If you are in the mood for a healthy (yes, healthy) take on Mexican/Tex-Mex inspired fare, Ocho Kitchen and Bar may be the spot for you. Chef Joel Harloff tweaks typical Mexican favorites to create a lively menu filled with fresh flavors that are both heart healthy and many, gluten free, like his Cilantro-Caper Salmon Ceviche and The Benjamin grilled chicken fajitas. Last night Chef Harloff invited a handful of local media folks out to his 8Bar upstairs for a tasting of a few of his new menu offerings, paired with seasonal cocktails. Healthy eating and tasty spirits? I had to attend and taste as his guest.
Jump for more and a look at Ariel Gonzalez’s beautiful photos. Continue reading "Ocho Kitchen and Bar Celebrates Spring With New Dishes and Cocktails"
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.
On Tuesday night, Urban Acres partnered with Joel Salatin (the monumentally celebrated sustainable farmer and author from Virginia) and some pretty awesome local chefs to present a Steward’s Dinner at Four Cornery Brewery. We entered through the makeshift barn doors and an immediate wave of camaraderie passed over us. Everyone there was passionate about food. The Brewery – with its wide open warehouse space, bright metallic brewing containers, and beer posters adorning the walls – was filled with many attractive, clean faces. I don’t know if it’s because these people eat so well or maybe Urban Acres has a Handsome Clause in its member selection, but the room was brimming with good breeders. It seemed as though we were all on some magical food team together and couldn’t wait to share our encouragement and passion for sustainable living practices.1 Comment »
Chef Jon Stevens, who has dabbled in the kitchen of The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton and now the popular Dallas bistro, NOSH, has a resume that would make any person drool. Tack on a “Hottest Chef in Dallas” nomination from Eater Dallas to that resume, and now you might need a napkin for the drool rolling dangerously down your chin.
As native of San Francisco, Stevens understands the farm-to-table movement and brings this concept to the European-inspired dishes at NOSH. I met with him at the restaurant to discuss his hottest chef nod, fires in the kitchen, and other goodies over a serving of tempura-fried Brussels sprout leaves and rich banana bread pudding.
Jacie Scott: So, let’s get to the good stuff. You were selected as one of the hottest chefs in Dallas!
Jon Stevens: Well, there were a lot of people selected for that.
Scott: How many? How did it come about?
There are a slew of winemakers in Dallas this week from Sonoma for a trade event Tuesday, along with a handful of winemakers from all over the world in for Savor Dallas this past weekend. Luckily, many are also sticking around to host incredible wine dinners throughout town all week. Here is a sampling of a few options available with these winemakers this week, and a few tasty ideas for next.
March 20th Chef Graham Dodds of Central 214 partners with Duckhorn Vineyards for a Marbelous Beef 5 course dinner featuring all things meat, with luscious wines from the Duckhorn family. Selections include Braised Marbleous Beef Short Ribs with Goldeneye Pinot Noir and Cast Iron Seared Braised Marbleous Beef Sirloin Steak with Duckhorn Merlot. $90, reservations required - 214.443.9339.
If beef isn’t really your full focus, join Gary Farrell Winery and Abacus on March 20th for a special dinner with Winemaker Theresa Heredia and Chef Kent Rathbun for a four-course dinner paired with specially selected Gary Farrell wines. The menu includes Seared Rockport Skate Wing with Creamy Chickpea Panisse, Saffron Lobster Nage paired with 2010 Gary Farrell Russian River Chardonnay and Wood Roasted Pheasant Roulade Creamy “Popped” Quinoa, Green Peppercorn Jus paired with 2010 Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir. $120, reservations required – 214-520-0151. Continue reading "Upcoming Opportunties To Taste"
Each year Savor Dallas continues to grow, bringing residents from all over North Texas together for a weekend of wine and food celebration. This year, in its ninth, Savor added evening events at Trinity Groves, the Perot Museum, and a special evening at the Dallas Arboretum, bringing Dallas Blooms and wines from all over the globe together. However, the original tasting opportunities still remain the best, pairing some of the best chefs in the city together with wines and a plethora of spirits from all over the world at the big International Grand Tasting. This applies to the the special Reserve Wines tasting just before. I had a chance to attend both Saturday night as a guest of Savor Dallas.
Held for the second year at the spacious Irving Convention Center, the Reserve Tasting started at 5 p.m. with representatives from Moet-Hennessy, Numanthia, Cheval des Andes, and The Puzzle from Newton. Diageo poured incredible Rutherford dust filled BV Georges de Latour Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; Duckhorn offered its incredible Howell Mountain Cabernet;, and Wrath Wines poured a crisp and luscious, wax-capped San Saba Chardonnay. Some special spirits included a four-year aged Casa Sauza XA Limited Edition Gran Anejo Tequila. Comfortably spread out guests easily meandered from table-to-table, sipping and enjoying, while having the opportunity to talk about the wines with the representatives with ease.2 Comments »
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!"
