TODAY Food Editor
In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much money you can save — and fun you can have — by cooking these dishes at home!
This week: Oysters Texasfeller, from Bonnell’s Restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas
Don't mess with this Texas recipe!
Our first dish "stolen" in the Lone Star State is from Bonnell's Restaurant, in Fort Worth. Chef Jon Bonnell has designed a menu that combines Southwestern and Creole flavors and is served in a comfortable, yet “never snobby” upscale setting.
About the chef:
A Fort Worth native, Jon Bonnell graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1994 and went on to become a science and math teacher in Dallas. After two years, he decided to follow his dreams and headed off to the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt. He then spent six months on a culinary internship in New Orleans at Mr. B’s Bistro in the French Quarter, where he learned to appreciate Creole cuisine.
After graduating in 1997, Bonnell returned to Texas and became a chef at Randall’s Gourmet Restaurant and Cheesecakery in downtown Fort Worth. After two years at Randall’s, he left to pursue his dream of opening his own restaurant. While his plans were in the making, he helped open Escargot Restaurant and worked as a personal chef until the fall of 2001, when Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine opened its doors.
Certified-organic Texas beef, wild game specialties and fresh gulf seafood are the main focuses of Bonnell’s. Each dish gets a certain makeover of style and spices with culinary influences from Southwestern, Creole and Mexican touches. Fine Texas cuisine, as defined by Bonnell, is a blend of flavors from neighboring cuisines, “combined with some ingredients that are all our own.”
Bonnell has been honored as a “Rising Star” by the James Beard Foundation and the Dallas Morning News. He also won the Dallas Food and Wine Festival’s Chef competition in 2004. Bonnell’s Restaurant has earned “Best New Restaurant” and “Best Southwest Restaurant” from Fort Worth magazine, “Best Chef” from Fort Worth Weekly in 2001 and 2004, and “Best Restaurant” by Fort Worth Weekly. In addition, the Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Dallas Morning News, Texas Monthly, Wine and Cuisine, Savvy and Texas Journeys have praised the restaurant. The Texas Restaurant Association also named Bonnell the “Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year” in 2004.
(PLEASE NOTE: Ingredient prices are estimates and based on national averages. Amounts listed are for one portion. Increase proportionately according to number of portions desired.)
Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine
4259 Bryant Irvin Road
Fort Worth, Texas
Want to find out how you can make your favorite restaurant dish at home? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.