New Chef Pops Up in FW Food Scene

Clay Pigeon Food and Drink to open in November

Another new restaurant is on the way to Fort Worth and the chef, a home town guy, is ready to make his mark in the culinary world.

"Suffice it to say, I'm on the line here," smiled Marcus Paslay, a 30-year-old about to break into a demanding business. "I'm scared out of my mind, but excited about it."

Paslay will open Clay Pigeon Food and Drink sometime in November.  The restaurant will bring new life to 2731 White Settlement Road, the former site of Pedro's, then Lambert's.

Paslay's own place is the culmination of a dream that began to take shape a decade ago.

"Ten years ago, I was at the University of Oklahoma and studying business. I realized I was relating everything to the restaurant field," he explained.

So he left the place where the winds sweep through the plains and headed for the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

He graduated from CIA in 2006, ready to start his new career.

"I've moved all over the United States from Alaska to Seattle to Vail (where he helped open the Four Seasons), Texas, of course.  It's home for me, the Metroplex to be specific," he said, "So we're coming back home to open up our own place."

The "we" in that refers to his wife and their 1-year-old daughter.

Paslay knows balancing a family and a business that demands long hours will be tough, but "I have a great wife, an understanding wife," he said thankfully.

He also has the support of Gerard Thompson, the executive chef at Rough Creek Lodge. Rough Creek is a luxury resort in Glen Rose, about 90 minutes southwest of DFW.  The resort describes Thompson's food as "innovative, rustic, American cuisine and the result is one of the best restaurants in the country."

Paslay credits Thompson for taking him under his wing, showing and teaching him what it takes to be a great chef.  "He's a mentor, educator, friend and a great guy."

The two teamed up at the recent Twenty at the Tower dinner which supports the 2014 Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival.  Paslay described the dinner for a sold-out crowd of 50 as "dueling chefs with lots of good food."  

One of the courses was Watermelon Jalapeño Gazpacho. Paslay shared that recipe with NBC 5 and you can see it here.


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