To survive and thrive, artists need patrons. Dallas has a great food scene, not just because of the chefs and food producers, but because of the people here who are passionate about eating well.
The city has had its share of great diners and food supporters: Harriet Rose, Carol Hall, “the two Nancys,” Dedman and Lemmon, Ida Pappert–all non-professionals who gave their time, energy and palates to the cause of better eating in Dallas.
One of these, Polly Waddington, died Saturday.
Polly and her husband Don joined the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food as soon as they moved back to Dallas from New York in 1991 and have been actively involved in the Dallas food scene every since. They volunteered at the Dallas Farmers Market Cooking Classes, co-sponsored by the AIWF and the Friends of the Farmers Market, every Saturday for 20 years, supported Les Dames d’Escoffier and made friends throughout the Dallas food community along the way.
Polly’s favorite cause was AIWF’s Days of Taste program, which teaches children about real food, where it comes from and how to enjoy it, just as she had taught her own children–David Waddington, wine director at Sigel’s on Greenville Ave., food writer Mary Brown Malouf and Helen Duran, longtime chef at the Crescent Club, who is now culinary director for Coppell ISD, carrying on her mother’s legacy.
Polly and Don were passengers on both D Magazine chef cruises (2003, 2004). (Polly won the ” loudest yell for tequila” contest in Bermuda!) They also joined a group that traveled with me to Cornwall on a trip former Dallas chef Nick Barclay and I organized in 2002. We spent ten glorious days at Barclay’s Hotel and ate our way across southwest England. Polly and Don were frequent dining companions on my restaurant reviews. That is, until they I got “busted” one too many times. Most chefs and restaurant workers recognized them as dining royalty and knew I was their loyal subject.
Services for Polly Waddington will be held Wednesday at 1:00 pm at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas.