Chef wants ‘people of all flavors’ at his table

02/01/2013 9:51 AM

02/01/2013 10:09 AM

Throughout the month of February, the Star-Telegram will highlight the accomplishments of local black citizens during Black History Month. While the talents and dedication of these people – and not their race – make them noteworthy, it has been a national tradition since 1976 to honor the role African Americans play in America. In that same vein, we’re featuring people in and around Fort Worth.

For a month meant to honor African Americans’ roles in history, aiming for a common table where food is prepared by a successful chef is a dream all can gather around.

“We are all placed here on this earth. We all have different colors. We all bring something to the plate,” says award-winning chef Keith “Buttons” Hicks.

Hicks has worked at various eateries in Fort Worth and across the nation before opening Buttons in 2008.

The upscale Southern food shop aims to fill its patrons’ stomachs and souls.

“The whole concept was really set up to get people in the door and let them mingle,” Hicks said.

“One of the best things that I looked forward to when I was younger were Sundays and family gatherings, when everyone there would go in and whip up a wonderful meal. I have always been surrounded by all kinds of people, people of all flavors, and it has always been very rewarding.”

Hicks said Fort Worth has been one of the most welcoming cities and he appreciates the strides it takes to include all people.

“It is the first city that I have ever heard of to have things like the Cowboys of Color rodeo. Even with the whole cowboy and Western aspect, we are included,” Hicks said.

“I have traveled to a lot of different cities, and Fort Worth has one of the warmest receptions of people. It doesn’t get much better than up here.”

Hicks is from West Virginia, but his cooking has taken him coast to coast working in restaurants. In 2008 he joined two partners in opening up a place of their own – Buttons.

“It was hard to start. And you still run into some difficulties. We try to go in every day and put love into the atmosphere, the food and the music. When you come into Buttons you come to relax. Our intention is to make everyone feel loved,” Hicks said.

Tell us about someone you admire in the community on Twitter @startelegram with #BlackHistory or on our Facebook to honor them during Black History Month.

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