Chefs for Farmers 2016

Famed Dallas food fest attracts best U.S. chefs to dish out for 3 days

Famed Dallas food fest attracts best U.S. chefs to dish out for 3 days

Chefs for Farmers food festival in Dallas
Chefs for Farmers returns September 23-25. Photo by Robert Bostick

UPDATE: Due to threat of rain, the main event for Chefs for Farmers is moving to Gilley’s. 


Popular Dallas foodie fest Chefs for Farmers returns for its fifth iteration on September 23-25. The three-day party starts with a dinner with James Beard Award winners on Friday night and culminates with the main dine-around at Lee Park on Sunday afternoon.

The annual festival’s mission is to promote and raise awareness of the North Texas farming industry. It’s come a long way since that first event in 2010, at a long dinner table for 125 at Eden’s Organic Farm in Balch Springs. The goal that evening: bring together farmers and chefs to promote the benefits of working closely.

For Friday night’s Celebrity Cruises Creme de la Femme Dinner presented by Whole Foods, James Beard Award winners Virginia Willis and Celina Tio, along with four other female chefs (three from Dallas), collaborate with farmers for a six-course meal. Dinner starts at 7 pm at Arlington Hall at Lee Park, and tickets are $200 per person (maximum 200). Proceeds benefit the Family Place.

Saturday brings the Street Food Night Market in the Dallas Design District, where up to 800 people can eat their way through street food prepared by 15 chefs, including Whistle Britches’ Omar Flores and Top Knot’s Angela Hernandez. Participants from outside of Dallas include 2016 James Beard Award winner Michael Gulotta (MoPho, New Orleans); Justin Brunson, (Old Major, Denver); and Chris Morningstar (Terrine, Los Angeles). Tickets are $75 per person, and the event begins at 7 pm.

Sunday’s main event returns to Lee Park, with more than 40 chefs; 35 farmers and artisans; and more than 50 wineries, breweries, and distilleries handing out samples to thousands of hungry festivalgoers. Dallas participants include CFF co-founder Matt McCallister of FT33, Justin Fourton of Pecan Lodge, Graham Dodds of Wayward Sons, Matt Dallman and Scott Gottlich of 18th & Vine Barbeque, Jeramie Robison of Uchi, and John Tesar of Knife. National chefs include Stephen Stryjewski (Couchon, New Orleans); Kevin Johnson (The Grocery, Charleston, North Carolina); Steve McHugh (Cured at Pearl, San Antonio); Jeremiah Langhorne (Food & Wine 2016 Best Restaurant of the Year The Dabney, Washington D.C.); and more. The event lasts from 2-6 pm, and tickets are $100 per person.

Discounted early bird tickets are now on sale now via the Chefs for Farmers website. Beginning August 1, tickets will be regular price.

Chefs for Farmers collaborates with nonprofits that are like-minded in their understanding and appreciation of the culinary and farming industries. In addition the Family Place, this year’s partners include Cafe Momentum and the North Texas Food Bank.