Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Kitchen LTO is looking for chefs and designers to claim second restaurant residency
Find out how to get your four months of fame.
WEST DALLAS Even though Kitchen LTO in the West Dallas development Trinity Groves opened its doors a little over a month ago, it’s closing in February. Well, sort of: Come early 2014, it's time for the next round of aspiring chefs and designers to take a turn.
Kitchen LTO, dubbed the area's first “permanent pop-up” restaurant, invites up-and-coming chefs and interior designers to compete for the low-risk opportunity of opening and decorating their dream establishment. The “LTO” in the name stands for “limited time offer,” a nod to the business model that rotates culinary and design talent every four months.
Kitchen LTO is now calling for prospective chefs and designers to compete in a reality competition-like format for the second incarnation of the space. The application can be downloaded on the restaurant’s website and then emailed to email@example.com by November 18.
From the pool of applicants, a panel of industry experts will choose five finalists in each category, and those names will be revealed on December 15 at an open house tasting and preview at the restaurant. From there, the public votes for the food and design concepts they would most like to see (and taste) in the Trinity Groves space. Kitchen LTO will close February 2, 2014 for two days for renovation before reopening on February 4, 2014, according to press representative Lindsey Miller.
Former executive chef of Acme F&B Norman Grimm snatched up the first residency at Kitchen LTO with his refined casual French cuisine. Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner praised the appetizer offerings for their originality, though she said main courses lacked salt and “acid zing.”
Brenner was more complimentary of the use of space, designed by Coeval Studio, which is credible for the look Belly & Trumpet, Pakpao Thai and Sunset Lounge, among other local establishments. Designers are given a $12,000 budget and the ability to change everything from the paint color to the fixtures, artwork and layout of the restaurant. The kitchen and bar remain in tact, however. And the kitchen's staff does not change.
One interesting amenity that rotates with the chefs is the LTO cocktail menu. Locally acclaimed bartender and now Austin resident Jason Kosmas designed the first of the LTO offerings, which include the Modest Mule (Ayelsbury Duck Vodka, a house-made infusion of rooibos tea in vermouth, lemon juice, ginger beer) and the Velvet Fizz (sage-honey syrup, Fords Gin, lemon juice, egg white, club soda).
Though Kitchen LTO allots just four months for a chef to make his or her impression, founder Casie Caldwell said each could be considered for a permanent home within Trinity Groves. Chef Grimm confirmed he is currently working with an outside investor to set up a permanent space, though he could not comment on the place or expected open date.