Hello, We Are Culinary Wise! 

Culinary Wise founders, Jonathan and Tony, have led a successful Dallas-area restaurant group and catering business since 2001. They have created some of the best restaurants in Dallas including The Nodding Donkey, Social Pie, State & Allen, and Maple Landing, along with catering company Savory Catering. It’s clear this is only the beginning for Culinary Wise.

After 20 years of focusing on the individual rooftops and developing unique brands for each, the team is excited to announce the establishment of a parent brand, Culinary Wise, a brand that represents our overall vision and connects each of our concepts together and will lay the foundation for future concepts and industry innovations.

Culinary Wise is a collection of restaurants and a family of individuals united through their commitment to the following four pillars:

QUALITY – The quality of the vision, the people, and the food matter.

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE – It’s not about us, it’s about you.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY – We take an active role in our communities.

GREEN INITIATIVES – We make proactive business decisions that lessen our environmental impact.

Meet The Team 

Culinary Wise is a passionate team of authentic and committed experts who care. 

Jonathan Calabrese Owner / Executive Chef

Jonathan was a latecomer to the culinary world, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a huge success in the industry. He graduated from UNT in 1996 with a Philosophy degree and worked in Health Care Consulting before deciding to go culinary school in 1998. Jonathan graduated from Art Institute of Dallas as the valedictorian of his class, then Jonathan had the pleasure of staging at The Grape Restaurant under Executive Chef Brian Luscher where he attributes much of his overall ‘how to’ process of running a kitchen.  The opportunity came quickly for Jonathan and his best friend and business partner as he opened his own restaurant in Lakewood called Savory Bistro which was met with consistently positive reviews.  From this point, he has grown the business over the last 15 years adding State & Allen Kitchen/Bar (2004) and the Nodding Donkey’s Sports Bar (2010), ever-present though was his first love Savory Catering that he started while in culinary school and continues to rapidly grow today.  Jonathan works in a supporting role with the current corporate executive chef for the whole company, Rhett Dukes to take food in many directions while both work on the overall vision of the food and menus together. Jonathan spends most of his time running the whole operation while his business partner expands the company in many exciting directions. Jonathan is thrilled to have Culinary Wise represent all of his concepts as the parent brand. 

Tony Winkler Owner / Business Developer

Anthony is a born entrepreneur whose exciting ideas challenge the Culinary Wise family to grow. With an injury sidelining him from college basketball, he then turned his sights to business and never looked back. Tony grew up in CT and later moved to Texas in the early 90s, which is when he met Jon. He currently oversees the development of the corporate catering division of Culinary Wise, working with some of the top Dallas office buildings to design and manage corporate eateries that help attract and retain top talent, while fueling productivity through nutrition and convenience. His passion for quality and excellence sets the standard for everything we do, from hiring to the experience we provide each guest and everything in between. Stay in touch to see what’s next for Culinary Wise.

Meet Our Concepts

Each of our concepts has its unique differences, but they all stand connected by Culinary Wise’s exceptional brand attributes. Our concepts are aligned intentionally to demonstrate our overarching commitment to quality, customer experience, social responsibility, and green initiatives in their own distinct way.

The Nodding Donkey has been the local’s favorite neighborhood bar in Uptown with a scratch-kitchen serving up the freshest ingredients and pouring the best drinks and of course.  

Social Pie is ​​a fun-loving, earth-loving pizza joint serving up artisanal pizzas, salads, and sandwiches alongside craft beer and draft wine in the Dallas medical district. 

State & Allen is uptown’s best bar and restaurant for a casual neighborhood hangout serving up fresh burgers, fish tacos & more, with a street side patio to a trendy crowd. 

Maple Landing is our very own laid back neighborhood “dive-bar” with a nod to the aviation history of love field & southwest airlines, and is known for serving up the best Dallas bbq, burgers, bourbon, and cold beer.” 

Savory Catering is a full-service catering company that provides any and all types of catering as well as event planning, site selection, vendor arrangement, and production design. We have succeeded at executing many large-scale events because nobody knows Dallas like we do. 

Culinary Wise is just getting started. Stay tuned to see what’s in store for the CW team!