August 29, 2014
While the weather may not indicate it, fall food event season is about to hit Austin with intensity. The months following Labor Day are undeniably the biggest foodie months of the year, as sip-and-strolls and special events showcase the cooling weather and the new fall menus of the chefs and bartenders behind the tables.
New to the lineup this year is Cochon 555's Heritage BBQ, a high-profile touring national barbecue competition that pits five Texas chefs in a fierce competition to prepare six pork dishes each. The party happens on Sunday, September 28 at W Austin.
The chef lineup is formidable: Paul Qui and Dustin Harvey (East Side King, qui), Daniel Olivella (Barlata), Ned Elliott (Foreign & Domestic), Justin Yu (Houston's Oxheart) and Mat Clouser and Zack Northcutt (Swift's Attic) are all confirmed to compete. The chefs will prepare their dishes using a 200 pound heritage breed pig (the event emphasizes both local sourcing and nose-to-tail cooking in a effort to promote a "hyper-local, globally themed barbecue culture").
The five chefs won't have a monopoly on the gluttony though. Organizers have recruited Houston legend Ronnie Killen to serve his outstanding Texas beef ribs, which may in itself be enough reason to attend (they're perhaps the best barbecue bites we've eaten this year). Bryan Butler of Salt & Time will also be doing a dish and a pop-up butcher shop at the party, with proceeds benefiting students at Le Cordon Bleu. Chefs from TRACE, The Salty Sow and Feges BBQ will also each do dishes. There will also be "welcome ribs" from Berkwood Berkshire Farms. We're of the mind that this means guests will be handed a rib at the door, which sounds both fantastic and hilarious.
On the beverage side, whiskey takes center stage. Offerings from Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Templeton Rye, and Glenrothes will all be at the bar, as will Crispin Ciders, Anakota wines and Goose Island beers. Tickets to the party are $100 for general admission and $200 for VIP, and are available here. If you're considering the event, here's a video of highlights from the 2013 tour.