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Purveyors of Amazing: Meet Chef Thomas Dritsas

Purveyors of Amazing: Meet Chef Thomas Dritsas

Introducing Chef Thomas Dritsas, Truluck’s New Corporate Executive Chef

There’s a new Corporate Executive Chef in town.

Chef Thomas' headshot in front of the wine wall

Earlier this year, Truluck’s Oceans Finest welcomed Chef Thomas Dritsas as the latest addition to the exemplary Truluck’s staff that brings first-class dining experiences to life. For Chef Thomas, Truluck’s is the latest step in a storied career in the hospitality industry—one that goes all the way back to when he was a child.

chef Thomas as a young toddler playing with a pot

“My dad had a restaurant on Arthur Avenue in the Little Italy section of The Bronx, in New York, when I was growing up,” he says. “For the first 15 years of my life, I helped wash dishes, peel potatoes and run all my dad’s errands.”

By the time he left for college, Chef Thomas was ready to leave restaurants behind and pursue a degree in flight technology before working his way to the military.

“My father told me before I went to flight school that I should go to cooking school,” he says. “I said no. That wasn’t what I wanted to do; I watched that happen all my life, and it wasn’t the lifestyle I wanted.”

Life had other ideas in mind.

During college, Chef Thomas worked in restaurants to put himself through school. It was then that he realized that he really did enjoy cooking and all that restaurants had to offer.

“I ended up coming back home after I got my associate degree in flight technology and applied to the best cooking school in the country, the Culinary Institute of America,” Chef Thomas says. “In the end, my dad got what he wanted.”

chef Thomas as a young man upon graduation from the culinary institute of America

After graduating with honors and a culinary degree in hand, Chef Thomas continued the work he started when he was young in his dad’s kitchen—now in an official capacity. Chef Thomas worked for The Buckhead Life Restaurant Group in Atlanta before he decided that he had “this little bug called opening new restaurants,” and went on to open a string of independent restaurant concepts alongside leading restauranteurs.

chef thomas and his longtime chef friend, both smiling in front of a brick style wall chef thomas and his chef mentor smiling with their arms on each others shoulders

But eventually Chef Thomas wanted to take on the business side of the world of white tablecloths.

The answer was Sullivan’s Steakhouse, owned by the parent company Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon. There, Chef Thomas rose up the ranks, eventually becoming corporate executive chef and overseeing 267 Lone Star Steakhouses, 20 Sullivan’s Steakhouses, 21 Texas Land & Cattles and 16 Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouses. A culinary trailblazer, Chef Thomas later helped form and grow what would become Del Frisco Restaurant Group (DFRG), where he became Chief Culinary Officer and Corporate Executive Chef. He stayed for 22 years before parting DFRG for what lied ahead.

chef thomas with the marina in the backgroundchef thomas in front of the James Beard House sign

“I made this shortlist of companies that I had respected from afar during my time at DFRG with a strong employee-first culture and quality-driven operation reputation, and Truluck’s was on that list,” he says. “I reached out and talked to some industry connections. It didn’t get very far at the time, but I made acquaintances and stayed connected. I said, ‘Hey, just keep an eye on Truluck’s, and if anything, ever happens, just give me a buzz.’”

miso glazed seabass with cucumber slaw and stone crab claws

Fast-forward to spring 2023: On a Monday morning in March, Chef Thomas got a text. “It said, ‘There might be an opportunity and an open position at Truluck’s.’ I said, ‘Great. Put me in touch with the right people so we can talk and get to know one another.’”

One month later, Chef Thomas was officially named Truluck’s Corporate Executive Chef.

chef Thomas with his hands up on the kitchen line shelf, smiling chef thomas with his elbow up on the kitchen line shelf

“Thomas has the culinary experience to elevate Truluck’s to the next level,” says Karen Ferreira, Truluck’s Chief Financial Officer. “His passion for cooking and training his staff fit like a glove with our culture. And when you add in his previous experience it’s a perfect match.”

left to right Chefs Samir, Michael, Thomas and Manny with Gracie in the background.

“I think I am most excited about being able to continue to evolve the brand and guest experience,” Chef Thomas says. “As far as menu offerings, we will continue to grow. But it’s the experience that you walk away with and what resonates with you in the long term. We want to elevate and continue to surprise and delight our guests every time they visit us at Truluck’s.”

chef thomas with a few members of the Houston server team in the back of house all smiling and posing for a photo chef thomas seated in the dining room at a table with his hands folded

Revel in a dining experience unlike any other and make a reservation at Truluck’s today. Your table is waiting.