Hot Luck Announces Chef and Music Lineup

Tickets are on sale now for Aaron Franklin’s party of the year

Hot Luck's lineup announcement confirms what we’ve known since last year’s extravaganza: There’s no chance of a sophomore slump for the much-anticipated return of this food and music fest.

(l-r) Hot Luck co-founders Aaron Franklin, James Moody, and Mike Thelin (Courtesy of Hot Luck)
Creators Aaron Franklin, Mohawk owner James Moody, and co-founder of Feast Portland, Mike Thelin, have outdone themselves already and the party doesn’t even officially commence until May 24. Ticket sales just opened – Wed., Feb. 21, 4pm – starting at $12.

The first wave of musicians includes NOLA funk band Galactic, Peter Hook & the Light led by the former Joy Division/New Order bassist, and post-hardcore mayhem makers Hot Snakes. In mid-January Hot Snakes released “Six Wave Hold-Down” from their upcoming LP, Jericho Sirens, set to drop March 16. Other acts include local band Okkervil River, plus Twin Peaks, Iceage, Con Brio, Paul Cauthen, the Texas Gentlemen, Joshua Hedley, and Peanut Butter Wolf (also slated for SXSW). More names will be announced soon.

The out-of-town chef names are a bona fide who’s who list including David Chang, Momofuku (New York); Ivan Orkin, Ivan Ramen (New York); Renee Erickson, Sea Creatures (Seattle); Riad Nasr, Frenchette (New York); Diego Galicia & Rico Torres, Mixtli (San Antonio); Justin Yu, Theodore Rex (Houston); Rebecca Masson, Fluff Bake Bar (Houston), and many more.

Aaron Franklin’s world-renowned barbecue skills will be on full display, but attendees will also witness Olympic-level food feats performed by many of our hometown chefs. The roster includes Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo/Chicon); Bryce Gilmore (Odd Duck); Casey Wilcox (Central Standard); Chad Dolezal (Hightower); Damien Brockway (P6 at the Line ATX Hotel); David Norman (Easy Tiger); Erind Halilaj (Il Brutto); Fermin Núñez (Suerte); Fiore Tedesco (L’Oca d’Oro); Jason Stude, Boiler Nine Bar + Grill); Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due); Kevin Fink (Emmer & Rye); Laura Sawicki (Launderette); Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie); Miguel Vidal (Valentina’s Tex Mex); Philip Speer (Bonhomie); Sarah McIntosh, (Epicerie); Takuya Matsumoto & Tatsu Aikawa (Kemuri Tatsu-Ya); Todd Duplechan (Lenoir); Yoshi Okai (Otoko); and Zach Hunter (The Brewer’s Table).

Local power couple Callie Speer (Holy Roller) and Phillip Speer (Bonhomie) are two more exciting names, and chef Tyson Cole of Uchi/Uchiko – who has teamed up with Franklin for the upcoming Asian smokehouse concept, Loro – will also be showcasing his chops. Top Chef season 10 winner Kristen Kish has been added, which comes just after the announcement that she'll be opening a new restaurant, Arlo Grey, right here in Austin.

Last year's Al Fuego event at Wild Onion Ranch (Courtesy of Hot Luck)
Hot Luck kicks off with the “Hi, How Are You?” welcome party on Thu., May 24 at Franklin Barbecue (6-9pm), and continues to rev its engines with Night Court at Friday night’s Fair Market bash featuring bites inspired by old-school hang time at the mall. (Sbarro, are you there?) Pace yourselves because after your mom picks you up from the mall, it’s time to take over East Austin’s cherished Cisco’s Bakery and Restaurant for a late night taco party. Saturday marks a fire-fueled soiree with specialty cookers and a rowdy chef lineup at Wild Onion Ranch (6-9pm), and later that night, Weather Up is the stage for the “industry after-party beast feast.” If you’re still alive, and still able to wear pants, head to Austin Speed Shop on Sunday for some day drinking and a motorbrunch. ZZ Tapas, y’all.

Individual limited tickets will be available for some of the events, but The Whole Enchilada Ticket Package ($550) grants access to almost all of the shenanigans, and will sell out fast. Hot Luck has partnered with SAFE Alliance – a merger of Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace – and a portion of proceeds will go to help fund their good work.

From the press release: “Hot Luck is inspired by friendly tailgates, family reunions, get togethers and potlucks of our past and present. It is a fun, chef-driven, celebration of fire, food, music, and camaraderie. An a la carte eat-with-your-fingers picnic and party experience that highlights open-pit feats of culinary know how, and music in your ears that is as thoughtfully created as the food on your plate. Come hungry, thirsty, and bring your dancin’ boots.”

For more tickets and information, please visit

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