Fort Worth is about to have a starring role in a television pilot, and it's the result of a tasty collaboration. Local chefs and artists will combine their talents for "A Night of Artists and Chefs," filming April 19-29 at Magdalena's Catering and Events, at 502 Grand Ave.
Several dinners will be hosted during filming for the series, which is intended to focus on cities with vibrant dining and arts scenes. Local chefs will provide a tasting menu, and local artists will design the rooms in which the dinners will take place. Wish you could be a part of it? Tickets will be available to the general public, starting at $95, for 60 guests per dinner.
Producer Scott Browning, of Artists and Chefs Productions, plans to pitch the pilot episode to networks. He calls Fort Worth his "ground zero beta test" for the series.
“Fort Worth became my first stop for Artists and Chefs because I was already familiar with the area, having two sisters that live locally,” he says. “Many large cities with notable culinary traditions offer a lot of the same types of restaurants — after a while you can’t really tell where you are, or really differentiate between them. But smaller cities bring their own unique stamp to the food. That’s what I’m after."
Juan Rodriguez, owner of Magdalena’s, is among local chefs who will be featured in the documentary.
“Bringing chefs and artists together to collaborate is a great way to showcase what Fort Worth has to offer. We have great people who are doing creative things in Fort Worth. It’s time to showcase that,” Rogriguez said.
He announced earlier in a Facebook post about the filming: “We're building a special dining room to surround you in a one-of-a-kind artistic experience, and creating a special menu that highlights the unique flavors of Fort Worth cuisine. You'll get to vote on your favorite art and food, so come prepared from some spirited conversation. Our friendly camera crew will be asking guests for impressions and opinions, so if you're not camera shy, feel free to shine.”
Jenna Kinard, who most recently served as executive chef of Max’s Wine Dive, also will be collaborating on the artistic endeavor. A former model, Kinard is already comfortable in front of the cameras. She has guest-starred in two episodes of Paula Deen’s new cooking show, "Positively Paula" this year, and hints about a cooking show of her own.
“Together we are creating a night for our beloved city — focused on beauty, expression, and exciting food. The process has already proven to be both challenging and exhilarating. I absolutely cannot wait to share this night with our friends, family and locals,” Kinard says.
Rooms for the event will be designed by artists Aimee Cardoso and Erika Duque. Cardoso is executive director and co-founder of Art Tooth, a hybrid art gallery in Fort Worth, while Duque is currently completing her master's of fine arts at Texas Christian University. Their artistic vision will create a space that is as visually stimulating as the food on the plate.
“We are working with these artists and an interior designer to tie the space together. It will be like an art cocoon, where guests will be surrounded by both existing art and artworks which have been specially created for this event.” Browning says.
The tasting menu includes three appetizers, a fish course, two entrees and three desserts, all served in individual tasting portions. The ticket includes a chef-crafted cava cocktail, and wine paired with each of the four courses. Among dishes on the menu: spiced maple glazed quail confit with roasted corn risotto; citrus and thyme Alaskan halibut; McCleery Farms pork carnitas; and deconstructed spiced peaches and cream cobbler with TX Whiskey salted caramel.
Tickets to the event are $95-$175, which includes complimentary valet parking and server gratuity. Browning is hosting a charity night April 18, also at Magdalena's, to support the Fort Worth Community Arts Center and give back to Fort Worth’s art scene. Learn more at www.artistschefs.com.
The television pilot will premiere at Community Arts Center on May 15, along with a reception. Some premium ticket holders will be invited to partake in that event as well.
Browning, who has a background in feature films, says he hopes to continue the series with locales similar to Fort Worth. “I want to focus attention on cities with a vibrant and unique culinary and art scene. I think a lot of cities have a similar story to tell."