Part 2: Chef John Tesar on Fatherhood, Sushi and Anthony Bourdain's Drinking Skills
Photo by Robert Bostick
In part two of our continuing three-part chef's series we asked chef John Tesar a few questions while we visited with him at Dallas Fish Market. Chef Tesar was more than happy to discuss the birth of his son, Kim Pierce's secret spot and Anthony Bourdain's drinking habits. Tomorrow we join the chef in his kitchen to dissect one of the recipes he has developed for the upcoming new menu at Dallas Fish Market.
CoA: What is the best dish you have eaten?
Tesar: Every thing I eat at Le Bernardin or at Mugaritz in Spain. I have a hard time deciding.
CoA: If we peeked in your home refrigerator what would we see that might amuse us?
Tesar: A bottle of ketchup and green wasabi mustard from the restaurant in Houston with my cartoon character on them. Very silly memorabilia.
CoA: Where do you get your inspiration?
Tesar: Traveling and eating in the best restaurants in the world and from "real authentic ethnic and street foods."
CoA: What was your childhood ambition?
Tesar: Pro surfer/skate boarder/snowboarder and a rock star. When I go back home to the Hamptons every summer I still surf and jam with the boys. When I worked in Tahoe I boarded 110 days a year and roamed the back country all spring.
CoA: President Obama was in Dallas this week, what would you cook for him?
Tesar: Something from the garden at Stonewall Jackson elementary, the school I work with for "Chefs Move to Schools" program, and some great beef from my wife's family's ranch in Stephenville.
Photo by Robert Bostick
CoA: What is the oddest customer request you have had lately? Tesar: Someone asked for the kitchen to burn his or her meal. Seriously.
CoA: What is the best music to cook by?
Tesar: It depends where I am and what I am cooking, but I like the Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, Marley and sometimes the 3 Tenors -- anything that moves me in the moment, but no pop music. Just say no to Justin Bieber.
CoA: What are a few amazing dishes you get while out on the town?
Tesar: I love the fluke head at Tei An and just about whatever else Teiichi prepares, same for Tan at Oishi, and Eguchi, the sushi chef at Nobu. It's not so much the Japanese food [but] the amazing fresh fish and the creativity these three great chefs bring to the seafood they prepare for me. I never order off the menu. I let them show me what they have. You have to try the ankimo taco at Nobu. It's genius. When at Osihi ask chef Tan to cook some real Vietnamese street food for you. Killer. I also enjoy the fresh and pure flavors at York Street
CoA: Who might be labeled the chef's chef in Dallas?
Tesar: Sharon Hage, [York Street] hardest working chef I know, and so pure and down to earth. She never sells out!
CoA: The taco craze is at near epic proportions. Where do you find a decent taco in Dallas?
Tesar: I like Rusty Taco, but [Dallas Morning News contributor] Kim Pierce promises to show me her secret spot. I am waiting.
CoA: How many drinks does it take for Anthony Bourdain to pass out?
Tesar: Flaco would never pass out! Or throw up for that matter. It's against his religion.
CoA: What is one thing you hope to accomplish that you haven't yet?
Tesar: I want to be a great father to my son and I would love to win a Beard Award even if it's just for surviving all these years as a chef (LOL)
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