This week marks the official end of summer, which in Dallas signals at least one notable development: The beginning of the peak social season. And from a foodie standpoint, these are some you really need to put on your radar:
Sept 30: The Ultimate Cocktail Experience (benefitting Trigger Toys) returns for a fifth year of mixological mayhem (last year’s event alone raised $200k). The event, pictured, returns to Klyde Warren Park, where once again six stations highlight a signature classic cocktail from a unique region, and teams conjure up alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. For more information and tickets, visit UltimateCocktailExperience.com, Prekindle.com, or TriggerToys.org.
Oct. 3: Dallas Arboretum’s A Tasteful Place opens. The Dallas Arboretum has spend months constructing a 3.5 acre cooking and event pavilion and garden, where foodie-focused events can take place… and where vegetables grown on the campus of the garden can be used by the on-site restaurants. It’ll open officially on Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. with Ruthie Pack’s Tasting Plaza, and every Thursday beginning Oct. 5 will launch the Heritage Recipe Swap, where guests are invited to drop off their own (and pick up others’) recipes centered around a signature item, such as tomato (Oct. 5), squash (Oct. 12) or even candy as gifts (Nov. 30).
Oct. 6: Burgers & Burgundy. The DIFFA fundraiser, organized by chef John Tesar, returns again, with vino and sliders a-plenty, this time outside the eyeball across from The Joule Hotel Downtown. Tesar will be joined by Stephan Pyles, Sharon Van Meter, Janice Provost and many more. Tickets at DiffaDallas.org.
Oct. 13–14: Park and Palate. It’s back to Klyde Warren for the return of this two-day event, with the theme Pillars & Proteges, pairing established chefs with up-and-comers. On Friday night, the lineup will include Kent Rathbun and Aaron Staudenmaier of Lovers Seafood; Houston’s Monica Pope and Timothy Smith; Dean Fearing and Eric Dreyer of Fearing’s. The Grand Taste on Saturday. For tickets and information, visit ParkAndPalate.org.
Nov. 2–5: Chefs for Farmers. The three-day fundraising foodie festival features two nights and an afternoon of tastings, including the opening night party featuring a number of former Top Chef contestants, including Sheldon Simeon and Brooke Williamson, and Uchi Austin’s Tyson Cole; yours truly will be serving as a judge. For tickets and a full lineup, visit ChefsForFarmers.com.
— Arnold Wayne Jones