True Pivot

James Beard-Nominated Chef Leaves Kulture

Dawn Burrell's next move is a meal prep service, and down the road, another restaurant concept.

By Timothy Malcolm July 24, 2020

Dawn Burrell has also taught virtual cooking courses via I'll Have What She's Having during the pandemic.

Image: Amy Scott

One of Houston's best chefs is pivoting, literally. Dawn Burrell announced Friday that she's leaving Kulture, the Marcus Davis-owned Downtown modern-comfort restaurant.

"It is with a heavy heart and much contemplation that I have made the decision that my time at Kulture has come to an end," said Burrell, who in 2020 was named a semifinalist for the Best Chef Texas James Beard award. "The restaurant gave me a platform to create memorable dishes for guests that I will always cherish, and for that I am eternally grateful." Burrell added she wants to spend more time caring for her mother, age 77, and stepfather, age 82. 

That doesn't mean she'll staying out of the kitchen; in fact, this is where the pivot comes in: Burrell is launching her own meal preparation service called PIVOT. The service was devised by female-led culinary organization I'll Have What She's Having as a way to help families secure food during the COVID-19 pandemic through chef-prepared items, meal kits, and custom shopping lists, but over the past few months, Burrell has assumed command of PIVOT. 

“The purpose of Pivot is two-fold; and as I invested more time in this operation through IHWSH, I became increasingly passionate about fulfilling and expanding this mission," said Burrell. 

She's been one of the busiest chefs during the pandemic both with PIVOT and the Sweet Tea Supper Club, a takeout dinner series she's running with Dominick Lee, former executive chef at Poitin. That series ends with a seafood and beer family supper with pick-up planned for July 31. 

From there it'll be all PIVOT ... at least for a little while. Burrell is planning a new restaurant concept, as well. As for Kulture, the restaurant has been closed for much of the pandemic with its social media feeds directing guests to Davis's other concepts, The Breakfast Klub and the Reggae Hut Cafe.

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