Courtesy photo

Hey Koneko, a cool vintage clothing store east of Deep Ellum, has added a tasty new amenity: A cute tiny coffee shop called Good Boy Cafe.

It's from Hey Konēko owner Linda Bishop, who has an ever-expanding empire inside the 3901 Main St. building. First, she opened Konēko Studio, an acclaimed vegan tattoo studio in 2017. Then she expanded with an adjacent beauty salon. Then Hey Koneko.

Now Good Boy, which opened inside the on May 8 in a high-visibility spot facing Main Street that was previously occupied by Favor Delivery warehouse.

"I always wanted this front building because of its structure and how cool it is, and I had the dream to have a store with a coffee shop in it," she says.

“In New York, Mexico City, Rome, there’s always going to be a good coffee shop in good stores," she says. “Why not give this neighborhood a local, comfortable place so people can relax and enjoy their shopping experience with a great coffee?”

The coffee shop offers a traditional menu with coffee drinks such as espresso, cappuccino, cortado, latte, and London fog. The menu also includes cocoa, matcha, and loose-leaf tea. All syrups are made in house. These include lavender, vanilla, brown sugar, and they are working on an horchata flavor, as well.

Their default milk is organic, but they have alternative plant-based milks. They have no signature drinks at the moment, and this is a purposeful decision as their focus is to perfect their current offering, then add more drinks eventually, as needed.

The coffee area is small, and they use a small though powerful La Marzocco Linea Classic machine. Interestingly the leftover coffee water is reused as compost plant water for the shop and studio.

Their coffee roaster is Lemma Coffee, who is also in charge of training their baristas.

"Consistency is my biggest thing. All the good coffee shops have it. People need that," Linda says.

In terms of food, Good Boy rotates pastries from Doughregarde’s in The Village, and doughnuts from Moreish Donuts, in Bishop Arts.

It's part of an overall attention to detail Linda champions at Hey Konēko, as well. The store has vintage clothing from Europe, the East Coast, and Kansas, where she and her husband Derek travel to hand-pick items Dallas does not have, which makes the selection unique. The store also includes candles and ceramics.

Linda is a big animal advocate, and the name Good Boy honors Tsuki, her fluffy white rescue dog who lounges at the studio daily in a very important welcoming role. The shop is dog-friendly. Profits from the store help run her cat rescue, A Feral Friend.


JuJu's Coffee takes its Airstream spirit to new shop in Dallas' Lakewood

Coffee News

A new coffee shop has opened in East Dallas, in a location with a longtime coffee presence: Called Juju's Coffee, it's a to-go shop located at 6038 La Vista Dr. in the center of the Lakewood neighborhood, in a space that was previously home to The Coffee Company.

Juju's Coffee is from Nick and Julia Rocha, a young couple from Amarillo who entered the coffee world after graduating from the University of North Texas with a mobile coffee shop they launched in 2022.

"It was during COVID, and we were sent home during spring break," Nick says. "Julia and I started fantasizing about buying an Airstream and making it into a coffee trailer, and then we said, 'Well why don't we just do it?'"

In one of those fables, they found a classic 1962 Airstream that had been sitting on a farm. It was in rough shape, and so they proceeded to renovate it themselves.

"It took us almost two years," Nick says. "It was basically gutted, it had nothing in it but rat poop when we got it."

Their first event was Mother's Day 2022, and they've since built a following, serving coffee drinks with an unpretentious charm at pop-up and corporate events, weddings, and home FC Dallas soccer games.

“One of our strong suits is getting to know people, and that's how we built a community," Nick says.

A personal connection is also how they found the shop in East Dallas.

"A coworker of mine was married to someone who worked at the Coffee Company, and said they were were ready to retire," Nick says.

The Coffee Company was a coffee roaster and gift shop that had been in that location since 1998; owners Danny Furr and Patricia Brady closed in 2022.

