Nothing says Texas in August like okra. While the rest of us wither in the triple-digit heat, the little stalks reach for the sky and pop out all over with pods.

Every year about this time, Elizabeth Dry cranks up Okrapalooza to celebrate the sometimes maligned, often misunderstood vegetable, and to benefit her Promise of Peace community and school gardens. The theme for Okrapalooza 2020: The Dawning of Okrarius.

Unlike past madcap celebrations, this year’s benefit on Sept. 6 will be scaled back and tailored to COVID-19 protocols, as eight chefs compete with their most enticing okra dishes on the patio of BrainDead Brewing in Deep Ellum. The chefs will be behind walk-up windows serving their creations, and social distancing and masking will be observed at all times unless you are sitting at a table with your party, Dry says. This year, the event is limited to 50 attendees.

Among the competing chefs are Diana Zamora with Project La Familia, Olivia Genthe (Fount Board & Table), BrainDead’s Taylor McCreary, Julien Eelsen (Whisk Crepe Café) and Suki Otsuki (Meddlesome Moth). They’re in it to win it, of course, but the real winners are the kids and other community gardeners.

Okrapalooza 2020 takes place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 6. BrainDead Brewing, 2625 Main St. Tickets: $60. Find the event link to purchase tickets on the Promise of Peace Gardens Facebook page.

Chef Anastacia Quinones of Oddfellows won best okra dish at Okrapalooza in 2017.
Chef Anastacia Quinones of Oddfellows won best okra dish at Okrapalooza in 2017. (2017 File Photo / Ben Torres)

Farmers markets

Clearfork Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 4801 Edwards Ranch Road, Fort Worth (The Trailhead at Clearfork). farmersmarket1848.com

Coppell Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. 768 W. Main St., off Bethel Road. 972-304-7043. coppellfarmersmarket.org

Cowtown Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Wednesdays. 3821 Southwest Blvd., Fort Worth, under the tents in the parking lot of Texas Outdoors, on the Weatherford traffic circle (the confluence of U.S. 377, State Highway 183 and Camp Bowie). 817-763-0193. Facebook: Cowtown Farmers Market. 

Dallas Farmers Market: The Shed, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Closed Monday-Thursday. The Market food hall, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (until 8 p.m. Fridays). 1010 S. Pearl Expressway. 214-664-9110. dallasfarmersmarket.org

Denton Community Market: 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. 317 W. Mulberry St. dentoncommunitymarket.com.

Edens Organic Garden Center and CSA Farm: Market days, 9 a.m. to noon first, third and fifth Saturdays through December. 4710 Pioneer Road, Balch Springs. edensorganicfarm.com.

Farmers Market of Grapevine: Year-round store: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 520 S. Main. farmersmarketofgrapevine.com

Frisco Fresh Market: Outdoor market 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Main Street at Frisco Street, adjacent to the east side parking lot of Toyota Stadium, Frisco. friscofreshmarket.com.

Frisco Rotary Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Frisco Square, 6048 Frisco Blvd. Friscorotaryfarmersmarket.com

Four Seasons Market-Carrollton: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. 2722 N. Josey Lane. fourseasonsmarkets.com

Four Seasons Market-Glade Park: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. 1220 Chisholm Trail, Euless. fourseasonsmarkets.com.

Four Seasons-Las Colinas: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. 7701 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving. fourseasonsmarkets.com.

Four Seasons Market–MacArthur Park: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. 7701 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving.fFourseasonsmarkets.com.

Four Seasons Market-Richardson: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Dal-Rich Towne Square, 101 S. Coit Road. fourseasonsmarkets.com.

Georgia’s Farmers Market: Open daily. 916 15th St., Plano. 972-516-4765. Facebook: Georgia’s Farmers Market.

Grand Prairie Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The 2020 season begins June 20. Market Square, 121 W. Main St. gptx.org.

Historic McKinney Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Chestnut Square Historic Village, 315 S. Chestnut St., McKinney. 972-562-8790. Facebook: Historic McKinney Farmers Market.

Lakewood Village Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. Mockingbird at Abrams, Dallas. goodlocalmarkets.org.

Lola’s Local Market: Noon to 6 p.m. Fridays, noon to 4 p.m., Saturdays-Sundays. Home of Lola the Pig. 1771 Kever Main (off State Highway 5), Melissa. Facebook: Lola’s Local Market. 

Luscombe Farm Market: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every second and fourth Sunday. 8649 Luscombe Farm Drive, Anna. 214-212-0814. luscombefarm.com.

Mesquite Marketplace: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every second and fourth Saturday. Heritage Square, 150 W. Main St. themarketplacedfw.com.

Railcar Farmers Market of Van Alstyne: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Main Street at Cooper, Van Alstyne. Facebook: Railcar Farmers Market of Van Alstyne.

Ridgmar Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. 900 State Highway 183 N. (across from Ridgmar Mall), Fort Worth. 817-246-7525. 

Rockwall Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon, Saturdays. 101 Rusk St., historic downtown Rockwall square. rockwallfarmersmarket.org.

St. Michael’s Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. North parking lot, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 8011 Douglas Ave., Dallas. saintmichaelsmarket.com.

West Plano Farmers Market: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Corner of Plano Parkway and Chapel Hill. The Shops at Willow Bend, 6121 W. Park Blvd. Facebook: Red Tent Markets.

White Rock Farmers Market: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Lake Pointe Church, 9150 Garland Road, Dallas. goodlocalmarkets.org.

8 Dallas chefs make magic with okra to benefit school veggie gardens

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