John Tesar Has Yet Another Job, at El Bolero

John Tesar, thinking about his never-ending to do list.
John Tesar, thinking about his never-ending to do list.
Catherine Downes

Just when you think John Tesar is planning to keep quiet and stay out of the news for a while, he somehow manages to make an appearance. After the restaurant shuffle that took place earlier this year — closing Spoon and taking over the kitchen at Oak — Tesar has, for the most part, been silent. Then yesterday word came he would be taking over yet another kitchen, this time at El Bolero in Oak Lawn.

As Eater Dallas reported, Tesar will take over the kitchen at Oak’s sister restaurant effective immediately. Chef Hugo Galvan vacated the executive chef post last week, and Tesar will be filling in until a replacement has been installed. According to Eater, Tesar plans to bring in a former coworker, NYC’s Jacob Barrios, to replace Galvan in the kitchen at El Bolero. Considering that Tesar’s style doesn’t exactly lend itself to elevated street-style Mexican cuisine, the move is probably a solid choice.

In addition to his new duties at El Bolero, Tesar is trying to get a new Italian restaurant open and to continue overseeing operations at Knife. In the meantime, he’s also traveling around the country for celebrity chef appearances, like last week’s Aspen Food & Wine Festival, hosting “east meets west” fusion dinners with Jet Tila at Oak, and generally being the busiest guy in the Dallas food scene. Oh, and he’s also working on a cookbook, plus his potentially forthcoming reality TV show, and probably figuring out how to buy stock in Red Bull.

Every couple of months, we seem to find ourselves asking whether or not the next plate that Tesar tries to spin will be the one to send his burgeoning culinary empire crashing to the ground. Interestingly enough, Tesar doesn't appear to be close to overwhelmed. In a review for the Star-Telegram, Teresa Gubbins praises Tesar’s takeover of Oak, finding the dishes composed well and executed impeccably. A 7 p.m. reservation at Knife continues to be one of the hottest tables in town, and it was recently named a top-10 restaurant for power dinners in the country by Forbes. Who are we to say that Tesar has taken on too much?

No word yet on when Jacob Barrios will arrive in Dallas to relieve Tesar of his duties at El Bolero, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, expect for Tesar to take up professional blacksmithing or open up a McDonald’s franchise or something.


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