Stephan Pyles, whose name became synonymous with Southwestern cuisine in the late 1980s, has created 14 restaurants over the past 22 years.
In 1991, while chef and owner of Routh Street Café, Baby Routh, Goodfellow’s and Tejas in Minneapolis, Pyles received The James Beard Foundation’s award for “Best Chef in America, Southwest”. In 1994, Pyles opened Star Canyon, quickly followed by AquaKnox in 1997, which was named “Best New Restaurant of the Year” by Food & Wine. Pyles sold Star Canyon and AquaKnox to Carlson Restaurants Worldwide in 1998 and over the course of the next four years opened Star Canyon in Las Vegas at the Venetian Hotel and Resort and at the Stephen F Austin Hotel in Austin. He also developed two new concepts for the company: FishBowl, and Taqueria Cañonita.
In late 2000 Pyles left Carlson Restaurants to travel, research, consult, write, teach, and produce television cooking shows. During this time Pyles published a series of cookbooks, beginning with The New Texas Cuisine and co-authored Tamales, and New Tastes from Texas, the companion piece to his Emmy-award winning PBS television series by the same name. His fourth cookbook, Southwestern Vegetarian, was published in 2001.
Pyles is a founding board member of Share Our Strength, an international hunger relief organization. In addition, he serves as a life board member of The North Texas Food Bank and is on The National Culinary Advisor’s Board of The Art Institutes. In 1988, he founded Dallas’ Taste of the Nation event, which has raised over $1,500,000 for local ministries and food pantries. He was co-founder of The Hunger Link, Dallas’ perishable food program which links restaurants and hotels with shelters and other feeding programs. Pyles re-entered the restaurant business in 2006 with the eponymous Stephan Pyles where he serves his high concept Southwestern cuisine with heavy Latin American influences in the Dallas arts district. In 2007, Pyles' restaurant earned him a StarChefs.com Dallas Rising Star Chef Award.