Three forces combined this past weekend to produce one heck of an event. The Uchi Dallas team brought their culinary smarts to the Parliament team of all-star adult beverage “chefs” (I think they hate being called mixologists) for Japanese-inspired cocktails and food all in the name of charity. A $25 ticket gave guests a choice of one out of five out-of-this-world cocktails and unlimited bites from Uchi. While that price seems quite high for one cocktail – additional drinks only cost $5 each – 100% of the proceeds went to an outstanding non-profit, Promise of Peace Gardens (P.O.P.), a group that transforms unwanted land into thriving gardens.
Additionally, P.O.P. teaches low-income families about sustainable living and portions of produce grown in P.O.P. gardens supply several Dallas-area food pantries. Eddie “Lucky” Campbell, the mega-star Dallas bartender with a personality to match tells it better here.
How did this idea come to fruition? Hold on tightly…Elizabeth Dryer, founding director of P.O.P. tells me that Alex Astranti, current Chef de Cuisine at Uchi Dallas leased two garden plots from P.O.P. when he worked at Top Knot. According to Dryer, Astranti and his team would come to garden while his wife and baby sat on a picnic blanket. Astranti then moved to Uchi and met current Uchi Sous Chef Chad Graybill, who falls in love with Parliament upon moving back to Dallas. Listen to Graybill describe the rest of the story here.
- While you can’t order the cocktails from this pop-up at Parliament, rest assured that they will make you other inventive cocktails or the classics. Don’t miss their happy hour, Monday through Saturday, 5p-8p for $4 drinks. Say what???!
- Speaking of happy hour, surely you know about one of Dallas’ best happy hours at Uchi.
- Help support Promise of Peace Gardens by buying their produce at the new Wednesday night Casa Linda farmer’s market from 3p-7p or donate here!
Forgive the brief descriptions. The most exceptional and charismatic Parliament bartenders – Eddie, Jesse, Jeremy-Squared (there were two of them) and Matt – eagerly told us multiple times what was in each concoction but with the ingredient list often topping out at five items my memory could only retain the main liquor. At least I managed to get a video of this crazy molecular gastronomy-type cocktail!
*All photos are always taken by me unless otherwise noted and remain my property.