Dear Dallas-Fort Worth: Chef Matt McCallister's Letter to the Metroplex

By Matt McCallister | Will Blunt


Matt McCallister
Will Blunt
Chef Matt McCallister of Homewood
Chef Matt McCallister of Homewood

What to say? Though my love for food and cooking has been with me since I was a child, I feel it really grew its roots here. Our city has come a long way. While I still feel we have much more room to grow, it has been impressive and satisfying to be along for the ride in the time that I have been here. While I’m not one of the OGs like Stephan Pyles and the like, I feel as though I’ve been here long enough to bridge the gap between the old guard and the new.

I remember back 11 years ago when I was opening FT33, I was full of excitement and equally terrified. I was embarking on what I called my “middle finger” to the status quo of what was then the current state of dining in Dallas-Fort Worth.  At that time, it just felt like everything was the same. No one was really pushing for something different. I wanted to show guests what they were missing instead of giving them something they had always had. Though I now look back at what I did then as naive and immature, it was an important part in me finding my voice—and DFW supported it.
It makes me happy to think that if I opened FT33 now, it would be just one of many great DFW restaurants in town.
The fun, the funky, the creative ideas, the genuine hospitality. Dallas-Fort Worth’s food and beverage community continues to push forward, setting far-reaching goals then smashing the shit out of them and pushing even further. For this city to continue to grow in our industry, more of us will need to go out and take risks. It’s what we have needed to get this far and it’s something I have always said and supported. 
Don’t play it safe. Sometimes we will fail, but all the greatest lessons to be learned in my life come from failures, not successes. Following your heart and being resilient are some of the most important virtues in life.

While these last couple years haven’t been ideal, I feel as though we will look back on them as turning points in the way we previously operated our businesses. 
So to everyone out there in the food and beverage community, keep telling your story—because it’s what makes food tasty!

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