Contemporary ranch cuisine has been chef Michael Thomson's brand since he opened his restaurant in west Fort Worth 21 years ago.
The concept behind Michael's was simple. Good times celebrated with good food Texas-made and Texas-grown.
So Thomson quickly embraced the idea of a Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival. He remembers the early discussions he and Reata President Mike Micallef and General Manager Russell Kirkpatrick had while at a food event in West Texas.
"When we were at Perrini Ranch, a Buffalo Gap restaurant at the the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Festival, we all decided we need to do this here in Fort Worth," Thomson recalled.
The Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival is now planned for March 27-30, 2014, which NBCDFW and NBC5 sponsors.
Thomson and other notable chefs agreed to help raise money and interest with a series of pop-up dinners. The 50 guests to the exclusive Twenty at the Tower event won't know who's cooking, though, until they arrive for dinner.
Thomson was one of the guest chefs last weekend. The finale to his course-dinner was a dessert of Texas peaches drenched in Texas whiskey caramel sauce. The sauce features TX Whiskey distilled in Fort Worth.
"It's got a slight vanilla overtone, which makes it great to work with," Thomson explained. "Works well with desserts and savory sauces."
The Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival website explains how that money will then be used:
"Proceeds from Twenty at the Tower will benefit the newly formed 501(c)3 Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation. The Foundation is the sole benefactor from the upcoming inaugural Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival, March 27-30, 2014. It is the mission of the Foundation to support culinary endeavors by creating grants and scholarships for farmers, students, and entrepreneurs."
For tickets to Twenty at the Tower, and to learn more about the event and the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival, visit the following sites: