The Dish: Chef John Tesar

Chef John Tesar got his start in the restaurant business as a teen, working at night and surfing all day. 

He went on to work at some of the trendiest restaurants in New York and Las Vegas, earning notice for his skills in the kitchen–and for his outsized personality.

In 2014, he opened Knife in Dallas. The steakhouse re-invention made Esquire’s list of “Best New Restaurants.” “Knife” is also the title of his new book. 

Here are some of Tesar’s signature recipes: 

Ribeye – back to the pan


Any cut and size that can be cooked on a grill or in a broiler can be cooked back to the pan


1. Pull the steak from the refrigerator

2. Dry the steak completely until the surface doesn’t glisten with moisture

3. Heat the pan use a carbon steel or cast-iron pan over high heat

4. Generously coat the meat on all sides with kosher salt and black pepper immediately before cooking

5. Add fat. Use just a little neutral oil such as canola, peanut, grape seed. Don’t use butter or olive oil. 

7. Throw on the steak. Allow steak to sizzle and brown for a few minutes. 

8. When the first side has developed a nice crust and the meat has turned a rich shade of reddish brow, showing visible dryness- flip the steak. 

9. Gauge the doneness.

10. Rest the steak, but not too much. Thin steaks need just a minute or two and thicker steaks a few minutes. 

Avocado fries

Tempura batter ingredients

4 cups cake flour

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

3 tablespoons kosher salt

2 ¾ cups sparkling water


1. Sift or whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.

2. In a large bowl, whisk 1 ½ dry mix with the sparkling water. The batter should have the consistency of a crepe batter or vegetable oil.

Avocado fries ingredients

1 cup buttermilk

1 ripe avocado

Vegetable or peanut oil, for deep frying

2 cups rice flour

1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus additional for sprinkling


1. Pour the buttermilk into a bowl. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise…

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