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Crowd of 2,500 braves weather for best Chefs for Farmers ever

<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-17760″ src=”” alt=”chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-7″ width=”1500″ height=”979″/> chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-8 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-6 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-5 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-2 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-3 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-4 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-9 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-12 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-10 chefs-for-farmers-main-event-2016-copyright-michael-hiller-13You wouldn’t know that Chefs for Farmers co-founder and organizer Iris McCallister was the least bit frazzled from looking at the crowd at this year’s Chefs for Farmers Main Event, the six-year-old annual food festival whose mission is to “celebrate chefs and farmers and the good things they put on our plates.”

“This is such a great turnout,” McCallister told the Hatch. “I can’t believe how much the festival has grown from our roots as one long table and a few chefs and farmers just six years ago.”

About 2,500 people celebrated more than 100 chefs and farmers — and their food — at this afternoon’s Main Event at Gilley’s, a back-up location used when the threat of thunderstorms forced the festival indoors from Lee Park. The Gilley’s live event set-up proved ideal for notable chef Dean Fearing; he and his band took to the stage to supply some of the live music.

As with last year, Gilley’s turned out to be a terrific venue — except for two large rooms whose air conditioning never cooled the room below “swelter.”

“Dallas is such a great food city,” said chef Justin Brunson of Old Major restaurant in Denver. “But this heat and humidity will kill you.”

The heat and humidity inside Gilley’s were tough, but the only real killer was too much food to choose from. 

“It’s just like Thanksgiving, only better,” a CFF patron told her friend. “Here, all the food is delicious.”

Especially Fort Worth-based Heim Barbecue’s burnt bacon ends salad, which took home top prize in the People’s Choice vote — and garnered owners Emma and Travis Heim a $1,500 cash prize awarded by Legacy Hall Food Company, the group constructing Legacy Hall in Plano.

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