Last night Dallas diners headed out to Kitchen LTO, the permanent pop-up diner in Trinity Groves, to meet the chefs and designers competing for the title to the restaurant in this third round of players. Guests made their way to each booth, sampling dishes from chefs and hearing about the inspiration behind each designer’s master plan for the design. A poker chip for each category – food and design – designated a vote for the win from each guest. But the voting didn’t end last night, as guests and other Dallasites have the opportunity to cast a digital vote every day this week online.
Each chef prepared sample bites and provided a snapshot of their proposed menu for Kitchen LTO, should they win the challenge.
Chef Brooke Egger featured “urban regional cuisine,” with a savory and sweet sampling that allowed her talents of infusion and food chemistry to shine. The beetroot-infused salmon was one of my favorites and the delicate macron was topped with shattered milk ice cream, infused with tea and jasmine crème.
Chef Fitzgerald Dodd also got creative with his “modern Southern cuisine” and a black eyed pea fritter topped with pork meatloaf and spicy chow chow. Flavor profiles complimented each other and highlighted the southern charm.
Chef Roe di Leo served up seared tuna on a cannellini salad and crostini as part of her “modern Italian cuisine.” Her booth was adorned with fresh flowers and basil, to reinforce the fresh flavors of her sample.
Chef Scott Townend’s Pig N Fig was on target with “contemporary American cuisine” from the apple coins to the fig mostarda that pulled the profile together. It was also one of the most elegant and artistic dishes of the night.
Chef Daniel Tarasevich showcased “Tex-Asian cuisine” with Thai Chili Shrimp N Grits. The succotash was a nice touch to the creamy grits and the shrimp was cooked to perfection, all balancing and coming together nicely.
I didn’t have a single bad bite, so the upside is that any of the contestants are sure to wow us with his or her complete menu. And the art was all original, local and unique – something that will be eye-catching for diners trying out the winning chef’s talent.
Read about all of the contestants online, learn their story, and then cast your vote each day this week before the winners are announced on Monday, May 12.