Ambiance and service are key to creating a successful restaurant, but when it comes down to it, the food is the main superstar of any dining experience. The chef is the mastermind behind translating artful concepts and ingenuity into delicious ingredients on the plate. Restaurants that stand out from the rest feature menus that take you on a journey of the senses and leave you feeling more than satisfied. Today we look at one of these master storytellers and the father of Southwestern Cuisine – Chef Stephan Pyles.
About the Chef
Originally a music student, Stephan Pyles changed his trajectory to cooking when he was exposed to exotic cuisines during his travels abroad. Over the years, unique opportunities molded his career, and he is now known as one of the most acclaimed chefs in the world. He was mentored by none other than Julia Child and spent many years refining his culinary skills in her home in the south of France. Since then he has opened over 20 restaurants in 6 cities and cooked for five American presidents and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. He was one of the leaders of the New American Cuisine movement and the creator of “Southwestern Cuisine” and “Modern Texas Cuisine,” both of which stemmed from his Texas roots.
What is Southwestern Cuisine?
If you like spice, you’ll love Southwestern Cuisine. Chiles are the main heroes in these dishes, stemming from the variations that were brought over when the Spanish moved north from Mexico. Apart from chiles; corn, beans, and squash are also big players in this type of cuisine, as they were historically key ingredients in American agriculture. Another notable symbol of Southwestern Cuisine is the use of non-traditional corn. Think blue corn tortillas, blue corn pancakes, and blue corn enchiladas. Colorful dishes filled with native ingredients make Southwestern dishes a flavorful dive into American history.
A Taste of Texas
Ready to taste some iconic southwestern flavors? Plan your next business meeting at one of Benchmark Resorts & Hotels’ properties in Texas, and you can enjoy a complimentary Texas barbecue featuring cuisine by Chef Stephan Pyles.
Need a personal vacation? Head to Dallas for a taste of some southern classics at Stampede66, Chef Pyles’ restaurant that he dubbed his “love letter to Texas.” The restaurant was created from an old dance hall that was erected in the 1950s by musician Hoyle Nix and became an icon in the region. The name actually comes from a childhood restaurant that Pyles’ family used to eat at called The Big Spring Phillips 66 Truck Stop Cafe.
At Stampede66 you can get signature Texas flavors with a modern twist. “The cuisine will be rooted in Texas classics but done in a refined way that we haven’t seen before,” explains Chef Pyles. A typical meal will start off with some mouthwatering Chicharrones with Pimento Cheese Foam. From there you can sink your teeth into the Beef Tenderloin with Spicy Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Mole Negro. To finish it off, delight in a sweet Butterscotch Pudding with Salted Caramel and a Snickerdoodle Cookie. With the phrase “Made in Texas” in mind, at Stampede66 Chef Pyles aims to use local ingredients that are true to the state where he was born and raised.
Delta Hotels Marriott Watters Creek Convention Center is home to Stampede66 along with two other dining options, which have also been curated by Chef Pyles. Canyon Bar is a more laidback atmosphere where you can enjoy cocktails and modern Tex-Mex favorites like BBQ Beef Brisket Tacos and Stampede Chili Pie. Chef Pyles even teamed up with the hotel to create a gourmet iteration of a grab-n-go market with Provision 66 Grab & Go. This is the perfect place to taste your way through Texas while enjoying the comfort and amenities provided by the Marriot brand.