One of the most gratifying things to happen in the culinary world in recent years has been the widespread embrace of the “farm-to-table” philosophy. Restaurant chefs are increasingly keen on using organically grown fruits and vegetables and sustainably-raised beef, pork and chicken – and obtaining these ingredients from regional farms.
The food invariably tastes better, and the carbon footprint is lighter – a win-win all around.
Yet if you live in a city like Fort Worth – or are just visiting one for a few days – eating “farm-to-table” can be a challenge. It’s hard to know which products, and from which farms, you should be searching for on menus.
In which case, you’d be well advised to buy a ticket to this year’s F2T Fort Worth on September 29, where three of Fort Worth’s finest chefs will be collaborating on a four-course dinner to be held at the Heart of the Ranch at Clear Fork, just beside the Trinity River. (You'll be able to see the downtown Fort Worth skyline in the background.) It promises to be both a master class in the “farm-to-table” movement, and quite possibly the best meal you will have all year.
This is the second year that the intimate, al fresco dinner – which last year sat only about 125 people – is being held. The chefs once again are: Molly McCook, of Ellerbe Fine Foods; Jon Bonnell, of Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine and Waters; and Lanny Lancarte of Lanny’s Alta Cocina Mexicana.
Although this year’s menu isn’t yet available, you can check out last year’s menu online, which includes such offerings as “Smoked Broken Arrow Ranch Venison Medallions with Homestead Gristmill Green Ghile Cheese Grits” (that was one of Bonnell’s dishes), and a dessert of “Spiced B&G Garden Peach Baklava, Brazos Valley Wildflower Honey, San Saba Pecans, Cinnamon Anglaise” (McCook’s).
Tickets for the event are $175, and expected to sell out – so you’d be wise to purchase yours quickly. The evening begins at 6 p.m., with a champagne reception and a selection of farm-to-table hors d’oeuvres, and then the meal commences at 7 p.m. (Expect to enjoy some good wine, too – there will be pairings with each of the courses.) Keeping it in the local spirit, one of Fort Worth’s rising star bands, the Whiskey Folk Ramblers, will be the musical guests for the evening.
And for foodies, there’s also this bonus: The chefs will be on hand, to talk about how their dishes are sourced and made, and to introduce you to the wonders of some of the areas best farms. The only drawback is that, after it’s all over, you may never want to eat a non-farm-to-table meal again.