Category Archives: Andrew Chalk

Out of the Vines Came Forth… Vodka

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by Andrew Chalk

Kiepersol Estates, the remarkable winery that grows some 14 vinifera grapes in the east Texas region where it is axiomatic that vinifera grapes are killed in the crib by Pierce’s disease, has done it again. They have just released Dirk’s Vodka, sourced from grape juice from their own vines. Kiepersol founder, Pierre de Wet, named the vodka in honor of his his father who, he says, “lived life well”.   Continue reading

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Newsom Grape Day is May 9th

chalkby Andrew Chalk

A landmark annual event in the Texas wine industry is Newsom Grape Day. Held each year in the farm buildings of Newsom Vineyards in Plains, Texas, the event acts as a magnet for winemakers from across the state for a day of discussion of current viticultural issues. The attendance is an indication of the event’s importance to the industry in that Plains is just 102 miles from Roswell New Mexico, a popular retirement home for extraterrestrial life.

This year’s agenda is below and members of the public with an interest in grape growing are welcome to attend. The following day if The High Plains Winegrowers Wine & Music event so plan on spending the whole weekend.              Continue reading

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Saturday Brunch Starts at Del Frisco’s Grille in Uptown

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by Andrew Chalk

It is 11:01 on Saturday morning. As I stare out of the window at Del Frisco’s Grille in Uptown, I feel sorry for the crowd opposite outside Bread Winners. Not only do they have a 30-minute wait to look forward to but, at the end, they will be paying similar prices for similar things in dowdier surroundings as I am here – but without the wait. Crab Benedict is $15.50 vs. $15.99 at Bread Winners. The pork burrito is $14.00 vs $12.99 for a chorizo one (with potatoes). The red velvet waffle is $12.50 vs. $11.98 for a strawberry and cream waffle with 2 strips of bacon. The fresh orange screwdriver, made with Tito’s vodka, is $5 vs. (apparently) N/A at Bread Winners.   Continue reading

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What On Earth Is Chef Jason Weaver Cooking Now?

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by Andrew Chalk

When Jason Weaver headed the kitchen at The French Room from 2005 to 2009 the restaurant reached the highest culinary point that I have witnessed there in my 30 years in Dallas. Bill Addison, the then restaurant critic of The Dallas Morning News (this was B.C. — before Crave), and a man parsimonious with his accolades, gave the restaurant five stars, denoting it as one of the best restaurants in the city. Zagat named it the best hotel restaurant in the country in its 2006/2007 survey.

With a change in hotel corporate ownership, Weaver left (and The French Room menu ossified) and opened The Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas before eventually returning to Texas to become executive chef at the La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa in Montgomery. In 2011 he was the high-profile hiring of the year, when it was announced that he would be the first executive chef at the Omni Dallas Hotel. That title means that he chefs just about everything except Bob’s Steakhouse (which is a tenant rental situation). That means flagship restaurant Texas Spice, sports bar The Owner’s Box, the Lobby Lounge, coffee bar Morsels, in-room dining, banquets and catering.

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Report: Savor Dallas Reserve Tasting

wine_pour-fullby Andrew Chalk

The highest-end wine event at Savor Dallas is the Reserve Tasting, which gets the ball rolling on Saturday night. Here are some pictures to indicate the kind of wines available.    Continue reading

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Savor Dallas Kicks Off With a Sold-Out ‘Savor The Arboretum’

IMG_3690.640x480by Andrew Chalk

Savor Dallas’ inaugural event may also become its most popular. Savor The Arboretum takes place in the pastoral scenery of the Arboretum grounds and raises money for the arboretum’s education department.

Crave was there and we assembled a photo essay of the event as it unfolded under perfect weather.    Continue reading

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