Chef and Owner Abraham Salum offers a fresh new look into the cuisine of his native Mexico with Komali. The restaurant takes its name from the native Aztec word for an open fire griddle used by the people of Mexico to prepare tortillas and toast cacao beans for coffee.
Chef Salum’s vision for Komali is to distinguish authentic Mexican flavors and preparations from popular Tex-Mex cuisine, and to expand appreciation for the gastronomical culture defined as “Intangible Heritage of Humanity “ by UNESCO. Chili sauces are replaced with delicate tomatillo sauces and unique moles; handmade tortillas, homemade queso fresco, herbs and spices are combined with dried chiles to compliment different types of meats and fresh seafood.
Julio Quiñones’ dramatic new take on contemporary décor reflecting Chef Salum’s special brand of hospitality and warmth greets the guests as they enter the space. From the communal table in the bar to the unique hand-designed fireplace, clean lines softened by sisal covered walls and creative lighting invite all who enter to relax, have fun, and share in the unique flavors of old Mexico. Patrons of Salum have long enjoyed Quinones’ and Chef Salum’s collaboration; Komali, located right next door, offers an exciting new opportunity to enjoy a memorable dining experience where exquisite space and extraordinary cuisine meet. Further enticements include an intimate patio, and a bar area that provides an excellent backdrop to enjoy drinks with friends or even watch a game.
Salum Restaurant, near the popular West Village in Dallas, enjoys a thriving clientele who return again and again to revel in Chef Salum’s creativity and imagination; Komali now joins its sister restaurant next door with an invitation to share in Chef Salum’s passion for the authentic flavors his native Mexico.
Chef Salum is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont; he expanded his skills in kitchens in France, Belgium, Mexico, and the United States. Realizing his dream by opening Salum in 2005, he has proven to be a legitimate fixture in the competitive Dallas restaurant market. Salum is also a sought-after catering resource for private parties in the Dallas area, and is a popular choice for celebrations and functions, including parties for the Dallas Opera. Chef Salum has made frequent appearances on the local morning show Good Morning Texas, and Salum is a featured “D Best” restaurant in the prestigious local D Magazine. Chef Salum was also invited to be a Celebrity chef for Super Bowl XLV at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Dedicated to charity and community, Chef Salum is actively involved in events benefitting March of Dimes, The American Heart Association, AIDS Resources Center, and Lone Star Ride. Other contributions include the Crystal Charity Ball, Toast of Life and the DIFFA Style Council.
Jennifer Clair is the new General Manager of Komali Restaurant. Previously serving as hostess/manager at Komali, Jennifer has been a member of Abraham Salum's outstanding restaurant team since 2005 where she worked at his namesake restaurant Salum through 2009. During 2009-2011, Jennifer taught English as a Second Language at the CHUNGDAHM Institute in Gumi, South Korea. Returning to the States in 2011, Jennifer became a hostess/manager at Salum's sister restaurant Komali that serves authentic, contemporary Mexican cuisine.
A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts and Humanities. She is the recipient of numerous academic awards and honors.
In her capacity as Komali General Manager, Jennifer also will be responsible for outside sales and catering.
Anastacia Quiñones was born and raised in Dallas, TX. Growing up, her mother was a part-time caterer. She grew more intrigued with cooking and knew if she wanted to make it a career she was going to have to study.
After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Anastacia traveled to San Francisco, California. Working under the Two Michelin Star recipient, Chef Laurent Manrique, Anastacia almost immediately learned French cuisine would be the base for all of her future cooking.
As she began seeking greater challenges she embarked on a Chef de Partie position for which she now considers her mentor, Traci De Jardin. At Jardinière, she not only refined her palette but discovered her love for sustainable, local and seasonal product. She was present as Chef Tournade when Jardinière won the coveted James Beard award in 2007 after being nominated for ten years.
When she moved back to Dallas in 2008, she found a balance between California cuisine and Dallas fare with Consilient Group. What began as a part time line cook position quickly turned into a full time Sous Chef position at Victor Tangos. Her freedom to express her knowledge for California cuisine flourished and is well illustrated on Victor Tangos menu today.