Southern Smoke takes barbecue festivals to another level in 2017, which raised more than $500,000 for restaurant and bar professionals in need of emergency assistance.
Chris Shepherd still loves to get out of the kitchen and barbecue.
Indigo's Jonny Rhodes is all in on Southern Smoke.
Patrick Feges and Erin Smith have Houston hospitality backgrounds that stretch way back.
Hugo Ortega is known for revolutionizing the Mexican food scene in Houston.
Aaron Bludorn is saying goodbye New York, hello Houston.
Southern Smoke is returning with arguably its best lineup ever.
Houston’s in for one hell of a barbecue smoke show this October. Chris Shepherd’s done it again, firing up the city for the Fifth Annual Southern Smoke Festival with a dazzling new lineup.
Think a hearty roster featuring all-star chefs back for more, some intriguing faces new to the festival and a focus on Houston’s finest and fiercest chefs.
The one-day extravaganza of all things meat falls on October 6 this year. Ticket sales go live on August 6th at 12 pm sharp. General admission tickets run $200, while VIP tickets will set you back $350.
Two of Southern Smoke’s new featured chefs are setting down permanent roots in The Bayou City in the coming year.
Aaron Bludorn, former executive chef of the famed Caf Boulud in New York City, is making a Southern Smoke appearance with plans to open a yet-unnamed restaurant in Houston next year. Chris Cosentino of San Francisco’s Cockscomb fame will also attend the carnivore’s parade, and is opening a restaurant called Rosalie Italian Soul in the C. Baldwin hotel this fall.
They’re joined by other big name newbies: Canadian chef and internet personality Matty Matheson, Adam Perry Lang of APL Restaurant in Los Angeles, Yehuda Sichel of Philadelphia’s Abe Fisher, plus chef and owner of Chicago’s Monteverde and Top Chef contender Sarah Grueneberg.
Houston chefs are coming in hot in a big way. The HOUBBQ Collective setup is no more. Instead, each and every Houston chef will get to run their own station and smoker at Southern Smoke this year.
You’ll find James Beard Award winner Justin Yu of Theodore Rex, James Beard Award winner Hugo Ortega of H-Town Restaurant Group, James Beard Award nominee Johnny Rhodes of Indigo, James Beard Award semifinalist Trong Nguyen of Crawfish & Noodles, Erin Smith and Patrick Feges of Feges BBQ, Lyle Bento of Sambrooks Management, Martin Strayer of Nobie’s, Manabu Horiuchi of Kata Robata, Jason Vaughan of Nancy’s Hustleand Felipe Riccio of Goodnight Hospitality on the lineup.
Returning MVPs are, of course, the barbecue heavy hitters, with some pizza maestros and seafood savants thrown in for good measure.
The mighty list includes Aaron Franklin, James Beard Award winner and pitmaster of Austin’s iconic Franklin Barbecue; Stephen Stryjewski and Donald Link of Link Restaurant Group in New Orleans; Ryan Prewitt of Peche Seafood Grill, also in New Orleans; Pat Martin of Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint in Nashville; James Beard Award winner Ashley Christensen of AC Restaurants in Raleigh North Carolina; Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix and Sam Jones of Sam Jones BBQ in Winterville, North Carolina.
Over the last four years, Southern Smoke has donated more than $1.3 million to both people in need and organizations that represent the needs of people in the restaurant industry.
As in previous years, the proceeds of Southern Smoke will raise funds for the Southern Smoke Emergency Relief Fund and the National MS Society.