The Irving Convention Center was Dallas' food and beverage headquarters on Saturday night when over 60 top chefs and hundreds of wines, beers, and spirits convened for the International Grand Tasting, the flagship event of the 9th annual Savor Dallas. The creative energy of the evening was reminiscent of a catwalk at fashion week as patrons excitedly hurried from booth to booth, learning about each creation directly from the chef while helpers peeled, sauteed, and scooped furiously from behind the black clothed convention booths. In addition to all the food and beverage included in the admission price was a wine and spirit silent auction with proceeds benefiting the North Texas Food Bank.
Outside the main ballroom many revelers enjoyed live music on the patio, with a commanding view of Lake Carolyn and Las Colinas, for a change of pace from the frenzy inside. Sponsors for the event include Kroger, Louis M. Martini Winery, Stella Artois, Chandon, and American Airlines, and each were on hand with generous provisions of beer, wine, and water.
Standouts among the vendors included Pistachio and Peppercorn Passionfruit Macarons from Chocolate Secrets, an Open-Faced Pork Belly Ruben with Cheese Fondue from Texas Spice, and Beluga Lentil "Caviar" with Smoked P.E.I. Mussels, Arugula Pesto, and Crispy Onion from SISU Uptown. Also notable were a particularly hearty shrimp cocktail from Luna's Tortillas and the absolutely lovable Spicy Duck Tacos from Cook Hall at W Dallas. Food wasn't the only focus of the evening, with vendors such as Skinnygirl wines and spirits, beer from Alaskan Brewing Company (one of our favorites, of course) and Texas Whiskys from Balcones Distilling of Waco.
With so many food and beverage vendors there simply isn't space to cover them all, but be sure to check out our slide show for more.
The Takeaway: The International Grand Tasting certainly lived up to the promise of its name, leaving few hungry and all attendees at the Savor Dallas premiere event to, well, savor. Well done to all - next year's Savor Dallas cannot come too soon.
Up Next: Stay tuned for our review of Savor The Arboretum.
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