OK, this may be a month or so away, but as you’ll see, it’s worth planning ahead for and making advanced arrangements. A while back, we alerted you to an event where fine chefs prepared inventive takes on cafeteria food, and here we have an0ther seemingly casual affair where some of the areas finest chefs let their hair down for a bit (but not without a hair net, of course!)

Chef’s Picnic at the Lake in Dallas on June 26th from 12pm – 3pm is going to be quite the celebration, indeed. There are other notable causes that tie-in to this event, above and beyond the food, of course. Two Dallas-area institutions are celebrating 100 year Anniversary: White Rock Lake and The Dallas Chapter of the Red Cross.

Check out the Press release for the full information:

Featuring a picnic lunch prepared by Dallas’ top chefs, served from the original Bath House concession stand, along with beer, wine and refreshments from Ben E. Keith, music, and exhibition of old-school photographs and memorabilia from White Rock Lake and the American Red Cross – Dallas Area Chapter and more, Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake will transport guests to a time when White Rock Lake was the staple of summertime in Dallas. 

Deep Eddy Sweet Tea vodka will be serving up signature cocktails including the Minty Deep Daily, The Skinny Dip and The Deep Eddy Splash.

Leading a team of DFW’s finest Chefs, The Grape’s Brian C. Luscher along with Janice Provost, Parigi; Marc Cassel, Peavy Road (coming soon); Graham Dodds, Bolsa; Jeff Harris, RedFork; Nathan Tate and Randall Copeland, Restaurant Ava; Diane and Justin Fourton, Pecan Lodge; and Hollie Dorethy, Personal Chef, prepare an extraordinary seated picnic luncheon with their unique spin on the traditional al fresco-fare.

Proceeds from Chefs’ Picnic at the Lakebenefit the American Red Cross – Dallas Area Chapter and the Comerica White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration which will help fund ten capital projects to include enhancing hike and bike trails, improving parking lots, renovating White Rock Dog Park, restoring the park forests and more.

Sponsors to date include Comerica White Rock Lake Centennial Celebration, Ben E. Keith, The Grape, Highland Park Cafeteria and the American Red Cross – Dallas Chapter.

Tickets are $55 per person in advance and include complimentary valet parking at The Bath House Cultural Center, located at 521 East Lawther Drive in Dallas.  For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.highlandparkcafeteria.com or call 214-632-0784.

Chefs’ Picnic at the Lake is held in conjunction with The Beach Party of the Century hosted by For the Love of the Lake with support from White Rock Lake Foundation and the Friends of the Bath House.  For a full list of events June 25-26 and to purchase tickets go to www.whiterocklake.org or call 214-660-1100.

“Organic” is everywhere. It is on the labels of salads, meats, and even snack food. It is on many different restaurant menus. However, the FDA’s rules for labeling something “organic” are vague and sometimes products’ labels mislead consumers.   In some ways, the only way to ensure that one’s food is organic is to know exactly where and how the food is grown. In comes the “local-vore”(sometimes called “locavore) movement, which focuses on buying locally-grown, organic produce.

Urban Acres is a part of the Dallas local-vore and certifiably-organic movement.  While it may be considered “out of the way” for some located in the suburbs of Dallas, I found that the products carried in the Urban Acres Farm Store in Oak Cliff were well worth the trip. Since I was not familiar with the area, it took me a while to find it.  Of course, this was mostly due to my poor sense of direction as they have a perfectly visible vinyl sign over their doorway.

Once in, I bought a few necessary items such as milk and cheese that was produced locally from grass-fed cows, and organic root beer.  One really nice addition is that most of their displays tell customers about the product, including where it is from.

Urban Acres is a co-op in which members pay a $50 annual fee, a one-time $12 bin fee and a choice of full share $50 or half share $25 every other week.  Becoming a member gives you access to “chalkboards sales,” and certain local produce items not found in the Urban Acres Farm Store.  Also, it saves time because you don’t have to drive to the supermarket, pick out which produce, meats and other items you will need for the week, and drive home.  Instead, members can pick up their bins each week from any of the Urban Acres Farm Stand locations or the Urban Acres Farm Store.

Even their t-shirts are made from organic cotton.

Urban Acres Farm Stands are located in Addison, Irving, White Rock Lake and Park Cities.  Currently, the only Urban Acres Farm Store is located at 1301 B West Davis St. but plans for more Farm Stores are in the works.

If you don’t want to become a member, you can check out the Urban Acres Farm Store since it is open to anyone. The store is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9am-7pm and Sundays from noon-5pm.  When shopping at Urban Acres, keep in mind that they only accept cash or check.   Also, it is a good idea to check out their website, www.urbanacresmarket.com.  There you will not only find out information on how to join the co-op and directions to their Farm Stands and Store, but you will also find recipes on how to cook products offered by Urban Acres.