Don’t let the headline fool you this week. The Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival really counts as not one, but six events as the four-day feeding frenzy begins Thursday and doesn’t end until Sunday. But there’s another big annual tasting event on Sunday, and then a 10-course dinner come Monday. But first, enjoy California cuisine from a chef visiting from Lodi, and then make your own baguette while serenaded by Fort Worth Opera singers. (You read that right.) It’s a busy and abundant week.
Wednesday, April 3
Lodi Wine Dinner at Café Modern
There’ll be five winemakers from Lodi, California, at this five-course dinner, along with special guest chef Nick Kubitz of Lodi’s Range restaurant. He’ll work with Café Modern chef Denise Shavandy on dishes like butter poached steelhead trout, duck tamal with mole negro, braised lamb, hanger steak, and strawberry mousse with goat cheese. There’ll be chardonnay, reds, and rose. Reservations are $110 ($95 for museum members), plus tax and gratuity. Dinner begins at 6 pm.
Thursday, April 4
Baguettes & Opera at Central Market
Baking your own baguette is only half the fun. This hands-on class will feature Fort Worth Opera performances in anticipation of the Opera’s world premiere of Companionship — a dark comedy about an aspiring baker obsessed with baking the perfect baguette. This 90-minute class, taught by Central Market cooking instructor Marche Ann Mann and bread manager Jose Vasquez, will walk you through the process, and you'll get to experience the dough from flour to crusty baguette. Registration is $35, and the class begins promptly at 6:30 pm.
Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival
Tickets are going fast for the four-day smorgasbord, most of which will take place under the stars (and a few tents) at the Heart of the Ranch at Clearfork. Festival proceeds go toward local grant programs and culinary scholarships. Here’s the lineup:
- The festival begins with Tacos + Tequila ($50, 8-10 pm Thursday), bigger this year with more restaurants participating like Bartaco, Grapevine’s Mi Dia from Scratch, Wild Salsa, and non-taco spots like Four Sisters and McKinney’s Patina Green Home and Market.
- The Main Event ($125, 6:30-9 pm Friday) features wines from around the world, craft beers, and spirits along with hefty bites from nearly every notable restaurant in town.
- Desserts After Dark ($60, 9-11 pm Friday) is back at Whiskey Ranch, where pastry chefs and mixologists will share their sweet somethings while guests dance the night away. Participants range from Dough Boy Donuts to Kate Weiser Chocolates.
- Replacing Rise + Dine this year is the Culinary Corral ($75, 11 am to 3 pm Saturday). Entry includes access to the tasting tent, beer garden, and “corkyard,” plus an artisan marketplace with live music all day. Guests will get bites from Café Modern, Nonna Tata, and Cannon Chinese Kitchen to name a few.
- The festival continues at Burgers, Blues + Blues ($70, 6-9 pm Saturday), when burger joints like Rodeo Goat, Fred’s Texas Café, and Knife Burger will partake in a burger battle voted on by the people. Wash it all down with craft beer from all over Texas.
- Sunday’s new grand finale — Ring of Fire: A Next-Level Cookout ($65, 2-4 pm Sunday) brings together a couple dozen chefs to barbecue, roast, and grill everything from exotic meats to pizza over live fire. Expect most of the usual local barbecue suspects, as well as regular participant Black’s Barbecue from the Hill Country.
Sunday, April 7
Barrett Havran Memorial Big Taste of Fort Worth
It’s the 40th anniversary of this Cowtown-chic Sunday evening affair, which brings together a long list of Fort Worth restaurants and chefs to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. Gloria Starling of The Capital Grille, Juan Rodriguez of Magdalena’s, and Chester Cox of Kent & Co. Wines are back as chairs for this year’s tasting, to be held at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. Live music, fine wine, and an almost endless array of decadent bites are all included in the $125 ticket. Arrive early for a VIP wine tasting for an additional $75.
Monday, April 8
10-Course Pop-Up Dinner at Locavore
There are just a handful of seats left for this intriguing dinner party, which will offer 10 tasting courses (meaning small) from under-the-radar pop-up chef Cody Penton, whose business name is Cicada. The event will take place at Locavore event space, and reservations are $125 per person. Arrive for champagne or a cocktail to start at 6:30 pm.