Urban Crust in Plano Seeks Advice from Mark Miller for New Concept Called Urban Rio in Plano

When Nathan Shea, the owner of  Urban Crust in downtown Plano, announced to TGubb he was going to open Urban Rio, he didn’t mention he’d asked celebrity chef Mark Miller to consult. According to the story that ran in mid-December, Shea planned to do a Mexican concept on the first floor and a catering kitchen for Urban Crust on the second floor.

This morning the KidLinks Foundation, a nonprofit group dedicated to improving the emotional and physical needs of children by directly funding therapeutic music programs in North Texas, announced the chef lineup for its second annual “Symphony of Chefs” fine dining event on February 27, 2012. The release mentioned that one of the celebrity chefs participating in the event will be Mark Miller, the famous chef of Coyote Café in Santa Fe.

I tried to reach Shea at Urban Crust but he was unavailable. However, the publicist for the event, Elizabeth Peichel, says:

He is consulting on a new Dallas restaurant that’s opening in a few months called UrbanRio (owned by the folks at Urban Crust in Plano), and that’s what’s bringing him to Dallas that week of the event.

I thought I remembered hearing or reading that Miller was once looking for property in Dallas to open his own place. Peichel is checking into it. Meanwhile the event details are below.

DALLAS – January 19, 2012 – The KidLinks Foundation – a nonprofit that has been improving the emotional and physical needs of children by directly funding therapeutic music programs in North Texas – is hosting its second annual “Symphony of Chefs” fine dining event on February 27, 2012. The KidLinks Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of award-winning celebrity chef Mark Miller to the program.

Symphony of Chefs attendees will experience an evening of fine dining with each chef preparing a five-course dinner tableside exclusively for a table of 10 guests. The chefs will create their own menu, select complementing wines, and interact with table guests while preparing their gastronomical masterpiece.

All proceeds from the event will be used to fund several North Texas therapeutic music programs for children that are critically ill or have developmental delays. These organizations include Children’s Medical Center Music Therapy Program, SMU/Hugworks Music Therapy Program, Cook Children’s Medical Center, Ft. Worth, and Hurst-based Hugworks.

Mark Miller is recognized as one of America’s foremost chefs working in regional cuisines and international flavors. Over the last 30 years he has combined his formal academic background in Cultural Anthropology with his passion for bold flavors to create groundbreaking restaurant concepts around the world. His renowned restaurants include the Coyote Café in Santa Fe and Las Vegas, Red Sage in Washington, DC, and Wildfire in Sydney, Australia.

Miller was elected to Who’s Who in Food and Wine in 1985 and has been awarded the Food Arts Silver Spoon Award for lifetime achievements and the James Beard award for best Chef in the Southwest. He is also the author of ten cookbooks and four food posters that have sold over one million copies. Along with his restaurants and books Mark teaches on the taste and perception of ethnic flavors, especially Latin and Asian culinary traditions.

In addition to Chef Miller, several other award-winning Metroplex chefs have agreed to donate their time, talent and food to this worthy cause including: Francesco Farris of Zio Cecio Italiano, Andre Natera of The Fairmont Dallas, David Trubenbach of ASADOR, Jon Bonnell of Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine, and John Franke of Front Burner Restaurants (Velvet Taco).

A Symphony of Chefs is open to the public with tables for 10 ranging in price from $5,000 to $25,000, and a limited number of individual seats are available for $1,000. For more information about the event, visit www.symphonyofchefs.com.