Online “Piehole” Auction Featuring Your Favorite DFW Chefs


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

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


Emporium Pies

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

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