"We felt very blessed to get the space, and it was basically turnkey," Nick says. "They left everything as it was, with tea, coffee, and all their merchandise. Anyone who came by and didn’t know they were retired, we just gave them free bags. We knew it was bittersweet so we gave their customers things to remember them by."

They've since repurposed elements from the store including the '70s countertop which is now their bar. "We don’t have a ton of capital but we also always like to make use of something rather than discard it or throw it away," he says.

They're launching in baby steps, starting with a menu of coffee and espresso drinks, for take-away only, as follows:

  • Otis Latte (named after their Airstream): Espresso, vanilla, brown sugar, and oat milk
  • Neapolitan Latte: Espresso, white chocolate and strawberry
  • Coffee Cola: Mexican coke and a shot of expresso

They currently serve coffee beans from two roasters: Coffee Del Rey from Plano, and Eiland in Richardson. They also serve tea, matcha, and chai.

They'll keep doing the mobile trailer, but at the shop, they hope to add seating, some snacks, and possibly make use of a unique roaster that was left behind to roast their own beans.

"We still seem socially distant after COVID, and we are trying to connect people again - and let coffee be that reason to connect," Nick says.


McKinney has a quirky new coffee coffee shop hangout with CBD on the side

Coffee News

McKinney has a new coffee shop with a little something extra: Called McKinney Leaf Cafe, it's a coffee shop that also sells CBD items and is opening in a storefront at 405 N. McDonald St.

Operator Josh Ritchie is a former electrician who originally ran a head shop called Smoke on the Water in the same location for a year before he felt the calling to switch from smoke to coffee.

The shop still has a back room as its heritage from the smoke shop, and that's where you can find CBD items and other alternative medicine products.

"The shop is meant to provide an environment for people to start conversations about wellness and mental health, and a place where people can feel safe," Ritchie says.

Their menu features hot or iced espresso drinks, drip coffee, tea, and smoothies. Here's a thing: They offer eight kinds of milk including all the various dairy (whole, 2 percent, heavy cream, half-n-half), plus nondairy almond, oat , coconut, and hemp. No soy?

A highlight of their menu is their flavored frappés, in options such as Matcha, Taro Root, Cookies-n-Cream, Fruity Pebbles, and Cinnamon Toast. All drinks can be CDB or D8-infused.

Ritchie also offers a military discount. Back in his electrician days, he used to do work on military bases.

Cafe hours are 8 am-8 pm, weekends until 10 pm, and closed on Mondays. They're currently in soft opening mode, selling drinks and wellness products.

They'll eventually add food, partnering with local indigenous woman-owned kitchen CK’s Kitchen to offer breads, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, and parfaits, with numerous vegan and gluten-free items.

The shop is designed to be a hangout place, with events such as paint classes and tie dye workshops. It has a combination of high-table seating and benches, with an instagrammable green wall with a couple of hammock chairs to lounge. There are plugs all around, TV with a gaming system set up for customers to play, and free wi-fi.

"I feel like I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing," Ritchie says. "Everybody has been so supportive. even competitors across the street have helped me train on coffee. It’s a community, not a competition."


New coffee shop coming to Plano rides Dallas' hottest coffee shop trend

Coffee News

A new coffee spot founded in Michigan is coming to DFW: Called Haraz Coffee House, it's one in a wave of shops specializing in coffee from Yemen, and it's opening on the east side of Plano in a new complex at 4345 14th St. called Ladera Heights.

According to founder Hamzah Nasser, it'll open in mid-May, and will be the first location in the DFW area.

Haraz specializes in Yemeni- and Turkish-style coffees and espresso-based drinks, and imports its beans from Yemeni farmers.

Nasser was born in Yemen and came to the U.S. when he was 5. He founded the concept in Michigan, which boasts a large population of Yemeni immigrants, after traveling throughout the Middle East where he became inspired by the buzzy coffee culture.

He attributes a growing interest in Yemeni-style coffee to a generational movement that intends to shift the agricultural balance back to coffee, just as it was decades ago.

