My girlfriends have always told me I have a thing for chefs. Maybe it’s because they
seduce you with their heavenly cooking, or maybe its their kind faces. Who knows I did marry one, so maybe my friends are on to something. When a chef approaches my table all my senses turn to mush so to speak. That was the case last Thursday when I spent part of my day with chef Graham Dodds of Central 214. Some chefs storm into their new restaurants like an invading navy, gunships of publicity thundering on the horizon. Graham Dodds slipped into his new digs in December as quietly as a canoe. He is a gentle giant with a Midas touch. We met a few months ago at Crave DFW owner Steven Doyle’s event at the Palomar Hotel, and I had been dying to come back for a more intimate conversation. What can I say, I love great chefs and great food!!!
Central 214 restaurant famous for its fried vegetables, meats, and cheese stuffed with beef fat has recently gone through a huge overhaul. Recently, however, the whole city’s culture has been undergoing a transformation, with a new emphasis on what’s fresh and local. “An appreciation for local foods and farm-to-table dining really gained momentum several years ago,” said Graham Dodds. However as I found out some of the restaurants are not being honest about their fresh menus.. Chef Dodds follows the chef’s code and didn’t sell anyone out, but I could smell a RAT. Let’s just say he pointed me in the right direction and with only a little digging I found answers that
were very troubling. Let’s hope the DFW area restaurants in questions will be honest and change their menus quickly. Your customers deserve more than over priced Driscoll strawberries. I have never claimed to be a watchdog however I might become one for the summer. Hay things are slowing down in the fashion and food world, and I need a summer project.
It’s hip and cool these days to get on the local/organic bandwagon. Restaurants want to buy greens for their salads so they can give people the impression that they source
“locally. Ordering a tomato from a farmer once doesn’t mean you order from them regularly. The farm- to- table concept is the new trend similar to the tapas trend, or the Kobe beef trend that invaded the states five years ago. “If our sole purpose in farming was the paycheck at the end of the week, we wouldn’t be farming. We love what we do and we believe in the power of local, clean food and the community it can create to change our environment and region for the better.”
A local farmer told me of a story of a chef calling last Friday to buys some greens for an event they were doing the next day at their restaurant. “After a few minutes of conversation, I find out that the restaurant (which we have never sold to before, and has no intention of ever buying from us) has a photo shoot and press event on Friday. Needless to say, he didn’t get our greens.” A heard this story time and time again. “We don’t need the chefs who are trying to manipulate the public. We have loyal customers, that visit us every week at the market, listen to our struggles, our triumphs, and love our veggies, said a local farmer.”
Truth be told chef’s Dodds menu is different, but different can be extraordinary. Farm-to-table might be the buzz word of the moment, but great food is ALWAYS in style. I can’t wait to bring you my full review on AskMissA. Stay tuned
My favorites from Central 214 Spring Menu
Starters & Salads
- Grilled Octopus with Tuscan Salsa Verde & Fried Marcona Almonds
- BLT Salad with Beef Bacon, Bibb, Peppercorn Dressing & Sourdough Crumbs
- Hay Roasted Lamb Breast with Sprouted Farro, Cucumber & Piquillo
- Honey-Thyme Glazed Porchetta with Squash Blossom Fritters & Sugo
- Blueberry Cobbler with Texas Daily Harvest Cream
- Homestead Heritage Polenta Cake with Cajeta