Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Foodie Friday: From culinary veteran to Texas flair, meet Jorge Romero, the maestro of flavor at The Barrel

After an impressive 18-year journey crafting culinary wonders at Michael’s Restaurant in Fort Worth, Jorge Romero found himself yearning for a fresh challenge. Fate intervened when a mutual friend introduced him to Brandon Bohannan, the visionary behind The Barrel in Bartonville, who was on the lookout for a new executive chef.

Since joining forces in February, this dynamic duo has been delighting patrons with an unforgettable dining experience.

“Leaving Michael’s was a tough decision, but it was time,” admits Romero. “When you dedicate so many years to one place, the thrill begins to fade. It becomes routine, and that’s not what fuels my passion.”

A proud native of Mexico raised in the vibrant culinary hub of Chicago, Romero’s journey took him to the culinary classrooms of Joliet Junior College in Illinois, where he learned under the guidance of multiple culinary mentors. Before his tenure at Michael’s, his culinary adventures even led him to the enchanting lands of India. Twenty years ago, he found himself drawn to the Lone Star State, spending a year at a Fort Worth steakhouse called Blake’s before fate led him to Michael’s Restaurant.

At The Barrel, Romero has breathed new life into the menu, blending signature dishes that have made The Barrel renowned, such as the mouthwatering meatballs, delectable salmon wontons, and divine Wapiti Crostini. However, his mission was to infuse that irresistible Texas flair, and he embraced it wholeheartedly. “I knew I had to bring some authentic Texas flavors to the table,” Romero shares with a smile. “The menu was already beautiful, but I wanted to give it that extra Texan charm. Texas cuisine won my heart.”

Drawing inspiration from local ingredients, Romero introduces a symphony of chili-infused delights, such as the alluring smoked tomato sauce and the unforgettable Wahidi. He’s also not afraid to venture into more daring territory, experimenting with tantalizing crudos and introducing the feisty jalapenos to the mix.

“I’m all about making it 100% Texan, using the best local produce. That’s what excites me – the chance to leave a lasting mark with my culinary creations,” Romero confides.

Exciting changes are on the horizon as Romero plans to unveil a mesmerizing fall menu, featuring succulent red meats and bold wine and pepper sauces. The anticipation is palpable, and loyal patrons and newcomers alike are eager to embark on this flavor-filled journey.

Although Jorge Romero resides on the west side of Fort Worth, he admits he was unfamiliar with Bartonville until he crossed paths with Bohannan. Since joining The Barrel, Romero has reveled in the joy of meeting new faces and creating memorable experiences for all who walk through their doors.

“Together, we’re taking this concept to soaring heights. I want people to walk in here and feel that rush of excitement as they try new dishes,” he declares with infectious enthusiasm. “Our dedicated team in the kitchen works tirelessly to deliver top-notch dishes at affordable prices, making every visit an unforgettable treat.”

So, foodie enthusiasts, brace yourselves for a culinary escapade like no other as Jorge Romero leads the charge, igniting taste buds, and weaving Texan magic at The Barrel. Come, savor the artistry of flavors, and revel in the thrill of discovering new culinary delights. This is just the beginning of an unforgettable culinary journey with Chef Jorge Romero at the helm!

The Barrel is located in Bartonville Town Center at 2648 FM 407 #150, Bartonville, 76226. Visit

Jay Marks
Jay Marks
Realtor Jay Marks reviews local restaurants and interviews interesting people. Contact him today: 972-724-2540.

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