Three-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist and “Top Chef” contestant Chef John Tesar is known for his stylish, modern American cuisine prepared with classic European techniques. His innovative culinary perspective and no-nonsense personality have garnered much acclaim throughout his 20+ years in the restaurant industry, including national nods from Esquire (named to Best New Restaurants for two consecutive years), Food & Wine, New York Magazine and The New York Times, appearances on The Today Show and The Early Show and winning the inaugural season of Food Network’s Extreme Chef.
His newest concept, Knife, opened in May 2014 at The Highland Dallas hotel (formerly Hotel Palomar Dallas) to critical acclaim and guest praise. A reinvention of the steakhouse experience, the chef-driven restaurant features all-natural born and raised Texas beef, pork and lamb in dryaged prime cuts and specialty cuts such as chuck flap, beef tongue and Akaushi beef. Named one of Eater National’s “Most Anticipated Openings,” Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants”, Zagat’s “Hottest New Restaurants” Maxim’s “America’s Best Steakhouse Specialties” and featured on Esquire Network’s “Restaurant Revolution” Knife is Tesar’s vision of what a contemporary steakhouse should be.
Two years prior, Tesar opened Spoon Bar & Kitchen, receiving recognition in Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best New Restaurants in the World,” Bon Appetit Magazine’s “The Best New Restaurants of America in 2013” and Esquire magazine’s “The Best New Restaurants of 2013.”
After receiving classical French training at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, Tesar started his culinary career at Club Pierre in West Hampton, followed by stints at 13 Barrow Street, 44 & Hell’s Kitchen, Vine and cooking alongside Anthony Bourdain at the Supper Club in New York. After New York, Tesar headed to Las Vegas to work with Chef Rick Moonen at RM Seafood and in 2007, moved to Dallas to take the helm at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, earning two five-star reviews.
A highly sought after consultant, Tesar is the genius behind the menus at DRG Concepts’ Dallas Chop House, Dallas Fish Market, Wild Salsa and Chop House Burger as well as The Cedars Social and The Commissary, earning a “Best New Restaurant” award in D Magazine with his revolutionary CVap cooked burgers and most recently Oak in the Design District.
Always looking ahead for the next project, Tesar has announced he will be opening an authentic Italian restaurant in Dallas in the fall of 2015 and is developing a hotel in Memphis on the Mississippi River that will feature a restaurant and bakery. He is also working with Flatiron Books and Macmillan on a book, “Knife: Modern Steak and All American Meats,” that will be published in spring 2017 in addition to a television show with The Food Network.
From bringing seafood to the heart of Texas to reimagining the traditional steakhouse, Tesar continues being a visionary and put Dallas on the map as a true foodie destination.
Learn more about Chef John Tesar.
Pastry Chef Eric Cobb grew up in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, a sub-city inside Birmingham. He attended culinary school at The Culinard graduating from the Culinary Arts program in 2006, but after realizing his love for the meticulous and scientific side of baking went back to complete the Pastry Arts program in 2008. Upon graduation, he took a job at the Four Season Hotel in Texas where he spent the past seven years creating different pastries under the direction of Chef Randy Gehman.
After Chef Gehman’s retirement this year, Cobb decided to branch out and auditioned for the Pastry Chef position at Knife Dallas. Introduced to John Tesar by David Culler, he wowed Chef Tesar with his chocolate and coffee pastry, and white chocolate and meyer lemon pastry. He tested a reconfigured version of that chocolate and coffee pastry as a special on the Knife menu at the end of November and was so popular it was immediately adopted on to menu.
Chef Cobb aspires to take Knife to a level that revivals New York City and other culinary hot spots. He has configured a new dessert menu for Knife which features a sweet potato tart, coconut lime verrine, pine nut cake with a with a white chocolate ganache, and the chocolate and coffee pastry.
Currently experimenting with molecular gastronomy and anxious to use liquid nitrogen he is persistent in mastering new techniques in pastry making. However, the one tool he cannot fathom cooking without his his Emergen Blender which decreases the particle size of ingredients with the efficiency he says he couldn’t do by hand. He cherishes the culture of creative freedom and the desire to make each dish the best.
When not at the restaurant he spends his time working from home on new menu items, returning phone calls and answering emails. His hidden passion is breaking out the grill and barbecuing.
Sommelier Sabrina Snodderley leads the wine program for Knife, Chef John Tesar’s concept of the reinvented steakhouse, at the Hotel Palomar.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, she became the sommelier at Beverly’s at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho, where she helped cultivate the wine program into one of the most extensive wine collections in the northwest with more than 14,000 bottles from almost 2,100 different selections.
In 2009, Snodderley successfully completed her Certified Sommelier exam with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Two years later, she moved to Dallas and opened Spoon Bar and Kitchen, helping it be named among the restaurants listed in The Best in DFW for “Wine Experiences” by The Dallas Morning News. She then served as sommelier at Gemma, another best “Wine Experiences” nominee, before joining Knife.
General Manager George Stergios brings nearly 30 years of food & beverage hospitality to his position as general manager of Knife. Born and raised in Dallas, Stergios grew up in the restaurant business working in every position possible during his teen years in his family-owned restaurant Vincent’s Seafoods, which still operates in the Dallas area today.
Prior to Knife, Stergios opened and operated Michelin-starred chef’s Michael Psilakis’ newest concept, MP Taverna, in several locations in New York City and Long Island. While there, the restaurant was awarded NY Times’ highest rating and was named Details magazine’s top 5 new Greek restaurants in the nation.
Stergios also worked with the Atlas Restaurant Group in Baltimore, helping to develop, open and operate several fine dining concepts.
In 2014, Stergios returned to his hometown of Dallas and jumped at the chance to work with John Tesar and continue his passion of providing an excellent dining experience to Knife guests.