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Hot Luck welcomes James Beard winners, Grammy nominees, hip-hop royalty and more in May

Matthew Odam
Canadian chef and Munchies star Matty Matheson has become a fixture at Hot Luck events. [CONTRIBUTED BY ALISON NARRO]

Alon Shaya, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Matty Matheson, Hayes Carll. What fest besides Hot Luck could bring together James Beard Award winners, hip-hop royalty, outsized chef personalities and Grammy nominees?

The explosion of food and music helmed by Aaron Franklin, James Moody and Mike Thelin returns with a few new wrinkles over Memorial Day weekend (May 21-24), and today the festival announced the list of talent that will feed and groove the crowd in Austin.

The unofficial start to the festival is Thursday, May 21 at the Mohawk, where Whole Enchilada pass holders will get filled up by food from newcomer Mason Hereford of former Bon Appetit Best New Restaurant Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans, as well as chef Yoshi Okai of Otoko and others.

The Friday-Sunday food events are also included in the Whole Enchilada ticket package, along with all the nightly music shows ($550), but attendees can also buy individual tickets to each of the weekend events.

Friday night’s Hi, How Are You? returns to Franklin Barbecue, with food from Franklin and returning Hot Luck chefs Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) and Elias Cairo (Olympia Provisions) of Portland, along with Houstonian and James Beard winner Chris Shepherd (Georgia James), Rebecca Masson (Fluff Bake Bar), Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo), Fiore Tedesco (L’Oca d’Oro), and newcomers and siblings Howard & Anita Hsu in of Sweet Auburn BBQ in Atlanta.

The main event Saturday evening once again takes place at the pastoral setting of Wild Onion Ranch, where chefs will impress with live fire skills. The roster of talent includes including first-time participants Sarah Grueneberg (Chicago’s Monteverde), Bonnie Morales (Kachka (Portland, OR), Jorge Hernandez (The Mighty Union), Bradley Nicholson (Lutie’s), Pat Martin (Martin’s BBQ in Nashville), Arlin Smith and Andrew Taylor (Eventide Oyster Co. in Portland, Maine); returning chefs Alon Shaya, (Saba in New Orleans), Gabe Erales (Comedor), Kevin Fink (Hestia); and many more.

Sunday’s brunch will also be held at Wild Onion Ranch for the first time, with the al fresco meal prepared by a group that includes Canadian chef Matty Matheson, Callie Speer (Holly Roller), Chris Bianco, (Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco), Edgar Rico (Nixta Taqueria), Jesse Griffiths (Dai Due) and more.

Music will be performed nightly at downtown clubs like Mohawk and Barracuda, and the growing lineup currently includes Carll, Jazzy Jeff and Dinosaur Jr. Individual tickets start at $20 and can be purchased online.

For the first time ever, all of the food events are all ages, and Hot Luck has rolled out a family pack (two adult purchases get you two free kids passes for those 12 and under), and discounted student and kids passes.

To purchase tickets and see the full roster of programming, visit


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