Years ago, when Matt McCallister was still working at Stephan Pyles, he would visit farms looking for new local products to source. Often his treks would conjure up something interesting, and he'd relay the stories to his wife, Iris.
"Matt would meet these farmers," Iris said, "and then tell me all these stories about them. Sometimes they would be struggling or sometimes he'd just be really excited about their produce."
That's when Iris had a dinner-party idea. They both wanted to introduce these farmers to other Dallas chefs. That was four years ago and at first, it literally was just a dinner party. Last year it was out at Eden's Organic with tables set up in long rows next to a garden. Now more than 30 top local chefs are involved, and it's being held in a park.
"Mixin' It Up on the Boulevard" on May 6 at Lee Park brings together chefs and farmers who contribute to the local food movement. A bring-your-own-picnic-blanket kind of event, it will offer many fancy bites to try as well as bartenders on hand to keep you properly hydrated. It's a "down home, no fuss, culinary event."
A few of the farmers ready to woo include Eden's Garden, Genesis Beef, the Hudspeths, Texas Daily Harvest, Texas Olive Ranch, Texas Worm Ranch, Cooper Farms and several others. Oh, and the Texas Honeybee Guild will be there. They're reason enough to attend. Bee real people.
Tickets are $60 (two for $110), and you must be at least 21 years old to attend.