It's musical chairs at Turn the Tables Hospitality, the group whose restaurants include Bolsa, Smoke and Chicken Scratch, along with the Theodore, which recently debuted in NorthPark Center. Bolsa, the group's first restaurant (opened in 2008) has a new executive chef: Matt Balke. He comes to the Bishop Arts restaurant via Smoke Plano, where he was chef de cuisine.
This is promising news for fans of Bolsa, which pioneered Dallas' farm-to-table movement when it opened in 2008 with Graham Dodds as chef. The restaurant has had a series of kitchen bosses since Dodds (who is about to open his own restaurant, Wayward Sons) left in 2011, replaced by Jeff Harris, who left to open Fort Worth's American Food and Beverage (which later became AF+B, then closed) in 2014. Andrew Bell later took over, followed by Joel Harrington, who became executive chef in January 2015; Harrington has left the restaurant.
The move marks a return to Bolsa for Balke, who took over two weeks ago.
He served as executive sous chef under Harris, before leaving to open the Rustic as executive chef. He also worked with Sharon Hage at the erstwhile York Street.
"Matt is currently working on the menu and getting settled in," says Turn the Tables spokeswoman Jessica Harp. He expects to have the menu ready, including a new brunch menu, later this month. The chef has already debuted a few new dishes, including smoked trout avocado, beef tartare and a bone-in Berkshire pork chop. "Matt has also brought back the Diamond H Ranch Quail," adds Harp. "He is currently working on adding a beef cheek pastrami dish, an Eagle Mountain gouda pimento cheese dish, antelope pate, and a Windy Hill goat shepherd's pie."
Josh Trunnel has replaced Balke as chef de cuisine at Smoke Plano.