Texas chefs sizzle into Austin this spring for annual fundraising cookout
If you think Austin doesn’t have a most-anticipated celebration of beef, think again. That’s the title Live Fire (stylized Live Fire!) claims while announcing its return on April 6 to Camp Mabry, the Austin military base hosting star chefs for an evening of cooking over an open flame. This is the best kind of bonfire: one catered by James Beard nominees, Top Chef contestants, and more Central Texas favorites.
Aside from celebrating beef, this event by the Texas Food and Wine Alliance (TWFA) raises funds for its culinary grant program, which supports Texans in many subsets of the culinary industry including farmers, chefs, winemakers, and more, as long as their projects benefit their surrounding communities. By 2022, the grant had awarded $532,500 to stoke the flames of these initiatives.
The event will spotlight food as well as wine, beer, and cocktails. This may sound familiar to people who visited the Austin Food + Wine Festival in the fall, which annually benefits the same organization.
Chefs are bringing the heat from across the state (and a couple even farther beyond) for this evening of collaborative outdoor cooking. More will be announced soon.
The first round of Live Fire chefs includes:
- Damien Brockway — Distant Relatives (2020 TFWA Grant Winner, Austin)
- Marlon Rison — Community Vegan (2022 TFWA Grant Winner, Austin)
- Jakub Czyszczon — Garrison (Austin)
- Aaron Franklin & Rene Garza — Uptown Sports Club (Austin)
- Kareem El-Ghayesh — KG BBQ (Austin)
- Robert Hale — Texas Beef Council (Austin)
- Jess Pryles – Hardcore Carnivore (Austin)
- Anne Ng & Jeremy Mandrell — Bakery Lorraine (Austin & San Antonio)
- Tiffany Derry — Roots Southern Table (Farmers Branch)
- Jennifer Hwa Dobbertin — Best Quality Daughter (San Antonio)
- Max Frisbie — Mill Scale Metal Works (Lockhart)
- Evelyn Garcia & Henry Lu — By Kin (Houston)
- Elvia Huerta & Alex Garcia — Evil Cooks (Los Angeles)
- Olivia Lopez & Jonathan Percival — Molino Olōyō (Dallas)
- Serigne Mbaye — Dakar (New Orleans)
- Anastacia Quiñones-Pittman — José (Dallas)
"This year’s Live Fire! lineup features some of the most electrifying chefs in America," said TFWA executive director Erika White in a press release, "We’re fired up to show Austin everything they have to offer.”
A VIP experience will expand the tasting event to a “midcentury supper club,” featuring cocktail carts, flaming desserts, and, presumably, more beef and seafood, simply referred to as “surf” and “turf” separately. Houston heads with experience with the input of three chefs: Aaron Bludorn of Navy Blue, Drake Leonards of Eunice, and Becky Masson of Fluff Bake Bar.
Live Fire will be held on March 6, from 6:30-9 pm. Tickets ($125 general admission, $175 VIP) are available now on Eventbrite. All proceeds benefit the culinary grant program by the Texas Food and Wine Alliance.