Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival announces 2018 chef lineup

Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival

The Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival, a four-day event supporting the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation, announced Thursday, March 1, the lineup of local and regional chefs participating in the fifth annual festival, which will take place April 5-8 at venues across the city.

The event will kick off Tacos + Tequila, a new event for 2018 that will take place from 8:30-11 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at the BRIK Venue.

Tickets to Tacos + Tequila are $50 general admissions or $60 early entry. Presented by Encore Live, this late night fiesta features eight chefs and eight beverage vendors. 

According to a news release, participating chefs include local favorites such as Salsa Limón’s Keith Grober; Taco Heads’ Sarah Castillo; and Del Norte Tacos’ Chris Garcia.

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Friday’s Main Event will see several festival returners, including Jon Bonnell with Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine; Robert Lyford with Patina Green Home and Market; Molly McCook with Ellerbe Fine Foods; and Ben Merritt with Fixture. This event will take place from 6-9 p.m. at the Pier 1 Imports Building and tickets are $125 general admission, $150 early entry. 

Friday’s festivities will continue into the night with Desserts After Dark from 9-11:30 p.m. at Firestone & Robertson’s new 112-acre whiskey wonderland, Whiskey Ranch. Returners Robbie Werner (Stir Crazy Baked Goods) and Lindsey Lawing (Sweet Lucy’s Pies) along with last year’s dessert winner, Katherine Sasser (Hurley House) and newcomer Liz Lanier (JOY Macarons) are signed on for the event.

Twelve pastry chefs and 12 mixologists will create special eats and drinks, and guests will vote for their top pick. Plus, a DJ mixes tunes while guests enjoy panoramic views of downtown Fort Worth. Tickets for this event are $60 general admission, $70 early entry.

Saturday features two events, Rise + Dine and Burgers, Brews + Blues.

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Rise + Dine will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Pier 1 Imports Building with festival newcomer, Cane Rosso, long-time supporter Brandon Moors (FunkyTown Donuts), and a couple dozen other participants. Tickets to this event are $65 general admission, $75 early entry. 

During the event, noted area restauranteurs will prepare dishes from eggs Benedict to breakfast tacos, alongside a selection of craft beer, specialty wines and spirits.

Guests at the 6-9 p.m. Burgers, Brews + Blues events will see chefs Terry Chandler (Fred’s Texas Cafe), Daniel Pittman (LUCK) and 2017 event standouts Wade G. Chappell (Pearl Snap Kolaches) and Gerardo Pena (Rodeo Goat). 

Tickets to this event — where 13 chefs will grill up mini-burgers and 22 craft breweries pour while celebrity judges and guests vote for their favorites — are $70 general admission, $85 early entry.

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Sunday’s 2-4 p.m. Pitmasters Picnic at the Heart of the Ranch at Clearfork will bring a close to the festival. The picnic will feature barbecue offerings from across the state, including Black’s BBQ, BBQ on the Brazos, Lockhart Smokehouse and Kreuz Market, paired with Texas craft beers, wines and spirits. Tickets are $65 general admission, $75 early entry. 

“We’re humbled to have these culinary ambassadors from Fort Worth, Dallas and beyond participate in our fifth annual festival, which last year attracted 6,800 visitors from 26 states and 109 cities across Texas,” Russell Kirkpatrick, cofounder of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation, said in a news release. “Their involvement has been a key ingredient to raising more than $130,000 in scholarships and grants for local culinary students since 2014.”

For those who want to attend all events, a weekender pass is available for $450 ($65 in savings, compared to purchasing early entry tickets to each event individually). The pass includes early entry and all-you-can-eat-and-drink access to all six signature events.