J.T. Lemley – a long-time farmer who still loves his work even though it’s taken a toll on his back– led us on a tour of his farm, which he’s been operating for 40 years now. Wearing blue jean overalls and a white cowboy hat, Lemley said he was happy to personally give chefs a look-around so that they were able to see the origin of their produce.
Stuart Rackham (Tradition Senior Living Executive Chef), Johnny Iglinsky (KidKraft) Erin Fahner (KidKraft Sous Chef), Jon Stevens (Stock and Barrel), Dan Landsberg and Andrew McDonald (Hotel ZaZa), Rosanne Dileo (The Libertine Bar), Pablo Uruena (The Lakes of Castle Hills), Anastacia Quinones (Komali), and Matt McCallister (FT33) were just some of the chefs who accepted his offer. Some brought their friends, waiters, or family members to enjoy the tour as well.1 Comment »
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 »
Every year, the football field-turned-We Over Me Farm at Paul Quinn College puts on a fundraiser that I mark into my calendar with a bright pink highlighter. Not even two free tickets to the Dallas Symphony’s April 11 concert (featuring Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2, by the way) can sway me from my commitment to attend “A Community Cooks” on Thursday at 6 p.m. Here’s why:
I love farm manager Andrea Bithell, and the work study students who work side-by-side in the fields with her do too. Spend five minutes with her, and you can see that she genuinely cares about the community and her kids.
There will be peacocks. The Greenhill School of Addison recently donated Bonnie and Capone, a 6-month-old brother and sister pair, to Paul Quinn College Farm. They act as security guards to keep snakes and other pests away from the produce that’s growing. Apparently, the peacocks are also befriending the farm’s resident chickens: Dizzy, Lady Bird, and Irva.
The food is killer. Eddie “Lucky” Campbell is shaking up some fun cocktails, while a sexy lineup of Dallas’ best chefs are gathering on the field to cook their signature recipes with locally grown ingredients. (Participating chefs include: Randall Copeland, AVA; Garreth Dickey, DISH Restaurant & Lounge; Graham Dodds, Central 214; Jason Ferraro, Hibiscus; Jeff Harris, Bolsa; Chad Houser, Café Momentum; Orazio LaManna, Legends Hospitality/Dallas Cowboys Stadium; Dan Landsberg, Dragonfly; Brian Luscher, The Grape; Jason Maddy, Oak; Matt McCallister, FT33; Janice Provost, Parigi; Anastacia Quiñones, Komali; Jim Severson, Sevy’s; Nathan Tate, Boulevardier; Sharon Van Meter, 3015 at Trinity Groves; and Mark Wootton, Garden Café.)
Sometimes it doesn’t take a village, it just takes one or two dedicated people to care enough to go through the steps it takes to open a business based on your beliefs. Arlington resident Krista Grant got fed up with processed food and fatty meat from dirty feed lots offered at her local grocery store. As a mother of two young kids, she wanted to feed them healthy, all-natural products. She reached out to local farmers and ranchers and created Farm to Fork Foods, a co-op community dedicated to selling “real food” at affordable prices. Currently her young company is selling high-quality local grassed fed or grass-finished Angus beef and bison, grass-fed longhorn beef, pork, chicken, and seafood. Sign up on their Facebook page and you’ll receive product availability information and instructions on how to order. So far, it’s pick-up only in
her Arlington location Allen, Arlington, Fort Worth, and Oak Cliff.
Take advantage of the heat reprieve we’re getting this weekend (highs in the low 90s) and go roam your local famer’s market. Scattered showers are predicted, but don’t let that keep you indoors. Most of the markets are running at full speed rain or shine. August is the month that many local fruits are winding down, so run, don’t walk, to get your fill of the peaches and melons!
Celebration Farmers Market:
This week you should find fresh TX peaches, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, squash, peppers, melons, corn on the cob, red beets and fresh-hulled peas, some organic tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, cookies, tamales, and Mozzarella Company cheeses, among other spoils. To go along with your vegetables, pick up almost any cut of pork that you can think of from Holleman Farms. This isn’t just any type of pork, it is Red Wattle Pork, a breed that produces extra lean meat. Sadly, Cita’s Salsa will be absent, but In A Pickle will be back with their famous bread and butter pickles and their other pickle varieties.
