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Congrats to the StarChefs 2021 Dallas-Fort Worth Rising Stars!

This year’s class includes 17 food and beverage professionals, recognized by the restaurant industry magazine for their culinary strengths, in addition to their charitable contributions to Dallas and ability to navigate, lead and inspire their community. 

The Rising Stars Award honorees are designated by the StarChefs editorial team based on in-person tastings and interviews. In each market, the editorial team tastes and interviews with more than 100 chefs, pastry chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and artisans, ultimately selecting a group of 17 to 25 professionals who best represent the future of North American dining. Although Rising Stars Awards are given out locally, award winners are evaluated according to a set of national standards. Creativity, ambition, presentation, philosophy, andmost importantlydelicious food, drinks, and/or pairings win the designation of a StarChefs Rising Star. The 2021 Dallas-Fort Worth Rising Stars will be the 75th class of Rising Stars Award winners and the second class from Dallas. 

To celebrate the new class, StarChefs will host a Rising Stars Restaurant Week from December 2 – 16. The two-week campaign highlights the Rising Stars and affords guests the opportunity to experience the honorees’ signature dishes and beverages.

When guests post a Rising Stars’ dish, drink, or wine pairing on Instagram during the Restaurant Week, they will be automatically entered to win either a $100 gift card to that Rising Stars establishment. To be entered, all posts must tag @StarChefs and #StarChefsRisingStars on an Instagram story or in-feed post. For more information, visit starchefs.com 

2021 StarChefs Dallas-Fort Worth Rising Stars Award Winners


Recognizes professionals who are deeply connected to the local culinary community, dedicate their time to community outreach, and are ultimately a catalyst for involving members of the culinary community in important initiatives. 

  • Andrea Shackelford | Harvest Seasonal Kitchen

Sugar Snap Peas, Red Creamer Potatoes, Pecan Pesto, Crispy Chickpeas, Pickled Carrots 


  • Christian Dortch | Georgie by Curtis Stone

– Aussie Leg of Lamb Ravioli, White Pepper Béchamel, Blood Orange Gastrique, Hazelnuts, Thyme, Smoked Kentucky Bleu

  • Matt Ford | Billy Can Can

– Texas Venison Tartare, Egg Yolk, Smoked Aïoli, Juniper, Dried Cherries, Fried Shallots, Ciabatta 

  • Misti Norris | Petra and the Beast

– Smoked Beef Tongue, Curried Poblano, Shishito Conserva, Shallot XO 

  • Jimmy Park | Shoyo

– Kanpachi Sashimi, Yuzu Honey Mustard, Sunflower Seeds, Yuzu Citrus Smoke 


Presented by The Montague Company 

Celebrates creative, successful, well-executed, and chef-driven restaurant concepts that have been met with success in the local market and could be successfully expanded, either locally or nationally. 

  • Andrew Chen | Monkey King Noodle Company

– Dan Dan Pork Noodles: Wok-Fried Niman Ranch Iberian Duroc Pork Ragú, Hand-Pulled Noodles, Chicken Broth, Chile Oil, Scallion 

  • Emma & Travis Heim | Heim Barbecue

– Crispy Loaded Potato Skins, Niman Ranch Beef, Green Chile Queso, Monterey Jack, Pico de Gallo, Scallion 


Presented by S.Pellegrino 

Celebrates a chef whose leadership is boldly advancing the restaurant industry, whether it’s through boundary-pushing cuisine, an innovative dining format, or a revolutionary business idea. 

  • Junior Borges | Meridian

– Blue Prawn Moqueca: Charred Plantain and Coconut Broth, Dende Oil, Steamed Rice 


Presented by TCHO Chocolate 

  • Maricsa Trejo | La Casita Bakeshop

– Smoked TCHO Chocolate Tart, Honey Caramel, Honeycomb Candy 


Presented by Butter of Europe 

  • Jessica & Seth Brammer | Lenore’s Bagels

– Everything Bagel Egg Sandwich, Scallion, Red Onion, Tomato, Marinated Capers, Everything Aïoli 

  • Matthew Ramirez | Lucia

– Pistachio Babka: Enriched Dough, French Butter, Pistachio, Burnt Cinnamon Anglaise 


  • Joe Zavala | Zavala’s Barbecue

– Steak Fajitas, Bell Peppers, Onion, Pico de Gallo, Flour Tortillas, Lime 


Presented by Niman Ranch 

  • Nathan Abeyta | Deep Cuts Dallas

– Niman Ranch Pork, Broccolini, and Cheddar Sausage with Sauerkraut 


Presented by Wines from Spain 

  • Lauren Loiselle | Homewood

– Garnatxa, Joan d’Anguera, “Altaroses,”Montsant, Spain, 2019 paired with Lone Mountain Wagyu Coulotte, Coffee Marinade, Sweet Potato Pavé, Brussels Sprouts, Pecans, Texas Honey, Red Wine Jus 


  • George Kaiho | Jettison

– BLVD P.O.: Yoichi Single Malt Whisky, Campari, Carpano Antica, Coffee 


Presented by Vitamix Commercial 

  • Dean Fearing | Fearing’s Restaurant

– Foie Gras Crème Brûlée, Red Wine Glaze, Foie Gras Snow, Vanilla Oranges, Pecan Granola, Pomegranate Seeds 


  • Chad Houser | Cafe Momentum

– Bison Pastrami, Arugula, Tomato, Carraway Cream 


  • Charles Olalia | Makeready Experience

– Brown Butter Bibingka (Filipino Rice Cake): Cassava, Coconut, White Gold Parmigiano Reggiano, Black Pepper, Bottarga 


Rising Stars Supporters: 

Symrise, Vnlla Extract Co., Vitamix Commercial, S.Pellegrino, Steelite International, True Aussie Lamb, Butter of Europe, Niman Ranch, Wines from Spain, TCHO Chocolate, Fresh Origins, Lone Mountain Wagyu, The Montague Company, Oktober, Ambrosi, Buffalo Trace, The Adolphus Hotel, Cafe Momentum 

About Post Author


Nelli is the Content Manager for two food blogs (and her two cities!): @dallasfoodnerd and @pittsburghfoodnerd. She enjoys trying out new restaurants, traveling and enjoying Tex-Mex on multiple occasions. Connect with her on IG, @pittsburghfoodnerd and @dallasfoodnerd.
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