Tre Wilcox Has Lofty Ambitions

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Loft 610 Urban Restaurant and Lounge recently named Chef Tre Wilcox their new executive chef--and announced plans to open a second concept driven by the popular cook.

Yes, popular: You might know him as the former Chef de Cuisine at the five-star Dallas eatery Abacus, and he was on season three of a little known, hardly at all talked about show called Top Chef. Oh, you've heard of it? He also helped the Rathbun brothers take down Bobby Flay on Iron Chef, but believe it or not, winning wasn't the fun part of the show for him.

Between being the spokesperson for Chantal Cookware and preparing to debut his full menu at Loft 610 next week, somehow Chef Tre found time to fit us into his busy schedule for a quick chat. It probably also helped that he was trapped in a cab on his way to the hotel.

On the biggest difference between Loft 610 and Abacus: "Definitely taking the food down a little. At Loft 610 it is more down to earth cuisine"

On working with his old Abacus colleague Jermaine Brown again: "It's awesome. We've been best friends for the past 7 or 8 years since we started working together. It's very common for a chef to develop a bond with his sous chef." So you would say you two are a perfect fit? "Yes, a perfect fit"

On Bill Addison describing him as a "culinary trademark name": "Flattered, I was flattered. It's something I want to live up to. I want to own up to it."

On his Top Chef and Iron Chef experiences: "It was interesting. I've never been a part of something of that nature. It changed my career to making me a household name. It made me a better chef." How was your experience on Iron Chef? "Awesome, not because we won. It would still be awesome. There was no reality, no drama. It was awesome because it was one hour of non-stop cooking. Not knocking Top Chef, it was just different"

On his plans for a future cooking show: "I shot a pilot or two, and still in the editing process. You will see me on television., it's only a matter of time"

On his Chantal Cookware endorsement: "It's cookware for at home. I use it at home, and so does my family. I've had a great relationship with them for the past 2 and a half years. I've been very lucky and fortunate. The CEO really likes me and I really like her."

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