2021 Dallas-Fort Worth Rising Star Chef Misti Norris of Petra and the Beast

2021 Dallas-Fort Worth Rising Star Chef Misti Norris of Petra and the Beast

Sundays at Misti Norris’s house were meant for chores. But at the end of the day, her dad would switch on a blues record and cook a pot of rice and beans. When her Cajun maw maw came to visit her in Houston from Port Arthur, she’d make boudin bowls and dirty rice—and every time Norris took a bite, she was reminded how good food was capable of being. Since then, she has been determined to replicate those memories through cooking. 

When Norris moved to Dallas as a teenager, she took on her first kitchen job at a Cedar Hill retirement home. Norris spent the next decade working at top restaurants around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She spent five years under Rising Stars alum Chef Anthony Bombaci at Nana, followed by French restaurant Bijoux, then she strengthened her already-burgeoning fermentation skills as sous chef at FT33. In 2014, she ran her first kitchen at Small Brewpub, but left two years later to start planning a concept of her own. Petra and the Beast opened in 2018 with a focus on whole animal butchery and local ingredients. Since its inception, Norris has mastered the skill of packing complicated, experimental techniques into unpretentious, approachable, and affordable dishes. Think hand-rolled cavatelli tossed in a Szechuan-stewed pecan ragĂș and charcuterie boards filled with slices of koji-inoculated bresaola and summer pepper sofrito scrapple.