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Making Dallas Even Better

Kitchen LTO Readies to Unveil Chef and Designer for Second Pop-Up Restaurant

(Photography by Claire McCormack)
(Photography by Claire McCormack)

Kitchen LTO at Trinity Groves will host an event on Sunday, January 5th, 2014, to debut its chef and designer finalists for its second permanent pop-up restaurant rotation. The restaurant concept calls for a new chef and décor every four months. The chefs and designers compete for the space, and once the finalists are picked, they are voted on by the public.

The judges include TLO founder Casie Caldwell (Founder and Owner of Greenz Salads — a Dallas based fast-casual eatery) Caldwell, members of the screening committee include: Chris Zielke (Owner, Bolsa/Bolsa Mercado/Smoke/Chicken Scratch), Michael Miller (Senior VP, UCR Urban), Chad Houser (Executive Director, Café Momentum), Jason Kosmas (Owner, The 86 Co.), Sharon Van Meter (Chef/Owner 3015 at Trinity Groves), Rebecca Wright (Special Events Coordinator, Trulucks), Blythe Beck (Executive Chef, Movie Lounge) and Bob Sambol (Founder of Bob’s Steak & Chophouse). The winner will be announced on January 12

Joe Felan, a loyal SideDish reader, was picked to be one of the guest judges. He sends a few notes on how the competition has gone so far. He isn’t allowed to release any of the names of the chefs competing. Felan writes:

Kitchen LTO posted a call out to anyone who was interested in being a guest judge.  The requirement:  submit a comment about why you think you would be a great selection for this opportunity.  I submitted and was chosen along with another lucky individual Kelley McCarter Copeland.

We arrived on Sunday at Kitchen LTO for the judging event and were seated… The competition includes six chefs, but only four showed up so their competitions will be rescheduled.  I was amazed at how passionate the chefs are about what their dishes are and the reasons they felt they were a perfect match for the 2nd round at Kitchen LTO.  The questions poured from the judges:  “what are your plans for this space?,” “why did you choose your concept?,” “do you think Dallas will fall in love with your food and why?”  The food was critiqued and deliberated. Some nice things were said along with some not-so-nice things. If I could give them all a chance I would in a heartbeat but this is a competition and Dallas is counting on us.

Although the outcome is not certain at this point we had a good showing of Dallas talent and I will definitely be checking out the winner once they settle in.

Dishes Served:

Cajun Oyster and Shrimp Pot Pie

Crispy Beef Cheek and Cauliflower

Lamb Chop Blueberry Gastric with Cucumber Mint Tabbouleh

Salmon with Squid Ink Pasta and Riesling Gouda Cream Sauce