4515 W. Lovers Ln.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Continue reading "Dallas-Area Farm to Market Report Weekend of August 18-19"1 Comment »
Monday night TexSom celebrated the success of this year’s international wine conference with a grand tasting and awards ceremony event at The Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas. Andrew Chalk was there and so was our eagle-eyed photographer Desiree Espada. Hayley Hamilton reports on the wine represented. Andrew has run out of words (“Food was great. Wines were stunning”), so we’ll let Desiree’s pictures tell the story. Congrats to organizers, co-founders, and Master Sommeliers Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell.
Perfect lunch for tomorrow: The local peach, lettuce, and (J.T. Lemley) tomato salad with peach puree and olive oil at Company Cafe on the Trail.
This swanky Design District spot is home to what might be Big D’s most talented restaurant trio: chef Jason Maddy, pastry chef Sarah Green, and bartender Abraham Bedell. Expect global flavors with definite Germanic leanings—think schnitzel, strudel, and spaetzle.
Grilled Bandera quail; quark spaetzle; Gianduja chocolate panna cotta
A huge oak tree outside the restaurant inspired the name and decor, including wallpaper and a projected tree image that changes with the seasons.
You’ll know chef Tim Love’s latest spot by the dozens of picnic tables fronting on Fort Worth’s beautiful Trinity River trails. The open-air, waterfront restaurant does Texas ‘cue two ways: “Traditional Q” and “New Q”, with nods to Mexico. The food is monumental; bring a small village to help you out.
16-hour smoked beef shin; chicken skin tacos
Curious about what’s in the smoker? Just check the flag flying at the entrance.
Congrats to our two photographers, Desiree Espada and Kevin Hunter Marple, for their featured photos in the article! SideDish+ Desiree + Kevin = 4eva.
Whether you’re a regular market-goer, or you’ve never ventured outside the produce section at Tom Thumb in your life, it’s a great week to hit the markets. The USDA has designated August 5–12 National Farmers Market Week in order to raise awareness of the country’s nearly 8,000 markets, the asset they provide to every community, and the key role they play in supporting local food systems. I’ll raise a glass of lemonade to that.
Coppell Farmers Market: Salsa is high demand in the summer time, and you’ll have a variety to choose from. Jill Holden of Sundance Farms, Pat Gaines with Hiram Farms, and professional chefs Victoria and Robby Hooker, of Two Chefs will all have their special recipes this weekend. If you prefer to make your own, there should be plenty of Jalapenos for the purchasing.
793 S. Coppell Rd.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Jump for more farm fresh goodness.
We called it here: Hot dogs are the new hamburger. It’s raining wieners all over Dallas. Phil Romano and Zaccanelli Food Group are readying to roll out Hofmann hot dogs. Today we learn Chef Brian Luscher of The Grape is throwing his dogs in the fight. On August 11, “Da Lusch” will debut Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots at White Rock Lake Market. What are Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots? They are house-made, all-natural, Post-Oak-wood smoked, South-of-Chicago- inspired sausages which will be served with pickles, sport peppers, mustards and other condiments made from scratch resting on fresh-baked buns from Garland-based bakery, La Francaise. Whew!
Will they be available at Eatzi’s? Probably not. For now, you can find them at White Rock Lake Market which operates the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at The Green Spot Market and Fuels. Need another Facebook “like”? BTW, all of you Chicago skeptics, and you know who you are, Da Lush is from hog-butcher-to-the-world town. And use guys, brush up on yah 588-2300, and git intada market beesfour yah beeyatch.5 Comments »
The heat is on in North Texas, and no one knows it better than local farmers and growers. Berries are becoming scarce, while certain herbs (such as cilantro) are dwindling or have vanished. Peaches and tomatoes are still around, but if you have your heart set on them, come to the market early. Even grocers who usually have a good variety of local produce have to look outside North Texas this time of year to maintain a selection. This means that farmers markets are your best source for produce that is truly local and grown naturally: outside, in the dirt. Most markets have a limit on the number of miles produce can be trucked or shipped and still be called “local,” so you know you’re getting the freshest produce grown right here at home, and that you’re truly supporting local small businesses when they need it most. Take heart, lovers of local lettuce. Summer produce such as cucumbers, squash, melons, okra, onions, and peppers are still readily available and waiting for you at local markets all over the metroplex. If you’ve suffered a recent disappointment upon discovering your favorite veggies have vanished from under the market tents, here are two great charts, provided by the Dallas Farmers Market and The McKinney Farmers Market, that will tell you how long you have to hold out until they return, and what you may find to sub in that’s available now. Without further ado, here’s the list of what’s tasty around town this weekend.
