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Graham Dodds

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Executive Chef
Central 214, Dallas

Dallas is abuzz with praise for award-winning Chef Graham Dodds' culinary creations at Central 214 at Hotel Palomar Dallas. Known for his passion for farm-to-table cooking with locally sourced, organic ingredients, Dodds brings a lifetime of unique experience and cultural inspiration to every dish. Recognized in recent years as one of Dallas/Ft. Worth's top new chefs by both the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Observer, Dodds's work has received rave reviews and has been featured in media ranging from local D magazine to national Bon Appetit, American Way, and Grubstreet New York.

  • Q:You started in Texas, but left to travel and work around the country. Can you tell us more about that?
  • A:I've worked at a lot of seasonal places doing real farm-to-table foods. I graduated from Western Culinary Institute in Portland and worked in the city under Greg Higgins {of Higgins restaurant}, who was my first real mentor. I also spent time at Shelburne Farms in Vermont. It's a non-profit working farm dedicated to sustainability and has an 11-room inn on a Vanderbilt estate that does breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Q:So you grew your own veggies, fruits and herbs?
  • A:We raised animals on site, too. The inn did a lot of lamb, pork and beef dishes. Also, we had a herd of brown Swiss cows that we used to make award-winning cheddar.
  • Q:And eventually you came back to Texas?
  • A: There is a network of young farmers here and I started developing relationships with them. A grassroots movement hit here. Farmers were starting to try different things.
  • Q: What changed?
  • A: Typically, Texas farmers have grown tough crops – onions, corn, okra, squash, zucchini – because of the weather. It's hard to make it here in summer. But now they're growing heirloom varieties, lots of them tomatoes. Also, interesting baby vegetables. It's a learning curve.
  • Q:What are some of the places you are sourcing ingredients from?
  • A:I started getting goat meat from Windy Hill Organics. I use it to make burgers and also make our own goat bacon. It's fun to play with the unusual. I also source from Eden Creek Farm, which has 30 acres and raises pigs and veggies for us. He's got my bees pollinating veggies.
  • Q:You have your own bees?
  • A:Yes! And I use the honeycomb in dishes. Right now, there's a piece of it on a blue cheese terrine. I also make a lemon honey cake and garnish it with honey and honeycomb.
  • Q:What other dishes at Central 214 are you really excited about right now?
  • A:We're doing a kale salad... it's dinosaur kale flash fried with watermelon radish and artichoke vinaigrette. I'm also into braising. I braise a lamb breast in Riesling for four to five hours.

Graham's Favorite Recipe

Here is one of Chef Graham Dodd's personal recipe for Scotch Eggs.
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