It has been over 20 years since I first met Dean Fearing. He was so young and feisty and full of himself: I loved him immediately! We were locked together in a last minute push to finish his first book, The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook, which remained a perennial best seller for years. By the end of the project, I had adopted him as one of my own and our friendship was sealed. And, if I do say so myself, we produced a pretty good cookbook!
Dean, one of America’s most prominent chefs, was a pioneer in the development of what was called New Southwest Cuisine. The kitchen at The Mansion on Turtle Creek, from which he helped the hotel garner the much-coveted Mobil Guide’s Five Star Rating as well as membership in the distinguished international hotel organization Relais and Chateaux, remained his proving ground for a very long time.
After many, many years at the Mansion, this past year found him in his own kitchen at Fearing’s at the new Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dallas. From this most elegant, yet relaxed setting, some of the world’s most innovative and vibrant menus are appearing. Having had the opportunity to dine with Dean and his gorgeous wife, Lynae, at Fearing’s I can only urge all of you to book your reservations so that you, too, can experience the bold flavors and imaginative character of Dean’s unique cuisine. And, you can do it shorts and a tee shirt if you don’t feel like putting on your bolo tie and boots! This was one of Dean’s edicts when he agreed to open in the hotel – casual it had to be and welcoming to anyone willing to come in and have a good time.
Dean has not strayed far from his original intent “to incorporate products native to the Southwest in recipes prepared and presented using nontraditional methods. Although the techniques I use are often classic in the culinary sense, the flavor combinations are not. The true test for this cuisine is taste; it must have backbone and soul.”
The fascinating aspect of Dean’s growth as a chef has been the incorporation of his free and relaxed manner into the fine dining experience. His very open personality, guitar-playing, and sense of fun have all found a place in his culinary life. He is extremely accessible to his clientele and to his staff and he lets everyone know that having a good time is a priority, both in and out of the kitchen. His exotic and often brightly-hued cowboy boots are as much identified with him as is luxuriously zesty cuisine. However, for all of his playfulness, he is never more serious than when he is cooking. Is he a bit of a character, well, yes. But, his engaging person has helped him become one of America’s premier chefs.
Try Fearing’s – I think you will agree that Dean is one true original – in and out of the kitchen!