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Twin Peaks Harvests New Executive Chef

Twin Peaks Restaurants has brought aboard Lex Berlin to be the rapidly growing ultimate adventure lodge’s Executive Chef.

Berlin will be responsible for the development of Twin Peaks’ crave-able, made-to-order comfort food, which has always been one of the restaurant’s main attractions. He will work with John Franke, Executive Chef of Twin Peaks’ parent company, Front Burner Restaurants, to evolve the menu and its recipes, and he and Twin Peaks COO Rick Akam will ensure quality preparation at each of Twin Peaks’ 15 locations, as well as at future sites.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Twin Peaks team,” Berlin said. “It’s great to be working in such an energizing environment with such enthusiastic and dedicated folks. I’m really excited to be charged with ensuring the creation of great quality food in our restaurants – both the ones that already exist and the new ones coming.”

Berlin’s extensive career began as a personal chef and gourmet caterer before he was named the first head chef of Romano’s Macaroni Grill – before Brinker International turned it into one of its marquee chains. He managed the kitchen operation for that concept’s expansion for eight years, then became a culinary consultant for concepts ranging from Central Market and eatZi’s to, most recently, Tacos and Tequila in Austin and Zinsky’s Deli in Dallas. In between, he founded Tio’s Tortas, a pioneer in the ethnically driven fast-casual restaurant sector that drew critical praise for its gourmet takes on traditional Mexican sandwiches.

“Lex’s specialization in high-volume, from-scratch production is a perfect fit for Twin Peaks,” said co-founder and CEO Randy DeWitt. “As we grow, the need for a culinary pro dedicated to evolving one of our cornerstones – simple, great, tasty comfort food – became apparent. Lex’s knowledge of regional food is particularly valuable; that will come in handy for regional menu additions such as the Green Chile Chicken we serve in Albuquerque.”

Everything is made fresh and in house at Twin Peaks, from the hand-cut and -breaded Mozzarella Cheese Sticks and the rich, onion- and cheese-topped Venison Chili to the gigantic Chicken-Fried Steak, which is hand pressed and topped with creamy roasted jalapeno gravy crafted from scratch.

Though offerings are anchored by uncommonly awesome home-style dishes like slow-roasted Rib Eye Pot Roast, chipotle butter-brushed Flat Iron Steak, and grilled Homestyle Meatloaf, the menu also includes next-level classics like never-frozen Buffalo wings in four flavors and the phenomenal Twin Cheeseburger with caramelized onions and a choice of five cheeses. New items such as Average Joes (mini jalapeno-cheese brats on a fresh-baked bun) and Cheesy Chili Mac (cheese-slathered cavatappi topped with Venison Chili and toasted breadcrumbs) aim to expand comfort food’s boundaries.

“A clear goal at Twin Peaks is to continuously update and improve its high-caliber standards, including the food it serves,” Berlin said. “My challenge is to streamline the many elements of food preparation so that every Twin Peaks serves the best eats possible, consistently.

“But the really exciting part of working for Twin Peaks is pretty easy to see. It’s like we host a party every day!”

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