25 North Texas chefs are pushing their culinary talent, skills, and creativity for FestEvents Foundation’s first online pie auction and raffle, Piehole Project. These are not the kind of pies your grandma used to bake! They go above and beyond the traditional treat, like Spaghetti and Meatball Pie, Avocado Pie, and Strawberry and Burnt Ends pie. Proceeds will support “Chefs of Tomorrow” scholarship fund. Piehole Project will be held Oct. 12-25 at www.PieholeProject.org.
DFW culinary stars are rising to the pie-making challenge, such as Dean Fearing (Fearing’s), Sean Jett (Humble: Simply Good Pies), Kent Rathbun (Rathbun’s Curbside BBQ), Misti Norris (Petra and the Beast), Anastacia Quiñones (José), and many more. Each chef will contribute one of their spectacular pies to the online auction with opening bid starting at $75.
In addition, raffle tickets can be purchased for $10 for a chance to win a surprise pie by one of four culinary standouts: Emporium Pies, Sarah Green (Pirate Cookies), Jill McCord (Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Education at Collin College) and Emily Mantooth (FestEvents Foundation Board Member and two-time blue ribbon pie contest winner at the State Fair of Texas).
Proceeds from Piehole Project will support FestEvents Foundation’s “Chefs of Tomorrow” scholarship program. The program awards $1,000 scholarships to students at local culinary schools to help further their education and contribute to the dynamic culinary scene in North Texas. In its two years, “Chefs of Tomorrow” has provided $20,000 in scholarships.
With Piehole Project, FestEvents Foundation continues to elevate the standard of excellence in hospitality events. FestEvents Foundation Co-Founders Alison Matis and Cheryl Weis are well-known in the local food community through their company, FestEvents Group, which has handled the logistics and production of many of the largest food festivals in Dallas including Taste of Dallas, Park & Palate, Dallas Arboretum Food & Wine Festival, and Dallas Chocolate Festival, among others. They use FestEvents Foundation, a registered 501c3, as a platform to raise funds to support workforce development in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
In March 2020, marketing expert Emily Mantooth joined the Foundation to help launch the “Staff Meal” and “Staff Meal Special” programs that provided over 26,000 meals to struggling hospitality workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Because of their efforts, the team was recognized as a “Big D Hero” by D Magazine. The Foundation also holds a monthly virtual trivia night, hosted by a local chef, called “Chef-ardy!” that benefits their “ServiceReady!” program to provide no-cost TABC and ServSafe certifications to industry workers looking to re-enter the workforce.
Says Matis, “The pandemic has been devastating for the hospitality and events industries but has pushed us to explore new opportunities and ways of working. We are thankful that we can use our talents and expertise to help the industry thrive, especially through such fun and delicious virtual events as Piehole Project!”
Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pie – Anastacia Quiñones of José
Fall Ratatouille and Gruyere Pie – Chad Houser of Café Momentum
The Cookie Monster – Cristal Gonzalez of Virgin Hotel, Commons Club
Granny Fearing’s Eastern Kentucky Green Apple Pie – Dean Fearing of Fearing’s
Field of Dreams Pie (Strawberry and Burnt Ends) – Doug Pickering of DWP BBQ
Metka’s Carmel Apple and Streusel Pie – Dunia Borga of La Duni
Key Lime Pie – Eric Cobb and John Tesar of Knife
Chili Cheese Dog Pie – Eric Freidline of Petra and the Beast
The Lieutenant Dan – Joshua Harmon of Birdie Bao
Desperation Pie (Vinegar Pie) – Jeana Johnson
Florentine Pie – Joe Baker of Joe the Baker
Toasted Coconut Cream Pie – Junior Borges of Meridian at The Village Dallas
Onslaught of Chocolate and Whistlepig – Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate
Roasted Banana-Blueberry Pie – Kent Rathbun of Rathbun’s Curbside BBQ
Apple and Cheddar – Matt McCallister of Homewood
Spaghetti and Meatball Pie – Misti Norris of Petra and the Beast
Foie-Ducken Pumpkin Pie – Nick Walker of Profound Kitchen
Blackberry Candied Ginger Pie – Nikky Phinyawatana of Asian Mint and Nikky Feeding Souls
Coconut and Chocolate Pie with Pretzel Crust – Peja Krstic of Mot Hai Ba
Avocado Pie – Rain McDermott of Dallas Caramel Company
Mullberry Street (Cannoli Pie)– Sean Jett of Humble: Simply Good Pies
Double Chocolate Haupia Pie – Sharon VanMeter of 3015 at Trinity Groves
Apple Tart Cherry – Steve DeShazo of Dallas College Culinary, Pastry, and Hospitality
Coconut Cream Pie – Susan Lor of Gemma and Sachet
Chocolate Ganache Pie Swirled with Cookie Butter – Yeli Marshall of Yelibelly Chocolates
Sarah Green of Pirate Cookies
Emily Mantooth, Pie Contest Winner at the State Fair of Texas
Jill McCord of the Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Education at Collin College