Jump if you love local food. Continue reading "Farm to Market Report: Weekend of July 28-29"3 Comments »
Deep in a forest beyond the douchiness of Dallas lives free spirit, forager, and my fellow Firesign Theater fan, Tom Spicer. He’s the head fiddlehead over at Spiceman’s FM 1410. Today he sends this gorgeous photo and a note. I quote:
4 Comments »
Do you… verjus? Harvested early this morning at Spiceman’s FM 1410 garden, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that I bare rooted from canes brought to me from Benziger’s biodynamic vineyard in Sonoma County, CA. by my dear friend, Beat Kotoun of Korbrands Wine importers/marketers.3 years later, we are basking in their glow and so can you @ $10# CHEERS Spiceman, aka “Larence of Lakewood”
Celebration Farmers Market: I have good news and bad news from Celebration this week. There were some inquiries as to whether Holleman Farms made it last week at all, or would ever make it with the Red Wattle pork. The good news is that they did make it out with the pork last week and it was extremely popular, so it will return. The bad news is that if you loved it, and want more, you’ll have to wait. They’ve left town on vacation and won’t be at the market at all. They’ll be back next weekend with the Red Wattle pork, and all the farm fresh chicken and eggs that they usually have. Do not despair. Jerry from Joy Farms will have all his usual produce and herbs, including pepinex seedless cucumbers, fresh basil, tomatoes, fireball peppers, and squash. Mozzarella Company will have fresh and pecan smoked mozzarella cheese to soothe your porkless soul.
4515 W. Lovers Ln.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Frisco Farmers Market: Mary B Cakes will be out with her fantastically moist loaf breads including my beloved bread pudding loaf – available for a limited time. After having tried nearly all of them (and then running five miles to stave off the guilt), I came to realize that what I like about her loaf breads is that with the exception of the chocolate flavor, they’re not too sweet to have for breakfast. Even the Madagascar vanilla makes a nice compliment to a bowl of fresh fruit which can be easily obtained from D-Bar farms. Strawberries are still in and melons are plentiful enough to cause concern that one might roll over on their table and squash squash. Buy a melon and save a squash, or just buy squash, slice them, and toss them into a skillet with some butter over medium heat until the middles are translucent and the edges are slightly brown. Dust lightly with sea salt and enjoy as a side item with dinner. Not only is that the easiest side item you’ll ever make, it’s a much better fate for a squash.
6048 Frisco Square Blvd.
Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Jump if you like markets. Continue reading "Farm to Market Report: Weekend of July 14-15"
It was pouring rain this morning, but that didn’t matter to fans who sat in their cars at 5 a.m., waiting outside the newest Trader Joe’s in Ft. Worth for the popular grocery chain to open its first store in Texas at 8 a.m. When doors opened, shoppers flooded through the produce aisles grabbing shiny cherry tomatoes, lingered in the frozen food section searching for their favorite meatballs, and made sure they placed that one special TJ item they’ve been living without inside their shopping carts. You could hear everyone breathing one collective sigh of relief. Trader Joe’s is finally here, and there’s no need to call Aunt Judy who lives in San Diego to ship a box of Two Buck Chucks anymore. We can all get our TJ goodies in Ft. Worth now.
If you’re not familiar with Trader Joe’s, worry not. I’ve compiled a grocery list for you that will make your shopping experience as smooth as whipped cream. I also asked random TJ shoppers to give me their input. Everyone was so obliging and terribly drunk on TJ love.
