Celebrity Chef Kent Rathbun
What do the President, National Football League, and the Food Network all have in common? They all have enjoyed a meal prepared by Texas-based celebrity chef Kent Rathbun!
When you explore the Dallas fine dining scene Kent’s name is undoubtedly going to be at the top of your list with his cuisine concepts among some of the best restaurants in the state. However, before he became chef to the Dallas Cowboys, Kent’s cooking roots sprouted while growing up in Kansas City. By the young age of five, Kent could be found helping his dad prepare the home grill and learning how to create a tender, smoked brisket. He watched his mother develop her own culinary career as a maitre d’ at high-end restaurants in the area, as her joy for hospitality kept restaurant patrons coming back, sometimes driving over fifty miles, just to be served by her.
Kent’s passion for culinary arts continued to expand throughout his teenage years, and he became an apprentice at La Bonne Auberge, a five-star French restaurant in Kansas City.
His experience of working with high-end ingredients and learning the art of perfect preparation became the bedrock of his career as he moved from kitchen to kitchen, working with some of the most creative teams in the the country including Mr. B’s in New Orleans, The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and many others.
“I had an affinity for food at a young age, but it wasn’t until I was 21 that I realized I wanted to make this a career and got my first chef position,” shared Kent. “It was amazing to have people come to the restaurant, eat my food and have them respond to what I was cooking.”
As Kent matured as a culinary artist, he outgrew the solo-chef mentality of wanting to work with only certain foods and cooking for the mere sake of impressing others. He learned not only the intricacies of the business side of the restaurant industry, but the joy of the service end as well.
“As you develop as a chef you realize that the people you have around you are the most important thing,” shared Kent. “Building a team of people who are interested in moving in the same direction, and motivating them to do the best that they can do is the only way to be a successful chef.”
Eventually, Rathbun decided to take his culinary vision to the next level and set out to establish a world-class restaurant in the heart of Dallas’ uptown district. Within months his eclectic and distinctive menu concept received recognition as a pinnacle of fine dining locally and on the national scene.
“I want to be true to the food I am working with,” shared Kent. I want to know about it, understand its ingredients, texture and history; and every time I develop a menu I try to step it up and offer guests a great selection of balanced choices for guests.”
Over the years, Kent’s multiple culinary projects in both the restaurant and event hospitality sectors have flourished; along with TV appearances on The Food Network, the CBS Early Show, the Today Show on NBC, and as a competitor on “Iron Chef America” – defeating grill master Bobby Flay in an intense culinary battle. For all his acclaim, Kent still makes time to connect with the community by participating in several local and national charitable organizations, as well as cooking for the Pre-Super Bowl event, “The Taste of the NFL” for the last ten years.
And connecting with the Frisco community is exactly what Kent is hoping to do this month by bringing his renowned cooking style of Texas BBQ, meets fine dining to residents at a private outdoor grilling master class on Saturday, March 18 at Premier Grilling in Frisco off of Eldorado Parkway next to Target. Kent will be teaching best practices for the upcoming grilling season with an A-Z instruction on techniques, the top cooking tools to work with and how to care for them, and the steps to making a great outdoor steak. Plus, the class will include craft beer samples to enjoy while attendees learn how to make sure whatever comes off the grill is delicious enough to consider as fine dining.