Behold, Sunday afternoon’s Chefs for Famers Get Some #@&% Credit Sous Chef Competition, to which my photographer friend and I were media guests. Eight sous chefs competed for $1,500 and bragging rights by making a dish with ingredients from one of the farms supported by Chefs for Farmers, the organization run by Matt and Iris McCallister. Ticket sales from the sold-out event raised money for Café Momentum (several of the program’s students were there assisting chefs) as well as the farms that provided the ingredients. Bolsa bartender Kyle Hilla honored the late restaurateur Randall “Big Cat” Copeland by mixing bourbon-based Boulevardiers, while three pastry chefs competed in a sweet side competition.
FT33’s Misti Norris made a goat dish with a whole animal from Windy Hill Farms; Matt Balke, who apparently ended his sous chef reign at Bolsa the night before the competition to become executive chef at Sharon Hage’s Rustic, made pea terrine with vegetables from Spiceman’s FM 1410; Central 214’s Derek Blackburn made an egg (sourced from Peace and Love Farm) and asparagus custard; Boulevardier’s Gmo Tristan made a lamb loin dish with meat from Sterling Farms; the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek’s Jared Harms made chicken (from Windy Meadows Family Farm) with a mint yogurt; The Grape’s Danyele McPherson created a jalapeno and cheddar sausage with pork from Legend Meats and Crystal Creek, served with corn, black eyed peas, and a little pork belly bacon; Trinity Groves Stedman Belyan made duck confit with vegetables from Tassione Farms; and Lucia’s Kevin Dean made a beet salad with arugula and beef from Burgundy Pasture Beef.10 Comments »
Dallas-based El Chico will donate $1 for every sopapilla sold from Friday, May 24 through May 31. The offer is good at all 55 locations of the restaurant. Proceeds will be donated to The American Red Cross for the relief of all effected in Oklahoma.
On Tuesday, Saied Hashem, the general manager of the El Chico in Norman, dropped off 150 chicken fajita tacos to JourneyChurch, located in Norman. The American Red Cross advised him to take the donation to one of the nearby shelters. El Chico is scheduled to deliver food again in two days.
“Please help us spread the word. 100% of sales from Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum tonight will be donated to the Red Cross for Oklahoma,” says Jay Jerrier. “Thanks for your help.”4 Comments »
I have just completed D Magazine’s June 2013 cover story: The 100 Best Restaurants in Dallas. Yes, I wrote 100 restaurant reviews and ranked the top 100 restaurants in Dallas. To complete the task, I had to toss out Fort Worth, Grapevine, and the mid-cities. Maybe next time. (Which will not be in my life time.)
We’ve decided to throw a party and announce the winners on May 22 from 6 to 8 pm at Sharon Van Meter’s 3015 Trinity Groves. Owners and chefs of over 100 restaurants have been invited. I took a quick glimpse of RSVPs and I can say this is going to be an unprecedented gathering of chefs and restaurateurs from the top restaurants in Dallas. There will be food: an eclectic mix of haute cuisine, off-the-beaten-path barbecue, and a variety of dishes from ethnic restaurants. Along with the food tastings, there will be cocktails by Brugal Rum, beer by Trumer Pilsner, DJ Jose Guevara, Land Rovers on display and a See’s Candy buffet. Additional sponsors include Express Working Capital and Poggenpohl.
For $20 you can throw a pie at me. The money collected will go to the North Texas Food Bank. Click here and fasten your seat belts. It’s gonna be a blast.6 Comments »
I have just completed D Magazine‘s June cover story: The 100 Best Restaurants in Dallas. Yes, I wrote 100 restaurant reviews and ranked the top 100 restaurants in Dallas. To complete the task, I had to toss out Fort Worth, Grapevine, and the mid-cities. Maybe next time. (Which will not be in my life time.) I’m so tired I thought it would be a great idea to throw a party and celebrate the 100 best restaurants in Dallas. The marketing people agreed.
Join me and many of the 100 best restaurants in Dallas for a giant soiree on May 22 from 6-8PM at Sharon Van Meter’s 3015 Trinity Groves. The festivities will feature food from the top chefs in Dallas and the fare will feature an eclectic mix of haute cuisine, off-the-beaten-path barbecue, and a variety of dishes from ethnic restaurants. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to mingle with an unprecedented gathering of chefs and restaurateurs from the top restaurants in Dallas. Along with the food tastings, there will be cocktails by Brugal Rum, beer by Trumer Pilsner, DJ Jose Guevara, Land Rovers on display and a See’s Candy buffet. Additional sponsors include Express Working Capital and Poggenpohl.
