He used the time to travel, educate, teach, write a few cookbooks, and – we suspect – relax… a bit. By 2006, Pyles was back on the Dallas culinary scene, breaking ground in the then-foundering arts district neighborhood with his eponymously-named restaurant Stephan Pyles (his was one of the first businesses to open there, sparking the rejuvenation of the area).
Pyles refers to Texas as “the land where beef is king” but things are changing. Dallas’ restaurants and patrons are becoming more international and eclectic, even moving toward the small plate phenomena – a bit step for what Pyles calls a tradition of “big plates and big steaks.” As usual, Pyles is at the forefront of this change – which is no small feat after nearly 25 years in the industry.
What’s more, the chile master has two hungry business partners who are adding heat to Pyles’ fire to expand and remain at the vanguard of Southwestern cuisine. Now, with Stephan Pyles in full stride and a talented executive chef Tim Byers (formerly of The Mansion at Turtle Creek) to steer the ship when he’s away, Pyles will be opening a “global tapas” restaurant at the end of this year (name TBA, pending trademarks, etc.). Harking back to his roots, Pyles is also pondering an all-out, deep-in-the-heart-of-Texas, rattlesnake boot-style restaurant a la his now defunct cowboy cuisine restaurant Star Canyon – but what he says will be even more “in-your-face Texan.”
Pyles is on a roll, continuing to help keep the Dallas culinary scene up to date and reaching beyond the usual local flavors and ingredients. His seemingly endless amount of energy and ideas is admirable to say the least – maybe there’s something more to those chilies than tongue tingling capsaicinoids….