First, Tre Wilcox resigns from Village Marquee, and now this bit of sad news: Joel Harloff is leaving The Second Floor this month. Owner Scott Gottlich is now looking for an executive chef to fill in Harloff’s shoes. All interested chefs should call 972-450-2978.
While I’ve been hiding in my Netflix cave these last couple days, the world has kept spinning. A crazy amount of things have happened. For example, did you know that McDonald’s is releasing its line of Fish McBites early this year for a limited time only? Yes, I know. Life changing.
And then there’s this cool little fact about my favorite Dallas baker/tweeter. Joe the Baker, who is currently working as a consultant for Spoon and as an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu, has competed on Food Network’s Sweet Genius. Anyone who make make snazzy gingerbread man cookies (here’s the recipe, c/o Entree Dallas) is more than a-okay in my book. The show airs on January 3 at 9 p.m. CST. Set your DVRs, SideDishers. This episode looks pretty intense from the summary.
Chef Ron introduces the chefs to his rock-and-roll first inspiration: an electric guitar. It’s crunch time when the chefs get a fruity cereal as their mandatory ingredient. In the second test, the chefs learn that there is no place like Chef Ron’s World of Desserts as they make candy confections from a strawberry drink and a yellow pepper. For the cake test, the finalists get a fiesta favorite as an inspiration, but will they be partying when they see the mandatory ingredients?
Competitors: Joseph Baker, Caroline Braslow, Taria Camerino, Joey Glaser
For all the events and charity functions that we have in Dallas, perhaps my favorite occurs annually on a January afternoon featuring some of the best chefs in the city making their signature soups for one of our most worthy charities in the city, Soup’s On for The Stewpot.
Led each year by Chef/ Chair Brian Luscher of The Grape creating his much loved Mushroom Soup, with the help of the dedicated members of The Stewpot Alliance, including co-chairs Kay Lunceford and Trish Weigand, the event raises both funds and awareness for the incredible work The Stewpot does helping the homeless of Dallas.
Chef Brian will be joined by Chefs Randall Copeland of Restaurant Ava; Bruno Davaillon of The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek; Jason Maddy of Oak; Chad Kelley of Café Pacific; Janice Provost of Parigi; Anastasia Quiñones of Komali; Abraham Salum of Salum; and Jason Weaver of the Omni Dallas, to name a few.
This year is particularly special as the great fundraising that occurred in the past has allowed The Stewpot to purchase a new building across from its facility in downtown Dallas, 508 Park, which is in development. The building is being turned into a multi-use facility to house a music academy, recording studio, concert amphitheater, rooftop terrace, community garden, and the Museum of Street Culture. The mission of The Stewpot is to offer a safe haven for homeless and at-risk individuals in Dallas.
Soup’s On for The Stewpot will occur on January 29, 2013 at The Omni Hotel, with the art sale beginning at 11, luncheon at noon with special guest Wes Moore, author of The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. Tickets and information available here.
How does Stephan Pyles find enough time in a day? Besides opening Stampede 66 just recently, Chef Pyles took time out of his day to do a calendar photo shoot for the Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas at his original restaurant with these two lucky kids.
Thank you, Chef Pyles.
To purchase a 2013 wall calendar, go here.
FT33 has barely cracked its door open, and it’s already making waves in the Design District. It’s pretty much at home in the Design District. Eight days after opening mid-October, FT33 couldn’t wait to announce a master sommelier wine dinner series. On day nine, chef/owner Matt McCallister invited media people to taste the goods at his restaurant. Desiree and I, curious, accepted the invite and ate lunch as his guests.
Jump to view more of Desiree Espada’s pretty photos.
2012 marks the 40th anniversary for one of Dallas’ best and consistently voted “most romantic” neighborhood bistros, The Grape. Throughout the past 40 years and through an ownership change, this little gem has stayed true to their opening idea of being a restaurant that celebrates classic bistro style cuisine with impeccable quality, while staying affordable, most recently coming from Chef/Owner Brian C. Luscher and his talented Sommelier/GM wife, Courtney Luscher.
I am a fan and visit The Grape often, as it is in my neighborhood and I am always guaranteed a fantastic meal and a great bottle of wine, usually involving their mushroom soup, a staple item that has been on the menu since the beginning, a gorgeous cheese and house-made charcuterie board, and whatever nightly special Chef Brian, or his talented sous-chef and Bravo Top Chef Season 10 star, Danyele McPherson, create in their Greenville Ave. kitchen. Here is what we had to say about The Grape in our October 1974 restaurant listings.
