autumnal feast: lake forest farms | part two

Here are some more images of the beautiful dinner put on by Lake Forest Farm. Still reeling from the beauty of the evening, and the delicious treats that were served by Chef Joey Dawkins of Wodafood.

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Q: While we were talking, you mentioned that this was the first Farm to Table dinner you have been a part of. As a chef, what does it mean to you have this kind of “fresh + local” movement in our area?

JD: Right now local is coming on strong in many cities across America. People are tired of being fed food that is shipped across the nation just to save a penny. They’re quickly realizing that the same produce in the store is actually being grown down the street from them. Educating people about this fact and showing them where to find it is priceless. People actually being able to eat the food from the farm they just took a tour of helps connect them with the land and the farm who grew. It means the world to me to be able to be the chef that helped bring it all together.

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Q: What was the reasoning behind the dishes you chose to showcase for the dinner?

JD: I chose classical French cuisine because everything was being served with French wine. I was also classically trained in French culinary as well.  I think the main reason though was because French cuisine was made to warm the bones in the fall and winter.

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Q: What is your absolute favorite fall dish to make?

JD: I would say my all time favorite fall dish would actually be a very simple one. Tomato basil soup with heavy cream and a three cheese grilled cheese. I make it every year for my family when the leaves begin to change. It’s actually a tradition in our family now.

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 You can learn more about Chef Joey Dawkins and Wodafood here.

family session: ballard vibes

While enjoying the great farm stand opening of Lake Forest Farms  I got to spend some time with some darling friends and their tiny little man. Wes and Cristina Ballard are two incredible human beings, exceptional parents, and super super super talented vocalists. Cristina is a trained opera singer from Mexico and Wes basically plays whatever instrument he feels like and can croon with the best acoustic singers out there. Together they make beautiful music so ethereal you’d mistake it for angels casually harmonizing on gold foiled clouds filled with crème fraîche (I’m not exaggerating!). They’re amazing. They’re also so amazing that when I asked to take a couple of photos of their triumvirate of beauty, they turned into instant models.

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Can’t wait to see more of this gorgeous family and their music! Side note: I’ve heard them cover Set Fire To The Third Bar by Snow Patrol + Martha Wainwright several times and it never fails to give me goosebumps and teary eyes. The moment they have a video of this, I will be sharing it with you all. Whoever and wherever you are. Have I thanked you for stopping by? Thank you.

a local gem: lake forest farms

So it’s really hard to keep exciting things a secret, but I am committed to shooting a gorgeous farm to table dinner hosted by McKinney’s very own Lake Forest Farm in November. (I know. I know. GIRL SCREAM!) Today was the grand opening of their new Farm Stand, where you can purchase the best of our local fruits, veggies, flowers, etc. I am so excited to be a part of such an incredible addition of culinary greatness to our little big-little town. The organic and health scene is steadily gaining popularity in Texas and we seem to be surrounded by numerous produce stands, farmers markets, and restaurants who source the majority of their food locally.

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happy chickens roaming about the farm

IMG_5624-1my dear friend and talented musician Wesley Ballard just killing it.

IMG_5676-1earth on tap is uh-mazing. i tried their orange + mint + ginger + grapefuit juice. yum!

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lovely little greenhouse filled with aquaponics.

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onions so fragrant they made you consider taking a bite.

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gorgeous wooden boxes and colorful baskets filled the stand.

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and of course they had flawless arrangements.

Le sigh. What an amazing place. What a great night. And we still have so much to look forward to!