The latest D Magazine hit news stands last week with much anticipation in the food world, after editors hyped the cover story on Commissary chef John Tesar as a story about Dallas' "most hated chef."
Before I started, the Observer wrote a pretty nasty review of Tesar's latest addition to the Dallas culinary scene, but still, I wondered: is Tesar really worthy of hatred?
The story opens with a contested tale involving Nick Badovinus, proprietor of the Neighborhood Services restaurants, one of his chefs, Jeff Bekavac, some alcohol and some choice words.
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It's likely impossible to reconstruct an accurate depiction of a night that involves second-hand accounts, booze, and where police were called, but no arrests were made. But D tells the tale with detail, quoting Tesar as saying that night: "I'm sure your restaurants are great, but I'm not sure about those white sweaters the servers wear. Those things are fucking terrible."
The statement was a response to a dig Badovinus had delivered about Tesar's past employment. In Tesar's defense, those sweater vests are pretty terrible. Fucking terrible, even. Still, Tesar says the account doesn't present "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth."
I spoke with him this morning. He says he's mostly happy with how the article turned out, but does have some issues with the mechanics of the profile, and specifically how they truncated and used quotes (although he stopped short of giving examples). He said portions of the story seemed back-handed. He referred to a quote from an executive at the Rosewood Crescent who was less then complimentary, referring to Tesar as a cook instead of a chef because he didn't exemplify a leadership role.
Continuing with the any-press-is-good-press strategy that led to the piece, Tesar will hold a Haters Ball this evening to celebrate the cover story. Free tacos, beer and tequila samples will be available to anyone who shows up with a copy of the issue (although you can show up with out one too). The event starts at 7 p.m. and goes till 9 or so.