AHW guest chefs

Chef and Owner of Abacus, Dallas, TX

Kent Rathbun


Rathbun’s roots are firmly set in food. At the age of nine, he discovered his passion for culinary creativity and began learning the skills and techniques needed to become the renowned chef that he is today. Starting as an apprentice at La Bonne Auberge, a five-star French restaurant in Kansas City, MO, Rathbun gained experience working with high-end ingredients and learning the art of preparation, a skill he honed as he moved from kitchen to kitchen, working with some of the best chefs in the country, including Mr. B’s in New Orleans, American Restaurant and Milano in Kansas City, The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and the Landmark Restaurant in the Dallas Melrose Hotel.

While at the Landmark, Rathbun had the opportunity to make annual trips to Bangkok, Thailand, which provided him the resources and research to create his own style of contemporary global cuisine that draws from Southwestern, Mediterranean, American, Cajun/Creole and Pacific Rim influences.

In 1997, Rathbun opened Abacus in the heart of Dallas’ uptown district. Abacus has received numerous accolades, including Mobil Four-Stars, AAA Four Diamonds, “Top Pick” in Bon Appetit's Best of 2001, "Best Chef" by D Magazine; and "One of the Top Meals Around the World" by USA Today.

For his second concept, Rathbun focused on the best of America’s regional cuisine, and Jasper’s “Gourmet Backyard Cuisine” quickly became a location with distinction. Jasper’s has been named one of Esquire Magazine’s Top 20 Best New Restaurants in America. His third concept, Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen, draws influences from family recipes while focusing on the roots of cooking, using fresh ingredients from local/regional purveyors to create a menu of home-cooked favorites with a touch of elegance.

Kent has cooked at the James Beard House in New York on several occasions and was nominated as the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Southwest. He has appeared on a number of TV shows, and competed on Food Network’s hit series “Iron Chef America,” defeating grill master Bobby Flay. Rathbun was one of the featured chefs for the Bush 2001 Inaugural Ball and he has participated in the Taste of the NFL pre-SuperBowl event for the past eight years.

Rathbun is also actively involved in the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Zoo to Do, the North Texas Food Bank and the American Heart Association.

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