#FBF: Our neighborhood’s culinary masters

There’s no shortage of quaint cafes and upscale restaurants in our area, but we rarely think about the mastermind behind our favorite dessert or cocktail.

In 2014, the Advocate profiled three chefs that found their niche in Preston Hollow.

Meso Maya chef Nico Sanchez, an avid gardener, frequents the Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle community garden at 6525 Inwood: Photo by Danny Fulgencio
Meso Maya chef Nico Sanchez, an avid gardener, frequents the Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle community garden at 6525 Inwood. Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Nico Sanchez opened Meso Maya in 2011. While Dallas overflowed with Tex-Mex options, the city lacked restaurants that specialized in traditional Mexican cuisine. “Sanchez has earned his place among the most respected chefs in town, but it hasn’t gone to his head,” we wrote. “When asked what he does for a living, he responds not with his weighty title — only that he cooks at Meso Maya.”

Neighborhood Services’ Jeff Bekavac made a name for himself as a primetime chef, working alongside Nick Badovinus, who owns the company Flavor Hook. “Food is so interesting now, because people are so infatuated with food, but everyone is a critic,” Bekavac told us. “It’s not a trend in cuisine, but the food world — the people cooking the food, the others, the bartender, servers — are subject to everyone on the internet with an opinion.”

At Eden, Karen Kahn created a place that feels like home. For her, it practically is.
At Eden, Karen Kahn created a place that feels like home. For her, it practically is.

Before becoming the sole chef of Eden Restaurant and Pastries on Lovers Lane, Karen Kahn was the first woman to graduate from the Texas Apprenticeship Program. “I remember a national competition I won in New York; Julia Child was one of the judges,” she said. “Which was really exciting for me because there weren’t other women. I’m not so sure I was as excited about meeting her as I was about the fact that she was there and was judging. She was the only woman. And I think about being in the kitchen and how the men in the kitchen at the time were not particularly nice to women, and they would say things that were lewd. If the chef made a pass at you, and you were unresponsive, they could fire you, and you really couldn’t do anything about it.”

Read the original article, published in June 2014, here.


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