The ascension of Dallas' culinary scene has been a curious thing to watch from the sidelines. As a diner, Dallasites have more restaurants to choose from than ever, helmed by some of the country's brightest up-and-coming chefs. At the same time, this progress has been slow-going, and Dallas has been somewhat resistant to change its stodgy culinary scene -- a fact that Driftwood and Proof + Pantry Chef Kyle McClelland is working his ass off to change.
McClelland was a big score for the Dallas culinary scene. After opening Cedars Social here, he jetted off to Brooklyn and opened a much-hyped restaurant called Prospect, which still operates today. After shucking off the pressures of New York City life and making Dallas his home again, McClelland is bringing his New England-influenced food here. I sat down with McClelland to talk about what it's been like to come back, his thoughts on the burgeoning Dallas restaurant scene, and why Brooklyn just can't compete with Dallas when it comes to tacos. Note: This interview happened before he and Michael Martensen tried to box Leslie Brenner out of reviewing their restaurant.