By Alan Peppard
So what exactly has Dean Fearing been doing in the year and a half since he life The Mansion on Turtle Creek and opened his new restaurant, Fearing’s in the Ritz-Carlton?
He’s been practicing the guitar.
At Saturday night’s black-tie gala to christen the just-opened Ritz, Dean and his band, the Barbwires, entertained the crowd. Dean has been holy ghost-filled with the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughan. An avid guitar collector, Dean switched between two Fender Telecasters as he played serious lead licks on tunes writen with his chef pal Robert Del Grande, owner of Café Express casual dining restaurants. Robert also provided slid guitar work on his hollow-body Gretsch while local sax man Johnny Reno was onstage cleaning up any muddy breaks.
The Ritz and Fearing’s opened a month ago, but Saturday’s gala in the Ritz ballroom was the signature opening event.
Among those present were John Goff and Denny Alberts, who as CEO and president, respectively, of Crescent Real Estate Equities oversaw the development of the Ritz condo-hotel development. (Last month, the entire Crescent company, including the Ritz, was sold to Morgan Stanely in New York.)
Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild was on hand (the magazine co-sponsored the weekend opening events) as was the indefatigable chef Cat Cora from the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. Cat inducted Dean into the Chef’s Council of the Chefs for Humanity, a food professionals coalition she co-founded to provide emergency humanitarian aid.