photography by Tadd Meyers
Ritz-Carlton general manager Roberto van Geenen approached chef Dean Fearing 18 months ago, when Fearing was still at the Mansion on Turtle Creek. He told him, “Dean, you need a pedestal in Dallas.” Today, the high falutin’, boot scootin’ wannabe rock star is basking in the spotlight he’s always craved. Not only will he headline the show in the kitchen, but from time to time his all-chef band, the Barbwires, will play on-site. His new gig at the Ritz is a dream come true. While chef at the Mansion in 2000, Fearing turned a fundraising jam session into an annual weekend-long celebration of barbecue, music, and fun. He brings the spirit of his successful hoedown to the seven dining spaces within the 10,000-square-feet Fearing’s. While the menu of “Elevated American” dishes sounds pretentious, the dress code is not. Casual is fine. You can sit in any of the spaces—the Rattlesnake Bar or the Gallery or the Live Oak Bar—and order whatever you want. “There are no rules here, honey,” Fearing says. Well, maybe one. Dean will always be center stage.