Aroma Blooms: An Evening at the Dallas Arboretum’s Tasteful Place

by Adam Zoblotsky on May 16, 2019 in Food, Living Texas, Dallas/Fort Worth,

So much can be said for the importance of environment. Take, for instance, the beautiful gardens of the Dallas Arboretum. A modern day refuge of flowers and plants, it is a true escape for Dallas locals needing some oxygen.

A Tasteful Place, the Dallas Arboretum’s garden/pavilion/kitchen combo, is the perfect backdrop to cooking demonstrations. While strolling through the garden of seasonal herbs, it’s easy to see what opportunities await.

Home to regular cooking demos and daily tastings, A Tasteful Place at the Dallas Arboretum is a 3.5-acre garden, pavilion and kitchen inspired by the movement toward growing and eating fresh, sustainable, locally-grown food. Photo Adam Zoblotsky

On a recent early spring evening, a crowd gathered in this lush setting. There was anticipation in the air. In this environment, with senses percolating, inspiration doubles with each scent of seasonal aromas. For this, the group turned to Steve DeShazo and, accompanying him on this evening, Chef Alison Matis.

And it turned out that the savvy folks at Dallas Arboretum had found the perfect location to turn reluctant “I don’t want to cook” folks into, “there’s something cool about cooking”.

Guest chef at A Tasteful Place, Steve DeShazo is Director of the nationally recognized Food and Hospitality Institute at El Centro College in Downtown Dallas. Photo Adam Zoblotsky

The key ingredient in the transformation being DeShazo. It’s no surprise DeShazo has this talent. He sits at the intersection of culinary and education. In many ways he is a dream builder, as the Director of the nationally recognized Food and Hospitality Institute at El Centro College in Downtown Dallas.

Restaurants turn to DeShazo and future sous chefs enroll to be taught. He is a major force in the Dallas food scene and his passion inspires the next generation. This former Navy cook has been lauded throughout his extensive and varied career. Now DeShazo’s in the business of creating the future of professional culinary leadership. And, as was evident at the Dallas Arboretum, kindling and fanning the enthusiasm of amateur cooks.


Cover photo Adam Zoblotsky
Adam Zoblotsky is Creative Director at Restaurant Pixel, a Texas-based design and photography agency