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Dallas Arboretum Food & Wine

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden hosts its third annual Food and Wine Festival, expanding it to a three-day celebration from March 21 to 23 during the popular springtime festival, Dallas Blooms. The event kicks off with A Grand Tasting on Thursday, March 21 featuring a revamped patron experience with dozens of notable Metroplex chefs, their signature tastings and an amazing selection of wine and beer. On Friday, March 22, the festival features master classes in A Tasteful Place during the day, followed by an intimate Vintners’ Dinner that evening. On Saturday, March 23, 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.

Jones serves as the Honorary Farmer Chair for the weekend. Melissa Lewis is the event chair, and Chef Sharon Van Meter is the chef chair. Friday’s Vintners’ Dinner chair is Barbara Bigham, and committee members include Nikki Beneke, Robin Norcross, Dyann Skelton, Venise Stuart and Joan Walne.

According to Dallas Arboretum Board Chairman Alan Walne, “Thanks to our friend and Chef Chair Sharon Van Meter and everyone who helped, the Dallas Arboretum has had two successful Food & Wine Festivals. Chef Sharon had met Farmer Lee Jones when she attended his Roots conference, and she suggested that we add culinary and food education to our festival. Now that we have our newest garden that teaches visitors how to grow, harvest and prepare fresh food, this conference complements the culinary-filled weekend.”

A sell out the last two years, Thursday evening’s A Grand Tasting features 40 of the region’s top chefs, an amazing selection of wine and beer and the wonderful springtime garden—perfect for any foodie. Guests can stroll through the garden, revel in more than 500,000 spring blooming bulbs, while treating their taste buds to the best food and wine. The revamped patron experience allows guests to access the festival one hour before it opens to the general public, complimentary valet parking, and an entrance reception hosted by Honorary Farmer Lee Jones. The patron experience begins at 6 p.m. and includes valet parking and special entrance into A Tasteful Place. General admission starts at 7 p.m., and the evening ends at 10 p.m. Patron tickets are $250 (limited availability), and general admission tickets are $150.

On Friday, two well-regarded chefs offer a class and a demonstration, both taking place at the Dallas Arboretum’s A Tasteful Place pavilion:

10:00 a.m.-Noon-Peter Barlow, executive chef/partner of Niteshade Chef Collaborative and opening chef de cuisine of Dallas’ only five-star restaurant, Stephan Pyles Flora Street Café, teaches “Prelude to Waste Not,” Roots: Turning Leftovers into Lunch.” Cost is $65, and registration is required at

1:00-3:00 p.m.- Mary Chamberlin, acclaimed chef and cookbook author, brings her authentic taste of great recipes to demonstrate how to prepare Asparagus Soup with Crab Cakes, Hot Tamale Soup, and Quickie Chickie Vegetable Soup. The demonstration is free with paid garden admission.

On Friday night, guests can indulge in this unique culinary experience with a five-course dinner at the Vintners’ Dinner from one of Dallas’ top chefs, while getting to interact and sip exclusive wine in A Tasteful Place, the most picturesque place to watch the downtown Dallas skyline at sunset. This dinner is a truly exclusive opportunity any food and wine enthusiast would relish. Ten chefs prepare a magnificent meal for a table, and vintners expertly pair fine wines to go along with each course. Guests also receive complimentary valet parking and the opportunity to mingle with each table’s chef and vintner. Semi-formal dress is encouraged, and seating is limited. Cocktails start at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner. Tickets are $500 per guest or $5,000 for a table of 10, and $7,500 for a corporate table of 10. For more information, contact Kristi Trail at or 214-515-6524.

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 on Saturday, March 23. The Chef’s Garden holds 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. Making its way to Dallas for the first-time ever, the conference includes four interactive panels. 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.

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 Bedner, 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

-Whole Foods Market


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!”  

For more information, a list of chefs or to purchase tickets, visit

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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