chef-name: Dean Fearing

The son of a Kentucky innkeeper, Dean Fearing grew up with grandmothers who knew all about food and who appreciated the finer details of Southern cooking and barbecue. He still uses and treasurer their recipes, and they remain one of the most important inspirations of his culinary life. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, he can be spotted in Fearing’s wearing a signature crisp white chef’s coat with colorful boot embroidery, blue jeans and brightly hued, custom-tooled Lucchese cowboy boots. When not in the kitchen, Fearing is often found strumming his vintage Fender Telecaster guitar, one of an impressive collection, playing songs from his all-chef alternative country band, The Barbwires. He is also known to spend his spare time searching the countryside for Texas culinary inspiration. The state’s rich variety of peppers, dried chilies, jicama, cilantro, tomatillos, fruits and vegetables, cheeses, Gulf seafood and Hill Country wild game play a major role in his ever-changing cuisine.

An Ashland, Kentucky native, after graduating from the Culinary Institute, Dean worked at the famed Maisonette in Cincinnati, where Chef George Haidon practiced classic French technique. He moved to Dallas in 1979 to become part of the original kitchen staff at the Mansion on Turtle Creek. He then went to Agnew’s first, then the Anatole Hotel, and in 1984, back to the Mansion as Executive Chef. Great Chefs crew caught up with him in 1985 for their new Great Chefs of the West PBS series featuring the new Southwest Cuisine.

Great Chefs revisited Chef Fearing again in the late 90’s for a Southwest Thanksgiving special for PBS and for several dishes for the Great Chefs – Great Cities series on the Discovery Channel. After 20+ years at the Mansion on Turtle Creek, he opened Fearing’s in 2007 at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas. A reflection of his personal vision and design, the lively comfortable restaurant features seven stylish dining settings, including the most distinctive alfresco experience in Dallas and a popular interactive display kitchen offering ringside seating for true foodies.

As creator of Fearing’s Restaurant and its “Elevated American Cuisine – Bold Flavors, No Borders,” chef/partner Dean Fearing has developed one of the hottest dining concepts in the country. Named “Restaurant of the Year” and “Table of the Year” by Esquire Magazine, No. 1 in Hotel Dining in the U.S. by the prestigious Zagat survey, and nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant.

The exuberant, ever-friendly Dean Fearing was winner of the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Award for “Best Chefs in the Southwest,” and diners from across the country flock to Dallas to experience his signature dishes.