Rising Star Chef Tracy Miller of LOCAL - Biography

Dallas, TX

November 2011

From the moment you walk into 2007 Rising Star Chef Tracy Miller's little world of retro-Scandinavian-functionality with a whole lot of soul at LOCAL, you are entering another world of flavor and style. From the bowl of welcoming nuts, to the perfectly refreshing intermezzo of grapefruit and rosemary sorbet, to the absolutely tiny thumbprint petit fours, Millers's vision permeates every detail of the restaurant and follows through a meditated progression to create a completely transporting dining experience. As a chef she's a perfectionist, skipping the bread service altogether because she's determined to bake the bread herself, and do it right. As it is she runs the savory and sweet side of the little kitchen, putting out beautifully composed dishes that are built with all the delicate sensibility and sophisticated playfulness of The French Laundry while being unmistakably her own.

Miller began her culinary career later in life, in the early 90s, when she was approached by the owner of a fully equipped restaurant space with the proposal to open a small café. With absolutely no experience, Miller fearlessly embarked on her first culinary challenge, finding very quickly that the hospitality industry constantly compelled her to learn as much as she could. Teaching herself with chef-driven cookbooks and cooking magazines, Miller began to develop her style and anticipate her own growth and transformation as a chef.

When the opportunity to open Seventeen Seventeen with Dallas mentor Chef Kent Rathbun arose, Miller took on the challenge of restaurant manager and learned more about wine, restaurant design (which would later become one of her strengths) and fine dining. After one a half years, Miller was convinced that she had truly found her calling and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone to ground herself with cooking fundamentals and techniques.

After school, Miller began to organize her business plan for LOCAL, planting the seed of her dream in the historical Boyd Hotel, built in 1908. Because the building was not a restaurant, Miller began a complete renovation in 1998, turning the space into a beautiful, clean, and highly personalized space while retaining its sense of history and charm. While working with her catering company, Miller began to teach herself more while studying Alice Waters, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Donna Hay, Thomas Keller, and Danny Meyer, until six years later, in 2003, she opened LOCAL. The straight-forward, refined, clean American dishes reflect Miller’s approach to the craft: simple and stylish with a real focus on shaping the guest experience with details that carry through from beginning to end. As a working chef-owner Miller feels like she is living the dream, and it shows in her inspired, beautiful space and the extraordinary dishes she produces.