Avner Samuel has been around. Born in Jerusalem, he earned his chef’s toque at the celebrated La Varenne cooking school in Paris and has successfully navigated the tricky culinary waters of London and Dallas. He did stints at the Mansion on Turtle Creek and at the Pyramid in the Fairmont Hotel before starting his own restaurant in Dallas at the end of 1991. At Avner’s (2515 McKinney), stark white walls and blond-wood furniture set off bright contemporary sculpture, and an eclectic menu manages to be creative and comforting at the same time. The restaurant’s fragrant chicken tikka with curried lentils draws on India for inspiration, with lightly sautéed mixed vegetables adding a French accent.

Try this recipe for Chicken Tikka with Yellow Lentils and Crispy Pappadums from Avner Samuel, chef owner of Avner’s, Dallas.