Season of Gluttony

6 top spring culinary events every foodie in Fort Worth must attend

6 top spring culinary events every foodie in Fort Worth must attend

CultureMap Tastemaker Awards 2017 Sarah O'Brien Thien-Y Hoang Melissa Grady Torie Gehrig
Sarah O'Brien, Thien-Y Hoang, Melissa Grady, and Torie Gehrig at the 2017 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards. Photo by Shelley Neuman

Festival and fundraiser season is nearly upon us, and some of Fort Worth’s best feature top culinary talent. Mark your calendars now for tasty events that range from a lunchtime soup-sipping party to a four-day smorgasbord. Even more appetizing, many benefit a great cause.

Foodie Philanthropy 2018, February 17
In an innovative twist on the typical gala dinner, this fundraiser’s tables-for-10 are scattered at top restaurants all over town. Tickets range from $75 to $250 per person and include a minimum three-course meal with wine, beer, or cocktail pairings at participating restaurants like Bird Café, Ellerbe Fine Foods, Grace, Cannon Chinese Kitchen, and many more. Attendees then culminate at a secret location for a hip after-party. Proceeds this year benefit The Greatest Gift Catalog Ever. Individual seats are not yet on sale (table hosts get to fill them first), but will be later this month.

Empty Bowls, March 7
Sip something warm while supporting a good cause at this beloved soup-and-dessert event that benefits the Tarrant Area Food Bank. From bisques and chowders to broths and consommés, the sample-sized soups come from some of Fort Worth’s best chefs, including Jon Bonnell, Blaine Staniford, and Michael Thomson. Guests also get their choice of handcrafted bowls made by North Texas artisans. The popular lunchtime event, to be held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center, runs from 11 am-1 pm, and tickets are $65. Early entry and reserved seating is available for a VIP price of $150.

Fort Worth Food + Wine FestivalApril 5-8
The fifth annual smorgasbord has become the most delicious weekend in town. Proceeds go toward raising funds for local grant programs and culinary scholarships, and festival VIP passes are available. Here's a look at this year's events:

  • It all begins Thursday, April 5 with Tacos + Tequila ($50). New to the festival, it will take place at Brik Venue and feature eight chefs and eight beverage vendors.
  • The Main Event ($125) on Friday, April 6 at the Pier 1 Imports Building is perhaps the most indulgent, featuring more than 100 wines, craft beers, and spirits along with hefty bites from dozens of the best chefs in North Texas.
  • Then it’s on to Desserts After Dark ($60) at Whiskey Ranch the night of April 6, where 12 pastry chefs and 12 mixologists will share their sweet somethings using Firestone & Robertson’s TX Whiskey.
  • Cure any hangover with brunch-time favorites at Rise + Dine ($65) on Saturday, April 7, back at the Pier 1 Imports Building.
  • The party continues at Burgers, Blues + Blues at the Heart of the Ranch at Clearfork that evening, when 13 chefs will partake in a burger battle under the stars featuring craft beer from all over Texas.
  • Break out the stretchy pants for Sunday’s grand finale — the new Pitmasters Picnic ($65) at the Heart of the Ranch at Clearfork, where 18 Texas barbecue gurus will share their smoked best to be paired with Texas beers, wines, and spirits. 

Buffalo Gap Wine & Food Summit, April 13-15
While not technically in Fort Worth, this tenured three-day event features plenty of Cowtown talent every year. Details are still in the works for this year’s schedule, but previous years have included a Friday night dinner with welcome reception at Perini Steakhouse, themed tastings with speakers throughout Saturday, and a signature outdoor gala Saturday night with live music, plenty of wine, and cuisine from the region’s hottest chefs. Fort Worth participants have included Marcus Paslay of Clay Pigeon Food and Drink, Donatella Trotti of Nonna Tata, and Grady Spears of Horseshoe Hill. A goodbye breakfast takes place Sunday back at Perini Steakhouse. Tickets (which go on sale March 8) range from $150 for the Saturday night gala to $695 for the entire weekend.

CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, April 19
The CultureMap Tastemaker Awards are an annual celebration of talent in Dallas-Fort Worth's restaurant and bar community, as selected by their peers. It shines a spotlight on the people making the area's restaurant scene special and honors their innovation, energy, and creativity. In March and April, we'll feature all the DFW nominees in a special editorial series. Then join us on April 19 at Sixty Five Hundred in Dallas for a swanky tasting event and awards ceremony, where we'll celebrate the nominees and unveil the winners. Patrons will get to mix and mingle with the city's top culinary talent and fellow foodies. More details and ticket information to come soon.

Barrett Havran Memorial Big Taste of Fort Worth, April 29
Break out your boots for this Cowtown-chic Sunday evening affair, which brings together a long list of Fort Worth restaurants and chefs to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. Chairs for this year’s tasting, to be held at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, include Gloria Starling of The Capital Grille, Juan Rodriguez of Magdalena’s, and Chester Cox of Kent & Co. Wines. Live music, fine wine, and almost endless morsels of decadent cuisine are all included in the $125 ticket. The main tasting will run from 5:30-8 pm, and early admission for a VIP wine tasting beginning at 4 pm is an additional $75.