What doesn't Aaron Franklin do? The pitmaster who won a coveted James Beard "Best Chef" Award in 2015 also owns one of the most popular barbecue joints on the planet, Franklin Barbecue in Austin. And he's involved with a coming-soon company that makes and sells smokers. And, he also is one of the maestros behind a food festival in Austin called Hot Luck.
Wait, don't call it that: "Hot Luck isn't a festival, it's a party," says co-operator James Moody in a statement. "These chefs and bands just want to do their thing with friends...where everyone is welcome to hang out and have a good time."
Back for its second year in 2018, Hot Luck takes place May 24-27 in Austin and is tagged in a press release as a "backyard traveling party [that] will celebrate all things food and drink."
John Tesar, the Top Chef contestant behind expanding Dallas steakhouse Knife, is the one chef coming from D-FW.
Some of the notable chefs from outside of Texas include Bill Durney of Hometown Barbecue , Matthew Rudofker of Momofuku and Ivan Orkin of Ivan Ramen, all from New York. The fest includes a fleet of Austin chefs, too: Franklin, of course, but also Top Chef Season 10 winner Kristen Kish, of Arlo Grey at the Line ATX Hotel; Bryce Gilmore from Odd Duck; David Norman from Easy Tiger; and Tyson Cole, the creator of the revered Uchi, among others.
Other Texas chefs besides Tesar include Chris Shepherd from Underbelly and Justin Yu from Theodore Rex, both in Houston, and Steve McHugh of Cured in San Antonio.
The music: Galactic, Hot Snakes, Peter Hook & The Light, Okkervil River, Twin Peaks, Iceage, Con Brio, Paul Cauthen, The Texas Gentlemen, Joshua Hedley, and Peanut Butter Wolf.
[Update on April 10: The festival nabbed Questlove to perform at the very end of the festival, on May 27. Questlove is a notable foodie and longtime multi-instrumentalist with the Roots. He's also the band leader for the Roots' week-nightly jams on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In addition to Quest, the fest will also feature the debut of Blackillac, which a press release describes as "a hip-hop group featuring emcees Zeale and Phranchyze, produced by Austin guitarist Gary Clark Jr." ]
Tickets went on sale on Feb. 21 and are priced $15 to $550. Some events are already sold out.
Interested in a road trip to Austin? Here's the Hot Luck festival lineup
Thursday, May 24: backyard barbecue at Franklin Barbecue
Friday, May 25: a throwback evening inspired "by the magical dietary phenomenon known as The Mall Food Court," says a statement; and a taco party at classic Austin Tex-Mex restaurant Cisco's
Saturday, May 26: a live cooking event celebrating "cooking from Texas to Thailand," says a release; and an afterparty that prides itself on excessive displays of food
Sunday, May 27: motorbrunch at a vintage garage
[Update at 1:45 p.m. Feb. 28: David Chang of Momofuku will no longer be part of Hot Luck, and his name has been removed from this story. Matthew Rudofker of Momofuku will be taking his place.]