When you think of the prime “foodie” locations, Dallas very rarely comes to mind. But John Tesar is working to change that, and if his past success is any indication, it won’t be long before it’s mentioned in the same breath as New York, San Francisco and Paris. As a three-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: Southwest” and “Top Chef” contestant, John has long been considered one of the best chefs in the industry, and his restaurants have received “Best New Restaurant” nods from Esquire magazine and critical acclaim from Food & Wine magazine, New York magazine and The New York times.
John started his career working with Anthony Bourdain at the Supper Club in New York before heading out west to work with Rick Moonen at rm Seafood in Las Vegas. In 2007, John moved to Dallas to run the kitchen at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, where he earned two five-star reviews. In 2012, John opened Spoon Bar & Kitchen, earning critical acclaim; two years later, John opened Knife in the Highland Dallas Hotel.
As a consultant, John has also found success, first at the Dallas Chop House, then at the Dallas Fish Market, Wild Salsa and Chop House Burger.
Specialties & Resources
At Spoon Bar & Kitchen, John explored the world of seafood cuisine, and his dishes included cuttlefish with jalapeno oil, yuzu & pink peppercorns; yellowtail with Texas ruby red grapefruit, ligurian olive oil & shiso; diver scallops with ceviche & dried sweet corn; celery soup with curried gulf crab; live diver scallops with brown butter, dashi & perigord truffle; smoked sturgeon headcheese with horseradish cream & sturgeon caviar; and fluke sashimi with blood orange, fennel & nasturtium flowers.
At Knife, John aims to reinvent the concept of a contemporary American steakhouse, and based on the reviews he’s received thus far, it’s clear that his mission is a success. Menu items include bigeye tuna tartare with green onion, sriracha, cucumber, sea salt & wasabi tobiko; beef tartare with oysters & fried egg; crispy pork belly with collard greens; sriracha pork belly with hoisin sauce, sriracha & Corsicana pickles; rack of lamb with mustard, garlic & herb crust; long bone pork chop with apple sauce & collard greens; English pea & rock shrimp risotto; oxtail ravioli with parmesan monte and aged balsamic; penne & black truffle essence, and fettuccine Bolognese.