McGarity grew up in rural South Carolina, his mom & mamaw instilled a passion for food at an early age. After going to culinary school at Johnson & Wales University & working in Charleston, SC for many years.
In 2004, he moved to Louisville and was encouraged that the food scene had much to offer a young chef & fell in love with the city.
After working at several Louisville fine dining places as Executive Chef, he was ready to open a restaurant as both Executive Chef & Owner. With the help of his wife, Laura, The Fat Lamb ModernKitchen & Bar opened in Nov. 2016. The small, open-kitchen concept has received a great response from the highlands neighborhood within which it is located & continues to serve both local patrons & visitors upscale comfort food with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
In March of 2018, Chef Dallas was approached to purchase Portage House Restaurant in Jeffersonville, IN. The riverfront view of the old house that the restaurant sits in was so charming that he & his wife decided it was time to expand. Portage House re-opened on March 23rd, 2018 with a new menu & new owners.
Portage House & The Fat Lamb both continue to provide exceptional cuisine & fantastic service with unique atmospheres.
Since then, Chef Dallas has also taken on the Louisville food service operations at Copper & Kings Distillery with Alex&nder, the 3rd-floor lounge/bar at the distillery serving a creative menu that changes frequently.
With all these different projects going on & a family life to maintain, Chef Dallas continues to support the community by doing many charity events each year & trying to give back to the community whenever possible. Dallas has received such Honors and Awards as:
- Food Network’s Chopped Champion
- Four-time James Beard House Dinner Invitee (2006, 2009, 2011, 2014)
- Louisville Business First Forty Under 40 Honoree (2017)
- Euphoria food & wine festival participant Greenville, SC (2013 -present)
- Charleston wine & food festival participant (2015)
- Atlanta food and wine festival participant (2012)
- Lou. Chapter ACF Chef of the year (2013 & 14)
- Sophisticated Living Magazine featured chef
- Food & Dining Magazine featured chef
- Slow Food Bluegrass member & supporter
Charitable Contributions & events Dallas has contributed to are: Bourbon & Bowties, Taste of St. Raphael, Home of the Innocent Backyard BBQ, Cabbage Patch Settlement House, Conrad Caldwell house; Gilda’s club; Highland Presbyterian Weekday School, Mama-to Mama; JCPS Chef’s Club for Elementary Students, State Fair Cooking demonstrations; March of Dimes; APRON Inc; Bloom Elementary School; Louisville Leopards among many others.
Dallas, & his lovely wife Laura & 2 children reside in Louisville.