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Belly & Trumpet’s Zenner Named Exec Chef at Oak

By Farah Fleurima  |  June 27, 2014

Apheleia Restaurant Group, the firm behind Pakpao, Oak and Belly & Trumpet announced a significant chef shift today. After a triumphant Sea to Table dinner at Oak last Sunday, executive chef Brian Zenner is becoming the kitchen chief at Oak, replacing Richard Gras, who handed in his resignation yesterday. Gras replaced founding chef Jason Maddy, whom Zenner worked alongside as chef de cuisine for a while. Maddy was a bright star in the local dining firmament before leaving abruptly in May 2013, and despite the talent Gras’ brought to the table, the restaurant seemed to lose its footing in the transition.

Zenner, a known and gifted commodity, seems a sure bet to get the Design District restaurant back on track. It’s a good thing Oak and B&T have similar menu aesthetics, as Zenner will continue to run the kitchen at the Uptown restaurant while leading things at Oak. Says Apheleia co-owner (with wife Tiffanee) Richard Ellman in a press release about the move: “The restaurant has a bright future ahead with Zenner at the helm, and we anticipate this move bringing Oak to new heights within the Dallas dining scene.”