Taste of the NFL Goes Long on Fort Worth Chefs

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Ticket holders at Taste of the NFL, a hunger relief fundraiser timed to coincide with the Super Bowl, will have the chance to sample food from eight of the area's leading chefs at "Flavors of North Texas," billed as "a unique component" of the yearly event. But the announced line-up suggests the sideshow should have been called "Flavors of Fort Worth."

Of the eight participating chefs, only two work in Dallas: Dean Fearing of Fearing's and David Holben of Del Frisco's. While Kent Rathbun isn't listed as a contributor to the event-within-an-event, he will be on hand as a "local host."

Spokesperson Sarah Peterson says she can't account for the Fort Worth bias.

"I am not sure how the original cast of characters came together," she e-mails, adding the roster was set by the Taste of the NFL dinner series held earlier this year. Two big-name Dallas chefs who joined that effort weren't available for the "Flavors of North Texas" celebration on February 5, she adds.

"Sharon Hage isn't participating in the Super Bowl event; I believe her restaurant just closed," Peterson e-mails. "Stephan Pyles can't make it due to his some obligations at his restaurant during this time."

Fearing and Holben will be joined by Jon Bonnell of Bonnell's, Blaine Staniford of Grace, Don Agate of Eddie V's in Fort Worth, Grady Spear's of Grady's, Michael Thomson of Michael's and Brian Olenjack of Olenjack's Grill. The party also features chefs from the 31 other NFL cities; tickets to the festivities at the Fort Worth Convention Center start at $500.

According to publicity materials, Taste of the NFL has raised $10 million over 20 years.


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