Chef/Bitmaster Dominique Leach battled her way through the competition and was crowned “Master of ‘Cue” on Season 4 of Food Network’s BBQ Brawl. Chef Leach immediately put her award-winning South Side restaurant Lexington Betty’s Smokehouse, located at 756 E. 111 St., on the map. Over the course of 10 grueling episodes, Chef Leach pushed herself, knowing that this was her time to shine.
Many people may not know that Chef Leach has classical culinary training. She has worked in some of Chicago’s finest kitchens, alongside award-winning author and chef Raghavan Lair at the Art Institute Museum as well as James Beard Award-winning owner/chef Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef Sarah Grunberg (Montverde) at Michelin. Spiaggia Italian Restaurant.
The move to Spiaggia was not without sacrifices. Chef Leach wanted to push herself. She was already well-respected at the Art Institute Museum when Spiaggia offered her a job for $12 an hour. She had just bought her first home and knew it would be a struggle, but her heart told her she needed to. In an exclusive interview with the Chicago Star, Chef Leach said, “There was something inside me that said this was the best move to make. I’m so glad I did it because it lifted every ounce of my being and made me more passionate and even more so.” “More focused and a better understanding of food. It has completely elevated me as a chef!”
These culinary experiences were invaluable. Chef Leach applies the fine dining techniques she learned to her cooking today. “It’s a technique that you can take and turn into anything you can think of and I didn’t stray too far from what I know from competing on this show (BBQ Brawl) and that’s why I did so well and that’s why I won!” , Chef Leach shares with the Chicago Star.
With BBQ Brawl behind her. What’s next for Chef Leach? Should host Bobby Flay be worried about his TV job? “I had conversations with Bobby,” says Chef Leach. “He realized that I was someone that the (Food) Network would potentially see moving forward a lot.” “The sky’s the limit. He was really encouraging and told me I was part of the family now.” Chef Leach went on to say that she has more TV opportunities coming up in her future, discussing three different TV show concepts. We can’t wait to see Chef Leech on TV again.
Chef Leach was also proud to talk about her product line which includes American Wagyu beef and Andouille sausage. Both are available at all Mariano’s locations in Chicagoland. For more information about Chef Dominic Leach and Lexington Betty’s Smokehouse, please visit lexingtonbetty.com or call 708.927.5614