Former Bolsa chef Graham Dodds is the new executive chef at Central 214. He replaces Blythe Beck who left the fancy digs at the Hotel Palomar in late August. Dodds’ farm-to-table philosophy is a perfect fit for the direction management wants to steer the hotel’s restaurant. (Hah!) After his departure from Bolsa in mid-September, Dodds considered doing his own thing with an investor. “I loved being a part of the Oak Cliff community and watching it grow,” Dodds said in September. “But I have a five-year-old daughter and a mortgage to pay.” It looks like a steady gig with benefits turned out to be the better decision. He starts his reign on Monday.
Once he’s up and running, you can expect the buzzwords to roll: locally sourced ingredients, classic farm-to-table cooking, marathon-running chickens, artisanal baked-with-hypersensitive-heat breads, free-range bees with PhDs, penthouse-raised pork, unmolested meat, and “wholesome family” cheese with both parents, curds and whey. Sorry, I got carried away while waiting for a callback from Graham.
Ring, ring. H-h-hello? “Hi Nancy, it’s Graham. I am so excited,” Dodds says. “It’s a great fit. I’ve worked with a lot of people who have worked with this company [Kimpton Hotels] and everybody has great things to say about them.” Although nothing has been decided, there has been some talk of renaming the place and reworking the interior. [Although the name wasn't originally intended to represent farm-to-table, it kinda works with Dodds' cooking.]
“Graham, please don’t speak in press release,” I say. “I want to know what you are going to do with your bee hives? What floor will they be on?” [Dodds has made his own honey from his 20 hives for years.]
“Well my bees are way down this year,” Dodds says with a tear in his voice. “I’m down to 3 hives. I moved them to Eden Creek Farms and a neighbor did some crop dusting and I think it may have drifted over.”
“How in the hell are you going to make up for that loss?”
“Well, I plan to delve into nose-to-tail cooking,” Dodds said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to explore.”
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