Top Chefs Create One-of-a-Kind Pies to Raise Scholarship Funds

Press Release Highlights

  • The Piehole Project pie auction returns for the third year
  • The online auction runs from October 17-27
  • Piehole Project pie auction will feature unique pies prepared by 39 chefs and bakers including Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate, John Tesar of Knife, and Junior Borges of Meridian.
  • Piehole Project is expanding into Austin with 17 Austin chefs providing pies for auction
  • The event is expected to raise $40,000 for Chefs for Tomorrow Scholarship which funds scholarships to culinary programs at Dallas College, Collin College, Johnson & Wales, and more.
  • FestEvents Foundation is led by Alison Matis and Chery Weis, co-founders of FestEvents Group, an event production company specializing in festivals, galas, and food-centric special events. 

DALLAS, TX (DATE) – The most pie-ous fundraiser of the year is happening October 17-27 when the third annual Piehole Project’s pie auction takes place online. This year’s auction features 39 unique pies from North Texas’ top chefs and bakers who will create and donate pies to raise funds for culinary scholarships. Piehole Project founders Alison Matis and Cheryl Weis expect the event, which has expanded to include 17 Austin chefs, to raise $40,000 for students.

The auction will take place online at and starts at 8 am October 17, concluding at 8 pm October 27.  Winning bidders will be contacted by Piehole Project representatives to arrange delivery of the pies. 

Knife’s Chef John Tesar, a Michelin Star winner for his Orlando restaurant Knife and Spoon, is creating a Caviar Pie for this year’s auction. “I wanted to do something savory and kind of retro,” Tesar said, “And I used to make a Caviar Pie in the 80s in New York.” This year’s event theme is Celebrating the 80s, which makes this luxurious pie a perfect entry. 

The Piehole Projects 2022 Chefs

Matt BalkeEncina
Jill BatesCafe Momentum
Jeff BekavacCane Rosso, Zoli’s, Thunderbird Pies
Dunia BorgaLa Duni Baking Studio
Junior BorgesMeridian
Justin BoxChef Justin Box
Keith CedotalKEESH
Katherine ClapnerDude Sweet
Steve DeShazoDallas College
Eric DreyerMonarch Restaurant
Joshua Gianni FarrellWill Call
Dean FearingFearing’s
Matt FordBilly Can Can
Donna GriffinGarden Cafe
Joshua HarmonBirdie
Jeffrey HobbsSlow Bone BBQ
Maggie HuffHomewood
Sean JettHumble: Simply Good Pies
Jeana JohnsonTalbot-Hill Ranch
Susan LorTJs Seafood Market
Mike MatisFearing’s Restaurant
Andrea MeyerBisous Bisous Patisserie
Misti NorrisPetra and the Beast/STEPCHILD
Joel OrsiniProfound Microfarms/Allevare
Chris PatrickBright Box Foods
Nikky PhinyawatanaAsian Mint
Daniel Pittman33 Restaurant Group
Janice ProvostParigi
Anastacia Quinones-PittmanJosé
Kent RathbunImoto
Jeramie RobisonThompson Dallas
Andrea ShackelfordHarvest Seasonal Kitchen
Graham ShockleyOcean Beauty Seafood Dallas
Jon StevensStock & Barrel
John TesarKnife
David UygurLucia
Sharon Van MeterBeckley 1115
Nick WalkerThe Village Dallas
Ashleigh WrightDallas Cowboys @ The Star

Since launching the Piehole Project in 2020, Matis and Weis have raised and donated more than $30,000 for students such as Le Bich Ngoc Vo who studied BLANK at UNT and Tyrone Crawford who students Blank at Dallas College.

Quote from scholarship student.

This year’s Piehole Project theme is “Celebrate the 80s,” which is carried through in the pie flavors and photos. In the 1980s, culinary trends included blackened redfish, New Coke, and Vol au Vents. Culinary schools and programs in the United States were few and very expensive. Workforce development in the restaurant industry meant getting your foot in the door at a restaurant and working for next to nothing. Matis and Weis chose this theme as a fun way to celebrate the progress made in workforce development, and fashion, since then.

To apply for a Chefs of Tomorrow Scholarship, visit URL To learn more about FestEvents, visit

About FestEvents Group and FestEvents Foundation 

FestEvents Group is Dallas’ premier event production company that specializes in food-centric festivals, galas, fundraisers, and public and private events. Founded in 2017 by Alison Matis and Cheryl Weis, FestEvents has planned and executed some of the most successful events in Dallas, including Taste of Dallas, Dallas Arboretum Food & Wine Festival, Chefs for Farmers, and Go Oak Cliff’s Mardi Gras parade. 

FestEvents Foundation is a 501c3 organization that supports workforce development in the restaurant and hospitality industries in North Texas.  Founded by Alison Matis and Cheryl Weis in 2019, FestEvents Foundation engages in strategic partnerships with like-minded 

organizations in the Food & Beverage industry to provide scholarships, professional development, and assistance to those looking to make a career in the restaurant industry. 

CONTACT: Kersten Rettig