The HOUBBQ Collective — Chris Shepherd, Justin Yu, Seth Siegel-Gardner, Ryan Pera, Terrence Gallivan. Photo by Julie Soefer.
Momofuku founder David Chang. Photo by Gabriel Stabile
New Orleans chef extraordinaire John Besh
Chef Ashley Christensen of Charlotte, SC.
Bands entertain at the Southern Smoke fundraiser.
Smoke gets in your eyes at this afternoon benefit.
The meat is on the grill at Southern Smoke.
Grilled fish at Southern Smoke for those avoiding the beef.
Underbelly's sign says it all.
When the aromatic blue haze begins to fill the air around chef Chris Shepherd‘s Underbelly restaurant in Montrose this Sunday, the third annual Southern Smoke fundraiser will have a new angle and the addition of some of our favorite chefs from distant cities. Among them will be two New Yorker’s, five-time James Beard Award winner David Chang and Matthew Rudofker, both of Momofuku.
The duo was among the first of Shepherd’s friends from across the country to offer help in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Their generosity and that of others prompted the Southern Smoke founder and his HOUBBQ Collective cohorts to expand the footprint and the beneficiary of the event.
Founded as a benefit for multiple sclerosis research, the ultimate barbecue party this year will provide aid to those in the culinary and beverage communities affected by the storm. As such, Southern Smoke is partnering with Legacy Community Health, whose building happens to be located next door to Underbelly, thereby adding 200,000 square feet and doubling the event site. Also new this year, WeWork is on board as the first ever title sponsor.
Joining the local chef lineup will be eight visiting toques including the Momofuku team and John Besh of New Orleans; Fig’s Mike Lata and Jason Stanhope of Charleston, SC; Ashley Christensen, of Raleigh, NC; Charleston, SC, pitmaster Rodney Scott; and Austin pitmaster Aaron Franklin.
The day will be an all-star outing for Houston chefs, one not to be missed by foodies, chef groupies and barbecue fans. First, you have the HOUBBQ Collective members — Justin Yu, Ryan Pera, Seth Siegel-Gardner, Terrence Gallivan and cooks from Underbelly and One Fifth. Then you have the local chefs joining the fray by assisting the visiting chefs and the Collective team — Brandi Key, Hugo Ortega, Lyle Bento, Manabu Horiuchi, Richard Knight, Jonathan Jones and Patrick Feges.
Furthering the fundraising effort, food industry donations have come in from around the country including from Husk in Charleston, SC, and Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore.
“I’m honored and humbled to have so many people help out,” Shepherd said in a statement. “We’re going to throw the best party of the year on October 22, and we’re going to write a huge check to our friends at Legacy. That money will go directly into the hands of people in our industry who need assistance. This is truly a community effort, and we couldn’t do it without Legacy and partners like WeWork, Knob Creek and Lexus.”
The afternoon entertainments include a WeWork Lounge with yard games and giveaways; a Knob Creek VIP Lounge; two Knob Creek tasting tents, one for whisky sampling and one serving Old Fashions featuring ice from Fat Ice; and a massive auction that will fill Underbelly with stellar offerings including wines, a stay at Blackberry Farm, and a dusty bottle tasting with Preston Van Winkle at Shepherd’s home.
General admission (VIP tickets are sold out) is $200 per person and can be purchased here.