Savor Dallas 2017 has been uncorked, but, even though we can’t stop talking about it, now it’s time to bottle everything up. This year, the four-day fest drew more than 3,500 attendees to multiple locations across the HARWOOD District, Fair Park and Dallas Farmers Market. All in all, spirits were high, the company was lively and the conversation flowed as smoothly as the wine.
Opening Night kicked off with an enchanting evening for a party of 470 at Marie Gabrielle Restaurant and Gardens. The weather didn’t just play nice, it brought its A-game, as did our host chefs and vendors. Our favorite Goldendoodle, Nelson, stole the show at Shaken + Stirred, where 390 guests partied in anticipation of the next evening’s main event. The variety of tasting opportunities at the Grand Tasting was Dallas BIG. The same can be said for the crowd, which topped out at nearly 1,700 epicurean adventurers. Meanwhile, Reserve Tasting ticket holders — all 611 of them — enjoyed exclusive access to limited edition labels. (You can view the full list here.) The weekend concluded with Community Brunch at the Dallas Farmers Market, complete with a vintage cocktail van serving up Bloody Marys and mimosas to 317 attendees.
Of course, there’s no way any of this could have happened without the support of our many wonderful host chefs, sponsors, and event venues.
Honorary Host Chef Chad Houser of Cafe Momentum
We were especially privileged to have Chef Chad Houser of Café Momentum serve as our honorary host chef throughout the festival. His restaurant doubles as a culinary training facility and helps to transform lives by giving at-risk adolescents opportunities to acquire vital social, career and life skills. At the Grand Tasting, Chef Houser served up his famous taramosalata with crispy potato skin and fresh pea shoots — not to mention much more deliciousness over the course of the entire weekend. Check out our interview with Chef Houser to learn more about how his involvement made Savor Dallas 2017 a truly special event.
Opening Night Host Chefs
- Matt Dallman of 18th & Vine: You may remember him as the grill master who smoked two whole lambs on J&R Manufacturing’s big-time rotisserie!
- Nathan Tate of Rapscallion and Boulevardier: His BBQ shrimp brought an authentic New Orleans flavor to the evening’s festivities.
- Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate: Her innovative flash-frozen treats were to die for.
Shaken + Stirred Host Chefs
- Nick Ocando of The Gaylord Texan: His sensational charcuterie spread served as the perfect cocktail companion.
- Misti Norris: “Phenomenal” is the only word to describe her dirty sticky rice with pork tongue.
- David Uygur of Lucia: Breaking down a hog never looked so cool (or casual).
Grand Tasting Host Chefs
- Omar Flores of Casa Rubia and Whistle Britches: The flavors packed into his white gazpacho run deep.
- Stephen Rogers of Gemma and Sachet: His Turkish-inspired pasta with braised lamb, fresh chickpeas and mint made for a must-try dish.
- Brian Luscher of The Grape: His sausage salad was a lesson in transforming everyday ingredients into a dish beyond unique.
- Kirstyn Brewer: Her mushroom salad was so savory our mouths couldn’t help but water.
Presenting Sponsor Goody Goody
Savor Dallas 2017 would not have been possible without our presenting sponsor Goody Goody. Thanks to their expertise, we were able to stock the event’s extensive wine list with hundreds of bottles from vineyards around the globe. Goody Goody kept each Savor Dallas event flowing with vino, and they added to the fun by hosting a spin-the-bottle table at Opening Night, Shaken + Stirred and the Grand Tasting. If you didn’t go home with cool drink swag, we hope you left the Goody Goody Lounge at the Grand Tasting with your Riedel wine glass engraved by internationally known artisan Ken Brown.
Full Sponsor List
Savor Dallas 2017 would also like to thank the following sponsors for helping to make this year such a great success.
The Grand Tasting was made even grander by the presence of our official spirits sponsor, Republic National Distributing Company, which hosted both the event’s Spirits Alley and Master Mixology.
- Sourced Craft Cocktails collaborated with RNDC in curating the entire festival’s cocktail experience.
- Meiomi’s wine bar was a must-stop locale for Opening Night and Grand Tasting guests alike. How fun was hanging out with the Food Network’s Cheese Twins there, too?
- The Glenlivet’s dram room provided custom cocktails and multi-sensory experiences at both Shaken + Stirred and the Grand Tasting.
- Special thanks to Dallas’ HARWOOD District, home to event venues Marie Gabrielle and Happiest Hour, plus all the HARWOOD restaurants who participated throughout the festival.
- Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau provided the BIG wine and cheese letters that proved so popular with everyone who understands the real meaning of “pics or it didn’t happen.”
- Guinness provided beer at the Grand Tasting.
- Hendrick’s hosted the Gin Experience at Shaken + Stirred and the Grand Tasting.
- Nebraska Furniture Mart and Kitchen Aid sponsored a pop-up kitchen and lounge at all the events, with Princi Italia serving gourmet bites.
- Chase Private Client.
- Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.
- Omni Hotels & Resort.
- Visit Cayman Islands.
Marie Gabrielle Restaurant and Gardens hosted Opening Night. The top-shelf service and garden views make this a dining experience worth treating yourself to over and over again.
Happiest Hour in the HARWOOD District pulled out all the stops for Shaken & Stirred.
Centennial Hall in Fair Park was the picture-perfect host for our centerpiece events, the Grand Tasting and the Reserve Tasting.
Last but certainly not least, thank you to everyone who came to eat, drink and make merry as part of this year’s festivities. We may have shelved the Savor Dallas festival for 2017, but fresh fun is still to be had at Savor Dallas events happening throughout the year. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get insider information about our year-round events and sneak peeks into next year’s festival.