"Yemen is well known for coffee distribution worldwide, and this used to be the backbone in economy of the country," he says.

He says that tradition was lost with the increase of khat, a stimulant drug that consumes much of the country's agricultural resources.

"Our ancestors built a country and an economy of coffee, and then that drug came to Yemen, and it took over everything," Nasser says. "We are the generation that wants to bring that coffee culture back."

In fact, Nasser, who deals directly with coffee growers, says he often offers additional money for farmers to switch from khat to coffee.

Since opening the first location in Dearborn, Michigan in 2021, Nasser has overseen an expansion with four locations in Michigan and three more on the books, as well as an expansion outside Michigan with franchisees who've opened two shops in Louisville, Kentucky, and one in Sugarland, southwest of Houston, which opened in March.

"All of our franchisees have been customers that believed in the brand and its emphasis on organic, sun-dried coffee beans," Nasser says.

The coffee is from Yemen, but they use a variety of brewing methods including Yemeni, Turkish, Saudi, and American. Many of their drinks incorporate spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.

Specialty drinks include:

  • Haraz Latte: Double shot of espresso with Haraz spiceMaleki: Coffee and husks, with ginger, cinnamon, and light cream
  • Saffron Latte: Double shot of espresso with saffron and honey (there is also a caramel version of this drink)
  • Adeni/Karak Chai: Premium black tea with heavy cream and Haraz spice
  • Harazi: Coffee with cardamon and cream

The Plano location comes with a kitchen, so they'll also offer items baked in house such as Bee Bites (cream cheese-filled bread drizzled with honey or syrup), coffee cakes, and cheesecake, including an Istanbul version, covered with Nutella.

The design will include certain Haraz trademarks, Nasser says.

"Our stores have a modern yet traditional look, bringing the Western and Middle Eastern cultures together," he says. "All stores feature a historic timeline through a map on the wall that illustrates the Yemeni influence on coffee history throughout the world."

The Yemeni population in Texas is smaller than in Michigan but Nasser sees opportunity in Texas' growing economy. He's already scouting for locations in Frisco and Irving.

"And Haraz Coffee House welcomes a much larger and more diverse clientele, who appreciate the rich flavors of Yemeni coffee," he says.

Photo courtesy of Int'l Coffee Assoc.

New cafe in Las Colinas will be open dawn to dusk for neighborhood needs

Coffee News

A new cafe serving coffee, sandwiches, panini, tacos, salads, and soups is coming to Irving. Called Dawn to Dusk Cafe, it'll open in mid-April at 6561 Riverside Dr., near Royal Lane, in Las Colinas.

The cafe is from Vijay Babu, a former IT professional and entrepreneur who owns the shopping center where the café is located. He's created an entire village there. In 2014, he opened the iGrow Montessori School, then the iSwim Academy, and lastly, a Cold Stone Creamery.

Now he's adding a cafe in response to customer demand.

"The neighbors were asking for something like this," Babu says. "I could have brought in a chain or a concept from outside, but I wanted to make sure the strip remained family-friendly, and decided to open it myself."

Actually, it's a family affair: He created the concept with the help of his daughters Suvetha and Shruthi, one a master’s degree student and the other one a 10th grader.

They not only helped create the concept, they also helped with the design and menu.

True to the name, it'll be open 8 am-6 pm every day, with a menu that spans from coffee and breakfast to lunch and dinner.

Their menu will have five components:

  • Beverages: Coffee (including Indian Kumbakonam coffee), smoothies, and fresh juices
  • All-day breakfast: Omelets, avocado toasts, breakfast burritos
  • Sandwiches and panini: This will be the star of the menu, as the area does not have a strong sandwich offering
  • Soups and Salads: A vegetarian, and a non-vegetarian soup of the day, and five specialty salads
  • Main course: Pastas, salmon dish, pouri (Indian deep-fried bread) and potatoes, parotta (layered flat bread)

The menu reflects the neighborhood's widely diverse demographics with a variety of cuisines, from Italian to Mexican to Asian.

