FORT WORTH, Texas — As the pandemic rages on, big events are dropping off the calendar citywide. The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, Fortress Festival, and other marquee gatherings have been canceled in the face of rising case numbers.
What You Need To Know
- The Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival will not host its normal five days of multiple events
- Instead, FWFWF will host ’Fork, “a collaborative, curated dinner series featuring 40 local chefs pairing up for 20 special pop-up dinners
- Each dinner will be held on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday evening between February 28 and April 13, 2021, within The Shops at Clearfork
- Proceeds will benefit the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival Foundation, which funds a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
Board members of another iconic local event, the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival, have decided to punt on their usual five days of bacchanalian indulgence, and like so many other businesses and institutions around the world, have pivoted to a similar, safer concept.
In a press release, the FWFWF organizers announced they will host Forty at the ’Fork, “a collaborative, curated dinner series featuring 40 local chefs pairing up for 20 special pop-up dinners. Each dinner will be held on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday evening between February 28 and April 13, 2021, within The Shops at Clearfork.”
As is the case every year, proceeds from the event will benefit the FWFWF’s charitable arm, the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival Foundation. Over the past year, the foundation has doled out more than $110,000 through its Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which gives grants to out-of-work or struggling restaurant employees.
Tickets for all 20 dinners are $70 a person, and each event is limited to 50 socially distant guests. The identities of the evening’s chefs will not be revealed until the night of their collaboration, though the menu offerings for that night will be announced in advance. The event is BYOB, though wine pairing suggestions will be made by Chris Keel, owner of Put A Cork In It, and Richard King, co-owner of Ellerbe Fine Foods.
The dinners will be held in the massive 8,896-square foot space that, until recently, housed Twigs American Bistro, and will stay under 20% seating capacity.
So far, nearly two dozen local culinary heavyweights have signed on for the events, including:
- Jon Bonnell, Bonnell’s Restaurant Group
- Cindy Crowder, Tributary Café
- Graham Dodd, Elm & Good
- Steve Estes, Brewed
- Rena Frost, Mac’s on 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, Panther City BBQ
- 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’s
- Trevor Sales, Brix Barbecue
- Blaine Staniford, Grace
- Michael Thomson, Michaels Cuisine
- Donatella Trotti, Nonna Tata
- Laurie Williamson, Black Cur Steak
“Collaborations with FunkyTown Donuts, Grounds & Gold Coffee, Hao & Dixya, Icon Bread, JOY Macarons, MELT Ice Creams, 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 incorporated over the course of the 20 events,” the press release said.
“The purpose of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation is to celebrate local culinary talent today while also helping protect 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 showcase 40 amazingly talented chefs, plus many local business owners, who’ve been working tirelessly despite current industry challenges, while also continuing to grow our culinary scholarship and classroom grant offerings.”
Purchase tickets on the FWFWF’s website.