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Chef Dean Fearing

Celebrity Chef

Chef Dean Fearing in action during the annual barbecue bash 2005 benefiting the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Chef Fearing and his friends welcomed the likes of Wynonna Judd, Holly Williams, Tony Brown and Richie Furay to jam with his band of famous chefs. The 2004 fundraiser, benefiting the same Hospital, raised $50,000.

"The fact that all my friends and I can get together to play some music is enough reason to do this," said Chef Fearing. "It's a way for us to serve up some really good food, have a lot of fun and raise money for a really good cause. You can't get much better than that." If you are thinking of attending the 2006 fundraiser, chef Dean Fearing offers this advise: "Come hungry and ready to party!."

He has graced the cover of Gourmet magazine, cooked on every national morning television show, all while serving celebrities, presidents, Her Majesty The Queen of England and rock stars at The Mansion on Turtle Creek. Chef Dean Fearing, the "Father of Southwestern Cuisine," has been the driving force behind the cuisine at The Mansion on Turtle Creek for the better part of 20 years, cooking for people who love good food.

The son of an innkeeper, growing up in East Kentucky, Chef Fearing was raised with grandmothers that knew their way around the kitchen. Fearing, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, travels the world, but never leaves his Southern roots far behind. When he is not found in the kitchen, he is often found strumming his guitar, a vintage Fender Telecaster, with his all-chef band, The Barbwires. Dean is also the host of two television shows, Dean's Cuisine and A Taste of the Southwest, and a published cookbook author. He searches the countryside for inspiration, using all varieties of homegrown peppers, dried chilies, jicama, cilantro, tomatillos, Texas hill country wild game, birds and venison in his ever-changing menu.

He has graced the cover of Gourmet magazine, cooked on every national morning television show, all while serving celebrities, presidents, Her Majesty The Queen of England and rock stars at The Mansion on Turtle Creek. Chef Dean Fearing, the "Father of Southwestern Cuisine," has been the driving force behind the cuisine at The Mansion on Turtle Creek for the better part of 20 years, cooking for people who love good food.

The son of an innkeeper, growing up in East Kentucky, Chef Fearing was raised with grandmothers that knew their way around the kitchen. Fearing, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, travels the world, but never leaves his Southern roots far behind. When he is not found in the kitchen, he is often found strumming his guitar, a vintage Fender Telecaster, with his all-chef band, The Barbwires. Dean is also the host of two television shows, Dean's Cuisine and A Taste of the Southwest, and a published cookbook author. He searches the countryside for inspiration, using all varieties of homegrown peppers, dried chilies, jicama, cilantro, tomatillos, Texas hill country wild game, birds and venison in his ever-changing menu.

"Twenty years ago, ingredients like jicama, jalapeno and cilantro weren't readily available to the home cook or to the professional chef," said Fearing. Over the years Fearing has educated his customers and the rest of the country with his Southwest flavors which can now be found in restaurants and grocery stores across the country.

Unrelentingly creative, the exuberant Chef Fearing, winner of The James Beard Foundation Restaurant Award for "Best Chef in the Southwest", the Mobil "Five-Star Award" from 1995-2001 and the AAA "Five Diamond Award" from 1990-present, creates new dishes each week. Most begin with seasonal native ingredients complemented by an intriguing array of flavors from around the world. The result is both exotic and harmonious. Drawing inspiration from the backyard barbecues he knew as a child, he recently presented a plate composed of Texas Steak "Diane" with Queso Fresco Potatoes, Griddled Asparagus, and Chorizo Avocado Nacho. These adventurous specials are offered on The Mansion's menu, along with Chef Fearing's now-classic signature dishes such as Warm Lobster Taco with Yellow Tomato Salsa and the world renowned Tortilla Soup.

Fearing's love of barbecue lead to the evolution of the nationally recognized "Annual Dean Fearing & Friends Barbecue Benefit Bash," held every July. Now into its fourth year, the barbecue brings in chefs from around the country to serve up barbecue dishes unique to the chef's locale. Fearing himself cooks and also plays with his band, The Barbwires, at the bash. Over the past three years, the barbecue has featured music sensations including Steve Winwood, Rodney Crowell, Mickey Raphael, Tony Brown, Jimmy Messina and Richie Furay. To date, the barbecue has raised over $175,000 for charity.

He is usually found in the kitchen of The Mansion on Turtle Creek in his crisp white chef's coat, blue jeans and his brightly hued, custom Lucchese cowboy boots. He came to the Mansion as executive sous chef in 1980 with the goal of becoming a great American chef, he became executive chef in 1985. His most recent adventure is the opening of a café at The Nasher Sculpture Center, were The Mansion on Turtle Creek will be the exclusive caterer and will feature favorites from The Mansion on Turtle Creek and some of Chef Fearing's new creations. The Center houses one of the world's most exceptional collections of modern and contemporary sculpture.

Fearing's cuisine is always in demand. His famous sauces, dressings and tortilla soups are now bottled and available at grocery stores. The Mansion on Turtle Creek restaurant is a Dallas hot spot and guests frequently ask for Fearing's recipes. While most chefs would hide their secret recipes, Fearing shares them willingly, says Dean Fearing, "I can always create another one."