by Steven Doyle
This weekend marked a successful third year run for Food for Thought, the celebrity chef charity event whose proceeds benefit Big Thought, a creative learning organization striving to make imagination a part of everyday learning and improve public education and sponsored by The Dallas Association of Young Lawyers and Oh* Brownie.
Each year the Food for Thought steering committee honors a local civic leader with the Gavel of Excellence for significant contributions of service to our community. Prior Gavel of Excellence award winners include Jim Keyes, the CEO of Blockbuster, Inc., and Ebby Halliday. This years recipient was Daryl “Moose” Johnston, NFL on FOX Game Analyst and former Dallas Cowboys fullback.
Johnston has contributed his time to many charities including the Special Olympics, Children’s Cancer Fund, Cystic Fibrosis and Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT). He has served as honorary chairman for MDA’s “Aisles of Smiles” campaign, an organization he has served for over ten years, and for the American Cancer Society’s Gunslingers’ Ball.
The event was heavy laden with eager chefs that brought their A-game to the event, including chefs Tiffany Derry, Lisa Garza, Brian Luscher, Wilfredo Calderon, Matt McCallister, Scott Blankenship, Khanh Dao, Samir Dhurandhar, John Tesar, Richard Blankenship, Justin Fourton and Katie Ruppe.
With this amazing group of talented chefs on board there were obviously some great dishes to be found in the walk-around event that had each chef at their own station. Below find a few of our favorites.
Ricotta agnolotti with parmesan broth. Savory and fresh dish from Richard Blankenship of Charlie Palmer.
Possibly the most innovative dish of the evening from the mind of Matt McCallister. A confit of quail wrapped in caul and served like a hot wing. McCallister is months away from his first restaurant that will showcase his talent well.
This salmon dish was made by Lisa Garza of Lisa Garza Taste Studio. She served the salmon with a sesame wasabi sauce. We asked Lisa about her newest concept that she is working on, and didn’t get too far with that. it had been reported that she took over the space where Hector’s just vacated. Lisa emphatically said this was false.
John Tesar from the Commissary made a braised beef tongue with an avocado salsa verde. We encouraged Tesar to make the winning dish from his TV debut on the Food Network, but the tongue was superb.
Samir Dhurandhar exec at Nick and Sam’s stepped up with a masala rubbed beef tenderloin and crab with saffron aioli.
Tiffany Derry was all the rage with her pork belly steamed buns. Tiffany is about to open her own restaurant called Private Social that will be a little bit private and a little bit social. Tiffany is keeping it in the family with her sister running as sous chef.