toasted flour and milk, a traditional dish prepared for children, it’s salty and toasty. We are told to pair it with the mushroom ice cream but not before being quizzed by the waiter on the flavor of the ice cream. It was tough to come up with the flavor but once we got it! The combination of the toasty and salty flour with the beautifully rustic flavor of the ice cream was perfect. One of the best dishes of the night.


Tres Leches: Sheeps Milk, Goats Milk and Cows Milk

A sheeps milk ice cream encased in a local berry gel, goats milk stuffed berries and cows milk powder


Salad of Rica Rica, Cenizo, and Cucumber

Explosion of unidentified flavors at first bite. It’s a salad of local leaves and cucumber. Here is the part that will make your mind explode. The salad is all foraged near or on a specific tree. The ice cream is made from a parasite which grows on that tree! In summary “Parasite Ice Cream Salad” is a must have!


Liquid Nitrogen Meringues – A perfect way to end a meal! A minty – eucalyptus attack on the senses!

The Chef in his upstairs lab / think tank!

It was a great end of the evening to be able to see the upstairs area where the chefs seem to brainstorm, work on dishes, theorize, and I would imagine, regroup after a long service.

Hearing Chef Rodolfo Junto’s passion about the restaurant,  Chile, and his philosophy about food made a fantastic meal, service experience and evening even better.









Operation Chile – Day 2 “Undurraga”

First stop today was a beautiful winery called Undurraga. Opened at the end of the last century this beautiful winery was designed by a renowned designer of the tines, whose name I was told and promptly forgot. The tour of the vineyard reviled a beautiful campus whose design was certainly kept true to the original. There are several aspects of the winery, including a museum, which paid homage to the natives of the area, the Mapuche.

We did a wine tasting in two parts with the master wine maker for the winery. First we tried the TH label, TH standing for Terroir Hunter! A fitting description for these wines which do show so much about where they were grown. They are also a great representation of the fruit. The second tasting was on their Volcanus Line. All grapes grown in the area where the soil was volcanic, which they have a lot of here in Chile. They also have the feel of the soil and are very distinctive. If you can find a TH Carmenere or a TH Syrah you should snag them up, throw something on the grill, preferably meat, and enjoy!

Lunch here was a beautiful mix of grilled meats and salads. The stand out of which was an open air fire roasted lamb. The slow fire roasting gave the lamb a delicious crispy grilled outer crust, but it was moist and delicious.

Next post will be about dinner at Borago, one of the 50 best restaurants in the world.

Thyme out,