Food

Haywire Chef Skyler Gauthier chats about Canada, locavorism, and Texas beef

skyler gauthier
Skyler Gauthier, Haywire

It might surprise most guests who walk into the Haywire that the chef of this Texan restaurant is from Canada. But what’s even more surprising is that Skyler Gauthier didn’t start cooking until he was 24. Skyler was raised in British Columbia, Canada, before moving to north Texas as a teenager. His family has always been food-centric, but he clearly remembers the moment he realized his love for food. 

“I just happened to help my mom out in the kitchen one night. My mom is an amazing cook, and I remember we made chicken cordon bleu and it was so good. It was so satisfying to see that something I made could make people so happy and come together.”

Skyler had previously spent time in the restaurant business but never thought he’d find himself in the kitchen. His newfound passion inspired him to enroll at the Art Institute of Dallas where he earned a degree in culinary arts. Since then, he’s never looked back. Skyler spent time at the Gaylord Texan, Sullivan’s Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille before landing at Pappas Bros Steakhouse. He spent six years at the steakhouse before Judd Fruia, a former Pappas general manager, reached out to him about a new opportunity. 

“Judd knew exactly the kind of person he wanted and he was betting I was exactly what he was looking for. I was drawn to the job because of what the restaurant stood for: farm-to-fork and locally-sourced food.”

Haywire not only serves as one of the anchor restaurants at Legacy West, but it’s one of the most unique restaurants in the area. Skyler believes that the mix of food and environment is the perfect recipe for a good time. 

“The farm-to-fork and locavorism model that we have is not new, but there isn’t anything like Haywire, being Texas-themed, around our area,” Skyler says. “We are basically three businesses in one. The first floor is a whiskey bar, the second floor is home to the restaurant, and the third floor features a cigar bar, where you can enjoy the show from the Box Garden below.”

Read more: Chef Aaron Staudenmaier is growing Whiskey Cake beyond Plano

Haywire’s menu features a range of choices, including Southern classics like Chicken Fried Steak and Meatloaf, and seafood straight from the Gulf of Mexico. But Skyler’s favorites come from the expansive farm-raised Texas beef portion of the menu. 

burger
Haywire’s burger | Photo by Cori Baker

“As a career steakhouse chef, I have an undying love for red meat. I’m also very into cooking low and slow. There is something remarkable about the transformation that takes place and the development of flavors that happen when products are transformed like that.”

While life in a restaurant can sound romantic to some, Skyler says there’s not a lot of glitz and glamour that come with being a chef. It’s hard work, long hours and nothing like what’s see on TV. He’s sacrificed a lot to get to where he is today, but he knows his hard work has allowed him to give back to the people around him.

“I worked very hard throughout my career and have had to make a lot of sacrifices at the expense of my family. I believe there is a medium ground that can be reached as long as mentors and the people doing the teaching take care of their people. I strive to be that for the cooks that look up to me.”

Collin County Heart Ball:

American Heart Association’s Collin County Heart Ball promises to be an evening of exquisite food, spirits and passion, bringing community and philanthropic leaders together, Saturday, November 9, 2019 at the Omni Frisco Hotel. Led by Head Chef Aaron Staudenmaier, attendees will have the opportunity to visit chef stations from many of Collin County’s finest restaurants as part of a unique culinary experience. For tickets and information visit collincountyheartball.heart.org.

Ashley Shadowens
A Plano resident for more than 20 years, freelance writer Ashley Shadowens loves discovering all that Plano has to offer. She can usually be found checking out the newest restaurants in town and is always looking for her next story.

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