Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation Announces Special Dinner Series In Place of Cancelled 2021 Festival

January 21, 2021

Forty at the ’Fork event to feature 40 chefs over 20 nights from February to April

The Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation, which typically hosts the successful Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival (FWFWF), is preparing for a different 2021 event: Forty at the ’Fork, a collaborative, curated dinner series featuring 40 local chefs pairing up for 20 special pop-up dinners. Each dinner will be held on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday evening between Feb. 28 and April 13, 2021, within The Shops at Clearfork.

With continued uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, and the state of the restaurant industry, the FWFWF Board of Directors made the decision to not host a 2021 Festival, previously considered for April 8-11, 2021. The organization will instead focus its efforts on small-scale, specialty dinner events that spotlight local culinary talent while raising funds to support the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation’s ongoing mission. In 2020 and 2021, that mission includes the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which has provided more than $110,000 to local service staff, to date.

Tickets for all 20 Forty at the ’Fork dinners are on sale now at for $70 per person, with each event limited to 50 guests. While tickets may be purchased for a specific date, the identities of the evening’s featured chefs will not be revealed until on-site at that dinner. The multi-course menu, however, will be announced the week leading up to the event to allow attendees time to purchase their own wine selections. Wine pairing suggestions will be provided by Chris Keel, owner of Put A Cork In It, and Richard King, co-owner of Ellerbe Fine Foods.

Forty at the ’Fork dinners will be held in the former Twigs American Bistro space at The Shops at Clearfork. The 8,896-square foot location will allow each event to stay under 20-percent seating capacity and support ample social distancing between tables. 

The list of local favorites participating in Forty at the ’Fork is growing each day, with nearly two dozen confirmed so far, including:

  • Jon Bonnell, Bonnell's Restaurant Group
  • Cindy Crowder, Tributary Café
  • Graham Dodd, Elm & Good
  • Steve Estes, Brewed
  • Rena Frost, Mac’s on Main
  • James Gaines, Reata Restaurant
  • Paco Islas, Paco’s Mexican Cuisine
  • Christian Lehrmann, Tinie’s Mexican Cuisine
  • Tim Love, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro
  • Chris Magallanes, Panther City BBQ
  • Kevin Martinez, Tokyo Café
  • Molly McCook, Ellerbe Fine Foods
  • Ben Merritt, Fixture - Kitchen and Social Lounge and Ben’s Triple B
  • Marcus Paslay, Scratch Hospitality
  • Tuan Pham, Four Sisters - A Taste of Vietnam
  • Stefon Rishel, Wishbone & Flynt
  • Juan Rodriguez, Magdelena's
  • Trevor Sales, Brix Barbecue
  • Blaine Staniford, Grace
  • Michael Thomson, Michaels Cuisine
  • Donatella Trotti, Nonna Tata
  • Laurie Williamson, Black Cur Steak

Collaborations with FunkyTown Donuts, Grounds & Gold Coffee, Hao & Dixya, Icon Bread, JOY Macarons, MELT Ice Creams, Rahr Brewing, Martin House Brewing Company, Pearl Snap Kolaches, The Table, Sweet Lucy’s Pies, Gold Ribbon Confections, TX Whiskey, Stir Crazy Baked Goods and other admired establishments will also be incorporated over the course of the 20 events.

“The purpose of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation is to celebrate local culinary talent today while also helping protect it for tomorrow,” said Julie Eastman, executive director of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation. “Forty at the ’Fork is an opportunity for FWFWF to showcase 40 amazingly talented chefs, plus many local business owners, who’ve been working tirelessly despite current industry challenges, while also continuing to grow our culinary scholarship and classroom grant offerings.”

The Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation plans to host a small-scale activation October 22-24, 2021 and return to a weekend-long food and wine festival format in April 2022. 

About the Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation

Fort Worth Food + Wine Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable foundation that is funded by proceeds from the annual Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival. The Foundation celebrates local culinary talent today while also helping protect it for tomorrow, funding culinary scholarships, classroom grants and more, creating bright futures for local students, their families, and the community. For more information, visit FWFWF online.