Tickets on Sale Soon for March 10 Pop-Up Dinner With FT33’s Matt McCallister
We are pleased to announce that the guest chef for Cafe Momentum's 19th Pop-Up Dinner is Matt McCallister. The pop-up dinner takes place March 10, 2013 at 6 pm, at FT33; located at 1617 Hi Line Drive. Seats for the $100 four-course dinner can be reserved at http://cafemomentum.org/.
About Graham Dodds
FT33 is Chef Matt McCallister’s first solo venture, opened on October 13, 2012 in
Dallas and serving “season‐inspired modern cuisine.” He showcases the highest‐quality
products, treats them with respect, and strives for innovation. “I don’t print my menu
until I know which ingredients are best that day,” he explains. “That should be the
natural progression, rather than do the reverse, creating a dish and forcing whatever
ingredients are available into it.” McCallister also has a penchant for creating
unorthodox pairings of ingredients. “I always prepare a few dishes that are risky, which
challenge both me and my customers in the best way possible,” he says.
Before becoming a thoughtfully progressive culinarian in the Dallas dining
scene, McCallister was torn between the visual and culinary arts. He ultimately chose
cooking as a career, even after attending the Metropolitan Arts Institute in Phoenix for
fine arts in 2000. “Art was a passion that always competed with food, but cooking gives
me an opportunity to blend the two,” says the Scottsdale, AZ, native, whose artistic
sensibilities were influenced by his designer mother and scientific curiosity can be
attributed to his research engineer father.
In 2006, McCallister applied for a job at Stephan Pyles Restaurant in Dallas. With
no formal training—“I didn’t even know how to cook a beurre blanc,” he admits—the
aspiring chef began working the garde manger station at the renowned temple of fine
Southwestern cuisine. He rapidly ascended the kitchen hierarchy, becoming sous chef in
just over a year and executive chef within three years. Pyles, who was thoroughly
impressed with McCallister’s “raw and natural ability,” exposed his protégé to a wide
variety of cuisines beyond Southwestern, and McCallister had the opportunity to work
in revered kitchens across the country as a result: José André’s minibar in Washington,
D.C.; Mark Vetri’s eponymous restaurant in Philadelphia; Sean Brock’s McCrady’s in
Charleston, SC; Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago; and Daniel Boulud’s Daniel in New
York. Upon returning to Dallas in 2011, McCallister worked with two design friends to
open Campo Modern Country Bistro in Dallas, for which he consulted on the menu of
rustically elegant nose‐to‐tail cuisine and inspired housemade salumi and charcuterie.
Extending the reach of his food philosophy, the chef and his wife founded Chefs for Farmers
a grassroots organization supporting local farmers by introducing their
products to chefs, and vice versa. He is also a member of Foodways Texas and Southern
Foodways Alliance, and he actively participates in raising funds for Meals on Wheels.
McCallister earned a Mastering Wine Certificate from the Culinary Institute of America
When he’s not in the kitchen, the 31‐year‐old chef/restaurateur spends most of
his time with wife, Iris, and their young daughter, Ella, who is his constant companion
at the farmers’ market. He can also occasionally be found foraging for various wild
herbs and vegetables in and around Dallas.