If you’re itching for a Texas road trip, look no further than this weekend’s inaugural Hot Luck Festival in Austin. A hybrid food and music extravaganza, Hot Luck is the brainchild of barbecue maestro Aaron Franklin (maybe you’ve heard of his famed Austin barbecue haunt Franklin’s Barbecue), Mike Thelins, co-founder of the popular Oregon food fest Feast Portland, and Mohawk music venue owner James Moody.
Expecting Austin Food & Wine vibes? Think again. This inaugural foodie fest, which features some of the best players in the food world, channels the aura of a tailgate intertwined with a family reunion.
Think of it as the ultimate four-day potluck prepared by some of the country’s best chefs. Of course, we’d expect nothing less from the man behind one of America’s best barbecue joints.
If you were lucky enough to snag one of Hot Luck’s coveted “Whole Enchilada” tickets ($550) — which grants patrons access to everything Hot Luck has to offer — start your festival experience with a backyard blowout under the stars Thursday night at Franklin’s Barbecue. Culinary heavy hitters such as Aaron Franklin, Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ Truck, Los Angeles), Sara Kramer (Kismet, Los Angeles), and Ivan Orkin (Ivan Ramen, New York City) make an appearance.
On Friday, head to “The Hi Lo” event at Austin’s Fair Market, which tasks chefs like Tyson Cole (Hai Hospitality, Austin), David Bull (Second Bar + Kitchen), Austin), and Adam Sappington (The Country Cat, Portland) with showcasing dishes inspired by their culinary beginnings.
Brace yourself for everything from slow-cooked ribs to crispy cast iron chicken. See the full Hi Lo chefs and libations lineup here.
Festival goers head to Wild Onion Ranch on Saturday for Hot Luck’s “Al Fuego” event — a celebration of live action, flame-centric cooking. Houston chefs Chris Shepherd (Underbelly) and Rebecca Masson (Fluff Bake Bar) and Dallas’ John Tesar (Knife at The Highland) landed spots in the coveted lineup curated by Aaron Franklin.
Chefs Joshua Pinsky and Matthew Rudofker (Momofuku, New York) and Tatsu Aikawa, the man behind one of Houston’s newest ramen imports Austin-based Ramen Tatsu-ya, will also be on hand. View the full Al Fuego chefs and libations lineup here.
Following Al Fuego, Whole Enchilada ticket holders get another exclusive soiree on Saturday night with Hawaii, Texas — a Texas-sized tiki party touting a whole pig and aloha vibes.
Sunday is all about brunch! Catch a trio of brunch collaborations at Austin’s L’Oca d’Oro, Contigo, and The Hightower. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Find out more about each brunch series here.
Added bonus: Hot Luck separates itself from the food festival pack with the addition of live musical performances. Catch everyone from Atlanta-based rock band Black Lips and Japanese pop punk band Shonen Knife to Houston’s own Robert Ellis, Austin blues act Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears, and Nashville-based alternative country musician Rayland Baxter.
You can still secure individual tickets to Hot Luck’s food and music events here.