A view of the teepee tents and string lights we'll be missing this year. But the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival is adapting. (Photo by Courtney Dabney.)
It's time to Give Back to FWFWF participants. (Photo by Courtney Dabney.)
A sliced beef plate. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
Joe Riscky's barbecue from 2019. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
At first postponed, then cancelled, the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival pivots to giving back. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
A creation from Dough Boy Donuts. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
A pop-up venue at the Festival's 2019 event. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
Like most festivals and large gatherings, the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival was forced to cancel its feeding frenzy this year. But the festival’s leadership is bound and determined to continue shining a spotlight on local restaurants and bars. Even if it’s from afar.
The Festival is launching EAT. DRINK. COWTOWN. It’s a progressive party celebrating the local food and beverage community.
The replacement event will take place October 19 to 25.. The week-long event will feature special curbside takeout and delivery options, and unique pairings ― encouraging foodies to support the Tarrant County food and beverage community, and get a taste of what they’ve been missing.
“EAT. DRINK. COWTOWN. is taking place of the postponed 2020 Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival. We’re showcasing all the good things to eat and drink around town and remind the community how incredible our local restaurants and bars are,” says Julie Eastman, executive director of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival and Foundation. “We’re highlighting the robust talent and hospitality in Cowtown, inviting patrons to visit as many local restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries, and wineries as safely as possible.
“We’re all in this together, and we’re strong because we’re locals supporting locals.”
Participants are creating special deals specifically for the EAT. DRINK. COWTOWN. They’ve devised daily offerings, inventive food-and-drink pairings, or new and inventive to-go family meals that people can have delivered to their door, or can choose to pick up curbside. Visit the festival’s website for up-to-date offerings. The full list of participating businesses can be found here, and they include many of Fort Worth’s best restaurants and bars.
The Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival was originally created to support the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation ― a nonprofit dedicated to culinary and beverage education and certification. This year, the foundation redirected its support to aid the local restaurant industry in response to its growing need in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns. The theme of the reimagined festival this year is all about giving back. To date, the Foundation has provided more than $106,000 in restaurant employee relief during the COVID-19 crisis.
Ongoing fundraising continues to provide financial relief to local food and beverage industry employees suffering hardships during the pandemic. (To donate to the relief fund, click here. To apply on behalf of an employee, click here.)
Food and beverage businesses are routinely asked to donate their products, services and endless gift cards to support other fundraising events. In past years, restaurants and bars have donated their time and much of their food cost to participating in the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival. This is the year everyone gives back to an industry that has been stricken like few others during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The pandemic has been particularly cruel to the service industry, and we want to take a moment to support them for all they do for the Festival, for local patrons, for nonprofit events year-in and year-out. Now is the time to let your local restaurants and bars know that you want them to stick around,” says Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival co-founder Russell Kirkpatrick.
EAT. DRINK. COWTOWN is not just a fun alternative to the festival that cannot go on. It’s a matter of restaurant survival.