1 Comment »
The Grape. A unique and always crowded restaurant boasting 25 varieties of cheese and a menu of light entrees that changes daily. The tournedos bearnaise are a favorite. For a touch of pure excellence, try any of the homemade soups (fresh mushroom is the specialty). During busy hours, which is most of the time, service can be painfully slow. Unusual wine list. No mixed drinks. (2808 Greenville Ave./ 823-0133/ Lunch: Mon.-Fri. 11:30-2:30, Dinner: Tues.-Sun. 6-10:30, open later on Fri. & Sat. for wine and cheese only/ No reservations/ No credit cards/ $$)
One of the greatest things about our culinary scene in Dallas is the true sense of camaraderie that we see amongst many of the chefs in town, especially when it comes to contributing their time….which they do a lot. Dallas is never lacking in charity events, and for a town that gives back so often, our city’s chefs contribute their time tirelessly, especially when one of their fellow chef friends comes calling. Probably because at one point or another many worked with each other, side by side as they gained their culinary stripes in some of the best kitchens in town.
The Dallas Zoological Society’s annual Zoo To Do event will be held November 3 with Honorary Chef’s Jim Severson of Sevy’s and Dan Landsberg of Dragonfly. This year 26 additional chefs, like Janice Provost, Richard Chamberlain, David Holben, Kevin Garvin, Tim Byers, Gilbert Garza and Kent Rathbun, join their honorary chef friends creating an evening dedicated to raising funds to support the work of the Dallas Zoo.
Dallas Zoological Society Presidant and CEO Michael Meadows notes that “our team of talented chefs and amazing restaurants, paired with the beautiful setting at the Dallas Zoo, make this one of the most unique fund-raising events in Dallas.” The evening will also include live and silent auctions, casino games and other entertainment. Information and tickets here.
Yesterday afternoon in the cooking studio at Central Market, four of Dallas’ favorite chefs came together to cook and compete for a great cause, each of their supported charities. The event was the second stop on a three city tour created by Allegrini wine asking top chefs to create the ideal pairing for their Palazzo Della Torre wine.
Chefs Tre Wilcox (Village Marquee – Texas Grill & Bar,) David Uygur (Lucia Restaurant,) Keith Hanks (Capital Grille Dallas,) and Francesco Farris (Zio Cecio Cucina Italiana,) tested their imagination and ingenuity making dishes to enhance the dry, earthy, slightly raisined Valpolicella wine. Continue reading "Allegrini Cook-Off For a Cause"
Garden Cafe just sent out a notice that their dinner with guest chef, Sharon Hage, tonight was met with such excitement (selling out in less than 3 hours) that they have added another evening, opening up tomorrow night as well. About 20 seats are available, so call quick! 214.887.8330 Dinner with one of the best in Dallas, and it is BYOB….sign me up!
The Earth Day idea started with an original focus to think green, live green, be green…but over the years it has transformed beyond this idea into one of also living local, eating local, and supporting local (along with living a healthier lifestyle with a focus on sustainability). Miele, German based producers of the high-end kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners, has embraced these ideals in every aspect of its business, carrying the principle of bearing responsibility for generations to come. With this comes their focus to help their customers live a better life with the help of their tools. Last night at their Dallas gallery showroom in the Design District, Miele hosted a “Better Living” dinner with Chef Uwe Muller, adjunct instructor at Dallas’ Le Cordon Bleu who recalls growing up in his native Germany with Miele appliances in his home. I was an invited guest. Continue reading "Miele Celebrates “Better Living” In Time For Earth Day"3 Comments »
SVM is the corporate form (as distinct from the corporal form) of Sharon van Meter. In a few months, both forms are moving across the river to Trinity Groves. That, you will recall, is the gastronomic and culinary center under development by Phil Romano at the end of Santiago Calatrava’s new icon of the Dallas skyline. The Milestone Culinary Arts Center may move as well, but not to Trinity Groves, and only as a showroom for kitchen appliances. Van Meter isn’t unhappy with the current digs. Rather, Phil Romano is very serious about Trinity Groves’ success and he regards Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Graduate Van Meter as something of an ‘anchor store’ in his new mall. He offered her a deal she couldn’t refuse, including seating space for 400 people where she can do big events. Kitchen appliance and equipment makers are also likely to be falling over themselves to equip a school that sees thousands of students every year.
Given the pace of this, I suspect that we will hear some other major announcements about Trinity Groves in the next month or so.
Last week Andrew Chalk attended a dinner at Bailey’s Prime Steakhouse. He reported former execuchef Grant Morgan had left. Chalk also said Michael Ehlert, the chef owner Ed Bailey hired to get The Chesterfield up and running, “will become the executive chef of a new high-end modern French restaurant backed by Bailey later this year.” Today, according Steven Doyle, Ehlert and his fiancee Jennifer Jaco, who is also the sommelier at Bailey’s, have left the restaurant and are now “on the loose.” Methinks Mr. Bailey may be difficult to please? He’s got a lot of money and has seduced a lot of talent to his businesses but he seems to have trouble keeping them on board.11 Comments »