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Chef Farmer Lee Jones

Farmer Lee Jones, founder of The Chef’s Garden® in Ohio, premieres The Chef's Garden's® Roots on the Road conference for the first time ever outside his home state at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden on Saturday, March 23.

This culinary event is the last day of the Food and Wine Festival, which runs March 21 to 23. Jones serves as the Honorary Farmer Chair, Chef Sharon Van Meter is the chef chair, and Melissa Lewis is the event chair.

The Roots conference runs from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The day concludes with a seasonal farm-to-table dinner, prepared from fresh, local grown produce starting at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails. A ticket for the workshop and dinner is $225.A dinner-only ticket is $125. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Chef Sharon Van Meter said, “If you’re in the food industry—whether you’re a chef, a restaurateur, a farmer, a supplier or a foodie, this is a must-attend event for you. You’ll learn about what’s trending in sustainable food, meet large and small farmers, network with the who’s who in the industry, and sample an incredible meal at the ‘Waste Not, Want Not,’ dinner that evening!”

The Chef’s Gardenholds its annual conference at the Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio, where culinary influencers and industry professionals learn and share ways to cultivate change and solutions in their industry. Thanks to the partnership with The Chef’s Garden® and Farmer Lee Jones, guests have the opportunity to experience The Chef's Garden's Roots on the Road at A Tasteful Place, the Dallas Arboretum’s newest garden dedicated to growing, harvesting and preparing vegetables, herbs and fruit.

The Chef's Garden's Roots on the Road Schedule:

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Coffee & Noshes – Sponsorship by local coffee and Katherine Clapner Kolaches

Farmers Market – Produce from 1st panel farms

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. 

Farms: Big & Small, How can we help each other?

Moderated by Farmer Lee Jones


-Daron Babcock, Bonton Farms

-Jeff Bednar, Profound Microfarms

-Nelson Carter, Cartermere Farms

-Elizabeth Dry, POP/La Bajada Urban Youth Farms

-Sofia Martinez, Rae Lili Farm

12:30 p.m.–2:00 p.m. – Box Lunch

Work-Life Balance Panel

Moderated by Chef Mathew Peters, first American to win the coveted Bocuse d’Or award

-Junior Borges

-Lisa Lavender, The Lisa Lavender

-Nikky Phinyawatana, Asian Mint

-Lisa Welch, Make Ready Experience

2:15-3:45 p.m.

How Can Green be Greener? Guide to better practices in a reusable world

Moderated by Chef Sharon Van Meter and presented by EarthxTaste

-Lauren Clarke, Turn Compost

-Bob Curry, City of Dallas

-Kelly Freeman

-Jessie Zarazaga, Southern Methodist University

4:00-5:30 p.m.

Food Trends to Watch in 2019

Moderated by Beth Rankin, The Dallas Observer

-Randy DeWitt, Front Burner Restaurants

-Roger Kaplan, RK Innovation

-Mariam Parker, Austin Food & Wine Alliance

-Ron Ruggless, Nation's Restaurant News

Dinner: Waste Not, Want Not Dinner

5:30 p.m. Cocktails

6:30 p.m. Dinner

Lead Chef: Peter Barlow, Niteshade Chef Collaborative

Chef Jamie Simpson, The Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef’s Garden

Chef Junior Borges

Chef Katherine Clapner, Dude Sweet Chocolate

Chef Graham Dodds

Chef Josh Harmon, The Belmont Room

Chef Jeffery Hobbs, Slow Bone

Chef Chad Houser, Café Momentum

Chef Sean Jett, Humble Pies

Chef Robert Lyford, Patina Green Inc.

Chef Andrea Shackelford, Harvest Seasonal Kitchen

Chef David Anthony Temple, Chef DAT LTD

Farmer Jones added, “Roots on the Road is an opportunity to extend the conversations we started at Roots Cultivate 2018 at The Culinary Vegetable Institute. Sharing knowledge and expanding awareness in and around the food industry is a serious responsibility, and this is a great outlet to accomplish that. The more Roots, the merrier!”  

Themed Life's A Picnic, Dallas Blooms, presented by IBERIABANK, features more than 500,000 spring blooming bulbs and is one of the "15 Breathtaking Botanical Gardens to Visit This Season," according to Architectural Digest. 

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218.  The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. From January 2-31, general garden admission is $5. The Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden is closed through February 22 for preventative maintenance. On-site parking is $15 or $9, if purchased in advance online. General admission is $17 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $12 for children 2-12 during the Dallas Blooms Festival (Feb. 23-Apr. 7), and free for Arboretum members and children under two. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum.  The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum.  

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