Grab a fork and join us as we dish up some culinary magic with three unique individuals who live, work, and create in Dallas, Texas.

Dallas is always cooking up something good, especially when it comes to food! if you love to eat and try new culinary creations as much as we do, then the Big D is the place for you to be. To find out what makes Dallas such a delectable destination for foodies, we asked three local chefs to share their insights into the people, places, and tantalizing dishes that every visitor should experience while they are here. So grab a fork and join us as we dish up some culinary magic with three unique individuals who live, work, and create in Dallas, Texas. Find your ALL in Dallas (www.visitdallas.com)

 

CASE CRAWFORD

Case Crawford
Case Crawford

Case Crawford is the sous chef at Hawthorn Steak, Sushi, and Seafood. She has been cooking most of her life and has always had a passion for food and the creative process that is inherent in creating meals that satisfy body, mind, and spirit. Her love of cooking shines through in every dish she helps create. Her inspiration comes from the people in her life, “the artists, innovators, boundary pushers, dreamers, allies and influencers,” who help make Dallas an inspiring place to live and work.

Who Are Some of Your Role Models?
Airis Johnson: she went to school for marketing and ran a fortune 500 company and realized cooking was her passion instead. Aarón Sánchez: he came from humble beginnings, and cooks from his soul, childhood experiences, and with wonderful creativity. Alex Guarnaschelli: the hardest working woman in the food industry. She earned her title and place in culinary history breaking traditional hierarchy and proving to everyone she could run with the big boys.

What is Your Motto or Philosophy When It Comes to Food?
“Make it nice or make it twice.” Food is an artform and must be presented that way at all times. The Mona Lisa wasn’t half-assed was it?

Case Crawford Maskaras Mexican Grill Tacos Photo by Joshua Resnick
Maskaras Mexican Grill Tacos (Photo by Joshua Resnick)

 

What is one of your proudest signature creations in the kitchen?
I would have to say mastering bread baking. Baking bread is science, and it must be done with love. It’s a tender relationship between gluten, heat, acid, and salt. A symphony of crunchy crust and soft dough.

Which celebrity would you most love to see come in and enjoy your food?
Aaron Sanchez, hands down. Mexican food is one of my passions for sure, especially being from Texas. Here in Texas I would be called a Texican. Almost every meal I make pays homage to Mexican cuisine. Whether it’s a nice salsa verde, chorizo, fried beans, queso fresco, or tortillas.

Which foodie Instagram and social media accounts do you follow and recommend?
Foodie Lady (facebook.com/foodielady) is my absolute favorite, and I like it keep it old school with Bon Appetite.

What are some of your favorite Dallas-made food products and/or spirits?
Whataburger, DUH! Dr. Pepper is a must, Bluebell Ice Cream—there’s just no other ice cream like it anywhere.

What are Your Favorite Local Restaurants?
My favorite local restaurants would be Ruins in Deep Ellum, amazing drinks, amazing food (Prawn Star nachos is a must have). I also love T D’s BBQ, it’s a delicious BBQ hole in the wall and their all-the-way baked potato never disappoints (chopped beef, cheese, butter, sour cream, chives, bbq sauce). Ojeda’s is one of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants. Just really simple good food. The tacos at Maskaras Mexican Grill are amazing as well. I eat at Elotes Fanny almost every week. Simple corn in a cup with mayo, sour cream, hot salsa, queso fresco, and butter.

Why is Dallas such a great city for LGBTQ culinary folks?
Every LGBTQ person in the United States is tired of “Gay” being the first thing that is said about them. We are artists, innovators, boundary pushers, dreamers, allies and influencers. We want to be seen for who we are as people and not just for who we decide to love. Being in the culinary business, and often hiding our physical image from the front of the restaurant, there can be no judgment about what kind of person made your food. You just love it, enjoy it, and respect the artistic vision and passion behind the plate.

Next Up:  Chef Abraham Salum/Salum Restaurant