CultureMap's 10 Best Dallas Chefs List Is Missing Some Big Names

CultureMap's list of Dallas' 10 biggest chefs right now feels a little homogenous.
CultureMap's list of Dallas' 10 biggest chefs right now feels a little homogenous.
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CultureMap recently published a blog post titled, "Meet the 10 best Dallas chefs defining good taste." The list is an announcement of their nominees for Dallas Chef of the Year for the Tastemakers Awards, an annual event that intends to "shine a spotlight on the people making the city's restaurant scene special and honor their innovation, energy, and creativity." CultureMap editors selected the nominees, who are listed below:

Nick Badovinus
Greg Bussey
Richard Graff
Sarah Green
Robert Lyford
Matt McCallister
Julio Peraza
Daniele Puleo
Nathan Tate
And some rando named John Tesar

Obviously, the list of "10 best Dallas chefs defining good taste" includes plenty of worthy nominees. It also leaves out some serious heavy-hitters. Where is Tim Byres? He put a freaking fancy-ass restaurant in a fancy-ass mall, for chrissakes. If that's not defining Dallas and cuisine, I don't know what is. And for the love of pickles, where are Misti Norris, David Uygur, Omar Flores and Teiichi Sakurai? James Beard nods aren't enough to make it onto this list? Seriously, if you say "pasta" in Dallas and don't make a sloppy attempt at saying "David Uygur" right afterwards, move somewhere else right now.

Maybe the answer is they've already filled Sakurai's and Norris's walk-ins with awards, and it's time to share the wealth. But if being already-much-lauded for your amazing contributions to this town is a reason to keep you off the list, how are McCallister and Badovinus on it? A week doesn't go by without one of those two names popping up in a story about the Dallas food scene.

Maybe there were just too many awesome chefs and they had to cut the list down to 10, and here's where they ended up. If that's the case, next time, it'd be nice if they considered cutting down to a more diverse group. There are a lot of white dudes on this list (fewer tattoos than you might expect, though). That simply isn't an accurate depiction of all of the best foods coming out of this city.

What if they just created this list to bring out trolls like me? After all, having a bunch of trolls complain about your list is half the reason journalists make the lists in the first place.

At the end of the day, awards are great. Recognition for hard work is great. And for Dallas to have so many great chefs that narrowing down to 10 is difficult, that's not a bad thing for anyone, right? Go to the Tastemaker Awards tonight and let us know who gets to be Chef of the Year. Should be a nail-biter.


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