I’m thinking about doing a “Throw a Cream Pie in Nancy’s Face” booth to raise money for my favorite charity. Could happen. Buy your tickets here.1 Comment »
The sun hangs low in the sky over WE Over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College as a crowd of more than 400 filters onto the football-field-converted-garden-converted-five-star-restaurant. Warm, orange light illuminates the smiles of each guest as they take eager steps out onto the soft earth where the annual “A Community Cooks” event is held. Three years ago, the college turned an unused football field into an organic farm for the residents of the Highland Hills area around the campus where the closest grocery store is five miles away. Now the neighborhoods, as well as local restaurants, have a source for fresh food.
More than 20 chefs from their respective Dallas restaurants showed up to feed the familiar faces of the community. The eclectic range of guests came from all over the Metroplex—Dallas, Plano, McKinney—but earthy landscape, soft music and exceptional food reminded me more of a family reunion. There was even rumored to be a few Austinites present among us. Wattley affectionately referred to her supporters as a “smörgåsbord.” There’s really nothing like phenomenal food to bring people together. Eddie “Lucky” Campbell shook up specialty drinks for guests all night.
Lucky danced and jived as he served up cocktails to the crowds, and his enthusiasm was echoed through the gathering. There’s really something to be said about the whole mission of WE Over Me Farm, which is what brought all these people together. If you haven’t heard the message, farm manager Andrea Bithell lays it out.
The farm, which aims to provide healthy foods to an area that has traditionally lacked a supermarket within walkable distance, sells food at a discounted rate to families in the community. Bithell says you can give someone a few bucks and send them to a fast food dollar menu, but that doesn’t really solve the issue of hunger in low-income communities. Homegrown food does something the fast-food market can’t: It feeds the body and mind, Bithell says. She explains what $2 spent at her farm can do versus a few bucks spent at a fast food joint.
“You can buy a burger off a dollar menu,” Bithell said. “Are you full? Yes. Are you fed? No.”
The farm started in 2009 as a partnership between the school and Pepsi-Cola. It has since produced more than 10,000 pounds of fresh, organic produce. Its mission models off something Bithell calls the “Four C’s”: community, cafeteria, charity and chefs.
The farm gives 10 percent of its sells to charity, as well as feeds 400 to 500 Highland Hills families per week. If those numbers aren’t something to be astounded by, I don’t know what is.
Expect BIG things from this modest, 2-acre farm. And that’s what Dallas is about, right? Expect dishes like braised lamb and spring carrot salad, fresh spring pea soup and strawberry gazpacho made almost exclusively from the fresh produce grown right here on this farm by the students of this college.
As the sun set over the farm and the night came to a close, Paul Quinn President Michael J. Sorrell announced, “One promise: we are just warming up.”
Aimee Pass is a senior at the University of North Texas studying journalism, English, and political science. She has been interning with D Magazine since January. She is a long-time food-lover, first-time food-blogger.
Chipotle, the fast-food restaurant with a sustainable-food approach, and Edible DFW have launched a Food Film Series and they’ve picked Café Momentum to be the beneficiary of proceeds from the first film, Eating Alabama.
The event takes place Tuesday, April 16th at 7:00PM at the Angelika. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Marie Tedei (Eden’s Organic GardenCenter), Chad Houser (Cafe Momentum), Graham Dodds (Central 214), and more. A minimum $2 donation will be accepted at the door in support of Cafe Momentum, and all attendees will receive a Buy One/Get One card good at all Chipotle restaurants.
Check out this site for future screenings of films that focus on sustainable farming practices and importance of buying local.
Gershwin filled the air as Dallas wine lovers, dressed to the hilt in black tie and glitz, took a turn back to the 20′s to celebrate the 22nd annual Cotes du Coeur. The ballroom of the Hilton Anatole was transformed into a glamorous setting filled with lavish red roses in crystal vases sharing space with hundreds of bottles of stunning wine from around the world. The tempting aromas wafted from the room, rising from the dozen chef stations situated throughout the ballroom, each paired with two award-winning wine selections. I had a chance to attend as a guest of The American Heart Association Dallas Chapter. Continue reading "22nd Annual Cotes Du Coeur Celebrated the Heart 1920′s Style"2 Comments »
I do love this time of year, both because spring in Dallas is always so beautiful and watching trees and flowers begin to pop just brings a smile to your face, and it is down time for many wineries so their top brass can travel to wine loving cities, like ours, bringing their tasty juice with them while hosting various wine dinners and tasting opportunities around town. Here are a few coming up in the next few weeks.
