Tim Byres, named the Southwest 2012 Food & Wine Magazine’s “People’s Best New Chef,” is the co-owner and chef of Dallas’ SMOKE, Chicken Scratch, The Foundry, Bar Belmont, SMOKE Plano and The Theodore. Originally from California but a longtime Texan, Byres is best known for his “live fire cookery”, worldly and approachable flavors, and fun, family-style service. He spent his most of formative years in fine-dining, including time spent at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, under chef Stephan Pyles at his eponymous restaurant, and prior to moving to Texas, he was the executive chef at the US Embassy in Brussels. Byres has been influenced by flavors and techniques as widely differing as those he found in the local foods of Haiti, the Mississippi Delta, the Pacific Northwest, and the Tex-Mex kitchens knocking at his back door. Now a Texan at heart, Byres draws mostly on the regional traditions of Mexico, Louisiana and the American South to craft his very personal take on forward-thinking American cuisine.
Widely regarded as an expert in cooking with wood and open flame, Byres has been invited to represent his craft by some of the country’s most respected food personalities, events, and publications, including Food & Wine Magazine, ABC’s “The Chew”, Josh Ozersky’s “Meatopia” (a celebration of the best cuts of beef and finest chefs working with live fire in London, New York City and San Antonio), Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods America” on the Travel Channel, and the folks at the Cooking Channel’s “Man Fire Food” show. He’s contributed to diplomacy efforts in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Malta on behalf of the US State Department, represented American cuisine in Beijing, China on behalf of the US Dept. of Commerce, and currently serves as a State Chef for the American Chefs Corps, a network of chefs who serve as resources in the State Dept.’s initiative to elevate the role of culinary engagement in America’s formal and public diplomacy efforts. In the spring of 2013, Byres released his first book, “Smoke: New Firewood Cooking.” Featuring photography by Jody Horton and a foreword by Josh Ozersky, the cookbook reveals insightful information about flavors that are utilitarian as well as unique. While the book does feature dishes from Byres’ SMOKE (including, yes, their Double-Barrel Bloody Mary), the majority of the book focuses on four feasts: Gulf Coast Seafood Boil, Tejano Barbacoa, Pig Roast, and a Campfire Breakfast. “Smoke: New Firewood Cooking” won a James Beard Award in the spring of 2014.