Taylor Kearney


When Taylor Kearney was 13 years old, he got his first job washing dishes at a barbecue restaurant his brother managed, which led to kitchen jobs at other places around town.

Since culinary school at The Art Institute of Dallas, Chef Kearney has traveled the world to work with some of the industry’s best, including Charlie Palmer, Thomas Keller and Anne-Sophie Pic. Upon his return to Dallas, he joined the team at Restaurant AVA as Chef de Cuisine and opened the company’s sister establishment, Boulevardier. Leaving the group, Chef Kearney moved back to New York to help a friend open his flagship restaurant. 

Chef Kearney then returned to Dallas to run Nick and Sam’s Steakhouse. After three years with Nick and Sam’s, the Front Room Tavern, Hotel Lumen’s eatery, welcomed Chef Kearney to head up their kitchen.  He introduced a new menu, catered fabulous events and cured his own meats. In June, Chef Kearney moved his talents to the much-anticipated Cedar Grove and featured his own farm-to-table menu.

Chef Kearney continued to oversee kitchen operations of NL Group’s restaurants before accepting the Executive Chef position at the Dallas landmark Dakota’s Steakhouse in April 2018.

Jamie Benge


With over two decades of experience working in the industry from back to front of house, Jamie Benge currently serves as the General Manager of Dakota’s Steakhouse.

While attending college in New York City, he worked at Union Pacific run by Rocco DiSpirito, which sparked his passion for the restaurant and hospitality industry.

As an actor in NYC, he filled his spare time as a server at Del Frisco’s New York, the highest grossing steak house in the country. Jamie spent 14 years with Del Frisco’s, ending his time as the Maître’d of the Del Frisco’s in the Boston Seaport District.

Jamie found his way back to his home state, Texas, in the fall of 2016 with his wife and children. He became the General Manager at Al Biernat’s on Oak Lawn.

He brings infectious charm and a passion for hospitality to all that he does. He has learned from the best and plans to take this knowledge and inject it in his current role as General Manager. Jamie hopes to provide a solid foundation for the staff, both old and new and he is excited to bring his years of knowledge to such a revered institution.