Indulge your carnivorous cravings at the Southern Smoke Food Festival for a cause in Houston this fall. The two-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 Chris Shepherd and his wife Lindsey Brown 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 over $10 million to industry workers through its Emergency Relief Fund.
The festival regularly feature the very best of the pitmasters – as well as renowned chefs both local and across the country. The star-studded festival will feature two premiere events, beginning with Respect the Rosé on Friday, October 13, followed by The Throwdown on October 14.
“The big bash returns in 2023. Join us on Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 as we host some of the F+B industry’s most talented chefs and personalities and throw a party to support F+B in crisis nationwide,” the event’s website reads.
“You’ll eat your share in big and bold bites; have your choice of superb wine, beer, and spirits; and enjoy outstanding live music to enhance the chow-down experience.”
Respect the Rosé – now sold out – will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston on October 13. The Monte Carlo/007-themed event will feature seven renowned chefs putting together a multi-course dinner. Chefs include:
- Sarah Grueneberg (Chicago, IL; James Beard Best Chef: Great Lakes, 2017)
- Michael Hudman and Andy Ticer (Memphis, TN)
- Rebecca Masson (Houston, TX)
- Ryan Prewitt (New Orleans, LA; James Beard Best Chef South, 2014)
- Jason Stanhope (Charleston, SC; James Beard Best chef: Southeast, 2015)
- Stephen Stryjewski (New Orleans, LA; James Beard Best Chef: South, 2011).
Saturday, October 13, will see the festival’s main event: The Throwdown. Beginning at 4 pm at Discovery Green, The Throwdown will feature a lineup of top-notch chefs preparing everything from top-of-the-line barbecue to delectable pastries. Fine wines, spirits, and beer will also be available. Visitors can also expect to enjoy live performances from touring artists. Chefs include:
- Chris Bianco (Phoenix, AZ; James Beard Best Chef: Southwest, 2003; James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur, 2022)
- Nina Compton (New Orleans, LA; James Beard Best Chef: South, 2018)
- Aaron Franklin (Austin, TX; James Beard Best Chef: Southwest, 2015)
- Evelyn Garcia (Houston, TX)
- Mason Hereford (New Orleans, LA)
- Cheetie Kumar (Raleigh, NC)
- Claudette Zepeda (San Diego, CA).
Tickets are priced at $175 for General Admission which includes all the food, drinks, and music you want. VIP tickets are also available for $500 which include early access (3 pm), access to the Lexus VIP area, and gifts courtesy of Souther Smoke Foundation.