20 Under 40 – Robert Quick

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Il Bracco
Education: SMU
Culinary Institute of America

Robert Quick’s foray into the restaurant business started when he was a cook at the Dallas Country Club after an injury forced the end of his football career at SMU.

“At the Dallas Country Club, I learned that restaurants provided the rush of competition I had missed and that my mom had taught me pretty darn well,” Quick said.

He attended the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California, and worked as a ‘Chef de Partie’ at Ad Hoc and Bouchon before working as a kitchen manager with Hillstone Restaurant Group. He took on a leadership role as president and co-owner of Mountain Mike’s Pizza before moving back to Dallas with his wife in 2018 and founding Western Addition. The Italian-inspired restaurant Il Bracco, which opened in 2019 at the Plaza at Preston Center, is the first restaurant concept to open in the Western Addition portfolio.

“Of all the places my career has taken me, Preston Hollow is the first where I found neighbors and friends who supported one another to build a true community,” Quick said.

Il Bracco has also been involved in charity fundraisers since the eatery opened.

Quick hopes Western Addition opens more restaurants soon.

Q: What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?

A: When I was 16, I was the coach of our middle school club water polo team. Teaching the younger guys not only about the game but how we conducted ourselves at a travel tournament or hotel taught me a tremendous amount about leadership.

Q: If you could buy a book (or rent a movie) for your neighbor, what would it be and why?

A: The French Laundry Cookbook. The book changed my life personally and, more importantly, changed the way a lot of people thought of how a kitchen could and should operate. Clean, efficient, and respectful to the product and to each other.

Q: Which leadership skills were the most challenging for you to develop and why?
A: Flexibility. When you hold your team to a high standard to execute a certain vision, it can be difficult to flex that vision to reality. Knowing when to push and when to be flexible is a constant battle as a leader.

Q: What is your favorite local store?

A: Scardello – They have the best selection of great cheeses and butters anywhere in the area or even the metroplex.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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