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Bits and Bites, the annual fundraiser for El Centro College’s culinary school, will be held April 14 at the Dallas Arboretum.

​Contact: Priscilla Staley

For immediate release — March 27, 2019

(DALLAS) — El Centro College wants to “Keep Dallas Tasty” by showcasing the gastronomic skills of more than 30 prominent area chefs — as well as the college’s culinary arts students — during a special event at the Dallas Arboretum on Sunday, April 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. The event also is an opportunity for Dallas-area foodies to become Culinary Patrons who support Bits and Bites 2019.

Presented by El Centro’s Food and Hospitality Institute (FHI), Bits and Bites offers food lovers from across the metroplex an opportunity to experience innovative, chef-curated bites and wine pairings. Proceeds from the event are placed in a fund which is used to enhance and expand El Centro’s FHI, a culinary program that has been training and educating Dallas-Fort Worth’s food and hospitality workforce for more than 40 years! This year’s event will honor Doug Brooks, former chairman and CEO of Brinker International.

General admission tickets are $65 and can be purchased in advance online at

El Centro’s Culinary Patrons of Dallas sponsors will have access to an exclusive VIP experience featuring curated celebrity chef food and wine, starting with an Old-Fashioned cocktail from Grapevine-based Tahwahkaro Distilling Company, followed by elevated small plates which will be paired with wines from 4R Winery in Muenster. The small plates will be created by Chef Junior Borges, Chef Alex Astranti of Uchi and pastry Chef Casey Nicole. The VIP experience also includes a finish featuring custom-roasted, pour-over coffee from Full City Rooster.

A Culinary Patron-level sponsorship for Bits and Bites is $500. Visit to become a Patron.

Bits and Bites offers food lovers an opportunity to experience innovative, chef-curated bites and wine pairings.

Brooks, this year’s Bits and Bites honoree, started his career after he graduated from the University of Houston as a manager-trainee at Chili’s second location and eventually led the Brinker International family of restaurants. He has influenced and served as an innovator for the casual dining industry in the U.S.

“Doug has been on the leading edge of our industry for many years, and he has touched scores of lives in meaningful and impactful ways,” said Steve DeShazo, director of El Centro’s FHI. “Doug is respected beyond measure not only in the restaurant industry but also across many communities for the work he continues to do with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He has created a legacy, based on his name, demeanor and humble spirit, which makes his accomplishments even more inspirational.”
More than 150 accomplished chefs in the Dallas area received their formal training at the Food and Hospitality Institute at El Centro College, including Richard Chamberlain of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House and Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill; Nathan Tate of Boulevardier and Rapscallion; Dunia Borga of LaDuni Restaurants; Marc Cassel of 20 Feet Seafood Joint; and Chad Houser of Café Momentum.

For ticket information, contact Cindy Bozzelli-Duke at 214-860-2213 or email her at Visit for complete details about Bits & Bites 2019.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Adrienne Thompson, senior director of strategic partnership development in the DCCCD Foundation office, at 214-378-1571 or email her at

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