Raised in Mimoso do Sul, a small town north of Rio de Janeiro, Junior Borges is Executive Chef at Meridian in Dallas — the groundbreaking, highly lauded modern Brazilian restaurant he opened last year. The first fine-dining establishment in the United States to feature modern Brazilian cuisine, Meridian was named Restaurant of the Year by Eater Dallas and D Magazine, and hailed as one of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America by Robb Report. Star Chefs anointed Borges as the “Game Changer” among its 2021 Dallas-Fort Worth Rising Stars. Borges came of age as a chef in New York City, where he graduated from the French Culinary Institute and worked in some of the city’s best kitchens, including Diner and A Voce, before becoming executive chef at Amali. He splashed onto the scene in Dallas in 2014 as opening executive chef at Uchi — earning a rare 5-star review from The Dallas Morning News. Borges went on to lead the kitchens at FT33, the Joule Hotel and Mirador before opening Meridian.