Chef Stephan Pyles has named two new chefs for his latest concept, Flora Street Cafe, which will open in the Dallas Arts District in late May.
Peter Barlow is the new chef de cuisine, and Ricardo "Ricchi" Sanchez is pastry chef. Barlow will join chef J Chastain in opening the restaurant, and then Chastain will depart to focus on upcoming personal and business projects.
Pyles closed his long-standing eponymous restaurant at the end of April. Flora Street Cafe, an homage to his '80s restaurant Routh Street Cafe, will be a more formal venue offering a very personal experience and what Chef Pyles describes as "elevated Texas cuisine."
Barlow comes from Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he worked most recently at Easy Bistro and Bar for Erik Niel, a semifinalist for a James Beard award this year. While at Easy Bistro, Barlow took a year off to stage across the country with top chefs and restaurants, including Douglas Keene at Cyrus Restaurant, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal, and Ludo Lefebvre at Trois Mec. He worked for nine months as a line cook for Curtis Duffy at Grace in Chicago and spent time with John Shields at Riverstead Inn in Virginia. Barlow was raised in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he worked his parents' farm.
Pyles flew to Chattanooga to see Barlow in action. "He prepared a brilliant 17-course tasting menu for me, and I offered him the job the next day," Pyles says in a release.
Sanchez is a native of Beaumont and a former pastry chef at Nobu Las Vegas and at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, also in Las Vegas; he trained in Paris.
Pyles became acquainted with him when he was pastry chef at Nobu Dallas when it first opened. "Then I had his desserts at Twist in Las Vegas some years later and was blown away," Pyles says. "Sanchez is someone who is not only creative but highly technical in both classic and modern techniques."
Chastain wanted to be able to remain at least two years after the opening of Stephan Pyles Flora Street Cafe, but his growing family and projects related to the next phase of his career were coming more quickly than anticipated.
Flora Street Cafe will open in Hall Arts, a 5-acre, mixed-use, three-phase development on two full city blocks in the Dallas Arts District developed by Hall Group. The first phase of the development includes KPMG Plaza, an 18-story office building with 20,000 square feet of restaurant space; an adjacent public Texas Sculpture Walk featuring Texas artists; the Hall Collection of commissions and installations of international works of art; and a seven-level underground parking facility.
The second phase of the development will include an exclusive luxury condo high-rise with 44 residences and an adjacent boutique hotel.