Food News

Chef Travis Henderson Was Killed on the Night His Former Restaurant Celebrated Its Re-Opening

Over the weekend, the sad news came in that Travis Henderson, the former chef and co-owner of the Place at Perry's, was shot to death by Dallas SWAT officer Samuel McDonnold.

According to reports, the Carrollton Police Department was told on February 24 that Henderson planned to harm himself and was in possession of a firearm. They found Henderson's car later that evening, parked behind the Valley View Christian Church on Marsh Lane. Negotiations failed, and Henderson was shot when he stepped out of his vehicle, brandishing a handgun. He died at the scene.

Henderson is most recently associated with his work at the Place at Perry's, a prominent steakhouse previously located on Routh Street. While working at that restaurant, he received praise from Observer critic Dave Faries as one of Dallas' top 10 chefs who deserve more attention in 2009. Later that year, Faries covered an event at the steakhouse and wrote this:

Chef-owner Travis Henderson's restaurant is sometimes overlooked when people tick off lists of this city's top steakhouses, in part because it's not an overblown palace. But they really should consider The Place at Perry's alongside Del Frisco's, Nick & Sam's and Pappas Bros.

That story turned out to be prophetic. In 2011, the Place at Perry's was listed in the Dallas Morning News' Best In DFW: Steakhouses, alongside Pappas Bros. just as Faries said it should be. A subsequent feature in D Magazine ranked the steakhouse.

Henderson wasn't around to celebrate the accolades. He'd separated with the Place at Perry's in 2010 and went on to pursue a consulting career. He died on the same evening his former restaurant marked its re-opening at a new location on Cedar Springs. He was 52.

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Scott Reitz
Contact: Scott Reitz