It will also have a significant vegetarian presence. Babu is a vegetarian and is focused in providing good vegetarian options.

The space will include a wine bar, as well, once the license is approved.

Decor is clean, luminous, "premium," with a wooden backdrop, comfortable chairs, and a digital menu. They're also adding an outdoor seating area.

"My goal is to provide a feel-good space, a nice hangout spot with a diverse menu, so customers can always find something they like, regardless of their demographic," Babu says.

Arwa Coffee

Warm new coffee shop with buzzy beans from Yemen opens in Richardson

Coffee News

A new coffee shop is bringing Yemeni-style hospitality to Richardson. Called Arwa Coffee, it's a hidden gem, tucked into a shopping center at 888 S. Greenville Ave. #223, that has become an instant favorite in the neighborhood and a destination both for coffee lovers and the greater Yemeni community.

The shop is a family venture from Yazan Soofi, a native of Yemen, along with his wife Susan, sister Nora, and brother-in-law Faris Almatrahi, who founded the shop to bring awareness to Yemen's beauty and culture.

That includes a library in the back with books on Yemeni culture, as well as a small market where they sell their own candles with what Soofi calls “typical scents of Yemen," plus totes, small handcrafted items, and high-valued Sidr honey, grown in Yemen, and untouched by chemicals, cultivation, or modern machinery.

"When we were looking for a location, we wanted to find a place near a college campus, and the University of Texas at Dallas is about four miles away," Soofi says. "We also wanted someplace with lots of parking, which is important in the Dallas-Fort Worth market."

They've infused the storefront with Arabic accents that include a natural golden color palette, Middle Eastern-style arches, farmer's hats hanging from the ceiling that serve as lighting fixtures, and a 25,000-piece mosaic mural portraying old Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.

The coffee comes from Yemen, as well, and they roast their beans in-house.

Yemen has a long history with coffee, dating back to its inception centuries ago, and is credited with being the first country to cultivate and harvest coffee beans. Their industry is still dominated by small family farms who grow beans without chemicals, and who dry the beans naturally, which allows natural flavors to infuse the beans and results in a richer-tasting coffee.

Yemeni coffee shops have begun to spring up in the U.S. in hipster locations like Brooklyn. It's only been recently that beans from Yemen could be procured.

While Arwa does serve typical cappuccinos and lattes, they also offer Yemeni-style drinks with spices such as cardamom, including:

  • Jubani: Coffee and husks (cascara), cardamon, ginger, cinnamon
  • Mofawar: Coffee, cardamon, fresh ginger, cinnamon, sugar, milk
  • Adeni Tea: Premium black tea, milk, sugar, Arwa spice blend
  • Yemeni Latte: Latte, cardamon syrup, honey, Arwa spice blend
  • Sanaani Coffee: Medium and dark roast coffee, cardamon

To get a taste of each, you can order a sampler with four drinks for $15, or $20 with treats (available Monday-Thursday only, because it's too busy on weekends).

Food options consist of pastries from La Casita Bakeshop, as well as Yemeni items baked at a commercial kitchen, such as the honeycomb, their most popular item, consisting of a fluffy bread filled with cream cheese, and topped with cardamon syrup and sesame seeds. They also offer cheese breads and cakes.

The staff is diverse and comprised almost entirely of college students who train in Yemeni culture and drinks to ensure authenticity. The training also includes instilling an incredibly hospitable and accommodating level of service.

"We wanted to build a place that reminds us of home," Soofi says. “Yemeni people always give you hospitality, they'll give you everything they have. We want to do the same."

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City of Dallas creates solar program to help residents get best deals

Solar News

The City of Dallas has partnered with a solar nonprofit to help residents go solar.

They've partnered with Solar United Neighbors, a nonprofit dedicated to solar education, advocacy, and consumer protection that arranges "co-ops" so that homeowners can buy rooftop solar panels and get a "group rate."

America Garcia, Texas Program Director for Solar United Neighbors says that "by going solar with a group, participants feel confident in their decision and save money through the power of group buying.”

