Uncommon Ramen with Chef BJ Smith

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July’s installment of Uncommon Ramen was one for the books! We opened our kitchen to Chef BJ Smith of Smokehouse Provisions and Kim Jong Smokehouse in Portland, and we’re so happy we did! Chef Smith was a standout contestant on Top Chef Season 14, and we’ll vouch that he’s as cool and creative off camera as he appears!

Despite the July heat, almost 300 die-hard ramen fans reserved their seats for the big slurp. The summer vibes were felt from the dining room to the patio, as guests sipped craft cocktails, Japanese whisky, paired wines and icy cold craft beers, and shared bites from our ramen night menu.

Our guest chef collaborated with the home team to create an unprecedented Polish-inspired take on the classic Japanese comfort food. The ramen was a duck ramen with confit duck ham, sauerkraut, Ajitama egg, and a mix of fresh herbs. The full-bodied dish was richly layered with smokiness from the duck, acidity from the sauerkraut and brightness from the herbs, embodying Chef’s Polish inspiration.

We loved having Chef Smith in the kitchen. Our crew was impressed with his mad skills. Uncommon Ramen is about the adventure – all of us, from the kitchen to each and every seat – taking the ride together. Chef Smith really embraced that spirit, taking time to mix and mingle and share his inspiration with the guests. We would tell you it doesn’t get better than this, but we continue to be surprised by the talent popping up in our kitchen.

Next up: On August 26 th we’ll be welcoming the incredible Chef Nikki Tran from Houston’s Kau Ba Saigon Kitchen & Bar. Tran has been featured on Ugly Delicious, on Netflix’s Street Food, and if you’ve ever eaten at her restaurant, you’ll understand why. She packs a punch of flavor and a ton of passion in every bite. Seating is limited and in high demand, so gather your squad and reserve your table here.

You’ll be even more satisfied knowing that a portion of Uncommon Ramen proceeds go to support Promise of Peace Gardens, a local nonprofit working to establish community gardens in vacant spaces throughout North Texas. You can learn more about their work here.

Can’t wait to see you in August!

Amanda Woodward