Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival plans pop-up dinners for 2021
The Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation, which usually hosts the successful Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival (FWFWF), is preparing for another event in 2021: Forty at the ‘Fork, a collaborative, curated dinner series with 40 local chefs 20 special pop-up dinners. Each dinner will be held on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday evening between February 28 and April 13, 2021 at The Shops at Clearfork.
The reason for the pivot point? Persistent uncertainties regarding COVID-19 and the state of the restaurant industry. The Board of Directors of the FWFWF has decided not to host a festival in 2021 that was previously planned for April 8-11, 2021. The organization will instead focus on small, specialty dinner events that focus on local culinary talent while raising funds for the ongoing mission of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation. In 2020 and 2021, that mission includes the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which to date has raised more than $ 110,000 for local service workers.
Tickets to all 20 Forty at the ‘Fork dinners are available now at FWFWF.com for $ 70 per person. Each event is limited to 50 guests. While tickets can be purchased for a specific date, the identities of the chefs presented in the evening will only be revealed on site at this dinner. However, the multi-course menu will be announced the week before the event so that attendees have time to purchase their own wine selection. Wine pairing suggestions are provided by Chris Keel, owner of Put A Cork In It, and Richard King, co-owner of Ellerbe Fine Foods.
Forty of the ‘Fork dinners are held in the former Twigs American Bistro room in The Shops at Clearfork. The 8,896 square meter location enables any event to stay below 20 percent seating capacity and to support sufficient social distancing between the tables.
The list of local favorites attending Forty at the Fork is growing every day. Nearly two dozen have been confirmed so far, including:
- Jon Bonnell, Bonnell’s restaurant group
- Cindy Crowder, creek cafe
- Graham Dodd, Elm & Good
- Steve Estes, brewed
- Rena Frost, Mac is on the Main
- James Gaines, Reata Restaurant
- Paco Islas, Paco’s Mexican cuisine
- Christian Lehrmann, Tinies Mexican cuisine
- Tim Love, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
- Chris Magallanes, Panther City BBQ
- Kevin Martinez, Tokyo Cafe
- 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, Michael’s kitchen
- Donatella Trotti, grandmother Tata
- Laurie Williamson, Black Cur Steak
Collaboration with FunkyTown Donuts, Grounds & Gold Coffee, Hao & Dixya, Icon Bread, JOY Macarons, MELT-Eis, Rahr Brewing, Martin House Brewing Company, Pearl Snap Kolaches, The Table, Sweet Lucy’s Pies, Gold Ribbon Confections, TX Whiskey, Stir Crazy Baked Goods and other admired establishments will also be included over the course of the 20 events.
“The purpose of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation is to celebrate local culinary talent today while protecting it for tomorrow,” said Julie Eastman, executive director of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation. “Forty at the ‘Fork is an opportunity for FWFWF 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 expanding our range of fellowships for fellowships and fellowships.”
The Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation plans to run a small activation October 22-24, 2021 and return to a weekend-long food and wine festival in April 2022.