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.