Jump for the grocery list.5 Comments »
I’m a bird lover and a lover of fried chicken. Yes, it’s an anomaly I shove to the back of my brain when I dine. I’m also a dog lover but, because I consider them pets, I don’t eat them. Yes, it’s a fine line or stone’s throw (insert your favorite cliche here) away from hypocrisy. Many people are raising chickens in their backyard and their reasons for doing so are varied. Some like to eat a lot of eggs. Others raise and sell their chickens. It’s a marvelous way to keep in touch with the food supply and an excellent family project.
In this month’s D Magazine, photojournalist Misty Keasler profiles several families who raise chickens in their Dallas backyards. You’ll see gorgeous hen houses, eco-friendly backyards, and cute kids gathering eggs. However, I can’t get that famous Thanksgiving scene in the movie Giant out of my brain.
The dates for one of the area’s most interesting events is set. On August 12- 13, the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas will host the 8th Annual Texas Sommelier Conference. The three-day conference includes educational sessions, wine tastings, and social media workshops. The 2011 TexSom conference featured the largest contingent of Master Sommeliers at a public event. This year should be no different. However, you don’t have to be any kind of sommelier to buy a seat. Some of the names you can rub shoulders with include:
Scheduled Master Sommeliers include James Tidwell, Drew Hendricks, Wayne Belding, Brett Zimmerman, Guy Stout, Tim Gaiser, Laura Williamson, Keith Goldston, Nate Ready, Melissa Monosoff, Brian Cronin, Cameron Douglas, John Szabo, Geoff Kruth, Laura DePasquale, Jay Fletcher, Andrew McNamara, Peter Neptune and Greg Harrington. The speaker lineup also includes James Beard Award Winners Rajat Parr and Paul Grieco, Master of wine Christy Canterbury, wine marketer Paul Wagner, Union Square Hospitality Group Wine Director John Ragan, and Leonetti Cellar Owner Chris Figgins.
The seminar topics, times, and various ticket prices are listed below. For more information or to register, click here. Like, fast. Continue reading "The 8th Annual Texas Sommelier Conference: Registration is Open!"1 Comment »
Lee Park was the place to be last Sunday. Over 1,000 people showed up for sold-out Mixin’ It Up On The Boulevard, a massive food event organized by Chefs For Farmers. The two women credited with pulling together all of the details are Iris McCallister and Christina LaBarba. This dynamic duo coordinated over 40 chefs, 20 farmers, wineries, breweries, mixologists, and artisan producers and pulled off what appeared to be a flawless afternoon of celebration. Chefs for Farmers, a group that supports local farmers, chefs, and businesses, donated 100 percent of the proceeds to Meal On Wheels of Tarrant County and Water for Chizavane.
Each chef was paired with a local vendor. Guests were encouraged to make donations at each station to help them raise money for an item (refrigerator, etc) the vendor was trying to buy. The chef list was impressive: Fearing, Pyles, Rathbun, Derry, Natera, Houser, Provost, Harris, McCallister, to name only a few. The public sampled the food, talked to the participants, and listened to DJ sounds and the band Sugarfoote & Co. At one point Dean Fearing took the microphone and sang along. Elizabeth Lavin captured the day with her Nikon.
Jump for her shots.9 Comments »
This month Todd Johnson checks in with Graham Dodds, the newish executive chef at Central 214. His cooking is a far cry from his predecessor Blythe Beck. Have you tried the newish Central 214?
With his shaggy beard and dark painter’s cap, Graham Dodds looks out of place in Central 214, the restaurant he now helms at Hotel Palomar. It feels like a typical hotel restaurant—contrived modern decor, nondescript white leather banquettes, amber walls—so focus-grouped that it lacks any personality. And it’s not just the new chef’s appearance. Dodds’ culinary history is far too personal for such an impersonal space.
For the past three years, Dodds was the executive chef at Bolsa, the award-winning spot in the Bishop Arts District. He was in on the project from its inception, and his farm-to-fork approach—championing local and seasonal ingredients—was fresh at the time, not the marketing gimmick it has become. Dodds’ creations were simple, his flavors pure. Nothing was over-sauced or overwrought. Bolsa was an instant hit, and it established North Oak Cliff as a dining destination. D Magazine named it the 2009 restaurant of the year.1 Comment »