Indulge your carnivorous cravings at the Southern Smoke Food Festival for a cause in Houston this fall. The three-day festival is your chance to raise funds for food and beverage workers and meet the makers – of the best barbecue the Lone Star State has to offer, that is.
The Southern Smoke Foundation was started by James Beard award-winning Chris Shepherd in 2015 as a way to provide relief for workers in the food and beverage industry during times of crisis. Since then, the organization has donated nearly $10 million to industry workers through its Emergency Relief Fund.
From October 21 to 23, the finger-licking festival will take place at Lott Hall at Hermann Park 1700 Hermann Dr. Hosted by Aaron Franklin of Franklin’s Barbecue and Loro, the festival will feature the very best of the pitmasters who put the pedal to the metal when serving up Houstonians their fall-off-the-bone bites.
Put a fork in all your barbecue favorites: brisket, sausage, pulled pork, and ribs – all (meat-based) food groups are here and accounted for.
With a setlist of over 60 chefs, including Aaron Bludorn of Bludorn, Chris Costentino of Rosalie’s Italian Soul, Greg Gatlin of Gatlin’s BBQ, Chris William’s of Lucille’s, and many more; the festival will celebrate meat-making’s wide-ranging diversity and to showcase those roasters most committed to their craft.
Southern Smoke Food Festival kicks off on Friday at Lott Hall with the H-Town Welcome Wagon.
“Here at this 1933 site, Houstonians and out-of-towners will enjoy an evening of delicious bites by some of the most decorated chefs in the country in the beautiful courtyard garden overlooking Hermann Park Golf Course and the stunning, newly renovated indoor ballroom,” the event website reads. Here, ticket holders can also enjoy performances by Shakey Graves, Maggie Bell, Robert Ellis, and more. Tickets priced at $150 for General Admission.
On Saturday, October 22, the festival will host Southern Smoke on Ice at the Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa. The event will run from 1 to 4 pm and feature “the raw bar to end all raw bars” with a number of Southern chefs. Top class wine and bubbly will also be served. Tickets priced at $1000.
The festival will host the East Downtown Throwdown from 4 – 8 pm on Sunday, October 23, with an all-out barbecue. In an unspecified location in East Downtown, star chefs are set to make appearances, including Andrew Zimmern, Tom Clicchio, Brooke Williamson, Aaron Franklin, Sarah Grueneberg, and Dawn Burrell. Maggie Belle and DJ Vinyl Ranch will also be performing throughout the event. Tickets are priced at $225 for General Admission; $450 for VIP.