Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Bits & Bites annual fundraiser to return

Isabel Velazquez

Bits & Bites, Dallas College’s annual event, will return April 21 for its 17th year, featuring DJ Randy Senter. The event will be held 6-8 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum’s A Tasteful Place.

Bits & Bites celebrates culinary and hospitality culture. Students work alongside some of Dallas’ best chefs to highlight how Dallas College connects students to their future careers in the industry. Students will serve 18,000 plates of food and experience hands-on training and professional development.

The fundraiser is for the Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality Department. The money helps support and fund program enhancements, student and industry engagement, student certifications and faculty professional certifications.

“Many restaurants in hotels employ our students and alumni, and so Bits & Bites is where we celebrate the work that we do, and it has become so successful that now it is one of Dallas College’s signature events,” Steve DeShazo, senior director of Workforce and Career Connected Learning at Dallas College, said.

This year, the event will feature 32 presenting chefs who will offer dishes for guests and attendees to enjoy. 

Emily Williams Knight, president and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association, will be the 2024 Bits & Bites honoree. Knight led the Texas restaurant industry through the COVID-19 pandemic, advocating for around 1.3 million employees and over 50,000 business owners to promote, protect and advance the Texas restaurant industry.

“I am honored to have been selected as this year’s recipient.” Knight said. Knight attended her first Bits & Bites event five years ago, when she became CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association.

Knight said, “I feel this year’s event will be a celebration of my tenure, but also a celebration of how far the industry has come after enduring the most difficult time in its history.”

Each year, volunteers at the event are provided with free Dallas College logo Bits & Bites chef coats compliments of Mercer Culinary, one of the event sponsors.

Sheila Hyde, chair for the Dallas College Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality Department, said Bits & Bites occurs after the SkillsUSA Texas State Leadership and Skill Conference.

SkillsUSA is a development organization for students to help them become skilled professionals, career-ready leaders and responsible community members, according to their website. “The students who win medals wear them to the event and get to talk to people about their successes, accomplishments and future plans,” Hyde said.

Tickets start at $85 for one registrant. There are VIP levels available for friends, patrons and partners. 

Tickets for Dallas College students and employees are $50. To purchase tickets, visit

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