Dena Peterson runs one of Fort Worth, Texas’s most respected kitchens, Café Modern in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. With a culinary range as vast and enticing as Texas, her menus reflect influences from Asian, European, American Tex Mex, and southern traditional with an emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal delights.
Chef Peterson is a spunky woman who rides around town on a scooter, likes Rockabilly, hosting barbecues, and growing her own vegetables. A hands-on local foods adventurer, she even raised chickens in her yard just to have that experience. Her menu reflects this vibrant spirit, showing technical culinary skills, a strong preference for seasonal local gems, and a honed exuberance that delights her guests.
“My background is half South Texas cotton pickers and half Norwegian, reflecting Texas as a great melting pot of so many cultural influences. I grew up with a focus on what is delicious, available, and seasonal.”
An advocate of local produce, cheeses, seafood, and meats, Peterson regularly buys from multiple farmers, ranchers, seafood purveyors, and cheese makers at the Cowtown Farmer’s Market, and has developed long-standing relationships with many local producers, among them Scott Farms, B&G Gardens, Texas Prairie Farms, and Latte Da Dairy. Her commitment to fresh, seasonal ingredients in keeping with Bon Appétit Management Company’s culinary philosophy elevates Café Modern to a destination dining experience with a locavore mission. Peterson’s global culinary acumen is so well respected, Gourmet Magazine named the café as one of the nation’s best.