Wolfgang Puck takes over Fort Worth museum restaurant a year after Dallas fine-dining spot closed

Chef Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant group will take care of the food in the Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, both in the Cafe Modern restaurant and in the catering trade.

Puck operates several dozen restaurants around the world, including a steakhouse called Cut and a California-inspired restaurant called Spago. Puck’s restaurant group has not operated any gourmet restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth since April 2020 when the Five Sixty Restaurant in Reunion Tower in Dallas closed. (The company does have a seat at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, however.)

The partnership at Modern signals Wolfgang Puck’s return to fine dining in North Texas.

Wolfgang Puck Catering has a long history with museums as it also caters to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. It recently also became the hospitality provider for the Space Center Houston.

The Modern project is Wolfgang Puck’s first foray into Fort Worth.

The Modern Art Museum’s restaurant, Cafe Modern, is expected to reopen in May 2021.(Michelle Peyronet Jones)

“Wolfgang Puck Catering brings an international reputation for excellence to Café Modern and we look forward to working with your team,” said Marla Price, director of the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, in a statement.

The restaurant at the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum will keep its name Cafe Modern. The new menu is expected to be available in May 2021. The restaurant is currently closed.

Chef Jett Mora will be in charge of the kitchen at Modern. Mora has been with Wolfgang Puck for a decade and is moving from Los Angeles to Fort Worth for the job.

Mora has not yet decided on his menu and says he wants inspiration from the town’s farmers’ markets. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Filipino American.

“I’ve had the advantage of being in such a multicultural city,” he says of LA, noting that multi-cultural kitchens are available “on one street,” within walking distance of his birthplace.

“I have great influences from all types of Asian food,” he says. He also grew up on road trips with his father and ate “tuna melts and lemonades on hole in the walls and burger bars along the street”.

While the restaurant has gourmet tendencies in the evening, there are sandwiches for lunch and egg dishes for brunch. Mora plans to solidify the menu and hire staff once he lands permanently in Fort Worth.

The Wolfgang Puck team will also take care of the catering and events at Modern. Every year (before the pandemic) the museum hosts around 30 weddings, as well as 15 to 25 corporate events and holiday lunches.

Cafe Modern is located at 3200 Darnell Street in the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art. The new menu is expected to be available in May 2021.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter @sblaskovich.

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