Press

‘Top Chef’ Alum John Tesar Brings West Coast Surf and Turf to Dana Point

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The Dallas-based chef opens Outer Reef inside the Laguna Cliffs Marriott
It’s no longer a rumor: Former Top Chef contestant John Tesar’s seafood restaurant Outer Reef is headed to Dana Point at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa, with an opening slated for the end of 2018. Tesar is a four-time James Beard nominee, and appeared twice on Bravo’s culinary competition show.

Chef John Tesar
— Mona Holmes

John Tesar taps fellow 'Top Chef' alum Gerald Sombright for Knife & Spoon at Orlando’s Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes

orlando weekley

It'll be a Top Chef reunion of sorts when Knife & Spoon opens inside the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes this spring. We told you a couple of weeks ago that Top Chef Season 10 and 14 alum John Tesar, a four-time James Beard Award semifinalist for “Best Southwest Chef,” is opening his modern steak and seafood concept in the old Norman's space in April or May of this year.

Chefs Gerald Sombright and John Tesar
— Faiyaz Kara

Which Dallas restaurant was named by ‘Esquire’ as one of the ‘most important restaurants of the decade’?

Dallas Morning News

Dallas steakhouse Knife made Esquire’s list of the 40 most important restaurants from 2010 to 2019. That’s a big win nationally for chef John Tesar, as it’s just one of two Texas restaurants on writer Jeff Gordinier’s list.

— Sarah Blaskovich

2020’s Most Anticipated American Restaurant Openings

Vogue

Four-time James Beard Award semi-finalist John Tesar of Dallas’s Knife is teaming up with The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes to introduce Knife & Spoon. The chef will continue his signature New American steak and seafood-forward cookery within a 235-seat dining room encompassing 8,000 square feet.

— KAT ODELL

The 25 Best Steakhouses in America Right Now

Robb Report

You know you’re in Texas when a steakhouse’s sauce list includes béarnaise and salsa verde. Dallas’ Knife, the flagship of Top Chef alum John Tesar, offers old-school cuts like filet au poivre and pork porterhouse along with exotics like grilled short ribs and a 240-day dry-aged rib eye. Most of the beef comes from 44 Farms, a century-old, black Angus producer in Cameron, Texas. You can witness the dry-aging process taking place in the climate-controlled meat closet, which has a glass window facing the lobby.

— ALYSON SHEPPARD

The 40 Most Important Restaurants of the Decade

Esquire

Just when the American steakhouse started to grow stale, John Tesar found a way to reinvent it.

— JEFF GORDINIER

Tesar Redeems Himself on Second Episode of Top Chef

Dallas Observer

He’s the comeback kid. The semi-comeback kid. He’s something. John Tesar, Dallas chef and Top Chef’s own “stepdad” (as chef Brooke Williamson so gently put it) barely made it out alive during the first episode of Top Chef’s 14th season. Turns out, the judges didn’t particularly care for his take on a chicken dish. After he went head-to-head with Gerald Sombright, Tesar was saved and Sombright had to pack his knives and go. Sad.

— PAIGE SKINNER

One big happy family: What went down tonight on ‘Top Chef’

The Post and Courier

Is every local food lover obliged to watch “Top Chef Charleston”? Not necessarily: The Post and Courier is keeping an eye on the show so you can take Thursday nights off. Throughout the season, we’ll provide a quick rundown of the latest episode, supplying you with all of the information you need to sound savvy at parties when talk turns to the reality cooking show.

people dining in a restaurant
— Hanna Raskin

Top Chef Power Rankings Week 2: Find Padma’s Biscuits

uproxx

This week on Top Chef, the producers wisely avoided any additional plantation controversy, taking the cheftestants (sorry, that’s what they’re officially called) instead to meet the local river troll and sample his buttery delights drawn from a magical chest. “Yarrr, answer me riddles and ye can taste of me tray-sure,” said the river troll, cackling wildly and sprinkling Old Bay on his nipples.

— VINCE MANCINI

Top Chef puts Dallas’ John Tesar on the backburner — for now

Culture Map Dallas

If you were looking for John Tesar drama on the second episode of Top Chef, which aired on December 8, you went home empty-handed. After a debut that focused on Dallas' favorite chef, the Bravo channel chef competition reality show kept Tesar in the background, instead going to its fallback plot device for this season: rookies versus veterans.

restaurant staff in action
— Teresa Gubbins

New, Improved Nice-John-Tesar Makes It Through Another Episode of Top Chef

D Magazine

Last week, John Tesar said he was going to be a kinder, gentler Tesar this season on Top Chef. To which, the Reality TV Gods evil-laughed, “Muuuuuuhahahahahahaha,” while they excitedly rubbed their hands together, Mr. Burns-style.

restaurant staff
— ALICE LAUSSADE

John Tesar Took A Risk & Redeemed Himself On Last Night’s Episode Of ‘Top Chef’ After almost getting kicked off, Tesar is back in the game.

