Fort Worth Charity Guide
Giving Back

Star chefs cook up fab food and fun to help feed the hungry in Fort Worth

Star chefs cook up fab food and fun to help feed hungry in Fort Worth

Francie Cooper, Chef Newton, Empty Bowls Chef Series
Francie Cooper of Tarrant Area Food Bank presents cowboy chef Mike Newton with a commemorative gift. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
Central Market Executive Chef Monte Davis
Central Market executive chef Monte Davis prepares Cajun cuisine. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
Kathryn Wagner, Chef Mike Newton
Kathryn Wagner assists chef Newton with the main course. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
The pan-seared tenderloin filet, Empty Bowls Chefs series
The pan-seared tenderloin filet was a crowd pleaser. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
Cowboy Chef Mike Newton
Chef Mike Newton greets guests and answers culinary questions. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
Empty Bowls chef series
A sold-out crowd of 54 enjoys chef Monte Davis' demonstration and watches the action on an overhead screen. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
Doughnut holes
Doughnut holes concluded chef Monte Davis' dinner. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
Robert Chicotsky
Robert Chicotsky of Chictosky’s Liquor presents a wine pairing. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
Cowboy Chef Mike Newton, John Aguilar
John Aguilera assists chef Mike Newton. Photo courtesy of Julien & Lambert Photo
Francie Cooper, Chef Newton, Empty Bowls Chef Series
Central Market Executive Chef Monte Davis
Kathryn Wagner, Chef Mike Newton
The pan-seared tenderloin filet, Empty Bowls Chefs series
Cowboy Chef Mike Newton
Empty Bowls chef series
Doughnut holes
Robert Chicotsky
Cowboy Chef Mike Newton, John Aguilar

What: Empty Bowls Chef Series opening dinners

Where: Tarrant Area Food Bank kitchen

The 411: Tarrant Area Food Bank’s Empty Bowls Chef Series opened its second season to rave reviews from patrons who arrived licking their chops and went home swooning. On back-to-back nights in late June, the five-part series welcomed two star chefs who entertained audiences and kept them fed for a good cause.

The series opened with cowboy chef Mike Newton preparing dishes for a private group of food bank supporters. The following night, a public event featured Central Market’s executive chef Monte Davis.

Newton, best known for his appearance on Fox Television’s Master Chef starring Gordon Ramsey, had a crowd of 40 guests lingering over barbecue-stuffed, bacon-wrapped jalapeños; chilled jalapeño and avocado crab soup; cast iron pan-seared tenderloin filet; and tequila lime margarita crème brulee.

The following night, a sold-out crowd of 54 diners enjoyed "ragin’ Cajun" dishes provided by Davis. He lit taste buds on fire with broiled oysters, crawfish and truffled gnocchi with fontina fondue, braised short ribs, and doughnut holes topped with praline mousse and raspberry sauce.

Assisting the chefs in the kitchen were John Aguilera, a TAFB culinary school graduate, and Kathryn Wagner, generous supporter of TAFB. Robert Chicotsky of sponsoring Chictosky’s Liquor introduced wine pairings. Francie Cooper, TAFB director of community events, presented the chefs with commemorative gifts.

The Empty Bowls Chef Series helps raise needed funds to feed hungry people in the community; each week, TAFB provides access to 520,000 nutritious meals.

The next Chef Series event, July 19, will feature “summer bounty” dishes prepared by chefs Callie Salls and Maddie Sharp of Meyer & Sage. (Only a handful of tickets remain.) The August and September events, featuring chef Jon Bonnell and chef Juan Rodriguez, are already sold out. Limited tickets remain for the October Chef Series featuring TAFB executive chef Manuel Vasquez and chef Keith Grober. To reserve tickets to the remaining events, go to TAFB’s event page.

The series culminates in the spring with Empty Bowls, which has become the city's most highly anticipated food-driven fundraiser.