Hot Luck Festival, the annual Austin food and music event from pitmaster Aaron Franklin, Mohawk’s James Moody, and Feast Portland’s Mike Thelin, announced its initial chef lineup for the fourth year. It takes place from Memorial Day weekend, Thursday, May 21 through Sunday, May 24.
Of the lineup of the 2020 Hot Luck chefs, here are the first-timers Eater Austin is especially excited about, listed in alphabetical order:
- Reem Assil, Reem’s California (Oakland): The candid chef and owner of the Arab bakery was a James Beard semifinalist last year. Her Fruitvale restaurant is where she makes fresh mana’eesh (Arabic flatbreads), wraps, and dips. She’s already working on opening a San Francisco location sometime this month. As she’s fond of making shawarma during festivals and collaborations, expect something like that for Hot Luck.
- Joe Beddia, Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia): The pizza expert and author closed his original pizza takeout shop in 2018, but opened a much larger pizza-obsessed restaurant a year later. Pizza is a sure bet for Hot Luck.
- Maneet Chauhan, Chauhan Ale & Masala House (Nashville): The chef and co-owner behind the lauded Indian restaurant also runs two other restaurants in Nashville: Chinese restaurant Tansuo and modern diner The Mockingbird. Not to be done, she’s also working on opening a new Indian street food restaurant, Chaatable, which will bring her back into the kitchen. Maybe this means she’ll offer some sort of chaat to accompany all of that meat during Hot Luck.
- Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique Restaurante (San Juan, Puerto Rico): The notable Puerto Rican chef and multi-James Beard Awards best chefs semifinalist of the Eater 38 restaurant is known for championing the Caribbean island, from its cuisine to foodways to its people (he helped José Andrés cook for those affected by Hurricane Maria in 2017).
- Gregory Gourdet, Departure (Portland, Oregon): The culinary director of eclectic Asian restaurant (an Eater Portland 38 spot) also happens to be a Top Chef finalist in season 12. He’s planning on opening a new restaurant (name to be determined), focusing on Haitian cooking with pan-Asian influences. He’s also going back to Top Chef, competing in the all-star season premiering in March.
- Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde (Chicago): The talented Chicago chef, James Beard Award winner (best chefs: Great Lakes in 2017), and previous Top Chef contestant is the executive chef of the essential Italian restaurant, with plentiful pastas and meats (i.e. the merguez lamb sausage). She isn’t new to cooking in Austin: she’s been here for South by Southwest and Austin Food & Wine before.
- Howard and Anita Hsu, Sweet Auburn BBQ (Atlanta): The siblings’ barbecue restaurant focuses on Chinese-Southern barbecue, with items like bulgogi, barbecue-rubbed tofu, and lots of meat. They also opened a tasting menu restaurant, Lazy Betty, last year. For Hot Luck, the pair is partnering with Oregon-based dairy company Tillamook, so expect something cheesy.
- Chris Kronner, KronnerBurger (Oakland): The burger chef, formerly of Bar Tartine, became quickly known for his dry-aged burgers, which would play well for the Hot Luck crowds.
- Mei Lin, Nightshade (Los Angeles): The Eater Young Gun and Top Chef winner opened her creative Asian restaurant last year to much accolades, including Eater LA’s restaurant of the year. The restaurant melds Asian ingredients and and techniques into American and European dishes, like the mapo lasagna with tofu.
- Pat Martin, Martin’s Bar-B-Que (Nashville): The pitmaster’s meat empire spans six locations of the whole-hog barbecue chain. Naturally, some sort of pork dish should be expected for Hot Luck.
- Bonnie Morales, Kachka (Portland, Oregon): The chef and co-owner is behind one of the country’s most exciting and important Russian restaurants featuring noteworthy dumplings and the iconic Herring Under a Fur Coat seven-layer dip.
- Earl Ninsom, EEM (Portland, Oregon): The chef is behind Eater Portland’s restaurant of the year in 2019, which is known for its fun Thai barbecue fare, from spicy pork steaks to meaty curries with burnt ends. He also runs Thai restaurants Hat Yai, Langbaan (both on the Eater Portland 38), and Paadee.
- Donny Sirisavath, Khao Noodle Shop (Dallas): The chef is behind the acclaimed small Laotian restaurant featuring hearty boat noodles, luscious moutsayhang (sticky rice rolls with pork patties, omelettes, and cucumbers. Perhaps for Hot Luck, he’ll make tripe chicharrones.
- Arlin Smith and Andrew Taylor, Eventide Oyster Co (Portland, Maine): The co-owners run essential Maine restaurant is full of lovely seafood from the Atlantic coast. It’s probably safe to expect a ton of oysters this Hot Luck and/or perhaps its famous lobster rolls.
- Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn (Lummi Island, Washington): The two-time James Beard Award winner (rising star chef in 2014, best chef northwest in 2015) runs the inventive fine-dining restaurant off the coast of Washington state. He’s currently potentially looking to open a new restaurant in Los Angeles, since fiancée chef Daniela Soto-Innes is already working on projects in the California city.
There are a bunch of returning chefs as well, such as Mason Hereford of New Orleans sandwich shop Turkey & the Wolf, Andy Ricker of Portland Thai restaurant Pok Pok, Alon Shaya of Middle Eastern New Orleans restaurant Saba, Ashley Christensen of several North Carolina restaurants, and others.
