Last week Top Chef contestant and chef John Tesar hired an executive pastry chef for his high-end seafood restaurant in Preston Center, Spoon Bar & Kitchen. For the job, Tesar tapped David Collier, who previously worked with him at The Mansion.
Collier is moving back to Texas this month after working as the executive pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City. In 2009 he was selected as a James Beard semifinalist for outstanding pastry chef.
Earlier this week I spoke with Collier (who is still in Virginia) and Tesar together via a phone conference. Here's most of the conversation, which covers pastries in tight spaces, reality TV, and what you can and can't duplicate.
David, are you looking forward to moving back to Texas? Collier: I really enjoyed my time there. I like the wide-open spaces. I tend to spend a lot of time outside.
When you worked at The Mansion, it was awarded two five-star reviews. Those must have been some formative years. Collier: I really felt like when I got there it was bigger than the sum of its parts. It was sort of the beginning of an awakening. We were starting to get away from heavy plates. I know there were other people there [in Dallas] starting to do interesting things, but I feel like we really picked up the flag and ran with it and helped to pull the Dallas dining scene into a modern era.