Clandestine Chef Meeting

by Steven Doyle

From the dark of the night a handful of local chefs embarked onto the Dallas Farmers Market in the wee hours of the morning. Actually it was midnight about an hour after the incredible Mavericks win.

Once a month there is a special gathering of local farmers who are typically from less than 150 miles away that set up at midnight to offer these chefs special deals that normally cannot be found during the day. Everyone is welcome to participate, but you must buy in case lots. For some individuals wishing to can, preserve or make jellies and jams, this could prove ideal.  

The charge was led by Dallas Friends of the Farmers Market  president Chad Houser of Parigi and Café Momentum. Houser sent an invitation to his chef buddies on Facebook as a call to arms, and to take on more local produce which is the reason for the event each month.

There were plenty of farmers on hand this morning, including superstar farmer JT Lemley who is famous for his tomatoes and peaches. The soft spoken Lemley quickly sold out of some smart looking red potatoes and zucchini but stayed around to enjoy the fellowship often associated with these clandestine midnight gatherings, offering up some fast melting home-made peach ice cream.

We noticed Randall Copeland of Restaurant Ava making off with a case of leeks and some beautiful blackberries.

Other chefs like Jeffrey Hobbes from Suze  and Jack Perkins from Maple & Motor were making contacts with the farmers and negotiating future dealings.

From Left: Hobbes, Perkins, and Houser

Houser made mention of a farmer that will come later in the season that trucks in melons from Marfa, making the trip with a single swoop. The farmer drives direct to Dallas, sells out quickly then high tails it back to Marfa all in one day.

Supporting the local farmer has been the national buzz for some time now, and it is good to see Dallas chefs making a great effort to practice what they often speak about.


Filed under chefs, Dallas Farmers Market, Downtown, Steven Doyle

3 responses to “Clandestine Chef Meeting

  1. Steve – I’ve linked this on the DFMFriends News page:



  2. Thank you Kerrie! Wonderful to see you this weekend.

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