Earlier this week, it was announced that Hibiscus chef Graham Dodds would be going to New York to cook his first James Beard dinner. Dodds has participated in Beard events before, but this will be his first time as lead chef in charge of a multi-course menu with multiple wine parings. Dodds says he's currently working on finalizing his menu, but his efforts for the event started long before the announcement was released.
"They contacted me through my PR people," says Dodds. He started putting together three separate menus for the Beard committee to choose from. "They were not very excited about Texas wine," he says, and a meal that sourced every ingredient from a single Texas farm was also shot down. "I can't pull off a five course winter squash dinner," he says.
What they decided on was Dodds' celebration of local farm-raised meat. Dodds plans to work with local farmers to source animal proteins from his favorite local farms and the idea has ignited the chef. "I'm excited about this," Dodds says. "I've been cultivating relationships with these guys for years and now I get to showcase them in New York."
He'll take chicken from Windy Meadows Farm and goat meat from Windy Hill. Pork and rabbit will be featured as well as meat pies stuffed with his favorite local beef.
The only problem is getting it all there. Dodds says shipping ingredients is a nightmare, so they'll be flying with boxes of meat packed with dry ice. That means he has to deal with security inspections, and if you think it's hard to get a tube of toothpaste on a flight, try an entire lobe of foie gras. Dodds says he'll be pretty nervous cutting open those boxes, but it will be even worse if he finds the tape has already been cut.
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Dubbed the Texas Heritage Meats Celebration, Dodds' TSA-approved dinner will take place on January 31, with tickets set at $170. Click here to follow the events page.