Foodie Events / Restaurants

Food and Wine Fest Takes Over Houston’s New Showcase Park — Inside Chefs For Farmers’ Impressive Autry Park Debut

More Than 1,300 Foodies and 30-Plus Top Chefs Get In On the Outdoor Fun

BY // 10.05.22

The outdoor fête that has been tantalizing the tastebuds of Dallas foodies for 14 years arrived in Houston over the weekend when more than 1,300 paying guests — mouths watering — turned out for Houston’s inaugural Chefs for Farmers event. The food and wine festival doubly served as something of an inauguration of Autry Park, the newly minted green space overlooking Buffalo Bayou from an Allen Parkway perch.

More than 30 chefs served up curated, locally sourced dishes for the all-inclusive tasting event that also featured a variety of beverages from local craft breweries, distilleries and wineries. Think Tito’s Vodka, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, Tequila Cazadores, Oyster Bay Wines and many more.

Beth Hebert, Devon Day, Stephanie James and Betsy Spomer at the first Chef for Farmers event at Autry Park Sunday Oct.02,2022. (Dave Rossman photo)
Beth Hebert, Devon Day, Stephanie James, Betsy Spomer at Houston’s inaugural Chefs for Farmers event, held at Autry Park. (Dave Rossman photo)

DJ tunes provided the sound track for the tastings and the activities of which there were plenty including lawn games, a giant see saw, life size beer pong contests, shopping for custom hats and picking up produce from local farmers. It was one lively Sunday afternoon.

As the crowd grazed through the tasty offerings, they voted on their favorite with famed Leonard Botello IV’s Truth BBQ winning for its Central Texas style prime brisket with house made pickles, onions and “stay gold” sauce. Frankie B. Mandola’s Catering earned the second most popular spot for its truffled risotto cake topped with Wagyu beef short rib.

The Houston event served as a fundraiser for Urban Harvest and Houston Food Bank with admission ranging from $150 for VIP status, which offered an hour early access, to $99 early bird pricing to $115 for day-of ticket purchases.

J.P. and Dani Garland with Emily and Bryce Jones at the first Chef for Farmers event at Autry Park Sunday Oct.02,2022. (Dave Rossman photo)
J.P. & Dani Garland, Emily & Bryce Jones at Houston’s inaugural Chefs for Farmers event at Autry Park. (Dave Rossman photo)

Chefs For Farmers partnered with Urban Harvest in curating the majority of farm partners involved. Those included Verdegreens Farms, Driftwood Meadows Farm, Blackwood Educational Land Institute, Bee2Bee Honey Collective, Statkar Farms Wagyu, Animal Farm and Laughing Frog Farm.

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Notable chefs joining this foodie festival included the Original Ninfa’s Alex Padilla, Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette’s Emily Trusler, Hidden Omakase‘s Niki Vongthong,  Coltivare Pizza and Garden’s Ryan Pera, Eunice Restaurant’s Drake Leonards, Golfstrømmen’s Paul Qui, Backstreet Cafe’s Hugo Ortega and Brasserie 19’s Michael J. Hoffman.

In addition to the foodie fun, Houston Food Bank had various local Houston-area ceramists and artists create custom bowls on site as part of the nonprofit’s Empty Bowls program. At $25 each, 100 percent of the sales went directly to the food bank.

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