We heard about three ladyfriends who went to lunch at Grady's Restaurant, the newest upscale chuckwagon eatery headed up by famous Fort Worth cowboy chef Grady Spears. The women peered in on the mahogany decor and realized the place was closed. They turned to go. But standing before them -- asking them to please come in -- was the hunky Spears himself.
The women were served an elegant meal by the chef -- they were his guinea pigs for the summer tasting menu, he said. So, of course, Spears insisted they not pay.
This sort of gesture cements Spears' reputation for kind-hearted southern hospitality, which, along with a knack for refined ranch dishes like Red Chile Quail Tostadas, casts him as the Old Guard of DFW dining. The world knows Spears for his meat-and-potatoes cookbooks. We know him as the guy who's not above busing tables at Dutch's, the hopping hamburger joint he owns with buddy Lou Lambert. Even the names of restaurants associated with Spears are epically and beautifully Texan: Reata is named for the Texas ranch in Edna Ferber's novel "Giant", made popular with a film in the 1950s; Dutch's honors decorated Texas Christian University football coach Leo "Dutch" Meyer.
The February opening of Grady's established Spears as a recognized national figure -- now his fans know exactly where to go to get pure, unadulterated Spears cuisine. The restaurant has been billed as an all-star collection of what the chef/owner has practiced during years in the kitchen and behind the concepts of Lambert's, Reata, and Chisolm Club.
The chef's campaign for ADHD awareness after his own diagnosis shows he's using his growing fame for the greater good. And if all goes as planned, Spears will be on TV soon as the subject for a cooking/travel show PBS has reportedly agreed to air once MackDaddyFilms can find a sponsor. Check out the pilot for "The Cowboy Way With Grady Spears" -- Pat Green gives the chef props in the intro, and it's easy to picture Spears serving the Texas country star his Slow Braised Cabrito Tacos. And it's likely Spears would take a seat next to the singer-songwriter, both at the supper table and the one where Texas history makers sit.