Chef News

Dallas chef Graham Dodds leaves new Oak Cliff restaurant before it opens

Dallas chef Graham Dodds leaves Oak Cliff restaurant before it opens

Graham Dodds
Chef Dodds is a rambling man. Photo courtesy of Graham Dodds

A new restaurant coming to Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood is minus one chef. The Mayor's House, the much-anticipated eatery set to open in a historic Oak Cliff home, has parted ways with its chef, Graham Dodds.

A release says that restaurant and chef are splitting "due to construction delays and a timing conflict."

The Mayor's House is from husband-and-wife A.J. Gilbert and Martha Madison, an interesting couple who've moved to Dallas from Los Angeles to oversee this new spot. It's going into a stately residence at 635 N. Zang Blvd., in what was once the home of George Sergeant, mayor of Dallas from 1935-1937. It's been in the works since 2017.

Gilbert and Madison have owned and operated six Luna Park restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City under The Luna Park Group.

Gilbert started managing restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early ’90s. He worked his way up through both corporate and independent restaurant groups and worked alongside some of the country’s most notable chefs before opening his first Luna Park in San Francisco in 2000.

Madison, a Texas native, started her restaurant career as a bartender in New York, but is also an actress who's played the role of Belle Black on NBC's Days of Our Lives since 2004.

Gilbert says in a statement that "scheduling restaurant openings are a challenge, especially when there is a huge construction project turning a beautiful historic house built in 1910 into a contemporary, multi-room restaurant with a bar, banquet room, and state-of-the-art kitchen. Chef Graham is an all-around talented chef, and we wish him the best on his new journey."

Madison says that they're "amazed by the top culinary talent and exceptional restaurants that Dallas has to offer," stating that "Dallas truly is an extraordinary restaurant city, and we are excited — and anxious — to finally open our doors and invite everyone to experience The Mayor's House."

Despite Dodds' departure, The Mayor's House will move forward with its plan to open in the fourth quarter, in time for those essential holiday meals.

A new chef will be announced in the coming weeks.