Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival pivots to new personal chef dinners

The Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival (FWFWF) takes center stage for the second year in a row, this time introducing a divine new format of chef-prepared dinners.

Called Forty at the forkIt will consist of 20 special pop-up dinners with 40 local chefs, held weekly between February 28th and April 13th at The Shops at Clearfork.

The 2021 festival was originally supposed to take place from April 8th to 11th and could have returned to normal after the 2020 version was canceled due to COVID-19.

According to a press release, the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation, the non-profit organizing the event, has decided to cancel 2021 as “uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and the state of the restaurant industry persist”.

The dinner series represents a new focus on small events that highlight local culinary talent while raising funds to support their ongoing mission. This includes the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which to date has provided more than $ 110,000 to local service workers.

“The purpose of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation is to celebrate local culinary talent today and protect it for tomorrow,” said Julie Eastman, group executive director. “Forty at the ‘Fork is an opportunity to introduce 40 incredibly talented chefs as well as many local business owners who have worked tirelessly despite the current challenges in the industry, while adding to our range of culinary scholarships and classroom grants.”

Dinners take place in the former Twigs American Bistro, whose huge 8,896 square feet allows them to meet the requirement of staying below 20 percent seating capacity and encouraging adequate social distancing between tables.

Two dozen of the best chefs in the world have already confirmed their participation, including:
• Jon Bonnell, Bonnell’s restaurant group
• Cindy Crowder, Tributary Café
• Graham Dodd, Elm & Good
• Steve Estes, brewed
• Rena Frost, Mac am Main
• James Gaines, Reata Restaurant
• Paco Islas, Paco’s Mexican cuisine
• Christian Lehrmann, Tinie’s Mexican cuisine
• Tim Love, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
• Chris Magallanes, BBQ in Panther City
• Kevin Martinez, Tokyo Café
• Molly McCook, Ellerbe Fine Foods
• Ben Merritt, Fixture – Kitchen and Social Lounge and Ben’s Triple B.
• Marcus Paslay, Scratch Hospitality
• Tuan Pham, four sisters – A taste of Vietnam
• Stefon Rishel, Wishbone & Flynt
• Juan Rodriguez, Magdelena
• Trevor Sales, Brix Barbecue
• Blaine Staniford, Grace
• Michael Thomson, Michaels Cuisine
• Donatella Trotti, grandmother Tata
• Laurie Williamson, Black Cur Steak

There will also be collaborations with FunkyTown Donuts, Grounds & Gold Coffee, Hao & Dixya, Icon Bread, JOY Macarons, MELT-Eis, Rahr Brewing, the Martin House Brewing Company, Pearl Snap Kolaches, The Table, Sweet Lucy’s Pies and Gold Ribbon Confections give, stir TX whiskey, crazy baked goods, and more.

The foundation also plans to host a small event in October like it did in 2020 and keeps its fingers crossed that the old weekend-long festival can take place in 2022.

Tickets to all 20 Forty at the ‘Fork dinners are available from FWFWF.com for $ 70 per person. Each event is limited to 50 guests.

Tickets can be bought for a specific date and display the menus for people to buy wine. But the chef’s identity won’t be revealed until that night. Secret!

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