Ex-'Top Chef' contestant Tre Wilcox is part of the team behind new Plano restaurant Julia Pearl.

Ex-'Top Chef' contestant Tre Wilcox is part of the team behind new Plano restaurant Julia Pearl.

Anja Schlein/Special Contributor

[Update on March 24, 2017: Julia Pearl has closed.]

Original story from January 2016:

Cornmeal-crusted catfish, jumbo shrimp with spicy cheese grits, and deviled eggs topped with crispy chicken skin are just a few of the menu items that made the final cut at Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine. The new restaurant, located on Central Expressway near West Park Boulevard in Plano, is open for dinner and Sunday brunch.

Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine

Former Top Chef contestant Tre Wilcox is bringing some star power to Julia Pearl's kitchen as a co-owner and culinary director. However, don't expect to see Wilox in the kitchen regularly.

It's executive chef Jermaine Brown, who worked with Wilcox at Dallas restaurant Abacus, who will be running the show. "He's no longer the right-hand man," Wilcox explains. "He is the man." 

Julia Pearl is the first restaurant Wilcox has been involved with since he left Marquee Grill in 2013. 

[Update on March 23, 2017: Both Wilcox and Brown have left Julia Pearl. Wilcox will be focusing on his Tre Wilcox Cooking Concepts, which hosts cooking classes. Brown has taken a new job at Great Scott, a restaurant in Grapevine.]

Julia Pearl is located in the former Allen Wickers Pub in East Plano. Julia Pearl part-owner Darcy Dudley has a heartwarming reason why he chose that spot: He eyed the building every Sunday as he and his wife drove to church. When Allen Wickers closed, Dudley and his partners hatched plans for a restaurant named after the Dudleys' grandmothers, Julia and Pearl.

2301 North Central Expressway, Plano. juliapearlsoutherncuisine.com.

Look inside the new restaurant:

Peek at the menus:

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