by Steven Doyle photos by Joey Stewart
What began as cozy chef event to benefit local farmers as the farm-to-table movement moved across North Texas has 10 years later grown to this amazing week full of events to rival cities such as Aspen, which is considered the gold standard of chef festivals.
Chefs across North Texas and the country swarm onto the Dallas food scene to pay homage to our farmers, and fashion amazing dishes that may be sampled by guests fortunate enough to nab a golden ticket.
The beginnings of the festival was quaint to say the least. A handful of chefs meeting in clandestine spots such as the founder, Iris Midler’s flat in a high rise across from Lee Park. There they fashioned a sold out a long table chef’s dinner in a field of one of the very farms it aided. From there we saw a much larger event in the now defunct, yet iconic Highland Park Cafeteria where a larger group of chefs took a station on the cafeteria line. The masters laid powerful dishes fashioned from meats and vegetables locally procured. A sightto behold.
From there a Fort Worth event at Times Ten Cellars. And then for several years at Lee Park, until the event outgrew those digs.
Today the event holds court in the amazing turn-of-the-century Dallas Heritage Village just south of downtown Dallas.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the current incarnation of Chefs for Farmers and visit the growth we saw in the quasi post-pandemic 2021.
Each year in recent history there has been a glorious meal at a special restaurant, Mot Hai Ba in East Dallas where it has been this is an amazing foodie (formerly housing Watel’s and Sharon Hage’s York Street), and now under the tutelage of chef Peja Krstic. There his food is a meld of Vietnamese with amazing French technique. _Peja believes in importance of quality and seasonal ingredient while being able to praise such by applying the proper technique.
Also, the Seed Project Foundation is produced a fall Farm Tour. Board the bus at NorthPark Center and get ready for a fun-filled day of Texas-made drinks, seasonal dishes from three of the area’s best chefs, and hands-on learning at three very different local farms and kept with the theme of the Farmers.
New this year was Devour at the Exchange. DEVOUR is an elevated approach on your favorite picnic style eats. A luxury feast featuring Dallas’ most indulgent sips and eats, hosted at The Exchange at the new AT&T Discovery District, where guests to explored this stunning new downtown destination as they enjoyed equally stunning fare.
Then the Main event located at the historic Old Dallas site bringing together Dallas’ top chefs and restaurants, highlighting the very best from local farms and purveyors, and local artisans.
There is no detail dismissed, no culinary fashion disregarded. An amazing event that hosts 3,000 guests meandering the vast property enjoy sips and hearty nibbles along the way.
2022 will be even more amazing and we will be there.