Chefs Just Wanna Have Fun
Farm-to-fork benefit dinner has more great cooks in the kitchen than you can imagine
One might think that eight accomplished chefs working in one smallish kitchen would surely be too many toques at the stove. Not so when Monica Pope opened the grills and burners at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop for the recent Urban Harvest farm-to-fork benefit.
A sellout throng of 150 hungry, not to mention lively, campers filled the eatery for a seven-course feast with rounds of hearty applause greeting each chef when introducing their special dish.
Joining Pope were Mark Decker of Down House, Adam Dorris of Pax Americana, Ara Malekian of Harlem Road Texas BBQ, Dylan Murray of Benjy’s and Local Foods, Soren Pedersen of Currant Kitchen, Randy Rucker of Bramble and Justin Yu of Oxheart. By all accounts, they had a blast behind the scenes.
It was something of an impromptu feast creation with chefs working with the goods delivered from Animal Farm in Cat Spring, Veggie King Farms in Millican, Plant It Forward Farms in Montrose, Atkinson Farms in Spring, Tejas Heritage Farm in Cleveland and Sustainable Harvesters in Hockley.
The last-minute creations included Justin Yu's rabbit stew with mustard greens; Decker's veggie ssam (Korean wrap) comprised of roasted tomatoes, cucumber kimchi, eggplant and puffed rice; and Rucker's roasted kabocha squash with marinated dragon tongue beans, alliums, nasturtium and other flowering plants.
The enthusiastic locavores included Urban Harvest executive director Sandra Wicoff, farmers market director Tyler Horne, Shepherd Ross and Erin Hicks, Heather Houston, Terri and Ray Thomas, Pam and Keiji Asakura, Marguerite and Chris Johnson, Gail and David Orr and Houston City Council member Jack Christie.