Three-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist and “Top Chef” contestant Chef John Tesar is known for his stylish, modern American cuisine prepared with classic European techniques. His innovative culinary perspective and no-nonsense personality have garnered much acclaim throughout his 20+ years in the restaurant industry, including national nods from Esquire (named to Best New Restaurants for two consecutive years), Food & Wine, New York Magazine and The New York Times, appearances on The Today Show and The Early Show and winning the inaugural season of Food Network’s Extreme Chef.
His newest concept, Knife, opened in May 2014 at The Highland Dallas hotel (formerly Hotel Palomar Dallas) to critical acclaim and guest praise. A reinvention of the steakhouse experience, the chef-driven restaurant features all-natural born and raised Texas beef, pork and lamb in dry-aged prime cuts and specialty cuts such as chuck flap, beef tongue and Akaushi beef. Named one of Eater National’s “Most Anticipated Openings,” Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurants”, Zagat’s “Hottest New Restaurants” Maxim’s “America’s Best Steakhouse Specialties” and featured on Esquire Network’s “Restaurant Revolution” Knife is Tesar’s vision of what a contemporary steakhouse should be.
Two years prior, Tesar opened Spoon Bar & Kitchen, receiving recognition in Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best New Restaurants in the World,” Bon Appetit Magazine’s “The Best New Restaurants of America in 2013” and Esquire magazine’s “The Best New Restaurants of 2013.”
After receiving classical French training at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, Tesar started his culinary career at Club Pierre in Westhampton, followed by stints at 13 Barrow Street, 44 & Hell’s Kitchen, Vine and cooking alongside Anthony Bourdain at the Supper Club in New York. After New York, Tesar headed to Las Vegas to work with Chef Rick Moonen at RM Seafood and in 2007, moved to Dallas to take the helm at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, earning two five-star reviews.
A highly sought-after consultant, Tesar is the genius behind the menus at DRG Concepts’ Dallas Chop House, Dallas Fish Market, Wild Salsa and Chop House Burger as well as The Cedars Social and The Commissary, earning a “Best New Restaurant” award in D Magazine with his revolutionary CVap cooked burgers and most recently Oak in the Design District.
Always looking ahead for the next project, Tesar has announced he will be opening an authentic Italian restaurant in Dallas in the winter of 2015 and is developing a hotel in Memphis on the Mississippi River that will feature a restaurant and bakery. He is also working with Flatiron Books and Macmillan on a book, “Knife: Modern Steak and All American Meats,” that will be published in spring 2017 in addition to a television show.
From bringing seafood to the heart of Texas to reimagining the traditional steakhouse, Tesar continues being a visionary and put Dallas on the map as a true foodie destination.