Chili season is in full swing, as there are not one but two big chili cook-offs this week. One is for the home cook and the other features more than 20 area breweries. There are also two tasty events at interactive outdoor venues — the Dallas Arboretum and the Dallas Heritage Village. End the week in a sweet way with a mini pie and craft beer pairing.
Tuesday, February 15
Chef Isabel Cooking Demo at the Dallas Arboretum
A Tasteful Place is the Arboretum’s 3.5-acre potager garden, where on Tuesdays, Arboretum chef Isabel Snetsinger presents a cooking demo that includes tasty samples for the public. The demo is free with Arboretum admission and begins at 1 pm. (Find the recipes here.) Also, on Mondays, Dallas College’s culinary institute presents complimentary cooking demos at 11 am. This month features baked chicken meatballs with sundried tomatoes and roasted chickpeas with herbed yogurt.
Thursday, February 17
Frontier Food Night at Dallas Heritage Village
The immersive museum, with its preserved historic buildings, transports visitors to Victorian period pioneer days. This month, guests and get a taste of the time period during Frontier Food Night, where cooking demos will take place throughout the park. Admission includes one beverage and samples from each food station. The event is $20 per person and will run from 6-9 pm.
Saturday, February 19
Sweet J’s Mini Pie & Beer Pairing at On Rotation
The Dallas brewery and kitchen has partnered with Sweet J’s Bakes for a sweet combo – mini pies and craft brews. The lineup includes chocolate chess pie with Dark Runway Imperial Brown Sugar Stout, cranberry almond pie with Begian Holiday Fruitcake Belgian Dubbel, blueberry pie with Lemmon Avenue Lemon Sour Ale, and pecan pie with Prancer Cinnamon Brown Ale. Each pairing is $8.50 and comes with an 8-ounce pour of beer. Pre-order in advance to ensure availability and drop by to enjoy any time Saturday or Sunday.
10th Annual Chili Cook-Off at Stan’s Blue Note
Anyone can enter this amateur chef competition at the longtime Greenville Avenue bar, where there are two categories to compete in — Texas chili and “anything goes.” The former means straight chili — no beans, pasta, rice, or similar additions. The latter can range from simply adding beans to going full-on vegetarian. Entries are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Or pay $5 to be a “judge” to sample all chili entries and vote for the best. Judging will begin at 4 pm and winners are to be announced by 7 pm.
North Texas Food Bank presents Harvest
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the North Texas Food Bank has re-envisioned Harvest as a seated dinner and celebration at the Omni Dallas Hotel. The black-tie fundraiser, chaired by Kathryn and Craig Hall, will be designed to offer an engaging guest experience while celebrating the rich history and impact of the Food Bank on North Texas. Browse and bid on auction items and reserve tickets for the event, 5:30-10 pm, here.
Eat your Art Out at Arlington Museum of Art
Now this is one sweet fundraiser. The evening event will feature samples of more than a dozen confectionery masterpieces provided by local bakeries. It will also include charcuterie from Inspirations Catering & Gourmet Shop, a sushi bar featuring two chefs from Piranha Killer Sushi, wine, coffee, and champagne. Live music will be provided by a harpist. Tickets are $100 and the event runs 7-9 pm.
Sunday, February 20
8th Annual North Texas Craft Beer Chili Challenge
More than 20 area breweries will participate in this chili cook-off, and each must use one of its own beers as an anchoring ingredient. The brewery lineup includes Dallas’ Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Fort Worth’s Martin House Brewing Company, Grapevine’s Hop & Sting Brewing Company, and many more. A $10 donation — which will benefit Metrocrest Services — will get guests 10 tasting cups, a spoon, and chance to vote for the winning chili. The event will take place at the new Cedar Creek Brewhouse & Eatery in Farmers Branch and will run from 12-3 pm.