PHOTOS: Chefs for Farmers

Dive: Southwest poblano corn chowder with shrimp

The gays — and everyone else — turned out for the second annual Chefs for Farmers, the foodiefest in Lee Park. Last year’s event was in May and was a sweltering affair, but the weather Sunday was about as perfect as you could get. The one piece of bad news: It was so popular, a lot of restaurants ran out before the event was over. But if you couldn’t get fat and happy on half of what was available, you weren’t trying very hard.

The winning entry (based on votes by the judges) was from Fearing’s, while Janice Provost’s spicy wild boar bolognese was the attendee’s vote for the best. Blaine Staniford’s braised pork cheek in pumpkin butter was outstanding, as were Jon Stevens’ pumpkin fritter, Katherine Clapner’s liquid chocolate with carrot-lemon foam and Garreth Dickey’s butterscotch pudding which were all at the top of my list.

If you missed it, enjoy some mouthwatering photos after the jump. (Note: This post corrects chef’s name and the addition of the judges’ selection for best of the fest.)

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Michelin starred chef cooks tonight at Salum

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 11.33.15 AMMontse Estruch has a Michelin star (that’s impressive) and an acclaimed cookbook and best for Dallas, a friend in Abraham Salum. Estruch, owner of El Cingle in Barcelona, will be in town tonight cooking the flavors of Catalan at Salum in Uptown.

Now, lots of restaurants do fancy dinners, but to get a chef of her quality cooking a four-course menu of the region for which she won a Michelin star is a rare opportunity to enjoy items like “bonbon of cannelloni with duck and foie gras,” all paired with wines from Spain.

The cost of the meal is $120, and reservations are limited. Call 214-252-9604 or visit

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Aim for the outfield

Gay chef Abraham Salum tests his Beard dinner and hits a home run


BASS PRO | The sea bass was the star of the test menu Abraham Salum plans for his upcoming James Beard House dinner. (Photo courtesy Desiree Espada)

While the Texas Rangers are vying for the American League pennant, the World Series for one local foodie is going on right now.

Chef Abraham Salum already has a solid local reputation for his inventive cuisine, but this month, he gets called up to the bigs. As any chef knows, that means one thing: Cooking at the James Beard House in New York City.

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is “to celebrate, preserve and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence.” That means inviting cooks to strut their stuff at a variety of events, including the chance to prepare a meal at the JBF House. The invitation alone is an honor, and one Salum will be executing on Oct. 21.

But before the big night, Salum — chef-owner of both his eponymous Uptown eatery and neighboring Komali — tested the waters on his planned JBF dinner with a preview tasting.

The evening began at Komali, with passed hors d’oeuvres. Items on deck included seafood tostadas, Lebanese style arancini balls, caprino royale Texas goat cheese and country butter biscuits with chicken fried chicken.

Next at bat: A full four courses with wine pairings, plus dessert, served up in the Salum dining room.

The lineup was luscious: Chilled cream of corn, seared diver scallop with pickled beet carpaccio, oven roasted sea bass and braised pork jowls combined for an inventive menu with mango bread pudding as a sweet closer.

It’s next to impossible to choose one favorite from this team, though the oven roasted sea bass, served over pumpkin bisque, shaved Brussels sprouts and Spanish chorizo saute topped the heavyhitters list. The fish was sweet and flaky; a sprinkle of dukkah dust formed a delicious crust on top. The chorizo and the sprout lent the perfect amount of spice and texture to the creamy bisque.

I also fell in love with the mango bread pudding served per the chef “Mexican style,” with prickly pear sauce and queso cotija ice cream. Even a bread pudding skeptic like myself would not be not ashamed to admit to devouring every morsel.

Chefs get to the Beard House, named after the late gay gourmand, having established a national or regional reputation marked by use of high-quality, seasonal and/or local ingredients with demonstrated excellence in a particular discipline as well as the recommendations of his or her peers. As Chef Salum’s test dinner proved, the local gay chef is set to knock his JBF debut right out of the ballpark.

— Jenny Block



The-Family-Place-CupcakeBurgers and Burgundy, the DIFFA foodie fundraiser introduced two years ago, is back for its third installment on Sunday. The combination of red wine and gourmet burgers, featuring culinary creations from chefs including host John Tesar (The Commissary), Matt McCallister (Campo), Tim Byres (Smoke) and Teicchi Sakurai (Tei An), descends on One Arts Plaza from 4 to 7 p.m., Oct. 9. (If you don’t like wine, Grey Goose vodka cocktails will be poured.) Tickets are $75, and available at all participating restaurants or online at

Sprinkles Cupcakes has a history of leveraging the sale of their indulgent treats into charitable benefits, and the next one is near and dear to many queer hearts. From Nov. 1–6, 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of dark chocolate cakes adorned with a lavender dot, above, will go to The Family Place to combat teen bullying. Show youth “it gets better” while scarfing down a moist Sprinkles cupcake. It doesn’t get better than that.

— Arnold Wayne Jones


This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Lone Star Ride distributes $150K to 3 AIDS services organizations during party at Salum

Allan Gould, Don Maison and Cece Cox
Allan Gould, Don Maison and Cece Cox accept a check from the Lone Star Ride. To see more photos from the wrap party on Sunday at Salum, go here.

On Sunday, Oct. 24, Lone Star Ride distributed $150,000 to AIDS Services of Dallas, the AIDS Outreach Center and Resource Center Dallas. AOC Executive Director Allan Gould, ASD President and CEO Don Maison and RCD Executive Director Cece Cox were on hand to accept the check.

