Thanks to daylight saving time the sun performed a slow but perfect setting in the west as the Dallas Arboretum’s Food and Wine Festival presented by Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians got underway on Thursday, March 24. The scene was one that was picture perfect with the skyline of downtown Dallas in the background and White Rock Lake looking quite pristine on the Arboretum shore.
As VIP guests discovered their upgraded status not only gained them early arrival to the A Tasteful Garden celebration with valet service, they were also greeted with maps of the layout and hosts/hostesses presenting them with VIP wine goblets that were put to very good use.
Inside the Charlotte and Donald Test Pavilion was the tiered arrangement of champagne filled flutes that were in constant need of replacing. Across the way was a lineup of guests waiting to have Balcones Distillery fill their goblets for toasting by folks like Elaine and Will Tate and Elke and Mark Jenison.
On the terrace just outside the Pavilion, Ocean Fresh Fish had a mighty impressive spread with sushi and a school of fish including Ocean Striped Bass, Kimme Dai,Opah and a humongous Blue Fin Tuna that spilled over the iced-down bin.
Overlooking White Rock were guests who queued up at Jose’s beef taco food station and the nearby Frankly Organic Vodka and Nitro Press Infusions at the Three Sisters Lagoon Overlook terrace.
Located in a different spot this year was Wine and Food vet/Knife Dallas’ Chef John Tesar, who said it was a shadier spot as the line of VIP-ers queued up across the way.
Commandeering one of the primo high-top tables just beyond Junior Borges at Meriden’s stations, Dorothea and Allan Meltzer and Pier and Glenn Burgess were settled in for the evening of wining, dining and enjoying the magnificent surroundings with the Dallas Blooms Birds of Paradise.
Unlike other event hosts/hostesses who stand at the front door to greet guests, Dallas Arboretum President/CEO Mary Brinegar was checking the grounds to make sure that the tulips were on their best behavior. But, seriously, who could blame the beds of flowers for being a bit shy after the past weeks of temperature highs and lows. But Arboretum Gardens and Visitor Services VP Dave Forehand literally had all buds prepared for the big night.
As the official Food and Wine Festival got underway an hour later with hundreds of guests arriving, Co-Chairs Natalie Dossett and Caroline Gehan and Beckley 1115’s Chef Chair Sharon Van Meter had arranged for the grounds to boast edibles and drinkables by Nicky Phinyawatana of Asian Mint, Andrea Meyer of Bisous Bisous, Christopher Patrick of Bright Box Foods, Cane Rosso, Jeramie Robinson of Catbird, Mollie Guerra of Chef Mollie G: Custom Catering Dan Lansberg of Ellie’s Restaurant and Lounge, Meaders Ozarow of Empire Baking Company, Mike Matis of Fearing’s Restaurant, Jordan Swim of Front Burner, Mark Wootton of Garden Café, Rodman Shields of Harpers, Dunia Borga of La Duni, Luigi Iannuario of La Stella Cucina Verace, Luke Rogers with Cathedral Italian Bistro, Lucy Braddock of Home Grown Market, Sean Jett of Humble Pies, Josh Healy of Loro Dallas, Eric Dreyer of Monarch, Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Company, Rose Broussard of Off the Bone, Richard Blankenship of Ounce, Misti Norris of Petra and the Beast, Joel Orsini and Jeff Bednar of Profound Foods, Jeffrey Hobbs of Slow Bone BBQ, Jay Valley of St. Rocco’s, Mark Tungcmittrong of Sushi Rock VIP, Jimmy Contreras of Taco y Vino, Luis Olvera of Trompo, Salvatore Gisellu of Urban Seafood and Sandra Bussey with BBBBQ in and around the Jonsson Color Garden and Palm Fern Dell.
But this gathering of food and wine lovers was just the beginning. The following Saturday and Sunday the Arboretum was hosting its Food And Wine Festival Garden Market presented by Gopuff.