Openings and Closings

Tre Wilcox Punctuates Southern Food Explosion

Pink Magnolia, Ida Claire and Rapscallion were just the beginning. It seems Dallas is under siege by new Southern cuisine. Had legal matters not disrupted Lisa Garza-Selcer's Shelby Hall, another Southern restaurant might now be open downtown. And Now Tre Wilcox is getting in the game. He has been named culinary director at soon-to-open Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine.

Wilcox made news back in October when he announced his eponymous cooking school in Plano. The former Top Chef contestant plans to build on the private events catering he has done since leaving Village Marquee.

Wilcox's latest announcement describes "a celebration of Southern life and hospitality" for the Plano restaurant, which is expected to open early next year. Expect deviled eggs topped with crispy chicken skin, pomegranate-red pepper glazed pork belly, smoked brisket, grilled pork chops and oven-roasted lemon pepper redfish.

Don't expect to see Wilcox doing much of the cooking, though. Menu development, recipe development, pricing, food cost, staff training and restaurant operations are listed as his duties as he continues to focus on his culinary classwork. An executive chef has yet to be named. Both Julia Pearl and Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts are expected to open in January.

Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine, 2301 N. Central Expressway, Plano,