In what seems to be a new tradition, Chefs for Farmers made a venue change for their main event from an outdoor, picnic event to Gilley’s. The rain held off for the most part, unlike the night before at the Street Food Night Market, but the threat of rain didn’t deter anyone from coming out. The walk from the parking lot to the entrance takes you past the smokers and grills, pumping billows of smells and smoke to the those waiting in line to get their IDs checked. It’s the perfect hype man to get you ready for a date with the hottest restaurants in town.
But Chefs for Farmers is not just a one day event. It lasts the entire weekend, with this year’s off kick off event being a limited seat “Creme de la Femme” sponsored by Celebrity Cruises with proceeds going to The Family Place. It’s a six course, seated meal with each dish being prepared by some of the most talented female chefs in the business.
The second event was the Street Food Night Market in the Dallas Design District. This was a fun event as lights were strung about each stall, mimicking a night out in Chiang Mai, but with an on point DJ providing tunes for the evening. Each stall presented some type of global cuisine, giving you the ability to travel to each location without the interference of TSA. We enjoyed everything from pickled garlic from TRex Pickles to PakPao's Thai tea while we navigated to Top Knot's hot chicken on housemade Parker rolls and Knife’s whole roasted pork stuffed in Israeli pita bread. Our favorite dish was Casa Rubia’s hickory smoked Korean short rib. Tender and full of flavor, the short rib was grilled on a 50 dollar charcoal grill from Lowes. Who needs fancy equipment? This event is a lot smaller scale than the main event, which gives the chefs more flexibility to be more creative and wow you with their dishes.
And finally the main event on Sunday. Gilley's will get packed, especially if you get caught up in the first two rooms. Wine and specialty cocktails are located throughout so you can get a buzz while you eat everything. Here’s our pro-tip if it’s at Gilley's again: start at the very back in the main room and work your way towards the entrance. This tactic was helpful because we got to get a taste of Slow Bone’s Biscuit bar. The best fried chicken wing with gravy and honey butter biscuits. Lockhart was serving their brisket back here as well but this year’s People’s Choice went to Heim’s BBQ and their bacon burnt ends. Those sweet, smoky morsels were just perfect bites of goodness and I am sorry not sorry for going back for a third serving.
The diversity of chefs and quality of plates they were putting out for so many people was impressive. Lines can get long for the hot items so make sure you get yourself an extra glass of wine. Waiting also gives you the chance to talk to other people and hear about dishes you may have missed. We almost missed out on the Judge’s Choice oysters if we didn’t stand next to someone who wouldn’t stop raving about them. Chefs for Farmers is the perfect event to get drunk and get full and taste everything. We’re already planning ahead to next year.