Top Chef has had a few DFW chefs through the years: Tiffany Derry, Casey Thompson and Tre Wilcox, all of whom did turns on a season of Top Chef and a season of Top Chef All-Stars (note to nitpickers: We didn’t say the same seasons), as well as John Tesar, Danyele McPherson and erstwhile Dallas dude Joshua Valentine, who has returned to his native Oklahoma (and whose beard/handlebar-mustache combo has co-starred in a series of frozen-food commercials during this season’s Top Chef). Thompson also split a couple of years ago, and Brownstone, the West 7th restaurant she helped found in Fort Worth, closed last year.
Now here’s a chance for still more chefs with DFW ties to be on the show.
Top Chef will hold a casting call from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Palomar Hotel Dallas, 5300 E. Mockingbird Lane (on the southeast corner of Mockingbird and the Central Expressway access road).
Pre-registration, which you can do here, is highly recommended. There are, of course, a number of rules, but some key things for aspiring “chef’testants” to know: bring three to five photos of yourself; 10 to 15 digital images of your “finely plated food,” a mock menu that describes in detail the dishes in the photo; a resume; and a copy of your current driver’s license.
For much other info, go here. Top Chef’s current season finale will air at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, on Bravo.
As for what has become of the former contestants with DFW ties:
• Tiffany Derry, after helming the kitchen at Private|Social (which has now morphed into the Tim Love-connected Barter), now runs Tiffany Derry Concepts. It’s described in her bio as “a company established to support Derry’s business and culinary ventures, which include television shows and partnerships with the world’s most recognized brands.” Also according to her bio, she will join celebrity chef John Besh and Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer in a rescuing-troubled-restaurants series called Hungry Investors, scheduled to debut this year on Spike TV.
• Tre Wilcox runs Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts, giving private cooking classes and hosting private chef events. He started the company after leaving Village Marquee Texas Grill & Bar in Dallas.
• Casey Thompson is planning to open a restaurant, Aveline, and a cocktail bar, The European, this spring near San Francisco’s busy Union Square, Inside Scoop SF reported in November.
• John Tesar runs Spoon Bar & Kitchen in Dallas and (as reported in The Dallas Morning Newsand elsewhere) plans to open Knife, a “new-breed steakhouse” in, whaddaya know, the Palomar Hotel Dallas, where the Top Chef casting call will take place. We now have visions of Tesar also opening a budget restaurant called Spork. We can dream, right?
• As noted above, Joshua Valentine left his pastry-chef post at Dallas’ FT33 and returned to Oklahoma. D Magazine’s Side Dish blog reported in July that Valentine is building an Oklahoma City restaurant called The George. It doesn’t appear to be open yet, but it does have a Facebook page, where you can find that it is hiring and that Josh has remained pretty busy.