our founders

Hedda Gioia Dowd

Epicure and francophile Hedda Gioia Dowd is creative founder and visionary of rise n°1. The daughter of a French mother and an Italian-American father, she spent every summer since childhood in France. From her earliest recollection, food was always the focus at home.

Hedda's mother and grandmother made savory and sweet soufflés for decades, and her memory of those meals are of a dining experience that riveted all of the senses; seeing the beauty of the puffy soufflé smelling the aroma as she broke the layer of crust and dipped her oversized European spoon tasting the flavors of the ultimate comfort food. She always left the table feeling satisfied and in awe of the technique that could make something as simple as an egg into something as magnificent, yet unfussy, as the soufflé.

Inspired by the simplicity and versatility of the soufflé, the European way of celebrating the genuine pleasures of the table, and a dream to engage all of the senses in an environmentally conscious salon de soufflé, the concept of rise n°1 was born.

The first person Hedda contacted about rise n°1 was longtime friend and esteemed chef, Cherif Brahmi. Born in Lyon, the food capital of France, Brahmi's culinary talent and passion for French cooking were the winning combination that she was looking for. The fruit of their labor is rise n°1, which opened in Inwood Village on January 15, 2008. Their plan is to open more rise n°1 locations in the near future.

Prior to launching rise n°1, Hedda's love for French culture, cooking, and entertaining led her to found Antique Harvest in 1997, a unique company that combed the chateaux and farms of Southwest France for one-of-a-kind treasures. Her Dallas-based business procured and sold the finest French antiques for everyday living and entertaining, and her merchandise has graced the pages of Food & Wine Magazine, Town & Country, Martha Stewart Living, Southern Accents, D Home, D Weddings, The Dallas Morning News and PaperCity, among other publications.

Hedda's creative touches and elements from the Antique Harvest collection lend an authenticity to the interior of rise n°1. The "serviettes" or napkins are one-of-a-kind antique linen, made from pre-industry flax and hand-embroidered with family initials. All of the flatware is an eclectic mix of antique silver plate utensils from France. The recycled couch in the library (a unique place to read and relax at rise n°1) was salvaged on a walk with her dog, Lucky, and reupholstered in 18th century French chanvre, or hemp. The antique wares enhance the sensory dining experience at rise n°1 [browse our collection here]. Hedda hopes that rise n°1 will be an inspiring experience for diners, taking the enjoyment of the table and the appreciation of slow food to new heights.

Creative founder, Hedda Gioia Dowd
Cherif Brahmi

Cherif Brahmi is the executive chef and co-owner of rise n°1. Classically trained in France, Brahmi apprenticed under some of the greatest  French chefs of our time: the Troisgros brothers, Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel, Pierre Laporte, Gilbert Drouelle and Jean LaFont to name a few. Since moving  to America, he has spent time as chef de cuisine and executive chef in some top kitchens throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

It was fateful, then, that Chef Brahmi's longtime friend, Hedda Gioia Dowd, came knocking after brainstorming a new restaurant designed to do the very same thing: immerse Dallas diners in the nuances of the masterpiece of French cuisine- the soufflé.

Drawing from his love for French cooking and his European sensibility in dining, Brahmi crafted a diverse, approachable menu around the beloved soufflé. Focusing on savory and sweet soufflés, artisanal cheeses, and small plates of classic French favorites, Brahmi is enthusiastic about bringing a piece of France to Dallas diners.

Chef Brahmi is well-respected in the Dallas community and is an active participant in local competitions and food events. He has contributed his culinary skills to such events as Savor Dallas, the Les Dames D'Escoffier Dallas Chapter Annual Raiser Grazer, the CityArts Celebration in the Dallas Arts District, Taste of the Nation benefiting Share Our Strength, the Texas Chili for Children Cook-Off, and the Chef Showcase benefiting Camp John Marc, among others.

Brahmi welcomes diners to rise n°1 and looks forward to acquainting patrons' palates with the savory and sweet sides of the soufflé.

Read about rise restaurants.

Executive chef and co-owner, Cherif Brahmi