Since becoming one of the most memorable contestants on Bravo “Top Chefs,” Tre Wilcox continues to make his presence known in culinary circles around the country as well as in his home state of Texas. Working his way up to oversee the operations of many restaurant powerhouses such as Abacus and Marquee Grill and Bar, Wilcox just celebrated the opening of his very own cooking school that also doubles as event space this March in Plano, TX called TRE Cooking Concepts.
“It is becoming one of those things where I am starting to move from being kind of a chef to more of an entrepreneur in the background kind of guy now,” says Wilcox who also has a share of the new Southern-inspired restaurant, Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine also in Plano. The new 3,200 square foot space offers a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen that is intimate enough for 39 of your closest friends. With the concept being years in the making, Wilcox and his team finally opened their doors to host corporate events, cooking classes and competitions as well as special events from the community.
Education is Key
Earlier this year, he teamed up with the National Pork Board to show foodies and pork enthusiasts how to take their game up a notch, while dispelling the unhealthy myth for those who tend to shy away. “I want to pack on the flavor. I am a Texas guy, so I am always going to be grilling. My spice rub for this pork is delicious. I mean it combines smoked paprika, I’ve got chili powder, I've got cumin, I’ve even got red chili flakes in this thing so we are cooking up the flavor, which kind of gives the pork a color profile. What I really like is how it kind of takes on the red color,” says Wilcox who was finishing up his sizzling chili pork chop during our interview.
Education is key to understanding how healthy pork can actually be and Wilcox is all about creating awareness through teaching others about the various cuts as well as the best preparation techniques that include grilling, broiling and baking.
Guests of Julia Pearl can taste Wilcox’s interpretation of flavor when trying the bone-in pork chop that is on the menu. The meat goes through a three-day preparation process that includes brining and marinating before grilling. It is served with bacon cheddar grits, collard greens, and a ham hock maple glaze. The restaurant is located at 2301 N Central, Expy #195.