It's a big week for big chef news in the Dallas restaurant world.
Three high-profile restaurants have made major new chef appointments. There's also a celebrity Dallas chef who will appear on TV this week.
Here's all the Dallas chef news you need to know:
Chef Rolf J. Weithofer has been appointed Executive Chef of culinary operations at the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, where he'll oversee restaurant, bar, and catering including Rodeo Bar, City Hall Bistro, Otto’s, in-room dining, and banquets. (The hotel's acclaimed French Room has still not fully reopened post-pandemic, although it is open for tea Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am-3 pm.)
Weithofer has 22-plus years of experience, most recently as Executive Chef at Stone Harbor Golf Club in New Jersey, where he led two restaurants and banquets. Prior to that, he worked at restaurants and hotels in New York, Maui, Germany, Japan, Los Angeles, Venezuela, Miami, and Puerto Rico, including Maxim’s de Paris in New York. Weithofer has also racked up awards including a Gold Medal in the Culinary Olympics.
Ocean Prime Dallas
Charlie Tkacik has been appointed Executive Chef at Ocean Prime Dallas, the upscale seafood and steakhouse from Cameron Mitchell Restaurant (CMR) which opened in Uptown in 2009.
Tkacik was born in Rhode Island and the Northeast is his major influence, particularly in preparation of seafood such as the restaurant's Texas redfish. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, he interned at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York, and has more than a decade of experience at upscale restaurants across New England, including a four-year stint at the iconic Boston Grill 23 & Bar. He joined Cameron Mitchell Restaurant several years ago and was most recently Executive Sous Chef at Ocean Prime Boston.
Mexican Test Kitchen
Matt McCallister is executive chef at Mexican Test Kitchen, a new pop-up restaurant at the West Village in Dallas from Local Favorite Restaurants, the group from restaurateur Mike Karns that also encompasses El Fenix, Snuffer's, Meso Maya, Taqueria La Ventana, Tulum, Village Burger Bar, Jalisco Norte, and Twisted Root. Mexican Test Kitchen took over the former Honest Taco space and is an interim concept to be replaced by a new restaurant in the fall. McCallister is now working with Local Favorite Restaurants full time.
A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, McCallister began his Dallas career at Stephan Pyles, where he served as executive chef and had his own tasting room. In 2012, he opened FT33 in the Dallas Design District, which earned accolades locally and nationally in magazines such as Bon Appétit and Food & Wine. In 2019, he opened Homewood on Oak Lawn Avenue which had its own on-site garden. The restaurant made Texas Monthly's Best New Restaurant list in 2020, and Best New Restaurant in CultureMap's 2020 Tastemaker Awards.
Fox TV MasterChef
Tiffany Derry joins Fox TV series MasterChef as a guest judge, appearing on an episode on Wednesday, June 14, airing at 8 pm.
Derry, who owns Roots Southern Table, appears on United Tastes of America in an episode called "Regional Auditions - The South." Contestants have 45 minutes to prepare a dish that will secure them one of five remaining spots in the top 20. The show is hosted by Gordon Ramsay, with judges Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich. Derry will be the week's Guest Judge.