Food News

Campo's Chef Michael Ehlert on Working with Boulud, Eddie Campbell and Tex-Mex

Michael Ehlert moved to Texas from New York City in 2011, where he worked at DBGB, one of Daniel Boulud's concepts. In Dallas his first kitchen home was at The Chesterfield in downtown. Last month, he moved over to Campo, where he is now the executive chef. We sat down last week to discuss his culinary journey.

Where are you from originally? Born in Virginia Beach, but grew up in the Twin Cities. We moved around a lot. My dad was an editor. Went to high school in Iowa, and college in Colorado. Then moved to New York in 2005.

How was Boulder? I loved Boulder. Went to University of [Colorado] for a journalism degree. At first, I got a job cooking just to pay the bills, but I liked that a lot more than interviewing people.

What was your first job in a restaurant? In Boulder I worked at the Sink for two years, which was just off campus, always really busy. That was just a natural environment for me. I'd always meet such interesting people. That has always been an attractive aspect of it for me too. After a while, I knew that was going to be my path.

You didn't like interviewing people? I liked it OK. I tried to mix the two together. I thought maybe I could write about food, which is not something I've written off completely. But, I would go interview chefs about the scene and what was going on, it got to the point where I didn't want to talk to them about it, I wanted to do it. And I couldn't wait to get out of class to go cook -- even just to flip burgers. I got absorbed in that culture pretty quickly.

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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.