The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Scene

June 8, 2013

Raise your glass: Red Fire Grille offers locals, tourists fine dining experience


PALESTINE — Celebrities & Kudos

Over the years, Christian has cooked for numerous celebrities including Gene Hackman, Dixie Carter, Mickie Mantle, George McFarland (“Spanky” from “Our Gang/Little Rascals” original series), James Taylor, ACDC’s Brian Johnston, Jose Feliciano, French chef Julia Child, sports icons such as Dan Marino, Redskins Joe Thiesmann, among others.

“I served Mickey and Spanky at a country club in Florida,” Christian said.

When asked how it felt to meet Julia Child, Christian said, “It was intimidating cooking for her because she was such a legend.”

Christian hopes to cook for more celebrities in the future if possible, including rock ‘n’ roll, blues and soul legend Daryl Hall (lead singer for Hall & Oates, solo artist and songwriter), who has been doing the “Live from Daryl’s House” monthly web show since 2007 ( Four cable networks have picked up the series as of March.

“We are big Daryl Hall fans. It would be awesome if we could cook for him. He does a mix of music and food, bringing in chefs to cook,” Christian said.

Artist and potter Stephen Hawks from Columbus, Ga., who currently lectures at the University of Texas at Brownsville, recently found Red Fire Grille on a visit through Palestine.

“He was so impressed that he gave us a piece of art that is just lovely,” Dawn said.

Christian was recently honored as one of the country’s top culinary talents in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America, a 386-page coffee table book. The book, released in March, is the first-ever peer review guide of U.S. chefs, who were chosen after extensive interviews between their fellow chefs and Best Chefs America analysts.

Their Courtship

Another interesting sidenote to Red Fire Grille’s story is how Christian and Dawn met.

“He had me at ‘how’s your dinner?” Dawn joked.

They have been married for seven years, knowing each other for a total of eight years.

“We met at the Flagler Grill in Stuart, Fla. I had just cooked for Dan Marino, so it had been a crazy day and it was my third day at the restaurant,” Christian said.

Dawn recalled their meeting.

“It was an open kitchen and I was at Table No. 1. He leaned over and asked “‘How’s your dinner’ and that’s all it took.”

Dawn even asked him out first, leading to a courtship and eventually, marriage.

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