Graham Dodds is New Chef at Central 214 in Dallas

Chef Graham Dodds has pig--I mean big--plans for Central 214.

Former Bolsa chef Graham Dodds is the new executive chef at Central 214. He replaces Blythe Beck who left the fancy digs at the Hotel Palomar in late August. Dodds’ farm-to-table philosophy is a perfect fit for the direction management wants to steer the hotel’s restaurant. (Hah!) After his departure from Bolsa in mid-September, Dodds considered doing his own thing with an investor. “I loved being a part of the Oak Cliff community and watching it grow,” Dodds said in September. “But I have a five-year-old daughter and a mortgage to pay.” It looks like a steady gig with benefits turned out to be the better decision. He starts his reign on Monday.

Once he’s up and running, you can expect the buzzwords to roll: locally sourced ingredients, classic farm-to-table cooking, marathon-running chickens, artisanal baked-with-hypersensitive-heat breads, free-range bees with PhDs, penthouse-raised pork, unmolested meat, and “wholesome family” cheese with both parents, curds and whey. Sorry, I got carried away while waiting for a callback from Graham.

Ring, ring. H-h-hello? “Hi Nancy, it’s Graham. I am so excited,” Dodds says. “It’s a great fit. I’ve worked with a lot of people who have worked with this company [Kimpton Hotels] and everybody has great things to say about them.” Although nothing has been decided, there has been some talk of renaming the place and reworking the interior. [Although the name wasn’t originally intended to represent farm-to-table, it kinda works with Dodds’ cooking.]

“Graham, please don’t speak in press release,” I say. “I want to know what you are going to do with your bee hives? What floor will they be on?” [Dodds has made his own honey from his 20 hives for years.]

“Well my bees are way down this year,” Dodds says with a tear in his voice. “I’m down to 3 hives. I moved them to Eden Creek Farms and a neighbor did some crop dusting and I think it may have drifted over.”

“How in the hell are you going to make up for that loss?”

“Well, I plan to delve into nose-to-tail cooking,” Dodds said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to explore.”

Fill in your own kicker here.


  • Tessa

    I remember when Bolsa first opened and the chef came to our table. It was really slow and I heard him talking to some other customers. He was so cool and laid back. He was real shy but seemed like an earnest guy. What a nice change for Central 214. Blythe Beck was so in your face. New guy will be welcome in my neighborhood.

  • Dataman65

    Love it!! Ask your self this question, why would someone from Flower Mound drive down to the OC weekly for dinner? Graham Dodds, thats why. Bolsa will and is not the same without Graham. If you need another good spot for some hives; you know who to call. Let Eden Creek Farms know they do a kick butt job, with or without water. Nice to see Graham is still grounded and family comes first. On Monday take your daughter to school and get into that kitchen I’m getting hungery thinking about your version on noise to tail.