You would think that spring would be chefs' favorite season, and why wouldn’t it be? Fresh summer produce like watermelon, tomatoes and okra offer a multitude of culinary opportunities. But don’t be too quick to forget fall. Many of Dallas’ best chefs are really excited about what the cooling weather and accompanying flavors are going to add to this season’s culinary outlook.
So we asked 10 of Dallas’ best chefs what they’re most excited about cooking this season. Not surprising, you’ll find a lot of braising, roasting and root vegetables, but there are a few oddities that stick out and will make this pumpkin-flavored season a little more interesting. As you head out to Dallas restaurants this fall, here’s a taste of what you can expect. Hint: You’re not going to be disappointed.
Scott Gottlich, 18th & Vine BBQ
Gottlich, chef and partner at 18th & Vine BBQ, is most looking forward to putting his brand-new smoker to good use this fall, but not with the ingredients you might expect. “I can’t wait to start cooking oysters and root vegetables in an Oyler barbecue pit,” says the chef whose highly anticipated BBQ restaurant opened its doors just yesterday.
Andrea Meyer, Bisous Bisous Patisserie
"Fall has always been my favorite season and it's really the season so well known for pastries and baking. We're really excited to introduce new fall flavor pastries in the shop and share the enthusiasm with our customers who are really excited for the season as well. Bring on everything pumpkin, apple and pear!”
Taylor Kearney, Front Room Tavern
“Everything excites me about fall cooking. Foods become more of an array of colors, meaning that you have a little more artistic freedom on a plate. Spices become more fragrant and foods get richer in contrast of flavor, depth and textures. As for me, I could eat something braised every day of my life so I get excited about some of the heavier food items that you can pull off in a milder temperature versus the Texas summer. I get particularly excited about things like apples and cauliflower — you will notice hints of those throughout our menu — things that by themselves are so simple and delicious and pair well with other foods. Fall is also great for cooking game birds (everything from turkey, quail, pheasant to squab), which I think can really showcase a chef’s talent when done properly.”
Sarah Snow, chef de cuisine, The Grape
"The fact that I can use brown butter on numerous menu items, monkfish season, wild game for sausages is really exciting. I love rustic cooking, and fall is typically the season that chefs are able to pull off the rustic style of cooking, like stuffed birds (like a pear and porcini stuffed quail going on the menu this Thursday), whole roasted and smoked meats, and a good slice of pecan pie!"
Jon Thompson, Sugarbacon
"The cooler weather invites richer, heartier cooking than the summer does. There are certain dishes I don't even contemplate eating until it cools off. Soups, stews, pot pies, braises, to name a few, just taste better when they also serve the purpose of warming you up."
Tom Dynan, Unleavened Fresh Kitchen
"I am most excited about the change in the seasonal flavor profile and color palette. I am looking forward to using more beets, butternut squash, roasted cauliflower and Brussels in our menu at Unleavened. The cooler weather will also allow folks to enjoy patio season and dine al fresco."
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Sandy Bussey, bbbop Seoul Kitchen
"The fall is one of my favorite seasons. With the change in weather and new produce coming in I get very excited. Napa cabbage is at its prime — fresh and sweet. It’s now become tradition to get the whole family together for a large kimchi-making event."
Dennis Kelley and Melody Bishop, LARK on the Park
"Heartier soups and braises are coming up with the cooler weather ahead. Also, looking forward to using butternut and kabocha squashes, Brussels sprouts and hearty greens full of vitamins such as A, B6, iron and calcium. Pomegranates are already here and persimmons will be at their best soon. Both delicious fall fruits. Excited to get these delicious items on our menu! Pastry chef Laurel Wimberg looks forward to incorporating fall spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice and ginger — into her autumnal desserts."
Oliver Sitrin, Blind Butcher
“The fall season brings fun flavors and warmth in dishes. The techniques that we are most excited about incorporating into the menu at Blind Butcher are braising and roasting.”
Blythe Beck, Pink Magnolia
"I love fall because it reminds me of food, family, football and the holidays. Fall is what Pink Magnolia embodies everyday. Cooking with love and having a place for families to gather, celebrate and enjoy each other. I love braising and slow cooking, and having the kitchen smell like Thanksgiving all season long!"