When we think about big foodservice personalities, there are few chefs that resonate quite like Keith “Buttons” Hicks. Hicks is the chef and owner at Buttons Restaurant, a popular Fort Worth dining venue that serves up southern food and music for the soul.
On any visit, Chef Hicks is unmistakable with his billowing salt-and-pepper beard, silver earrings, chambray chef coat, and his cool, relaxed vibe. Here, it is all about the “love, peace, and chicken grease,” a winning combination that has solidified his place in the North Texas foodservice market.
Originally from Huntington, West Virginia, Chef Hicks found his way to Texas in 2000 after stints in Buffalo, New York; and Talladega, Alabama. “Each movement sparked different culinary experiences,” he said.
And then, in 2008, Buttons opened. When choosing a name for his restaurant, Hicks reverted home, using the nickname that his grandmother called him as a kid.
The name stuck—today, loyal patrons of the restaurant are lovingly called “Buttonites.” Be it a Buttonite or a first-time diner, visitors to Buttons remember their visit thanks to the venue’s warm, inclusive ambiance.
“Our goal here at Mission is to keep Chef Keith ‘Buttons’ Hicks equipped with the tools he needs to succeed, so he will run like (Tom) Brady for years to come.”
For Hicks, it was important to carve a space in the market that brought people together regardless of ethnicity or a person’s background. It was about opening a restaurant that nourished both body and soul with its comfort-driven menu and musical background.
While the live-music roster changes daily, Chef Hicks’s menu offers diners a host of tempting options, from savory salads to fried catfish, an award-winning gumbo, pot roast, and sides like jalapeno cheese grits and braised cabbage. One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is Chef Hicks’s chicken and waffles.
“I couldn’t do my chicken and waffles without the big daddy fryer,” he said. (For the record, the hand-battered fried chicken and homemade Belgian waffles served with collard greens, blueberry infused butter, and sweet potato pomme frites are not to be missed.)
It’s a pleasure to call someone like Keith a friend and a partner. Over the years, we’ve been grateful to develop a close relationship with the acclaimed restaurateur, whose accolades include the Open Table “Diner’s Choice” Award in 2015.
Team Mission worked with Chef Hicks on virtually the entire restaurant, from the chicken crisper and margarita machines to his heavy-duty, commercial tilt skillet. Of the latter, he said, “We call that ‘the Tom Brady’ because, when that thing is up and running, that’s our beast.” Our goal here at Mission is to keep Chef Keith “Buttons” Hicks equipped with the tools he needs to succeed, so he will run like Brady for years to come.
Some of Chef Hicks’s favorite equipment categories that Mission carries include:
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