Preston Paine Will Head Up Emilia’s at Crescent Fort Worth

North Texas chef and Food Network contestant Preston Paine will head up the recently announced Crescent Hotel’s new restaurant Emilia’s.

Paine, a Fort Worth resident who graduated from Dallas Jesuit High School, was a contestant on the Food Network show “Ciao House.” In addition to his TV appearance, Paine has made a name for himself as an executive chef at several Dallas Bishop Arts District restaurants, including Paradiso, 308 N. Bishop Ave. He was also a co-founder of Shug’s Bagels at 3020 Mockingbird Lane.

In the role he is undertaking, Paine will be in charge of the upscale Mediterranean restaurant Emilia’s, located inside the Crescent, which will include a separate fine dining space called The Blue Room.

In the past, Paine helped open restaurants in the Thompson Hotel, a luxury hotel in Dallas, the former First National Bank Tower, including Catbird and Nine at The National.

The highly anticipated opening of the Crescent Fort Worth in the Cultural District is slated for later this year. The development will house Crescent Real Estate, Crescent Energy, Goff Capital, and Canyon Ranch, the luxury resort and wellness brand founded by Mel Zuckerman 40 years ago.

Along with 168,000 square feet of office space, the project will include a 200-room luxury hotel, an upscale restaurant, and 175 high-end residences.

Reservations for The Crescent Hotel are now available for stays beginning in September. Visit for information.

The hotel will also feature two bars, one in the lobby and one on the rooftop. The hotel’s lobby bar, The Circle Bar, continues the Mediterranean mood of Emilia’s, while the exclusive rooftop bar boasts panoramic views of Fort Worth and craft cocktails.

The Crescent Hotel has more than 14,000 square feet of special event space across ten venues, featuring a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces, each complete with state-of-the-art technology.

“The hotel’s 8,000-square-foot courtyard will serve as the heart of the community with a custom climate-controlled tent for memorable year-round events, weddings, and celebrations, while The Grand Ballroom with floor-to-ceiling glass doors creates a space flooded with natural light and indoor-outdoor possibilities,” says general manager Robert Rechtermann.

The Canyon Ranch Wellness Club will open in October. Hotel guests can access the state-of-the-art fitness center and the renowned spa, featuring 10 treatment rooms and a salon.

“The Crescent Hotel will deliver a local experience,” says developer John Goff in a statement. “From thoughtful on-property programming and culinary experiences and partnerships with renowned local museums and attractions to a curated art program inspired by international and local artists, the hotel experience will serve as Fort Worth’s living room — an extension of the inspired surrounding areas.”

According to Paine’s bio, he found love in cooking through a close family friend who introduced him to the culinary arts.

While at Tulane, where he studied business development and played football for the Green Wave, he worked different jobs in restaurants in New Orleans and began also picking up and gaining inspiration from the renowned flavors there.

After graduating, he began his career with a restaurant management and development company based in Dallas. Two years later, he set sail in pursuit of different cuisines around the world, including cooking on yachts near Croatia. Having returned to the states, he went to work as chef de partie for Eleven Madison Park in New York City. During his time there, the restaurant retained its three-star Michelin rating. He returned to Dallas after the beginning of the pandemic shutdown.

Back home, he turned his attention to restaurants as an entrepreneur, which resulted in Shug’s, his New York-style bagel shop, which evolved five highly acclaimed concepts throughout the Bishop Arts District.

In the first episode of Ciao House, Paine astonished the celebrity chefs on the Food Network TV show by making fresh pasta in 45 minutes.

“I can’t believe you made fresh pasta in this amount of time,” Alex Guarnaschelli said. “That’s really bold.”