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Aaron Franklin’s Hot Luck Festival Chef Lineup Is Here

Israeli chef Alon Shaya, pizza mastermind Chris Bianco, Asheville bagel-maker Katie Button, and sandwich expert Mason Hereford will come to Austin during Memorial Day weekend

Aaron Franklin, Mike Thelin, and James Moody at Hot Luck Festival
Aaron Franklin, Mike Thelin, and James Moody at Hot Luck Festival
Alison Narro/Hot Luck Festival/Facebook

Hot Luck Fest, the food and music festival helmed by Aaron Franklin, James Moody, and Mike Thelin, announced the chef lineup for the third iteration happening over Memorial Day weekend from Thursday, May 23 through Sunday, May 26. There are newcomers like New Orleans chef Alon Shaya, Arizona-based pizza expert Chris Bianco, Asheville bagel-maker Katie Button, sandwich expert Mason Hereford of New Orlean’s Turkey and the Wolf, and New York’s chef of Contra and Wildair Jeremiah Stone.

Hot Luck will also feature tons of returning chefs, and plenty of Texas and Portland names (Thelin is the co-founder of the Oregon-based food festival Feast). Scope out the full lists below.

Of Austin note from the lineup, there’s a newcomer: Cuyo, from Ivana and Yamila Maldonado. The Argentinian outfit will fire up empanadas at the festival as part of its debut. The duo is also related to the design director and partner of Guerilla Suit, Luigi Maldonado (which works on Hot Luck).

Chef Gabe Erales will be cooking, though he is no longer working at Dai Due Taqueria. Philip Speer is also on the lineup, presumably previewing bites from his as-of-yet-unnamed downtown restaurant.

This year’s sole new event is the Giddy Up, a welcome party at the Mohawk on Thursday, May 23, with bites from Matheson and Austin’s Callie Speer, Chad Dolezal, and Yoshi Okai with musical performances.

Otherwise, events are pretty much the same as last year: the welcome barbecue party at Franklin Barbecue, the sprawling massive live-fire cookout Al Fuego out in Wild Onion Ranch, the brunch- and car-centric Coupe de Grille. The festival is partnering with the American Lamb Board again this year, where Austin restaurants Cisco’s, Kebabalicious, and Micklethwait Craft Meats will serve up lamb specials during the weekend.

Then there’s the music. The show snacks (aka bites served during specific concerts) haven’t been fully announced, but participating restaurants include Home Slice Pizza, Scholz Garten, and Line Austin Hotel restaurant Dean’s One Trick Pony.

Of note from the bands and musicians are indie rock band Archers of Loaf, Texas singer-songwriter Robert Ellis, Gulf Coast soul band The Suffers, and rock band Sunflower Bean, among others.

For now, only Hot Luck’s all-access tickets, aka the “whole enchilada packages,” are available at $550 which includes exclusive access to the Giddy Up and early entry to other events. A la carte event and concert tickets will be available later. Partial proceeds will be given to the Safe Alliance. Tickets will go on sale starting tomorrow, Monday, March 4 at 10 a.m.

Hot Luck Festival 2019 Chefs

(asterisk denotes first-time Hot Luck chef)


  • Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice (Chicago)
  • Alon Shaya, Saba (New Orleans)*
  • Chris Bianco, Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix)*
  • Doug Adams, Bullard (Portland)
  • Elias Cairo,Olympia Provisions (Portland)
  • Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon (Portland)*
  • Greg and Gabi Denton, Ox (Portland)
  • Jason Vincent and Ben Lustbader, Giant (Chicago)
  • Jeremiah Stone, Contra (New York)*
  • Katie Button, Button & Co. Bagels (Asheville)*
  • Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf (New Orleans)*
  • Matty Matheson, television host of Just A Dash
  • Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, Kismet (Los Angeles)


  • Chris Shepherd, Georgia James (Houston)
  • Justin Yu, Theodore Rex (Houston)
  • Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar (Houston)
  • Rico Torres and Diego Galicia, Mixtli (San Antonio)
  • Steve McHugh, Cured (San Antonio)


  • Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue
  • Alex Manley and Jen Tucker, Swedish Hill
  • Andre Natera, Garrison and Revue
  • Andrew Wiseheart, Contigo
  • Austin Rocconi, Hotel Ella*
  • Bryan Butler and Ben Runkle, Salt & Time
  • Callie Speer, Holy Roller
  • Chad Dolezal, The Hightower
  • David Norman, Easy Tiger
  • Fermín Núñez and Sam Hellman-Mass, Suerte
  • Fiore Tedesco, L’Oca d’Oro
  • Gabe Erales
  • Ivana and Yamila Maldonado, Cuyo*
  • Jason Stude, East Austin Hotel
  • JB Gross, Loro
  • Kevin Fink, Emmer & Rye
  • Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due
  • Laura Sawicki, Launderette
  • Max Snyder, Pitchfork Pretty
  • Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie
  • Miguel Vidal, Valentina’s Tex Mex
  • Philip Speer, unknown restaurant
  • Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley, Foreign & Domestic
  • Sarah McIntosh, Épicerie
  • Tatsu Aikawa, Tatsu-Ya
  • Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Emmer & Rye
  • Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, Lenoir
  • Tyson Cole, Uchi
  • Yoshi Okai, Otoko
  • Zach Hunter, The Brewer’s Table

Franklin Barbecue

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

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