The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) has the recipe for the quickest way to your heart; through your stomach, obviously. That’s exactly what their Empty Bowls event does every year, tugs at your heart strings by tempting your taste buds. North Texas’ largest charity hosts the remarkable event, partnering the areas most recognized names in restaurants with local artisans making everything from homemade breads and cheeses to handmade bowls, and thanking you for your support to help provide over 62 million meals in this year alone. Quick math, that’s over 160,000 meals per day!

Check out the photos from the event last week:









Event tickets were what you’d expect to pay for a classy lunch or dinner sans drinks. $35 gets you a general admission ticket and your choice of a complimentary bowl made by supporting artists, each one a unique memento reminding you you’ve done a good deed and helped feed the hungry.

The Meyerson Symphony Center in downtown Dallas hosted the event at its venue. Attendees filled and spilled from the main foyer to the outside courtyards, all queuing up for the wide range of offerings from the over 20 restaurants. The NTFB table was right in the middle of the action.

Chefs and NTFB board members bowled out their rib sticking soup, Navy Bean and Ham garnished with smiles and pleasantries, along with cornbread and lemon and chocolate tarts that warmed the stomach and the soul. Wolfgang Puck catering brought the best tasting soup, Cruciferous Garden Chowder with Watercress. It had a rich cauliflower base, sauteed greens, and an impressive sized crouton to lap up the flavor. There were more classic hearty dishes like Chicken and Dumplings, Tortilla Soup, and chili but also unexpected delights like a Tuscan kale salad with chili lemon oil dressing from True Food Kitchen.

The excitement to try every dish in the massive room is overwhelming.  One minute you’re standing in line for the mashed potato martini bar when trays of chicken pasole verde from Meso Maya and meatballs over polenta from Urban Crust in Plano waft by. But guests just needed to have a little patience, and we did just fine. That’s exactly what we needed to make it through Paula Lambert of (Dallas) Mozzarella Company’s line.  They won the prize for most people salivating one after the other, anticipating the taste of the fresh olive bread smothered in creamy mozzarella that awaited them. I grabbed mine and walked straight to the back for seconds.

Before we left the event full-hearted and full-bellied of soup, cookies, tarts, breads, meatballs, dumplings and more, NTFB encouraged everyone to stop by the silent auction table on their way out. A tent in the courtyard housed hundreds and hundreds of empty bowls, of which, one of your choosing was complimentary with your general admission ticket. It was a token of their appreciation for your attendance to the event that you soon realize impacts more people than one would have thought. In a way, you leave the NTFB Empty Bowls event feeling slightly guilty from the enjoyment you just experienced, but when you realize every moment of your time there was for the best cause you’ll ever support; humility sets in, and you smile at the potential good your good-time just did.


(Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary ticket, and all thoughts are my own. For more details on how you can support NTFB please visit their website.)