Blythe Beck, executive chef of Central 214, receives 2010 hospitality management alumni award
December 06, 2010

Blythe Beck ('02), executive chef at Dallas' popular Central 214, was recently honored as the recipient of the Hospitality Management Outstanding Alumni Award at a reception on October 21, 2010. The annual award recognizes the accomplishments of UNT graduates who have achieved outstanding work in their profession and displayed significant leadership to the university and greater community through their professional contributions.   


Prior to receiving her award at the annual scholarship and alumni reception, Beck spent the entire day working with students in the Principles of Professional Food Preparation laboratory where she demonstrated firsthand the importance of giving back to her beloved alma mater. "I'm so proud of our program," says Beck. "UNT students have such a strong work ethic and desire to learn, and this was demonstrated over and over in the lab today," she adds. Beck's fascination with and passion for the hospitality industry began during college as a part-time hostess at a Cincinnati eatery called the Cooker.  Although she loved interacting with customers, her fascination for what was happening in the back of the house prompted her to pursue a degree in hospitality management.  UNT was her first choice because of its' diverse student body, quality faculty, and great industry support.  "Moving to Denton was the best decision of my life," says Beck.  "The hospitality faculty taught me perseverance, seeing something all the way through, and a great work ethic," she adds. In fact, the Houston native credits much of her culinary success to the lessons she learned while a student in the operations courses at the Club at College Inn (now the Club at Gateway Center).  "The minute I was in charge of that kitchen, I knew that was where I belonged," says Beck.  Her tenacity would carry her forward in her first job after graduation.  Determined to work for none but the best, Beck secured a coveted apprenticeship with one of the most well-known restaurants in Dallas, The Mansion on Turtle Creek.  There she worked for Chef Dean Fearing and learned the value of paying her dues and exceeding customer expectations.


Beck's charisma and talent would soon lead her in a new direction as the star in the Oxygen Network's successful reality TV show, The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck which aired in 2009.  In this new role, Beck had the opportunity show off culinary skills creating "naughty dishes made with lots of butter, beer, cream, bacon fat, and love," says Beck.  "The outpouring of support from fans was the most surprising and really confirmed my purpose and approach to my work and life," she adds.  


Currently as the executive chef at one of the hottest spots in Dallas, Beck carries her passion forward by giving customers amazing food at an excellent price. The UNT honoree offers this advice to current students, "You have to respect that people can go anywhere they want and when they choose to come eat your food you must treat them with respect and appreciation," says Beck.  With her keen understanding of customer service and flair for satisfying the discerning Southern palate, there is no question that this talented UNT graduate will cook up success wherever she goes.

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