At any time of the day, you can find Savor in Klyde Warren Park filled with Dallasites and tourists alike. The glass-encased restaurant allows guests beautiful views of Klyde Warren and food crafted by executive chef Luke Rogers.
Earlier this year, Rogers won Texas’ Chef of the Year award for Industry, a recruiting company for people who work in hospitality.
“I’m excited to be listed among all these other amazing chefs from other states,” Rogers says. “We’re all just trying to do something great for our communities individually, and for our states and for our culinary scenes.”
Rogers was nominated for the award by other restaurateurs and chefs in Dallas. With his positive spirit, leadership skills and collaborative efforts, it’s clear why the hospitality community loves him.
“It’s more than just my individual vision,” Rogers says. “The way that we see the restaurant is so that we as a team can be collaborative and make incredible food in a great environment. Obviously, this restaurant is beautiful. So we want to have food that matches this restaurant, but that does something great for our community.”
As a supporter of other Texas chefs, Rogers tries to utilize as many local products in his recipes as he can.
“We utilize local farms like Bonton Farms, who are helping people that are moving from prison back into society,” Rogers says. “I use mostly Texas products, except for a handful of things, like our scallops [that] come from Maine and sea bass that comes from Ireland. But outside of that, I try really hard to use mostly Texas products. For example, we use 44 Farms for our beef. We get people in from different parts of the country who love our beef and our steaks.”
This spring, Rogers plans to revamp the Savor menu.
“We want to create approachable food that’s still upscale,” Rogers says. “We want to be the place that you come to for your birthday, but also come to for lunch during the week, or to dinner on a Friday or Saturday night.”
Rogers began cooking at age 15. One of his first industry jobs was at Memphis Pizza Cafe, in Memphis. He also worked at the James Beard Award-winning Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen.
After high school, he studied at L'École Culinaire, then went to Italy after graduation.
“One of the things I noticed was the chefs that I worked for in the States would scream at me a lot, as a kid,” Rogers says. “I didn’t like the way they treated me, but I was so passionate about the industry that I wanted to stay. But then when I was in Italy, the best chef I'd ever seen spoke with almost a whisper all of the time.”
Rogers notes that the chefs in Italy helped inspire him to maintain a sense of humility in the kitchen.
Upon returning to the States, Rogers began working as a sous chef at Le Meridien, where he was quickly promoted to an interim executive chef. He later worked as an interim executive chef for Hilton Lincoln Center and also worked at Minibar in Washington, D.C., under the tutelage of José Andrés.
He worked as an executive chef for Sofitel Hotel in Philadelphia before becoming the executive chef of Savor in April 2019.
Rogers says he looks forward to coming to work every day, as he feels his restaurant has the most optimal location in the city.
“This is the best location for a restaurant in Dallas,” Rogers says. “I really can’t believe I work here. There are people who have been here from Iowa, Minnesota, California, New York, everywhere you can think of. They'll say things like, ‘These are the best Brussels sprouts I've ever had’ or ‘Wow, Texas beef is really good.’”
As the executive chef, Rogers believes he is one of many equally moving parts. Although he is the head honcho, he says every employee is of equal importance.
“My job is to take care of every person on our staff,” Rogers says, “to make sure that they have what they need at all times. To make sure that if it’s good, they get the praise, and that if it’s bad, it falls on me. They all need to know that they are important, and that I’m listening and that I’m always going to be there to protect them.”
Savor in Klyde Warren Park, 2000 Woodall Rodgers Freeway (Uptown). Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
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