23 NOV 2010: Dallas is serving up big ideas. This big city in the big state of Texas just keeps cooking up more ways to out-salsa its southern neighboring cities.

With multi-billion dollar developments, a new convention center hotel ready to lure your corporate clients with the much anticipated 2012 opening of the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel, and more restaurants hopping onto the foodie circuit, well Dallas is just plain big’n’hot.

One of the best big things about this is the teeny air travel time. From YYZ to DFW it’s a short 2 hours and 10 minutes.

To lead this massive renaissance, the Dallas CVB has Phillip Jones at the helm. As president and CEO, Jones has an A-list of awards under his belt and to boot, the tourism maestro is a tri-athlete guru. Try an Ironman.

Just ask him about his recent Florida Ironman competition. “I finished the race in 11 hours 50 minutes,” he grins in-between his update on why agents should book their clients to this hub.

It pretty well goes without saying that Dallas is more than “Dallas,” the long-running TV show. J.R. Ewing left Southfork Ranch a long time ago. In his place there is a “new” Dallas.

Dallas does New Restaurants

The hopping dining scene with 9,000 plus restaurants has young culinary chefs like Tiffany Derry, executive chef of the elegant Go Fish Ocean Club, who accompanied Jones to Toronto last week.

The star chef participated at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo and made a TV appearance on CTV’s Canada Am. Tiffany might look familiar to fans of the Top Chef TV series airing on Bravo Network too.

Not only has the acclaimed chef won big funds while on the show, but she’s won a big trip to Paris and won Top Chef Season 8 Fan Favourite. Word has it she is a Top Chef win-hopeful! (Writer’s footnote: We wish you the best with the big win Tiffany and know you’ve already got big star quality!)

I had the good fortune in rolling up my sleeves in an informal cooking seminar she conducted with local media at Great Cooks on Eight. We sliced and diced as Chef Derry relayed some of her trade secrets.

Very Derry Secrets:

1. Five spices are on her shelf at home (Dijon, Creole mustard, champagne vinegar, kosher salt and Creole seasoning)

2. Use Fata paper (a fab flame retardant clear wrap manufactured in Italy and available only through exclusive retail shops in the US)

3. Blanche chives in boiling water if you wish to use these long stem greens as a neat wrap for things like tightening food-packed Fata paper

4. Put sweet potatoes on aluminum foil and bake at 350F

Dallas does Big Shopping

Besides more upscale restos which Jones says rival New Orleans, Dallas has affordable shopping and as he likes to put it, “You get the best shopping city outside New York.”


The home of Neiman Marcus is churning out fashion with plenty of big retail districts. NorthPark Center is rated as the No. 1 visitor destination in the Dallas?Fort Worth area.

Dallas does the 45th Super Bowl…Big

Expect big action at the upcoming Super Bowl XLV in 2011 when Dallas hosts this All-American favourite sport for the first time. The state?of?the?art, $1.15 billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington will host the game.

It’s purported it will serve as the largest venue to host a Super Bowl since 1993. Seating capacity: 90,000 plus. To boot, the stadium has the largest video board installation in the world, and according to the Dallas CVB it is the largest domed structure in the world.

In true Travel Industry Today style we managed to get a Super Bowl scoop from Phillip Jones.

Don’t be surprised if you see a massive Ferris wheel resembling that of the London Eye overlooking the stadium. Jones heads to London shortly and says a piece of paper is awaiting his signature there. Looks like Dallas will have its own Eye too.

Just like the “Live Large. Think Big” marketing campaign Jones spearheaded in 2003, these days Dallas is supersizing its live large, think big ideas even more.

For information on specific dining destinations, search the Dine in Dallas guide:



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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

Read more from Ilona Kauremszky

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