The city recently founded Solar Switch Dallas, a resource that works with local governments and nonprofits to facilitate group buying programs, helping homeowners and small businesses navigate the process of installing rooftop solar.

Dallas joins other cities such Corinth, Fate, and Farmers Branch, who also have partnerships with Texas Solar Switch.

Solar saves money on energy bills. How much it saves depends on factors such as how much sun your roof gets, your electricity usage, and your electricity rates. Real estate site Zillow says that a solar system can add more than 4 percent to the value of your home.

Solar also preps residents for climate change and helps the city fulfill its climate goals, says Carlos Evans, Director of Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability, in a statement.

Going solar has become more accessible due to the dropping price of solar panels and new federal clean energy incentives. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), participants can use the solar tax credit for residential solar and save 30 percent on their total system cost. A similar tax credit is also available to small businesses.

Solar Switch runs a periodic "reverse auction" in which multiple installers compete to get a job; auctions are expected to result in offers that are 12-20 percent lower than what would be charged otherwise. Residents can visit SolarSwitch.com/Dallas to register.

These are the 14 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

Another big weekend across Dallas will feature a wide variety of events. Music lovers will appreciate a piano competition, a three-day festival-style event, and two big concerts. Theater lovers will get three new local productions. Dance lovers have three events from which to choose, including the national tour of an iconic show. Throw in an Oscar winner, a fan event with big celebrities, and a unique visual experience, and this weekend has something for everybody.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, June 8

Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition
Through four rounds of competition, including a final round with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, elite young artists will showcase their virtuosity and touch hearts with their musicality during the Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition. There will be two rounds of concerts over four days at Caruth Auditorium on the SMU campus this weekend, followed by the semifinal and final rounds next week. There will also be a free public concert at NorthPark Center on Sunday.

Events with Oscar winner Roger Deakins
One of the most acclaimed cinematographers of all time, Roger Deakins will be in town this weekend for a series of events. On Thursday will be a Byways Book Signing with Roger & James Deakins, at which Deakins and his longtime collaborator and wife, James, will talk about their new book and career, followed by a screening of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Other Deakins films to be screened include Sicario on Friday, No Country for Old Men on Saturday, and Blade Runner 2049 on Sunday, the latter of which will include Q&A with Roger and James Deakins. All events will be at Texas Theatre.

AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Hubblo Immersive Cinema Dome Experiences
The Hubblo Immersive Cinema Dome uses cutting-edge 360° film technology to create a fully immersive experience. Audiences recline comfortably as 4k films surround them during an hour-long journey of light and sound. There are three different experiences to enjoy, including the Family 360° Film Experience, Music Lovers 360° Film Experience, and Explorer’s 360° Film Experience. The event will take place daily through July 9 at Wyly Theatre.

Broadway Dallas presents Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show
Riverdance's 25th anniversary show is a powerful and stirring reinvention of the beloved favorite, celebrated the world over for its Grammy award‐winning score and the thrilling energy and passion of its Irish and international dance. The ground-breaking show has been completely reimagined with innovative lighting, projection, stage, and costume designs. After playing on Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be one final show on Thursday at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

Rover Dramawerks presents Lobby Hero
Jeff is a young security guard trying to get his life together after being thrown out of the navy. But he is drawn into a local murder investigation involving his supervisor, a tightly wound young man called upon to bear witness against his troubled brother, and an overzealous rookie cop who finds she must stand up to her unscrupulous, seasoned partner. Truth becomes elusive and justice proves costly. The production runs through June 24 at Cox Playhouse in Plano.

Kitchen Dog Theater presents 25th Annual New Works Festival
The 25th annual New Works Festival from Kitchen Dog Theater will be headlined by the mainstage production, The Last Truck Stop. The world premiere production centers on a tenacious trucker-turned-truck-stop-owner and her poetic, gun-toting postal carrier, who debate staying or going when their desert town becomes a no-go zone. The production runs through June 25 at Trinity River Arts Center The festival also includes PUP Fest on June 10 at Booker T. Washington High School, and a Staged Reading Series at Trinity River Arts Center (June 17 and 24).

