Chef News

Acclaimed Dallas chef closes Bishop Arts restaurant due to illness

Acclaimed Dallas chef closes Bishop Arts restaurant due to illness

Dallas chef Justin Holt
Chef Justin Holt has helped many others via his charitable efforts. Photo by Hoyoung Lee

Acclaimed chef Justin Holt has closed his Bishop Arts ramen shop Salaryman, in order to undergo treatment for cancer.

According to a GoFundme established by friends, Holt was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in early October. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and is undergoing an aggressive treatment program, with the support of his partner Trina Nishimura.

Nishimura told Eater that Salaryman closed on October 15.

According to the GoFundMe, which is seeking assistance for medical and living expenses, Holt started to feel sick in early summer, and consulted with numerous doctors trying to find a diagnosis for his symptoms.

The treatment requires 24-hour monitoring, and the two have been in the hospital for a month.

"Due to the pandemic Trina is also not allowed to leave the hospital for any reason since it would put her and subsequently Justin at risk of contracting COVID-19," the GoFundMe says. "If she did leave, Justin would be forced to finish out his treatment alone."

"Once they're out of the hospital, Justin still has a long road of treatments ahead," it says. "With great sadness, the incredibly tough decision to permanently close Salaryman was made.  Justin and Trina’s decade long dream is over...but the shop is just bricks. It's the people who matter."

Holt started Salaryman as a late-night pop-up concept while he was still working as sous chef at Lucia, the acclaimed Italian restaurant. He's won numerous accolades including a nomination for Rising Star Chef in CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards.

Holt is beloved by his peers, and has participated in charitable endeavors such as No Kid Hungry; Free Bird, where he served free Thanksgiving to those in need; and Connecting People with Plates, when he helped feed the service industry during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The GoFundMe goal is currently $75,000, and has raised more than $42,060.