If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet do so now for Cotes du Coeur International Fine Wine Auction and Celebrity Chef Dinner. The annual event, the largest gala fundraiser for The American Heart Association, takes place Saturday night, April 6th, and features not only many of our favorite chefs in town, including Chef Chair Richard Chamberlain along with many of his buddies, like Jim “Sevy” Severson, Dean Fearing, Kent Rathbun and David Holben, but a gathering of incredible winemakers and wineries, including Adelsheim, Ehler’s Estate, Siduri, Hall, Merry Edwards and Revana. Ticket information and additional details here. Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunities To Taste"
Meaders Moore Ozarow is the owner of Empire Baking Co., but in her spare time, she volunteers for Meals on Wheels twice a month. The Visiting Nurses Association, which is the umbrella organization over Meals on Wheels, is putting on a dinner event called “Legends and Leaders” on Thursday, April 4, at the Fairmont Hotel from 7 to 10 p.m.
I am on the board of VNA – Visiting Nurses Association (which administers Meals on Wheels and Hospice) and they are changing their primary fundraiser. We are inviting Dallas Legends and Leaders and having them host a table for fun and informative conversation with attendees who would enjoy sitting and visiting with them.
Some of these legends and leaders, she tells me, will include Kris Boyd, Stan Richards, Meredyth Cole, Scott Griggs, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Honorable Tom Leppert, Lynn McBee, Mayor Mike Rawlings, and Dr. Maxwell Anderson (just to name a few).
As for food legends in Dallas, the VNA plans to host tables with Kent Rathbun (Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen), Matt McCallister (Ft33), Stephan Pyles (Stephan Pyles), and Paula Lambert (Mozz Co.). Ozarow says, “It’s kind of like a dinner party with a fantasy guest.” I’m sure you guys have always wanted to pry open the minds of these Dallas movers and shakers. A seat at the dinner costs between $250 and $1000, but the money goes toward a good cause: the Meals on Wheels and Hospice program.2 Comments »
More than 400 people saw Union Station transform into a food paradise on Sunday for the Raiser Grazer and Silent Auction hosted by Les Dames d’Escoffier, Dallas. Being a vegetarian who loves food, I felt right at home. From being greeted with a glass of Blanc de Blanc, walking into a room full of decadent sweets and smelling the savory meat dishes from the main hall, I could only imagine how I would’ve gorged myself if I ate meat. Trust me, the five-spiced pork belly on a steamed bun with pickled vegetables and homemade kimchi smelled scrumptious, but alas, my ideology got the best of me.
This year’s theme of “Dames go Local” showcased more than 75 of the finest dames involved in the Dallas culinary arts scene. From executive pastry chef Dunia Borga of La Duni to meat specialist Sandy Breuss of Sysco North Texas, women from all corners of the gastronomic world offered their best to guests. Each dame had her own table to display her creation and provide more information regarding her business or restaurant. Continue reading "Les Dames d’Escoffier Dallas’ Raiser Grazer Showed Support for Women in Culinary Arts"4 Comments »
I have a dining crush on Sakhuu. I love the amazing service, the stuffed chicken wings, and the fact that owner/chef Kyla Phomsavanh will make special dishes (you’ll have to ask him what they are) off the menu if you just email or call beforehand. Did I mention it’s also BYOB?
Phomsavanh also has a ginormous heart for kids. Sakhuu is usually closed on Mondays, but during the month of March, Phomsavanh is opening his restaurant to help Kidd’s Kids, a foundation that serves children with special medical needs. 100% of the sales and gratuity made every Monday will be donated to Kidd’s Kids.
Help Sakhuu reach its fundraising goal of $10,000. It’s good food for a good cause. I can’t think of a better deal.
A nice, generous person sent me an email this morning, offering to give away a pair of tickets valued at $200. If you wish to attend the YW’s Sip ‘N Savor event on Thursday, February 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with busybee chef Sharon Hage and wine-a**-kicker Barbara Werley, you should tell me why you deserve these tickets down in the comments below. These tickets are for a good cause (benefitting low-income women), the food and wine is bound to be mind-blowing, and there’s no way I’m giving this pair to just anybody. Sell me your story. I’ll email the winner of the best comment below tomorrow (Feb 27) at 4:00 p.m.