Shakespeare Dallas presents Shakespeare in the Park: Much Ado About Nothing
For some in Much Ado About Nothing, love begins at first sight. For others, love has been forsworn. The war is over. Pedro Prince of Aragon, with his followers Benedick and Claudio, visits Leonato, Duke of Messina, father of Hero and uncle of Beatrice. Claudio who fights for his love for Hero, and Benedick, who has forsworn women until his friends make him believe that he has caught the eye of Lady Beatrice. Much Ado About Nothing will play in repertory with Two Gentlemen of Verona (opening June 14) through July 16 at Samuell-Grand Amphitheater.

Friday, June 9

Fan Expo Dallas
Fan Expo Dallas is the largest sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event in Texas, featuring family-friendly attractions, events, and celebrities. Celebrity guests will includehttps://dallas.culturemap.com/news/entertainment/fan-expo-lampoons-stranger-things/ Zachary Levi from Shazam!; Hayden Christensen from Star Wars; Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Christie Brinkley, and Randy Quaid from National Lampoon's Vacation; Carrie-Anne Moss from The Matrix; Rosario Dawson from Ahsoka; Jon Bernthal from The Punisher; Christina Ricci from Wednesday and Yellowjackets; Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, and other actors from Clerks; and more. The event goes through Sunday at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

AEG presents Re:SET
Re:SET, a fresh take on the multi-artist outdoor concert, is coming to the grounds of Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie, featuring headliners boygenius, Steve Lacy and LCD Soundsystem. The concert series creates a unique, localized experience for fans, with each headliner curating the lineup for their respective day. On Thursday, boygenius will be bringing along indie standouts Clairo, Dijon, and Bartees Strange. On Friday, Steve Lacy will feature James Blake, Toro y Moi, and Fousheé. Travelling with LCD Soundsystem on Sunday are Jamie xx, IDLES, Big Freedia, and more.

TITAS / Dance Unbound presents Ballet BC
Bold, innovative, and uniquely great, Ballet British Columbia is an internationally acclaimed Canadian contemporary dance company. The program includes Crystal Pite’s The Statement, as well as Garden by Medhi Walerski and Bedroom Folk by Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar. The performance takes place at Winspear Opera House.

Saturday, June 10

Duran Duran in concert
English new wave band Duran Duran - which was named after a character from the movie Barbarella, of all things - has endured for over 40 years, much longer than most '80s bands. Though their biggest hits - "Hungry Like the Wolf," "A View to a Kill," "Ordinary World" - all come from the '80s and '90s, they have continued to evolve their sound so that they remain relevant amid much younger bands. They'll play at American Airlines Center in support of their 2021 album, Future Past, joined by Bastille and Nile Rodgers & Chic.

Parker McCollum in concert
Country singer and Texas native Parker McCollum has been a fixture on the local festival scene since releasing his debut album in 2015, but in 2021 he skipped over all the smaller venues in the area and went straight to Dos Equis Pavilion. Now playing there for his third year in a row. McCollum is touring in support of his just-released fourth album, Never Enough.

Bruce Wood Dance presents Grace
Bruce Wood Dance will close its 22-23 season with Grace, featuring the world premiere of Ghost by Emmy Award-winning choreographer Ben Needham-Wood. Artistic director Joy Bollinger premieres And Heaven and Nature, a look at the seemingly divine design of planet Earth. The reprise of Bruce Wood’s jazzy blockbuster, Rhapsody in Blue, closes the innovative mixed bill. There will be performances on both Saturday and Sunday at Moody Performance Hall.

Duran Duran
Photo by Stephanie Pistel

Duran Duran will play at American Airlines Center on June 10.

3 Dallas restaurants appoint new chefs, while another chef gets on TV

Chef news

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:

Adolphus Hotel
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.