Then there’s a whole bunch of Austin and Texas chefs, from Franklin himself to Bradley Nicholson of the forthcoming Lutie’s, Jorge Hernández of Mighty Union’s Carpenter Hotel and its upcoming San Antonio restaurant Veramendi House, Holy Roller’s Callie Speer, Emmer & Rye/Kalimotxo’s Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Otoko’s Yoshi Okai, among others.
Because Franklin and Moody are opening a sandwich shop and bar on East Sixth, Uptown Sports Club, there is the possibility that the duo will do something with that space and/or preview food/drinks during the festival, too.
Hot Luck’s brunch event has been changed, too. There’s a new name (Coupe de Grille to Camp Sunnyside) and new location (Austin Speed Shop to Wild Onion Ranch).
The full Hot Luck chef lineup follows below. Additional chefs will be announced later.
As for the music portion, there’s The music line-up includes American rock band Dinosaur Jr., Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carli, and hip-hop DJ Jazzy Jeff, with others to be added later.
Hot Luck tickets, which are on sale now, include the every-event-package the Whole Enchilada, which is $550. Then there are family packages (purchase of two tickets include two passes for children 12 years old and younger), as well as student ($70 to $180, depending on the event) and kid tickets ($25 to $50, depending on event). Concert tickets begin at $20. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Safe Alliance.
There are also several events that will be open only to those in the hospitality industry, with food from Comedor’s Philip Speer, Le Pigeon’s Gabriel Rucker, Pizzeria Bianco’s Chris Bianco, and Suerte’s Fermín Núñez.
Hot Luck Festival 2020 Chefs
(asterisk denotes first-time Hot Luck chef)
Thursday, May 21
The Giddy Up at Mohawk (only for Hot Luck friends and family and Whole Enchilada passes)
- Jason Stude, East Austin Hotel (Austin)
- Mason Hereford, Turkey and the Wolf (New Orleans)
- Yoshi Okai, Otoko (Austin)
- Mike Diaz, Oseyo (Austin)
Friday, May 22
Hi, How Are You? at Franklin Barbecue (individual tickets and Whole Enchilada passes)
- Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue (Austin)
- Andrew Wiseheart, Contigo (Austin)
- Andy Ricker, Pok Pok (Portland)
- Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Diner (Raleigh)
- Chad Dolezal, Troublemaker (Austin)
- Chris Shepherd, UB Preserv (Houston)
- David Norman, Easy Tiger (Austin)
- Elias Cairo, Olympia Provisions (Portland)
- Fiore Tedesco, L’Oca D’Oro (Austin)
- Howard and Anita Hsu, Sweet Auburn BBQ (Atlanta)*
- Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar (Houston)
Saturday, May 23
Al Fuego at Wild Onion Ranch (individual tickets and Whole Enchilada passes)
- Alon Shaya, Saba (New Orleans)
- Arlin Smith and Andrew Taylor, Eventide Oyster Co. (Portland, Maine)*
- Ben Runkle and Bryan Butler, Salt & Time (Austin)
- Bonnie Morales, Kachka (Portland)*
- Bradley Nicholson, Lutie’s (Austin)*
- Chris Cosentino, Rosalie (Houston)*
- Chris Kronner, KronnerBurger (Oakland)*
- Chris Schaefer, Geraldine’s (Austin)*
- Donny Sirisavath, Khao Noodle Shop (Dallas)*
- Earl Ninsom, EEM (Portland)*
- Gabe Erales, Comedor (Austin)
- Gregory Gourdet, Departure (Portland)*
- Howard and Anita Hsu, Sweet Auburn BBQ (Atlanta)
- Joe Beddia, Pizzeria Beddia (Philadelphia)*
- Jordan Sanchez, Garrison (Austin)*
- Jorge Hernandez, Veramendi House and Carpenter Hotel (San Antonio and Austin)*
- Kevin Fink, Hestia (Austin)
- Maneet Chauhan, Chauhan Ale & Masala House (Nashville)*
- Pat Martin, Martin’s Bar-B-Que (Nashville)*
- Reem Assil, Reem’s California (Oakland)*
- Rick Lopez, La Condesa (Austin)
- Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde (Chicago)*
- Sarah McIntosh, Epicerie (Austin)
- Steve McHugh, Cured (San Antonio)
- Taylor Hall, Apis (Austin)
- Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, Vixen’s Wedding (Austin)
Sunday, May 24
Camp Sunnyside (aka the brunch event) at Wild Onion Ranch (individual tickets and Whole Enchilada passes)
- Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn (Lummi Island, Washington)*
- Callie Speer, Holly Roller (Austin)
- Chris Bianco, Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix)
- Chris Pentzlin, The Standard (Maldives)*
- Edgar Rico, Nixta Taqueria (Austin)*
- Gabe Erales, Comedor (Austin)
- Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due (Austin)
- Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique Restaurante (San Juan, Puerto Rico)*
- Laura Sawicki, Launderette (Austin)
- Matty Matheson (Toronto)
- Mei Lin, Nightshade (Los Angeles)*
- Melissa Carroll, Le Politique (Austin)
- Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie (Austin)
- Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley, Foreign & Domestic (Austin)
- Tatsu Aikawa, Tatsu-Ya (Austin)
- Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Kalimotxo (Austin)
- Everything You Need to Know About Hot Luck Festival [EATX]
- Hot Luck Festival [Official]