Stephan Pyles, a fifth generation Texan and a pioneer of New American Cuisine, has created 16 restaurants over the past 27 years, and authored four highly successful cookbooks. A founding father of Southwestern Cuisine, he was the first person in the Southwest to win a James Beard Award for Best Chef and was the first Texan inducted into Who's Who of Food and Wine in America. He has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show and hosted two seasons of the Emmy-award winning PBS series New Tastes from Texas.
Bon Appétit credited him with "almost single-handedly changing the cooking scene in Texas" while The New York Times called Pyles "an absolute genius in the kitchen". In 2006, Esquire named him "Chef of the Year" and included Stephan Pyles restaurant in their list of "Best New Restaurants". Texas Monthly named Pyles one of the "twenty most impressive, intriguing, and influential Texans for 1998" and in their February 2007 issue named his restaurant, Stephan Pyles, "Best New Restaurant of 2006".
Pyles has cooked for dignitaries and celebrities from HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Mikhail Gorbachev to Mick Jagger and Sharon Stone. He was one of five chefs worldwide invited to prepare dinner for Jimmy Carter's 70th birthday.
Most recently he opened Samar by Stephan Pyles in the Arts District which serves "International Small Plates" inspired from his travels to India, Spain and the eastern Mediterranean. The restaurant was awarded "Best New Restaurant - 2009" by The Dallas Morning News and was a James Beard Foundation's nominee for "Best New Restaurant in America". In addition, Texas Monthly named Samar one of Texas's best new restaurants and Esquire recently named it one of America's best.
Stephan has been a cuisine consultant to American Airlines for the past 22 years and has consulted for the Dallas Museum of Art and a host of hotels including Zaza, The Gaylord and Omni.
A tireless philanthropist, Pyles is a founding board member of Share Our Strength, an international hunger relief organization and is a recipient of the organization's Humanitarian of the Year Award. He is a life board member of the North Texas Food Bank and also serves on the board of Goodwill Industries.
Under the auspices of the The Wine and Food Foundation, Pyles offers a $15,000 annual scholarship in his name to a rising star culinary student in Texas.