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Ft. Worth Food & Wine Festival to Dominate the Weekend

If your favorite chef is suspiciously absent from their kitchen this weekend, there's a good chance they might be at the first annual Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival, which officially kicked off last night with a tasting event at honkytonk dance club/rodeo venue Billy Bob's that was attended by as many as 700 people.

Organizers say they drew inspiration for the inaugural event not from the star-studded events in places like South Beach and Aspen, but rather from the food and wine festival in Charleston, South Carolina, which highlights local talent over bringing in mega-stars from other parts of the country.

As is the case with many glitzy food events, the festival includes pricey ticketed events like a sold-out, $500-a-head Saturday luncheon cheffed by Stephan Pyles and Jon Bonnell and tonight's $125 "Grand Tasting" which will be held at the Renaissance Worthington downtown and feature big names including Matt McCallister and John Tesar.

Of wider appeal are Saturday's free, all-day cooking demos at "Culinary Plaza" (aka Sundance Square) that will feature Tesar, Blaine Staniford of Grace, Donatella Trotti of Nonna Tata, Bird Cafe's David McMillan and more; while the majority of the events are strictly 21-plus, the demos are all ages. Another more wallet-friendly option would be Saturday and Sunday's "Sip & Savor" tastings, which will showcase a lengthy list of local restaurants and producers like Little Lilly Sushi, Swiss Pastry Shop, Barter, Salsa Limon, Rahr & Sons and Dude Sweet Chocolate.

For more on the weekend's events, check out's preview (tickets are available via the official event website).

· Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival [Official]
· DFW Food Festival Feeding Frenzy []
· Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival Kicks Off []