UPDATE: 2:30 p.m. "I will make an announcement soon about my future," Davaillon wrote in an email message.
ORIGINAL STORY: When Bruno Davaillon arrived on the Dallas dining scene in the fall of 2009, he shook things up -- big time. Now The Dallas Morning News has learned that Davaillon will be leaving his post as executive chef at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek at the end of November.
Dallas' culinary scene was just starting to come into its own when Davaillon took the reins at the Mansion Restaurant, and since that time he has pushed gastronomic boundaries and turned out some of the most spectacular, sophisticated plates the city has probably ever seen. A few months after he arrived at the Mansion, he helped the restaurant earn five stars in a review, in which I wrote, "Davaillon's is the only tasting menu I've come across in Dallas that really shows off the skill, range and imagination of the chef. And this chef is a serious talent."
There was also a question of the culinary relevance of the Mansion at the time, since the departure of its previous executive chef, John Tesar, who had helped the restaurant earn five stars in a review. Davaillon's cooking answered that question: "The Mansion matters. A lot."
Davaillon went on to earn spots on The News' The Best in DFW: Best Chefs lists every year since he arrived in Dallas. The restaurant earned four stars in its last review, in September 2013. About one of his tasting menus I wrote: "There were no look-at-me pyrotechnics on the plates; Davaillon's technical virtuosity was invisible to the naked eye. Rather, these dishes -- exuberant celebrations of the season -- were all about harmony, texture, purity of flavor, pleasure."
The Mansion's Director of Communications, Katie Norwood, declined to say why Davaillon is leaving, and Davaillon has not yet commented. Andrea Gates, the Mansion's managing director, sent the following statement: "Bruno Davaillon has been dedicated to advancing Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek's long history of iconic talent and culinary excellence throughout his six-year tenure as Executive Chef. As an upstanding individual and dedicated leader, he will be dearly missed. We offer Chef Davaillon our gratitude and wish him all the best in his future endeavors."
Gates also took the opportunity to introduce a new director of food and beverages for the hotel: Fernando Aguilar. Aguilar joined Rosewood Hotels & Resorts in 1998 at Rosewood Las Ventanas al Paraiso, where he served as director of food and beverage, according to Gates, who adds that he holds a degree in Hospitality Business Management from Pan-American Hospitality School in Mexico City.