Save A Slice
17 of Austin's top chefs bake Thanksgiving-ready pies for online auction
Everyone loves a Thanksgiving pie, but not everyone wants to make a Thanksgiving pie. Austinites looking to support a good cause and snag a delicious pie for the Turkey Day table can do both with the Piehole Project.
The virtual pie auction is returning for its second year from November 6-16; During the 11-day window, hungry pie-lovers will have a chance to bid on pies made by 17 Austin chefs. The money raised will go toward scholarships and grants to support aspiring and early-career employees in the culinary and hospitality industries.
This year’s project theme is “superheroes,” which the participating chefs used to inspire their pie flavors — although the inspiration isn't always immediately evident, the pies should still taste super.
Some of the many notable participants include Sarah Heard of Foreign & Domestic, who offers a “Green Tomato Pie” with seasonal ingredients and a flavor like apple pie; Abby Jane of Abby Jane’s Bake Shop, who put together a “Mesquite Chocolate Pecan Pie” with dark chocolate chunks, native Texas mesquite beans, maple syrup, and Barton Springs stone-milled flour; and pastry chef Callie Speer of Holy Roller, who’s whipping up a traditional “Texas Trash Pie" with pumpkin custard, caramel, candied pecans, dark chocolate, crispy pumpkin spice meringue kisses, and toasted marshmallow fluff.
Not all the pies are sweet: Garbo’s chef Heidi Garbo is offering a lobster pot pie with a “New England twist,” and Bacalar chef Gabe Erales will make a “Pie de Queso Relleno Pie,” with edam cheese and picadillo, plus chiltomate salsa and atole (a hot beverage) on the side.
Other participating chefs hail from Colleen’s Kitchen, Comedor, Easy Tiger, El Raval, Épicerie, Fairmont Austin, Garrison, Hyatt Centric, INtero, MML Hospitality, and Odd Duck/Barley Swine.
As an added bonus, bidders can also see the chefs dressed as superheroes and holding their pies on the Piehole Project’s Instagram (where the superhero tie-ins are briefly explained) and website.
The Piehole Project began in 2020 with a Dallas-based auction, then expanded to Austin in 2022. According to the project’s website, it’s sold 193 pies and raised more than $50,000 over the past few years. This year, it hopes to raise $20,000.
Lucky auction winners will be able to pick up their pies from November 20-21 at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in North Austin (6020-B Dillard Cir.). Winners can also pay a $50 fee for delivery on November 21 for anyone within a 35-mile radius.
Bids can be placed at pieholeproject.org when the event goes live on November 6.