At the party at Salum on Travis Street, Michael Veale was given an award for bringing in the most new donors.

Ralph Randall was the single biggest fundraiser. He attributed his success in collecting money to relentless behavior.

“You can’t be timid and raise money,” he said.

He didn’t allow the down economy to dissuade him from asking.

“This disease doesn’t have an economic cycle,” he said. “Always ask. All they can say is no. Don’t give up.”

He raised twice as much this year as he did last year. He said he did the ride in honor of a friend of his with HIV and he gave his plaque to him.

“I do a lot of these rides, ” said rider Allan Chernoff. “This is the best supported ride in Texas.”

“Absolutely!” said Eric Markinson about riding again next year. He is part of Team Blazing Saddles.

“I’m very proud of Team Dallas Voice,” said rider and Dallas Voice Publisher Robert Moore. “They worked very hard. They put the beneficiaries in sight on the road ahead.”

Team Dallas Voice raised more money than any other team in the history of the Lone Star Ride. The total topped $50,000 this year.

Shelly Morrow was a first-year rider from Glen Rose who is planning to participate again next year.

“The closing ceremonies really got to me,” she said.

The closing ceremonies held at base camp at the American Airlines Training and Conference Center near DFW Airport included a performance by the Turtle Creek Chorale and wheeling in the riderless bike. That bike symbolized all the people lost to AIDS. They retired the number of a rider who passed away since the previous ride.

“And next year, I’ll try not to take out anyone, especially a writer,” Morrow said.

Morrow and I collided about 18 miles into the ride. My back brakes failed as we were checking directions on the route. I went over my handlebars onto the street. Although we had been riding together for several miles, she didn’t realize that I wrote for Dallas Voice until she saw my write-up on this blog.

To see more photos from Sunday’s wrap party, go here.

—  David Taffet

Tasting Notes

The Grape celebrates its astonishing 38th anniversary this week with a special three-course menu priced, appropriately enough, at $38. From Tuesday through next Saturday, chef-owner Brian C. Luscher will create a chef’s tasting at the venerable romantic bistro. (Luscher prepared his justly award-winning burger for the Burgers and Burgundy DIFFA fundraiser last week, pictured; no word whether that will be on the menu, but you can always ask.) For reservations call 214-828-1981.

The Beaujolais Festival returns to the World Trade Center on Nov. 19. The annual celebration of the young burgundian wine includes Bordeaux and Texas wines, plus food from top restaurants like the Hotel St. Germain, Salum and Sambuca Uptown. Tickets are $55 and can be purchased at

Calling your cookie company Nothing Like It, as mother-and-daughter bakers Lynn Berman and Sara Berman Popek have done, invites skepticism. “I’ve had better,” you’re tempted to say, or, “Yeah… nothing that bad!”

Only you won’t. The cookies — each individually wrapped, like tiny little presents you give yourself — are delicious: Moist (the oatmeal raisin especially; try one with pecans), rich (peanuty peanut butter) and indulgent (rapadoodle — their version of the snickerdoodle). The Dallas-based online-ordering company just launched this month with cookies available by the dozen only now. The sturdy, attractive packaging helps justify the two-bucks-a-cookie price tag, but with cookies, shoes and sex, money should never be an object. Visit to order.

Addison’s WorldFest promises to let you “travel the world in a weekend,” and while that includes music, dance and a photo exhibit, what we’re attracted to is the food and wine. And that the event has free admission.

On Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., a global food court will offer everything from chicken masala to pierogis, with a “sip and explore” wine garden from 1–4 p.m. Saturday, 2–5 p.m. Sunday. And for $20, Mercy Wine Bar will let you indulge in some wine and cheese tastings with vino from France to New Zealand. Everything takes place at Village on the Parkway, 5100 Belt Line Road.

Thanksgiving’s right around the corner, so that means one thing: Finding someone to cook for you. EatZi’s allows you to order by Monday, Nov. 22 in order to have your meal ready for Thursday. You can order from among choices of breads, turkey and trimmings, salads and stuffing, and of course pies (pecan, pumpkin, apple and cherry). Order online at

Sonny Bryan’s is also preparing a catering menu of turkey and ham, green bean casserole and stuffing, rolls, cobbler and tea for $10/person (10 person minimum). You could make it yourself, but isn’t it enough that you have to clean up afterward? Place your order by Nov. 19 to get it in by Turkey Day.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 22, 2010

—  Kevin Thomas

LSR kicks off 10th year with party at Salum

The 10th annual Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS got off to a big start Sunday, May 16, with a kickoff party at Salum restaurant.

LSR Co-Chairs Laura Kerr and John Tripp said today that 140 people signed in at the party. A total of 67 riders and 31 crew members registered for this year’s ride — which takes place the weekend of Sept. 25-26, beginning and ending each day at the American Airlines Conference Center in Fort Worth.

They also sold 34 tickets for a chance at a gorgeous new Trek Madone bike. Tickets are $20 each for the bike raffle and the winning ticket will be chosen the weekend of the ride. Check the website at for details.

Just to put things in perspective, at last year’s kickoff party, 120 people signed in, and 32 riders and 31 crew members registered. So it looks like this is going to be a banner year for Lone Star Ride.

For a better idea of how things went Sunday, check out this DVtv video.

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—  admin