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Chef Matt McCallister of Restaurant Stephan Pyles: “I’m Involved with Chefs for Farmers Because It’s the Right Thing to Do.”

Chefs for Farmers is a 5-course dinner on an actual working farm in Balch Springs, Texas.  The guests will be sitting at one long table that seats 80, and the chefs– some of the best in Dallas–will be right there cooking the food.

The money we raise will not only help local farmers but goes specifically toward a great organization called the Gleaning Network, which collects surplus produce and makes sure it gets in the hands of people in Texas who really need it.

I’m involved with the Chefs for Farmers benefit because it’s the right thing to do. There are plenty of other reasons, but that’s the main one.

Chefs for Farmers involves a lot of things — supporting local farmers, helping chefs and farmers work together, and introducing people to locally grown produce – that’s one big part of it.  But it’s not just about the farmers or the chefs either – this event is about supporting the idea that small, privately owned farms selling food to people they know will make for better produce, better relationships, better health – the list goes on.
Hear Hear Wines, for instance, is a local wine distributor involved with the CFF event.  It’s basically just two couples who got together a year ago and decided Texas needed more choice in wine than simply the big California producers or the big French producers.  They found a group of small boutique, organic, sustainable wineries in Oregon and Washington doing a great job but in need of better distribution, and started importing the wine to Texas.  So being a “locavore” is not as simple as buying locally – it’s about supporting the idea that less is more, that farming doesn’t have to be an industrial process, that craftsmanship is not only important but really, really valuable.

A farmer who owns his land and knows the chef who will be buying his tomatoes is not going to cheat and spray with pesticides, and on the flip side, local chefs understand that if there’s a drought, their favorite tomato farmer might not have anything to sell.

There’s nothing else quite like Chefs for Farmers in the Dallas area.  There’s just something special about having the dinner on the farm, with the farmers, and seeing the chefs and farmers actually working together.
I’ve never done anything quite like this, but it’s exciting and I’m proud to be a part of it.

My wife  helps out on all of these events and I cannot thank her enough for helping me and all my culinary friends who stand behind me in what I believe is the right thing to do.

There are more Chefs for Farmers events to come.

Matt McCallister is the Executive Chef at Stephan Pyles Restaurant where he focuses on working with local farms and suppliers to find the freshest produce, meats, and cheeses available in the North Texas region.


More details:

Eight Chefs and a Sommelier. Five Farms. Put them all together for a Farm-to-Menu benefit dinner at Marie Tedei’s working urban farm Eden’s Garden CSA Farm and the results can only be spectacular!

Just eighty guests will spend an evening with top chefs with a commitment to souring locally as they toast area farmers. Guests will enjoy fresh farm-grown food in five delectable courses, wine and spirits, and starlit live music (performers will be announced at a later date.)

Chefs include: Abraham Salum and Al Havens, Salum; Bruno Davaillon, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek; Chad Houser and Janice Provost, Parigi Restaurant; Matt McCallister, Stephan Pyles Restaurant; Nathan Tate and Randall Copeland, Resturant Ava of Rockwall; and, Ryan Tedder, Sommelier of Grace Restaurant Fort Worth.

Participating Farmers will include Rocky and Celeste Tassione of Tassione’s farm in Stephenville; Rockwall’s Barking Cat Farms; The Motley Family of Motley Farms; The Caprino Royale farm near Waco; and, Eden’s Garden Organic Garden Center and CSA Farm in Balch Springs, the host location for the dinner.

Guests must purchase a ticket for $150 to this debut event. Paired with a farmer, each chef will prepare a one-of-a-kind course to be served at a communal-style table setting. Ticket price includes tax, gratuity and a bag of surprise treats as a takeaway.

From each ticket, 20% of the purchase price benefits The Gleaning Network of Texas, a grassroots organization which culls existing fresh produce surplus from farms to alleviate hunger and malnutrition amongst food-insecure Texans.

WHEN: October 17, 2010
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres begin at 4 pm; dinner seating at 5 pm.



  1. Scott Tisch    9/30/2010

    Matt McCallister rocks! I have eaten at Stephan Pyles many times and Matt has been a very gracious restauranteur.

  2. CFF    9/29/2010

    Farmer Joe-CFF has many expenses around this event and our main goal is to help raise awarness and help all the local farmers. Any proceeds that we can give back should be graciously accepted. Farmer Joe-Hope you can make it!

  3. farmer joe    9/28/2010

    This sounds a great idea. Wonder why only 20% of the proceeds go to charity though.

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