- Matthew Odam American-Statesman Staff
The inaugural Hot Luck Festival co-founded by Aaron Franklin announced a large roster of impressive talent from Texas and across this country this week, as tickets went on sale at hotluckfest.com for the celebration of food and live music that will take place in venues across Austin on May 18-21.
James Beard award-winner Franklin and partners will welcome famous chefs who cover a wide swath of culinary and physical ground, from Thai (Andy Ricker of Portland’s Pok Pok) to Korean (Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ in Los Angeles), Mexican (Alex Stupak of Empellón in New York City), barbecue (Adam Perry Lang of Daisy May’s BBQ in NYC) and more.
In addition to out-of-towners, a large group of local talent, headlined by Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine), Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie), Tatsu Aikawa (Ramen Tatsu-ya and Kemuri Tatsu-ya), Todd Duplechan (Lenoir) and Tyson Cole (Uchi), will also participate in the festival, along with other Texas talent like fellow Beard-winner Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston, John Tesar of Knife in Dallas and Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio.
The festival kicks off in earnest on that Friday night when more than 10 chefs, including Franklin, David Bull (Second Bar + Kitchen), Fiore Tedesco (L’Oca d’Oro) and others, come together for an evening event called the Hi Lo, which will showcase the chefs preparing dishes that originally inspired their cooking, from slow-cooked ribs to cast-iron chicken.
The main attraction the following evening, Al Fuego, will give the chefs a chance to show off their live-fire cooking skills with a range of cuisines from a group that will include Ricker, Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo), Kevin Fink (Emmer & Rye), Matthew Rudofker (Momofuku in NYC), Nong Poonsukwattana (Nong’s Khao Man Gai in Portland), Sara McIntosh (Epicerie) and about two dozen other chefs.
While the two featured night events take place at Fair Market and Wild Onion Ranch, an assortment of other venues will also host food programming and live music, with Franklin Barbecue, Barracuda, Mohawk, White Horse and Alamo Drafthouse among the names that will appear on the schedule. The live music portion of the programming will be announced in April.
Tickets are being sold individually for the Friday ($145) and Saturday evening events ($155), and there is a “Whole Enchilada” ticket package for $550 includes early access to the featured events, admission to all food and music programming, special parties and more. As the additional a la carte food events and concerts are announced, those tickets will also go on sale individually, starting at $20. A portion of the proceeds from Hot Luck will benefit the SAFE Alliance, a merger of Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace.
“We are super excited to have the opportunity to launch a new festival with our Austin family and our extended family,” Franklin said. “Hot Luck will celebrate the food we love, the music we love and the city we love.”
For a complete list of the participating chefs, visit austin360.com/thefeed.
Indie Chefs Week, the brainchild of Foreign & Domestic chef-owner Ned Elliott, returns for its fifth iteration March 15-18, with collaborative dinners featuring food from nine chefs over each of the first three nights and more than 20 chefs coming together for the grand finale. In addition to dinners at Foreign & Domestic, Spicewood fine dining restaurant Apis will be hosting one meal.
The event grew out of Elliott’s desire to give a platform to chefs from around the country, many not buttressed by major public relations budgets, and to bring together an array of talent that usually only has the opportunity to admire one another from afar or on social media. The series of dinners has introduced local audiences to chefs from across North America, including talents like Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria in Southern California and David Barzelay of Lazy Bear in San Francisco, who have gone on to achieve tremendous acclaim in recent years.
This year’s impressive roster of local and visiting talent includes Kendall Melton (Chicon and Contigo), Jonathan Peters (Clark’s Oyster Bar), Kristine Kittrell (Weather Up), Ryan Santos (Please in Cincinnati), Christine Rivera (Galaxy Taco in La Jolla), Page Pressley (Emmer & Rye), Sterling Ridings (of the forthcoming Guild and formerly of Uchiko), Adam Brick (Apis and Pizzeria Sorellina), Tim Archuleta (Ichi Sushi in San Francisco) and many more.
This year’s series starts March 15 at Apis, with a nine-course meal prepared by 10 chefs, with tickets starting at $100. The next two nights at Foreign & Domestic follow a similar format, with tickets starting at $125. Tickets for the grand finale, which features all participating chefs cooking one giant meal, start at $175. Wine pairings cost $35, and bottles of wine will also be available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased at indiechefsweek.com.
In addition to the Austin dinners, the series will expand this year to include events in Houston, Los Angeles and New York.