Food Series on Elm | Featuring Celebrity Chef, Ben Starr

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Food Series on Elm | Featuring Celebrity Chef, Ben Starr

February 14 @ 7:00 pm - February 15 @ 10:00 pm

Native Abilene cousins Kendra Lyon Duke and Ben Starr are teaming up this Valentine’s weekend to bring a fresh, modern take on BBQ to a select group of in-the-know Abilene foodies. Those attending the event will experience Chef Starr’s culinary expertise while enjoying their meal at SoDA District’s historic Ark. Nothing in this corner of the state will compare to this unforgettable Valentine’s evening. Scroll to the bottom to find out how to get on the guest list.

Starr, a Wylie and ACU alum, was the fan favorite on Season 2 of Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef, and later went on to collaborate at FRANK, a unique underground fine-dining concept in Dallas that was described by USA today as the best restaurant in Texas in 2017.

His menu theme is based on SMOKE! The menu will feature complementary drinks, Texas ingredients, and explore the use of smoke in unique and nontraditional ways. Think chicken-fried Bandera quail, smoked over rosemary branches, and Texas-raised certified Akaushi Wagyu ribeye from the Beeman Ranch, smoked over sweet, sugary Mesquite beans, rather than the harsh, pungent smoke we West Texas folk are accustomed to from the tree’s wood. There will be lots of unusual smoke making appearances all over the menu, from cedar smoke in the welcome drink, to green tea smoked shrimp.

Duke, an Abilene Native and ACU alum, has been active with her husband Noah in the revitalization of the SODA district, renovating a historic warehouse into a their home and contemporary space on Elm Street. They love to curate events and create unique experiences for the Abilene Area.

Space is limited, and a deposit is required to reserve a seat at this very unique affair. This dinner is invitation only. To get on the guest list select “going” and “reserve your spot” on the FB page then be sure to give us your email address.

The two valentines dinners will take place on February 14th + 15th at 7pm.

A suggested donation will be sent to your email address upon invitation.


February 14 @ 7:00 pm
February 15 @ 10:00 pm
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SoDA District Courtyard
834 S 3rd St
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(325) 518-4329