P.S. The nice person adds: “There will be a wine pull with some of Werley’s selection, and an auction item, too, for a private tour and tasting at Colgin Cellars “IX Estate” Winery, which is a private, state-of-the-art facility set on a mountaintop overlooking Lake Hennessey.”
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You eat with a bowl. I eat with a bowl. In fact, I just finished eating blueberries from my bowl.
On March 1, you can go home with a new handcrafted dish and help a hungry Dallas brother out. The North Texas Food Bank is hosting its yearly Empty Bowls luncheon at the Meyerson Symphony Center for a mere $35 in advance ($45 at the door). The Youth Strings of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra will play, you will eat, and then you will take a bowl home. If you don’t want one, you only have to pay $25 for lunch. All proceeds will benefit the work that the Food Bank is doing to feed some of our struggling individuals and families in the area. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.
Friday, March 1, 2013
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
2301 Flora St.
Dallas, TX 75201 (Click here for parking map)
Garage parking is available – price depends on specific garage. Valet parking is available for $25.
Tickets can be purchased online and at the door. Go here for more information.
It was hard not to feel the joy, fellowship and overall positive spirit today as hundreds of guests packed into the Omni Dallas Hotel to savor a bowl of soup for the 5th Annual Soup’s On luncheon, put on by The Stewpot Alliance and benefiting The Stewpot and their new project, 508 Park. Started in 1975 by the First Presbyterian Church downtown, the mission of the The Stewpot is to “offer a safe haven for homeless and at-risk individuals of Dallas, providing resources for basic survival needs as well as opportunities to start a new life.” This is accomplished every day by not just providing meals to the homeless of Dallas, which they do every day in cooperation with The Bridge feeding up to 1500 people a day, but to provide programs to help participants get back on their feet through job and housing assistance, medical, dental and mental care, youth programs for children, and much more including an ever growing art and education program that will soon expand to their new space at 508 Park that will house an art gallery, studio, community garden, music space and educational venue bringing people of all cultures, faiths and beliefs together through dialogue. I had a chance to attend the luncheon as a guest of The Stewpot Alliance and was proud to hear that in the past 5 years, as this luncheon has raised $1 million for The Stewpot. A volunteer at The Bridge, member of The Stewpot Alliance and big supporter of The Stewpot it was also incredibly gratifying for me to hear that as of July 2012 over 5 million meals had been served to the homeless of Dallas. Continue reading "5th Annual Soup’s On for the Stewpot a Success!"
The Stewpot is a pretty amazing organization in Dallas that helps homeless and at-risk people rebuild their lives. This year, the Stewpot Alliance is holding its fifth annual Soup’s On! luncheon tomorrow at the Omni Hotel, where dozens of fine chefs are serving bowls of warm soup. (I hear it’s going to rain tomorrow. Perfect soup weather, don’t you think?) There will also be an art sale 0f 50+ paintings for serious browsing. The press release also includes these other entertainment goodies: “handmade jewelry from the artists of the Stewpot Open Art Programs, keynote speaker Wes Moore, emcee and Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow and a performances by The Dallas Wind Symphony and Booker T. Washington for the Performing Visual Arts Varsity Choir.”
Chef Brian Luscher of The Grape is acting as Chef Chair this year, and he’s gathered a list of impressive Dallas chefs. Participating chefs include Randall Copeland, Restaurant Ava; Bruno Davaillon, The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek; Omar Flores, Driftwood; Keith Hanks, The Capital Grille; Al Havens, Salum; Jason Maddy, Oak; Danyele McPherson, The Grape; Chad Kelley, Café Pacific; Janice Provost, Parigi; Anastasia Quiñones, Komali; Abraham Salum, Salum; Nathan Tate, Boulevardier and Jason Weaver, Omni Dallas.
There are plenty of tickets left, so you guys are in luck.
Reception and art sale begins at 11a.m., while the luncheon starts at 12 p.m. Individual tickets begin at $150. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 214-746-2785 ext. 234 or go to www.SoupsOnDallas.org.
