The founding members of the SA Chef Coalition want what every chef wants: They want people to have a good meal and come back for more.
But they want something more.
They want that meal to showcase the best produce and meats of the immediate region, and they want the food prepared in way that reflects the finest San Antonio has to offer.
To that end, the group of chefs got together for a family-style dinner under the loquat and oak trees that line the patio of Tre Trattoria on Broadway. Guests had to bring their own plates, silverware and wine glasses, while God provided perfect weather. The food, meanwhile, came from farms such as Oak Hills and My Father’s Farm.
The chefs lineup included John Brand of Las Canarias and Ostra, Chad Carey of the Monterrey, Jason Dady of Tre Trattoria and Bin 555 among other ventures, David Gilbert of Sustenio, Steven McHugh of Lüke, San Antonio native Jesse Perez, Michael Sohocki of Restaurant Gwendolyn and Andrew Weissman of Il Sogno and the Sandbar.
The evening began with Rebecca Creek whiskey sours and a series of appetizers that ranged from an array of charcuterie, a little bit of everything from oxtail terrine to calf’s liver sausage, to a carrot purée and grilled spring onions.
Two salads, one featuring fresh greens while the other boasted several types of beets, preceded a main course of chicken, braised beef cheeks and numerous side dishes, such as creamy polenta, grits and a farro dish. Dessert features strawberries and whipped cream with a colorful Pop Rocks-influenced topping.
The chefs are planning future events that will include more San Antonio chefs, Dady said.
Each of the dinners will benefit a local charity, with the proceeds from the first dinner going to help the culinary programs at three area high schools, Perez said.
For details on more Chef Coalition events, follow SAChefCoalition on Twitter.
Until then, “get off your asses and get out and eat,” Dady said.
(Photographs by John Griffin and Bonnie Walker.)