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Paul Quinn College Raised a Quarter Million Dollars for Its Football Field Farm Last Night

Chefs gathered along the sidelines of the Paul Quinn farm last night to serve food for the Community Cooks event. Over 400 guests attended, which was twice as many compared to last year's inaugural feast, and college officials said the dinner raised over $250,000 for the farm.

Paul Quinn College sits in an urban food desert. The nearest full service grocery store is over six miles away. In just two years this garden has produced several thousand pounds of organic herbs and veggies for the community through charity, the campus cafeteria and a few Dallas restaurants restaurants. More importantly, many young "Quinnites" work on the farm through the campus work-study program, learning about gardening, fresh food and simply how good it feels to get your hands dirty every now and then.

Last night many students worked side-by-side with chefs plating food and explaining dishes to guests. Then as the sun started to descend past the trees, the students lined up and filled their plates with some of the best cuisine Dallas has to offer.

It all came together beautifully. The kids were classy and grateful, as were the chefs. They all made Paul Quinn proud last night.

Starting with the bowl at the top:

  • Chilled spring onion soup with chicken liver mousse from Craft.
  • Pasta with chicken and jalapeno pesto and goat cheese from Parigi.
  • House cured bacon with Texas shiitake, ricotta and wild onion Salsa from Hibiscus (3 o'clock).
  • Crisp pork belly with aji panca, Easter radish and mizuna from Oak.
  • 7 spice tuna sashimi with cucumber mint gel and tomato relish from Marquee Grill.
  • Moroccan kefta with red pepper vinaigrette from Nosh.

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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.