Wine enthusiasts gathered last night at the White Rock home of Teresa and John Amend, also known as Mount Vernon, to peruse the large format offerings that will line “Big Bottle Alley” at the annual Cotes du Coeur International Fine Wine Auction & Celebrity Chef Dinner on April 6 at the Hilton Anatole benefiting the American Heart Association.
While sipping glasses of wine provided by Grailey’s Fine Wine and noshing on bites created by Chef Jerimy Holt guests viewed dozens of bottles in anticipation of what the Dallas Chapter of the American Heart Association hopes will be the best auction to date. From magnums of 1991 Napa Valley Silver Oak to more recent vintages from Hall, Philip Tongi and stunning Numanthia, to the bottle that won “Best in Show” last night, a Jeroboam of 2003 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir donated by Rich and Trisha Allen, the anticipation for this year’s auction is high. Cotes du Coeur is the largest and most successful event put on by the American Heart Association in the nation, with over $18 million raised in the past 21 years.
There are two more lead-up events for the 2013 Cotes du Coeur event, including the chef announcement party, once again led by Chef-Chair Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill on Feb 24, and the auction catalog review party on March 21, all culminating with the Grand Tasting on April 5 and the big night April 6. For tickets and information visit the Cotes du Coeur website here.1 Comment »
Chef Yutaka wants to give back. On Sunday, January 27, he’ll be preparing a five-course meal for guests, with proceeds going toward relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy and the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Manager of Yutaka Sushi, Jada Bui, writes, “Chef Yutaka is a man of little words and his actions speak louder than anything.” She adds in fine details of her own:
Chef Yutaka will be hosting a Celebrity Chef Dinner with the proceeds going towards the Tsunami and Hurricane Sandy on January 27th, 2013. We will have at least five Best Sushi Chefs who have been shortlisted in Travel & Leisure Magazine from different parts of the United States.We will start with the pre-drinks at Sharaku Sake Lounge promptly at 5:30pm and then dinner at Yutaka Sushi Bistro at 6:00pm. We are expecting to have 80 people total and we will have two seating in order to accommodate all our guests.
The cost will be $200 per plate which includes a five course meal, drinks, Matcha tasting (Tea ceremony), tax & gratuity.
It would be a great honor to have your presence in this event. Kindly RSVP by January 5th, 2013 so that we can prepare.
You may email firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call 214.969.5533 to confirm as well.
We are looking forward to your attendance!
In the December issue of D Magazine, Carol presents the tale of two chefs, Chad Houser and Janice Provost, and how they joined forces to create Café Momentum.
The Dallas County Youth Village, a sort of halfway house for boys age 10 to 17 who have a history of committing nonviolent crimes, sits on 53 acres of rural southern Dallas. Two chefs, Chad Houser and Janice Provost, got the idea to teach these young men skills they could use to land jobs in the restaurant business. Their program is called Cafe Momentum, which is also an itinerant pop-up restaurant staffed by the Youth Villagers.
The 15th Cafe Momentum dinner took place on October 7, the same day a cold front caught Dallas by surprise. By 6:15 pm that Saturday, bundled guests started settling down into the industrial metal chairs scattered inside Acme F&B. Eight boys from the Youth Village worked the room like they’d been doing it all their lives. The boys, dressed in professional chef coats, smiled as they carefully placed romaine salads with hearts of palm in front of each person. They said their “yes, ma’am”s and “yes, sir”s. People were impressed. For having spent only $100 on an elegant four-course meal, guests witnessed firsthand how their money went toward transforming the lives of youths who came from challenging backgrounds.
Last night The Hotel Palomar and Central 214′s Chef Graham Dodds and Mixologist Amber West teamed with the Round Table of Young Professionals for the North Texas Food Bank for a casual holiday mixer around the gorgeous tree in the hotel lobby to raise a few dollars for those in need this holiday season. Every day the Food Bank is tasked with trying to feed tens of thousands of men, women and children throughout the city, and sadly that number continues to grow. Events like the gathering last night try to help fill that need.
Feeling festive, Amber created two spirited cocktails (recipes below) perfect for the season and paired with simple bites from Chef Graham like tuna crudo, stuffed dates and sweet apples with tangy goat cheese. The come and go happy hour takes place every weeknight for hotel guests, and those who might be popping in from around the neighborhood, with events like last night being extra special as a way to help give back to a great cause. Continue reading "What To Drink Now: Holiday Cocktails by Mixologist Amber West for the North Texas Food Bank"