Chef Graham Dodds’ ingenuity and reverence for Texas agriculture is felt throughout his menu at Hibiscus, where he integrates his storied culinary pedigree into forward-thinking, playful, and seasonal dishes.
Hibiscus, the established Henderson Avenue restaurant in Dallas, which Dodds joined in late 2013, attracted him due to a shared commitment to honor seasonality and local sourcing. With those ideals in mind, Dodds uses his surrounding resources to create elevated, yet approachable cuisine. “I aim to evolve the restaurant through a rotating roster of fresh dishes,” says Dodds. “By embracing the local farmers and purveyors and blending what I’ve learned through traveling the world, we work to highlight the best of what Texas has to offer from its vegetation to its robust meats, while also touching upon global flavors and techniques.”
Dodds refined this high regard for seasonality in his experiences leading to his role at Hibiscus. In 2008, he opened Bolsa in the heart of Oak Cliff, where he fine-tuned his devotion to hyper-local and ultra-seasonal cuisine, gaining recognition for his ever-evolving menus. Later, he moved into the role of Executive Chef at Central 214 where he appealed to both casual and adventurous palates.
His path was spurred from experiences in his youth: born in Fort Worth, TX, and raised in Hurst, TX, Dodds spent many of his summers visiting his grandparents in England where he learned the art of beekeeping and gardening, while his professional exploration began at the Le Cordon Bleu in Portland and later, London. As a new chef, he began to embrace seasonality when he worked under the tutelage of Greg Higgins, who pioneered the farm-to-table movement in Oregon at the award-winning Higgins Restaurant and Bar. From there he continued to fine-tune his seasonal fare through foraging and gardening on a family-run farm and restaurant in Switzerland, and joining David Hugo and his Shelburne Farms, where 1,400 acres of self-sustaining agriculture inspired him daily.
In 1991 he moved to Dallas, working at such notable establishments as the famed Grape Restaurant; Harvey Hotel, at which he learned from mentor Sharon Hage, a pioneer in Dallas’ seasonal food movement; and Star Canyon with Stephan Pyles.
In his off hours, Dodds maintains beehives throughout the Dallas area and his use of locally-produced honey is a culinary trademark of his. He also volunteers with Promise of Peace, where he teaches elementary students how to garden and utilize the bounty in their own kitchen. He resides in Oak Cliff and has two children Boone and Lily.