It's a big week for big chef news in the Dallas restaurant world, with three high-profile new chef appointments and a celebrity Dallas chef on reality TV.
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.
Relocating most recently from New Jersey, Chef Weithofer brings 22-plus years of experience, most recently as Executive Chef at Stone Harbor Golf Club in New Jersey, where he led the kitchens of two restaurants of the private golf club and was responsible for banquets. Prior to that, Weithofer worked at exclusive restaurants and hotels in New York, Maui, Germany, Japan, Los Angeles, Venezuela, Miami, and Puerto Rico, including the renowned Maxim’s de Paris in New York.
Weithofer has also racked up awards including the Hermann G. Rush Award from the American Culinary Federation, a Gold Medal in the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany where he was Culinary Apprentice for the USA-Culinary National Team.
At The Adolphus, Weithofer will oversee restaurant, bar, and catering including Rodeo Bar, City Hall Bistro, Otto’s, in-room dining, and banquets.
Ocean Prime Dallas
Charlie Tkacik has been appointed Executive Chef at Ocean Prime Dallas, the upscale seafood and steakhouse from Cameron Mitchell Restaurant (CMR).
Born in Rhode Island, Tkacik moved to Tampa when he was 10, but considers the Northeast his home and major influence of his culinary style, particularly in preparation of seafood such as the restaurant's Texas redfish. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, he scored an internship 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.
Ocean Prime Dallas opened in Uptown Dallas in 2009.
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.
A native of Scottsdale, Arizona, McCallister began his Dallas career as a chef at Stephan Pyles, where he served as executive chef and had his own tasting room. He opened FT33, his first restaurant, in the Dallas Design District which earned numerous accolades both locally and nationally in magazines such as Bon Appétit and Food & Wine. He followed that up with Homewood, a restaurant he opened on Oak Lawn Avenue in 2019, 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.
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 Karns' Local Favorite Restaurants group full time.
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.