John Tesar is the chef/partner of Spoon Bar & Kitchen and Knife, both in Dallas. He is a two-time James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef, Southwest.
1. One thing you don’t know about me is that I’m adopted and have a different birth name—Thomas Kenyon.
2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be Eric Ripert. I would love to be the chef of Le Bernardin. I have a great admiration for his touch with seafood.
3. If there were no sushi, I’d have no reason to live. I enjoy the umami, the lightness, the rawness and the freshness of it. I like to eat a lot of fish, and sushi is the easiest way to eat fish without getting bored.
4. My go-to drink is Bruno Paillard Rosé.
5. If I were on death row my last meal would be very large and consist of a New York-style pizza followed by Franklin Barbecue brisket and a plate of onion rings and french fries. I‘d wash it all down with a magnum of ’82 Château Latour, and when I pass out, they can kill me.
6. My worst culinary creation was a dish that I created in 1979. It consisted of chicken prosciutto stuffed with lobster and topped with mozzarella cheese.
7. If I could change one thing about me I would be taller and less insecure.
8. My favorite junk food is Cool Ranch Doritos.
9. If I wasn’t a restaurant operator, I’d love to be a guitar player in a rock band. I wouldn’t want to be a rock star, just a rhythm guitar player in a relevant rock band.
10. If I could have a meal with anyone living or dead, I would invite Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anthony Bourdain and George Clooney.