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!