PHOTOS: Chefs for Farmers defies weather, puts on massive event

Chefs for Farmers, the foodie-based fundraiser that supports local purveyors from their advocates in the best kitchens around, has grown substantially in just a few years. This time, it was a three-night event: A smallish dinner at FT33 on Friday, then bigger public events Saturday (The Butcher Block Party, focused on cured meats and the like) and Sunday (The Culinary Village). Both the latter events were scheduled to take place outside (Downtown and Lee Park, respectively), but the remnants of Hurricane Patricia made that impossible, and organizers scrambled to find indoor alternatives … and with rousing success. Saturday’s party found a home in the Design District, and Sunday’s moved to the spacious Gilley’s in the Cedars, and thousands of attendees made it a massive success, filled with food, wine, spirits, beer and more.

More than 40 chefs, from as far away as Colorado, Louisiana and beyond, showed up to wow us with their bitable delights. (Patrons could vote for their favorite, and a panel of judges weighed in as well; I was a host and judge at last year’s Big Oyster Bash, and this summer judged the cocktails, which were featured at the Culinary Village this weekend.)

Saturday night’s star was Justin Brunson (of Denver’s Old Major, on just his second time ever cooking in Dallas — the first was Burgers and Burgundy a few weeks back), a winner for his so-called “Asian-redneck-everything else” offering (both judges and patrons chose him), though among my favorites were the bacon-and-cookie pairing from John Tesar (Knife, Oak, Bolero) and Remedy’s Danyele McPherson, who made a ham ice cream (you heard me right) that was amazing.

On Sunday, the judge’s pick was New Orleans chef Michael Gulotta (MoPho), whose spiced pork blood stew won first place, followed by CBD Provisions’ Richard Blankenship for his pork fat rice. The people’s choices were three of my top choices as well: Tesar again (my vote, in a toss-up with Cafe Momentum’s amazing cassoulet) for his perfectly-grilled boneless rib over polenta, followed by The Blind Butcher’s Brian Bell and Janice Provost of Parigi.

Here are some photos from both events. Enjoy!

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

“Biggest Loser” back to DFW to cast new season

The Biggest Loser seems to spend a lot of time looking for contestants in Dallas. I don’t know exactly what that means about us, but it does give people an opportunity to get on TV and get fit. The new casting session will take place at Gilley’s in the Cedars area this Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You have to be ready to lose at least 85 lbs., but if you do, you could win the $250,000 prize (and maybe befriend one of those  sexually ambiguous but undeniably hot trainers). To pre-register and for more details, go here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Concert Notice: South Side Music Hall announces Robyn coming to town in February

The peeps at Gilley’s Music Complex scored a sweet show for their mid-size venue, the South Side Music Hall. They just announced that pop singer Robyn will perform at SSMH Feb. 18. So glad it’s in this room because it’s big enough to be a fab dance party, but not too big that you couldn’t see her up close. OK, if you’re in the waaay back, then it’s a bit far.

If you’ve been paying attention to Robyn, she’s finishing a trilogy of releases over the year with today’s release of Body Talk Pt. 3 or the kinda culminating full-length Body Talk. She released Body Talk Pt. 1 back in June and followed with  Pt. 2 in September. The first yielded the smash hit “Dancing On My Own,” which I’d dare to say is dance/pop at some of its smartest. The rest of the EP follows suit, especially after the bold opener “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do.”  The entire album was an impressive display of writing and music that’s been a Euro-alternative to American pop princesses over the years from Britney to Beyonce to Gaga.

Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door and go on sale Friday.

—  Rich Lopez

Election Day watch party locations

AT&T Plaza at Victory Park on south side of AA Arena

Election Day watch parties will be held Tuesday night at various locations in Dallas. Each county party will hold a rally and many candidates are hosting gatherings of their own.

The Dallas County Democratic Party will rally at AT&T Plaza in Victory Park by the south entrance of American Airlines Center. Stonewall Democrats of Dallas will be at Victory Park. The location in case of rain is the Jack Daniels Grill inside the arena.

The Dallas County Republican Party will be at Hotel Palomar on Central Expressway at Mockingbird Lane. Log Cabin Republicans will be at a private house in North Dallas. Contact the group for more information.

Openly gay District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons hosts a party at the Magnolia Lounge in Fair Park from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Elba Garcia, the Democrat running for the District 4 seat on the Dallas County Commissioners Court, will be at the Kessler Theater on Davis Street in Oak Cliff.

County judge candidate Clay Jenkins and State Rep. Eric Johnson will be at Studio Bar & Grill, 1135 South Lamar near Gilleys and Southside on Lamar.

A number of candidates will be at Victory Park, including Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and State Rep. Carol Kent. Openly gay judicial candidate Tonya Parker will be nearby at the W Hotel.

Bill White’s Dallas campaign will be at Victory Park as well. White will be in Houston.

—  David Taffet