Food News

Bolsa Chef Jeff Harris on the Food Network Effect, Go-To Spots and the Mercado's Future

Recently we sat down Bolsa chef Jeff Harris at the new sister store Bolsa Mercado, which is a neighborhood market with unique items, Texas fare, good booze and a bevy of fresh from-scratch breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Harris grew up in East Texas surrounded by farmland, eating his grandparents' farm-to-table meals. After culinary school in New York City and a seven-year stint at Craft (NYC and Dallas), he's leveraging the locavore movement in Oak Cliff.

Where did you grow up? In East Texas, a small town outside of Longview.

How did you get into cooking? Both my grandparents were great cooks, they lived on a farm and my mom's parents had a dairy farm with huge gardens and my grandmother was always canning stuff. I actually went to college at North Texas, graduated and worked in real estate and for a bank for a few years, but when I was at the bank I was literally reading menus all day. I started watching the Food Network and the Travel Channel and then looked into culinary school and just had a feeling that was what I really wanted to do. So, I went to culinary school in New York City (The Institute of Culinary Education).

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.