Eater Dallas

After nearly going home on the season premiere of Top Chef: Charleston, Chef John Tesar totally redeemed himself during last night’s episode. Last night’s episode focused on South Carolina’s unique Lowcountry cuisine, and Tesar took a big risk — using okra. It might be one of the South’s most beloved ingredients, but Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio has made it endlessly clear that okra is one of his most-hated ingredients.

John Tesar
— Amy McCarthy

“Top Chef” Season 14 Heads into Episode 2: Amid Plantation Row, Look at Some of the New and Old Chefs

Food 4 Better Health

Top Chef season 14 premiered on December 1, 2016 on Bravo TV with returning judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons. Top Chef Charleston features eight returning contestants and eight newcomers. The season started with a Quickfire Challenge where the chefs prepared chicken dishes and Gerald Sombright was knocked out of the challenge.

Top Chef
— Farah Shaikh

Dallas bad boy chef John Tesar emerges as reason to watch Top Chef this season

Culture Map Dallas

Dallas reality show fans and chef groupies have a new reason to live with the December 1 debut of Top Chef, the cooking competition series from Bravo channel. Two words: John Tesar.

John Tesar Serving
— Teresa Gubbins

“Top Chef premiere Recap: Ranch Dressing and Strawberry Syrup”

Grubstreet

It’s been many long, Top Chef–less months. But as of last night, we’re back in the saddle! This year, Top Chef takes us to Charleston, South Carolina, where the grits are hot, the tea is cold, and our lady of perpetual sorrow Padma Lakshmi seems as mournfully stoned as ever.

cooking on live tv
— Rachel Sugar

Top Chef’ Season 14 recap with Orange County’s Shirley Chung

The Orange County Register

“I better win this time,” Orange County chef Shirley Chung proclaims in the first few minutes of the premiere episode of “Top Chef,” which aired Thursday night on Bravo.

White Soup
— Nancy Luna

Top Chef Season 14 Premiere Recap: ‘Something Old, Something New’

Mediaite

Welcome back, everyone! Or, if you didn’t read last season’s Top Chef recaps, welcome. Season 14 premiered last night, and this year, we’re in Charleston, South Carolina, one of the best food cities in the country. This season, the powers that be at Bravo have decided to shake it up by bringing 8 newbies and 8 veterans of the show who are seeking redemption.

— Dana Eisenberg

“‘Top Chef’ Recap: Gluttons for Punishment It’s previous cheftestants versus newbies in the season 14 premiere”

Eater Dallas

Well, 2016 has been a challenging year. We've endured a nasty election cycle, a deep political divide, and countless painful celebrity deaths — plus Jared Leto's method acting. The one shining light in the dark hallway to hell that has been this year is that we wrap up our 365-day nightmare with a new season of Top Chef. See, it's not all trash.

Restaurant staff on top chef
— Alison Leiby

Top Chef’ Season 14 Premiere Recap: Newcomers Face Off Against Veterans; One Contestant Goes Home

 US Weekly

Welcome back, food fans. Top Chef‘s Thursday, December 1, season 14 premiere took place in Charleston, South Carolina, with eight new chefs and eight returning veterans facing off in the best (according to host Padma Lakshmi) cooking competition on television. Will a seasoned chef take away the title from a hungry newbie, or will the fresh meat come out on top? Here’s the dish.

— Julia Wayne

“Strong Start for Shirley Chung on ‘Top Chef’ Season 14”

Orangecoast

On last night’s Season 14 “Top Chef” premiere set in Charleston, the knowledge that half the cheftestants were returning veterans—a cohort that includes Shirley Chung from right here in O.C., a formidable, and favorite, competitor in Season 11—should have given us a hint that there were other shakeups to the show’s now-familiar formula.

— Priscilla Mayfield

‘Top Chef: Charleston’ premiere review: The first chef eliminated is…

Cartermatt

The premiere of “Top Chef: Charleston” has now officially come and gone — and what a premiere it ended up being! While we still don’t love the concept of newbie chefs facing off against returning ones, this episode did at least give us a good sense from a storytelling point of view as to why now was the right time to bring some people back.

Top chef personnel
— Cartermatt

‘Top Chef: Charleston’ episode 2 preview: The drama to come

Cartermatt

Following the end of “Top Chef: Charleston,” we saw a moment where it looked as though we were about to lose John Tesar from the competition. Judging from the preview for what is still to come a little bit later this season, the show really should be thanking its lucky stars that this didn’t happen since it would’ve cased this to be a very different season the rest of the way.

— Cartermatt