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Tyler, TX Embraces Local Food, Farm-to-Table Movement

Residents, businesses heartily support area producers.

By Jessica Walker Boehm on November 23, 2015

Restaurant at Kiepersol Vineyard in Tyler, TX
Tyler / Frank Ordoñez

The farm-to-table movement has taken over Tyler, where it’s easier than ever to enjoy locally produced foods and beverages. The community has easy access to wineries and breweries that offer sweet sips and craft brews, as well as farmers markets and cooking classes for those eager to experiment with – and taste – local fare.

Tyler-Produced Wine, Beer and Spirits

Pelle Legna, a Tyler vineyard and winery, produces estate-grown fine wines in varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, pinot noir, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and moscato – just to name a few. While on-site tours and tastings are available by appointment, Pelle Legna wines are also offered at local restaurants like Currents Restaurant & Bar, Dakotas Prime Steak and Chop House, Lago del Pino and Villa Montez.

“The local support has been overwhelming,” says Dawn Leatherwood, proprietor of Pelle Legna. “Tyler folks really have a deep appreciation for community, and they love celebrating their neighbors’ endeavors and dreams.”

Tyler is also home to Kiepersol, which includes a 63-acre vineyard, winery, distillery, restaurant and bed-and-breakfast. In addition to estate-grown wines in several varieties, Kiepersol produces award-winning spirits including Dirk’s Texas Vodka, Jimmy’s Texas Bourbon and Pierre’s Texas Rum. Several local restaurants serve Kiepersol’s wines and spirits such as Cork Tyler, Rotolo’s Pizzeria and Juls.

“Tyler is very locally loyal and appreciates the finer details of service, quality food and consistency,” says Pierre de Wet, Kiepersol’s founder.

Producing craft beer in a 10-barrel brewhouse, Tyler’s True Vine Brewing Co. offers eight ales including Rose City, a pale ale; Mermaids & Unicorns, a mythical blonde; Polycarp, an India pale ale; Promised Land, a sweet and creamy Belgian ale; True Culture, an oatmeal coffee porter; Kip’s, a pumpkin ale; Bon Hefe, a Belgian wheat; and Rose From the Dead, a black IPA. True Vine brews can be found at local establishments like Studio Movie Grill, Fresh 801 Grill and Rose City Draft House and Bar.

Tyler Farmers Markets and Cooking Classes

Home cooks head to Tyler’s farmers markets to pick up fresh, locally grown ingredients. From May to August, the East Texas State Fair Farmers Market takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays, while the Rose City Farmers Market is in operation from the spring until November on Saturdays. In addition, the Tyler Farmers Market opens at the end of May and runs through the end of August, taking place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Tyler’s food scene also includes cooking classes, giving residents the opportunity to learn to create meals using local ingredients. For example, Let’s Cook Tyler offers hands-on classes lasting approximately two hours in a professional teaching kitchen, and The Kitchen Drawer features canning and food preservation classes, as well as cooking classes focusing on creating seasonal dishes.

The City of Tyler hosts cooking classes, too, with local chefs and caterers guiding participants. Previous instructors include Chef Jonathan Evola from Tuscan Slice, Chef Dion Emanuel from Willow Brook Country Club, Chef Jack Lewis from Jack’s Catering, and Chefs Brian Arnold and Jodie Meyer from Eclectic Catering.

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