A Dallas-based food festival has set its sights on Houston. Chefs for Farmers will make its Bayou City debut on Sunday, October 2.
Held at Autry Park, the new mixed-use development at the intersection of Shepherd Drive and Allen Parkway, Chefs for Farmers describes itself as "bringing chefs and local farmers together through the art of creating exceptional dishes and drinks for an unforgettable experience." It accomplishes that goal in a tasting format with chefs serving attendees from individual stations.
Organizer Iris Midler has assembled a roster of more than 20 top Houston chefs to participate in the inaugural event. They include: Aaron Bludorn (Bludorn), James Beard Award winners Chris Shepherd (Underbelly Hospitality) and Hugo Ortega (H-Town Restaurant Group), Leonard Botello IV (Truth Barbecue), Ryan Pera (Coltivare), Alex Au-Yeung (Phat Eatery), and Top Chef finalist Evelyn Garcia with her business partner Henry Lu (Jun by Kin).
See the full roster at the event's website.
Although the event's name might imply that it's a Farm Aid-style fundraiser on behalf of family farms, that's not actually the case. As the Chefs for Farmers website explains in a FAQ, the event is structured to pair each participating chef with a farm that will supply ingredients for the dish that's served at the event. "We provide each chef with an ingredient stipend to cover costs, which directly supports their partner farm," the website reads. Those payments, and the exposure that comes from participating in the event, are the benefits farmers receive.
The event also states that the Houston Food Bank will be a charity beneficiary, but a representative declined to specify what minimum donation CFF has committed to make to the local nonprofit. In 2021, the Dallas event raised $100,000 for Trigger’s Toys, according to the festival's website.
CFF's combination of a strong lineup, central location, and presumably pleasant fall weather should lure attendees to the inaugural event. Tickets, which cover all food and drinks at the event, are on sale now. They're priced at $135 for VIP and $99 for general admission through July 15, when they will increase to $150 and $115.