5 Questions for Tristan Simon
CEO of Consilient Hospitality
You are working on a major expansion of the Joule Hotel in Dallas, which your company Consilient Hospitality operates. What are some of the highlights we can look forward to?
There are many—dramatic three-story penthouses, beautifully curated retail stores from Tenoversix and Traffic, an extraordinary spa by ESPA—but as a restaurateur at heart I'm most excited about the new dining venues. CBD Provisions is a Texas brasserie helmed by a talented young chef named Michael Sindoni, who is reimagining Texas comfort food with originality and bravura. Next year we plan to open a modern farm-to-table restaurant that will source almost all of its ingredients from nearby farms and ranches, some under our own ownership. We also plan to open a subterranean craft cocktail bar in the spring.
How are craft cocktail programs becoming integral to your concepts?
Craft cocktails have gone from being a trend and differentiator to de rigueur in any restaurant, bar, or hotel today that is serious about quality products. Every restaurant and hotel in our group runs craft bars dedicated to fresh ingredients, precise techniques, and well-curated spirit selections.
What do educated diners today want from restaurants?
Commitments to quality that were previously reserved for fine dining in environments that are comparatively casual and social. They increasingly favor responsible portions, cleaner flavors, and straightforward presentations. They want interesting, adventurous dishes that are still comforting. Above all else they want honesty and authenticity.
Your portfolio currently centers on Texas, but you have plans to expand to Atlanta and Houston. What is most exciting to you about southern cuisine right now?
It had been waiting for a major update, and the farm-to-table movement provided the catalyst since much of the South enjoys a natural bounty. At the same time, a surge of enthusiasm among chefs and diners for creative reinterpretations of comfort food naturally looked to southern cuisine for inspiration.
How does the farm-to-table movement factor into your vision of hospitality?
As local, sustainable sourcing becomes more of a standard expectation among educated diners—and commodity ingredients fall under increasing suspicion—partnerships between restaurants and farms will become far more commonplace. In Dallas, we've gotten out in front of this movement by forming strategic partnerships with several local farms and ranches that exclusively supply our restaurants and hotels.