Last year, Fort Worth Weekly rounded up a bunch of Tarrant chefs for a Celebrity Chef Chili Cook-off. It took place at Dagwoods Fire Grill Tap, which, sadly, closed about a month later (and we still miss this burger). But chili is forever, especially in Texas, and the Celebrity Chef Chili Cook-off is now an annual thing. This year’s cook-off will start at noon March 5 at Shipping & Receiving Bar, 201 S. Calhoun St. on the Near Southside.
Last year’s winner, Juan Rodriguez of Magdalena’s Cocina Mexicana Local, will return, as will David Hollister, who was the chef behind Dagwoods FGT and whose other Dagwoods restaurant, Dagwoods Grinders and Growlers, remains open (although Hollister is arguably best-known for his work with Gas Monkey Bar & Grill).
Other returnees include Terry Chandler of Fred’s Texas Cafe, Keith Hicks of Buttons, Jon Bonnell of Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine and Waters Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine (which is scheduled to reopen March 1 in Sundance Square), Stefon Rishel (formerly of Max’s Wine Dive, now with Texas Bleu in Keller) and Billy Woodrich (Billy's Oak Acres BBQ).
Newbies include Blythe Bridges of Chef Blythe’s Southern Bistro in North Richland Hills; Scott Curtis, who became executive chef at Bird Cafe last year; Ben Merritt of Fixture Kitchen & Social Lounge; and Jordan Rogers of Reservoir and Whiskey Garden.
Other chefs are to be announced, but plans are for 20 chefs to compete in the cook-off. Attendees will do the voting; there will also be live music, cooking demonstrations and beverages to cool off all that chili.