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Brian Zenner

Chef Brian Zenner
Photo © Joy Zhang

Restaurant: Belly & Trumpet (Read a review)

Location: Dallas

Why He's Amazing: Because a passion for food that began with childhood travels with his family to Kenya, Asia and France is in the global flavors of his small and large shared-plates menu—and Dallas is loving it.

Culinary School: Texas Culinary Academy (Austin)

Background: Oak, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas); Matchbox Lounge, Fenouil (Portland, OR)

Quintessential Dish: Hokkaido scallop crudo with Asian pear and horseradish puree

International Upbringing: Zenner was born in Bangkok, and grew up in Dubai, London, Houston and Dallas.

Inspirations for His Menu: David Chang's Momofuku cookbook; Australian chef David Thompson and Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, for their knowledge of Thai food; and Thomas Keller.

Best Meal He's Ever Had: When he was 14, Zenner and his family went on vacation in Thailand and a friend took them to a restaurant on a dock. "There were all of these wooden boxes filled with fresh seafood. We went through and picked like eight things and we had course after course of this seafood that was so fresh. Something that really stands out was a chili-cracked crab, which is this crab covered in a curry. It was pretty memorable."

On the Length of His Menu at Belly & Trumpet: "It's only about 20 items. We're not trying to be the Cheesecake Factory."

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