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Aaron Franklin’s Food Festival Is Back With Nostalgic Mall Court Fare and Barbecue

Headliners include David Chang, Ashley Christensen, and more

Contigo’s setup at Al Fuego
Contigo’s setup at Al Fuego at Hot Luck Festival
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Austin pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s food and music-centric Hot Luck Festival is coming back again this year in May. With it comes the first batch of event announcements, featuring first-time chefs David Chang (powerhouse behind Momofuku and the recently-opened Majordomo in Los Angeles), Eater Chef of the Year Ashley Christensen of North Carolina, chefs of essential Montreal restaurant Joe Beef David McMillan and Frédéric Morin, and others.

Hot Luck will also feature Texas and Austin chefs like Bryce Gilmore, Callie Speer, Andrew Wiseheart, Laura Sawicki, Miguel Vidal, and others. It’ll offer insights into forthcoming restaurants from the Line ATX Hotel (if it does open in the spring) from Boston-based Top Chef winner Kristen Kish with Arlo Grey and Damien Brockway’s P6. Yes, Franklin will cook as well. Read on for the full list below, which also includes a lot of returning chefs from last year.

“Hot Luck isn’t a festival, it’s a party,” said Mohawk owner James Moody, one of Hot Luck’s other co-founders. Rounding out the team is Mike Thelin, the co-founder of food festival Feast Portland.

New events include Night Court, with foods inspired by mall food court fare (Friday, May 25 at the Fair Market), a Mexican feast at classic restaurant Cisco’s (Friday, May 25), the Giddy-Up afterparty party featuring charcuterie and seafood towers (Saturday, May 26 at Weather Up), and the Coupe de Grille motorcycle brunch (Sunday, May 27 at Austin Speed Shop).

The massive fire-focused Al Fuego is back, taking place at the Wild Onion Ranch (Saturday, May 26). Also returning is the backyard barbecue at the newly renovated Franklin Barbecue (Thursday, May 24).

Music plays equal footing to food at Hot Luck. The initial lineup includes New Orleans jam band Galactic, post-hardcore band Hot Snakes, rock band Okkervil River, Danish punk band Iceage, indie-rock band Twin Peaks (not the television show), British rock band Peter Hook and the Light, funk band Con Brio, Austin country artist Paul Cauthen, rock band The Texas Gentlemen, country artist Joshua Hedley, and DJ Peanut Butter Wolf. More artists will be announced at a later date.

Hot Luck takes place from Thursday, May 24 through Sunday, May 27 (over Memorial Day weekend). Tickets are currently on sale, ranging from $15 to $550. For all-access passes, there are the Whole Enchilada packages, which cost $550 with entry to exclusive events (the Franklin Barbecue party) and early entrance. Individual tickets to concerts and food events are also available. Partial proceeds will go towards Safe Alliance.

Hot Luck Festival 2018 Chefs

Abraham Conlon & Adrienne Lo, Fat Rice (Chicago)
Alex Stupak, Empellón (New York)
Andy Ricker, Pok Pok (Portland)
Ashley Christensen, Poole’s (Raleigh)
Billy Durney, Hometown Barbecue (New York)
David Chang, Momofuku (New York)
David McMillan and Frédéric Morin, Joe Beef (Montreal)
Elias Cairo, Olympia Provisions (Portland)
Ivan Orkin, Ivan Ramen (New York)
Joshua McFadden, Ava Gene’s (Portland)
Peter Cho, Han Oak (Portland)
Renee Erickson, Sea Creatures (Seattle)
Riad Nasr, Frenchette (New York)
Sam Jones, Sam Jones BBQ Restaurant (North Carolina).

Chris Shepherd, Underbelly (Houston)
Diego Galicia & Rico Torres, Mixtli (San Antonio)
John Tesar, Knife (Dallas)
Justin Yu, Theodore Rex (Houston)
Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar (Houston)
Steve McHugh, Cured (San Antonio)

Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue
Andrew Wiseheart, Contigo/Chicon
Bryce Gilmore, Odd Duck
Callie Speer, Holy Roller
Casey Wilcox, Central Standard
Chad Dolezal, Hightower
Damien Brockway, P6 at the Line ATX Hotel
David Norman, Easy Tiger
Erind Halilaj, Il Brutto
Fermin Núñez, Suerte
Fiore Tedesco, L’Oca d’Oro
Jason Stude, Boiler Nine Bar + Grill
Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due
Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye
Kristen Kish, Arlo Grey at the Line ATX Hotel
Laura Sawicki, Launderette
Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie
Miguel Vidal, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
Philip Speer, Bonhomie
Sarah McIntosh, Epicerie
Takuya Matsumoto & Tatsu Aikawa, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya
Todd Duplechan, Lenoir
Tyson Cole, Hai Hospitality/Loro
Yoshi Okai, Otoko
Zach Hunter, The Brewer’s Table

Franklin Barbecue

900 East 11th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 653-1187 Visit Website