You know Gene and Julie Gates. Or, at least, you’ve heard them. They’re the husband-and-wife team that used to be the glorious morning voices of 103.7 Lite FM. Now they’ve switched careers and jumped into the restaurant world by opening Battuto, a family friendly Italian restaurant in North Dallas. (“Battuto,” says Gene, “is the base which most sauces are built from. It’s traditionally made with lard and parsley, and you very slowly heat the onions” for extra flavor.)
The Gates’ restaurant softly opened mid-March, and it’s gearing up for a grand opening any day now. Full disclosure: our own Hayley Hamilton helped consult on the wine menu. Here’s what the former radio hosts-turned-restaurateurs have to say about life, love, and the pursuit of good food.
Carol Shih: I’m just in awe of that…
Julie Gates: That we’ve worked together, and we haven’t killed each other?
CS: Yeah, that’s crazy. Working together since 1995 is a long time. Continue reading "People We Love: Battuto’s Gene and Julie Gates"
Chef Jon Stevens, who has dabbled in the kitchen of The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton and now the popular Dallas bistro, NOSH, has a resume that would make any person drool. Tack on a “Hottest Chef in Dallas” nomination from Eater Dallas to that resume, and now you might need a napkin for the drool rolling dangerously down your chin.
As native of San Francisco, Stevens understands the farm-to-table movement and brings this concept to the European-inspired dishes at NOSH. I met with him at the restaurant to discuss his hottest chef nod, fires in the kitchen, and other goodies over a serving of tempura-fried Brussels sprout leaves and rich banana bread pudding.
Jacie Scott: So, let’s get to the good stuff. You were selected as one of the hottest chefs in Dallas!
Jon Stevens: Well, there were a lot of people selected for that.
Scott: How many? How did it come about?
She was kicked off The Taste (go here for our recaps) way too early, but don’t fret: Uno Immanivong is preparing to take Dallas by storm. The brains behind boutique food company Foodie Couture is awaiting the opening of her new restaurant, Chino, in June and already has a second restaurant and a run at Top Chef on her mind.
Christina Colavecchia: This is so sad, but you were kicked off The Taste a week ago. How did you deal with that?
Uno Immanivong: You know what, there’s a way to leave and that was probably the best way. It wasn’t on a bad note; it was a little controversial so I left with my head high for sure. This sounds kind of quirky but I felt very privileged to be there. It was an honor to make it as far as I did coming from doing this part time as a passion and growing my company to what it is today, and I’m really proud of where I came from. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, as cliché as that sounds. You can’t control everything. We cooked the best we could. I don’t think I would change anything that I had created.
CC: What was the best part of being on the show?
Everyone is moving to Lower Greenville these days. It’s because they all want to be in close proximity to Trader Joe’s turkey meatballs when the grocery store finally opens. I don’t blame ‘em. Mudsmith just got there, Carnival Barker’s first storefront is heading there, yadda yadda yadda. It’s going to be one hell of a party on Greenville Avenue, come summer.
Since they figured the tenants in Lower Greenville are pretty cool, the owners of Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House decided join in the fun. Matt Tobin, Josh Yingling, and their partner-in-crime, Ryan Chaney (who couldn’t make it to our interview), decided to hire Oliver Sitrin (formerly from Village Marquee) to be the executive chef of their new restaurant, The Blind Butcher. It’s going to be at 1919 Greenville Ave, and it’s opening someday in the near future. (The press release says late spring.) The Goodfriend boys have known Oliver for awhile, but now they all get to be one big, happy family together. I’ll shut up now and let you hear the rest of the story for yourselves.
Matt Tobin: At first we were like, “Too bad Oliver’s not available.”
Oliver Sitrin: I came to Marquee because he (Tre Wilcox) brought me there. That’s my boy. Him leaving? I was going to leave also. I actually left one or two days before he did.
For those of you who don’t remember Dallas native Alex Stein from ABC’s The Glass House, that’s probably a good thing. The villainous 24-year-old (now 26) was at the center of the show’s first-and-only-season’s drama – and he paid for it. Stein was kicked off the show in the second week and, according to him, even received death threats (which, weirdly, he takes as a compliment). Don’t worry, though. Stein is back with a vengeance in the Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, and he wants people to know one thing: he’s here to entertain. The new season premieres on Sunday, February 17 at 8 p.m.
Christina Colavecchia: What motivated you to try out for Worst Cooks in America? Are you actually a horrible cook?
Alex Stein: I’m not a great cook. One time I was at Lake Cyprus Springs, literally 20 people, 10 girls, 10 guys and I was like, “Oh, I’ll cook the burgers.” Sure enough, I got every single girl sick. The only people that didn’t get sick were the ones that had the hotdogs, and you can’t really get sick from a hotdog.
The way the show works is someone has to nominate you. I made my roommate in L.A. some chicken wings. I literally just put them in a pan, I cooked them, and I got him deathly ill. We had to go to the urgent care clinic. So he nominated me and once [the producers] had me in there, I brought this video of those girls I got sick. [The producers] liked my personality and they said “Bam! We want you on the show.”3 Comments »