Matt McCallister

Chef Matt McCallister takes the popular ‘Play’ concept to Chef Randall and Nate Copeland’s Restaurant Ava on Thursday, March 31 at 7pm. The ‘restaurant within a restaurant’ tasting experience with multiple courses showcases McCallister’s culinary technique and skill in the art of molecular gastronomy.

McCallister honed his skills at Stephan Pyles where he quickly rose from line cook to Executive Chef and creator of “Fuego” which quickly became the hottest ticket in town. The two tables in his weekend “Fuego” concept within Pyles were booked weeks in advance: a tableside 15-course tasting prepared before the diners’ eyes, with a touch of molecular gastronomy leading the dishes.

Most recently McCallister has been working in South Carolina beside Chef Sean Brock, winner of the 2010 James Beard “Best Chef Southeast,” at McCrady’s in Charleston, a restaurant known for its blending of traditional Southern cuisine with postmodern gastronomy.

What a ham…

After McCallister’s ‘Play’ at Restaurant Ava, he’ll head to the Windy City to the famed Alinea, long considered Chicago’s finest dining experience and currently rated the top restaurant in the country, to work with Executive Chef Grant Achatz. Summertime will see McCallister in the role of a lifetime. He’ll spend over 3 months staging at the world famous French Laundry in Napa Valley.

After a year of extensive travel spent exploring new techniques and honing his culinary skills, Matt plans to return home to Dallas, where he resides with his wife Iris and daughter Ella.  Randall Copeland most recently won a holiday package at the hip Hotel ZaZa Choice for his Wild Boar Sloppy Joes at the Chefs for Farmers event at Highland Park Cafeteria.

Cost is $125 per person including appetizers, wine and cocktails. Restaurant Ava is located at 108 S. Goliad in Rockwall. Seating is extremely limited. Call 469-698-9920. Seating is limited.