Judges

THE LUCKY TASTERS

JUDGES

2019 JUDGES
RUSSELL KIRKPATRICK

Russell Kirkpatrick is the general manager of Reata, one of Fort Worth’s most iconic restaurants, as well as the executive director and co-founder of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival.

For over the last decade, Russell has been an integral part of Reata, which is recognized throughout the Southwest for legendary cuisine and casual elegance. From the expansive dining room on the ground floor to the rooftop bar and dining patio, this 20,000-square-foot restaurant continues to set the standards for the Fort Worth dining scene, and Russell plays a significant role in its success.

In the spring of 2014, Russell helped raise the profile of the Fort Worth culinary community to new heights as executive director and co-founder of the Fort Worth Food + Wine Festival. Russell’s passion and dedication laid the foundation for the festival, and he was the creative force behind the festival’s popular events and programs. Over four days, thousands of patrons celebrated the city’s culinary excellence at a wide range of venues, from Billy’s Bob’s to Bass Performance Hall, from Sundance Square to Edwards Ranch. As executive director, Russell was privileged to work with and direct some of Fort Worth’s most prominent chefs and artisans, including Richard King, Fritz and Erin Rahr, Troy Robertson, Jon Bonnell and many others. He worked closely with sponsors and partners, and led a dedicated group of volunteers who helped bring together the largest festival of its kind in Fort Worth history. Without question, the festival has helped further Fort Worth’s reputation as a culinary force in the Southwest and the U.S.

BARRETT BLACK

Barrett Black is a 4th Generation Pitmaster at Black’s Barbecue in Legendary Lockhart. Every chance he got, he was at the restaurant learning from his grandparents. After college, he came back to the business for what he thought would be only a few months but has turned into 10 years of continuing the family tradition and finding new ways to honor his past, while looking to the future with his award-winning and popular new flavors. With his dad, brother and now over 150 team members, Black’s has grown to 4 locations, has appeared on many TV shows, won many awards and most importantly, made millions of people happy through serving old school Texas barbecue with a smile.

Awards Won

  • Lamb Jam 2019 Best in Show
  • Lamb Jam 2018 Best in Category (Latin)
  • Best New Restaurant Nominee, Culturemap 2014
  • Contributed to numerous other awards for the restaurant.

Dishes Created

  • Smoked Chicken and Belgian Sugar Waffles
  • Smoked Brisket Fat Masa Tamales
  • Smoked Lamb Neck Masa Cakes with Mexican Coke Mole Sauce
  • Smoked Lamb neck Tacos with Pear Pico and Sweet Ancho Chili Goat Cheese Spread
  • Bruleed Sausage Peach Cobbler
  • Flaming Bourbon Maple Jalapeno Donut Sausage Sandwich
  • Smokey Brisket Fat Biscuits
  • Mashmallo Sweet Potatoes
  • Mexican Street Corn off the cob
  • Jalapeno Sausage Mac and Cheese with Tequila Pico
  • And more…

TV Show and Movie Appearances

  • Franken Food as Guest Judge
  • Burgers Brew and Cue
  • Science of Brisket
  • Spokesman for Netherlands Grocery Chain
  • And more…
RICHARD KING

Richard King is co-owner, general manager and wine aficionado at Ellerbe Fine Foods, the award-winning farm-to-table restaurant and market located in Fort Worth’s Near Southside district. Richard is a native of Shreveport, La., but he has called Fort Worth home since 1994, when he enrolled at TCU, majoring in communications and business, graduating in 1998.

In 2008, after a long career in the restaurant industry starting as busboy, then front-of-house operations and management, and finally sales and consulting, Richard opened Ellerbe Fine Foods with childhood friend and fellow food and wine enthusiast, Chef Molly McCook. While Chef McCook produces Ellerbe’s award-winning dishes and seasonal menus, Richard develops the wine list and manages the restaurant, working the dining rooms almost every night to ensure his diners’ absolute satisfaction at Fort Worth’s finest restaurant. As a result, Ellerbe Fine Foods has earned a variety of notable awards, including Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant in America, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year, and has twice won Open Table’s Diner’s Choice Award for Top 100 American Fare Restaurants in the US, among others.

Richard extends his passion for Fort Worth, food, wine and hospitality beyond the walls of Ellerbe, giving back time, energy, and Ellerbe services to a multitude of local charities. In particular, he serves as a founding board member of the Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival, as a member of the BRIT Fête du Vin International Wine judging committee, and on the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council. He’s also worked closely with the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau since Ellerbe’s opening day to help the CVB shine a spotlight on Fort Worth culinary scene and community, encouraging tourism to and media attention Fort Worth. Richard, a proud Horned Frog, shares his extensive wine knowledge with the TCU community when he teaches classes through the Extended Education program. He also regularly hosts wine dinners and wine tastings with other local oenophiles in the Fort Worth market.

Richard and Chef McCook founded Ellerbe Fine Foods on the premise of fresh, seasonal, local food and wine, the success of which depends on strong relationships with farmers and purveyors. The Ellerbe owners source their food and boutique wines responsibly, working tirelessly to promote local farmers to the community, bringing awareness to the farmers’ products through Ellerbe cuisine to therefore help to ensure the farms’ success.

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