Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hogs For The Cause 2013

It's bigger than ever! No, not just the waistline of the stretchy pants I will need to wear in order to gorge myself at Hogs For The Cause this year, but the entire event!

I was invited to the HftC press conference, held in one of my favorite places on EARTH, the NOLA Brewing brewery. When I got there about a quarter after 4, the unveiling of the musical lineup had already occurred, but there were still plenty of people to chat with and plenty of pork to eat.

Here were the two dishes served:

BBQ Cupcake - a cornbread-cheese muffin, stuffed with pulled pork, and topped with candied jalapenos.

So many meat muffins, so little time...

Last year's Grand Champions made a pulled pork slider with an amazing slaw. The pork and bread were great, too.

Mmm... sliders
Wash that down with fresh NOLA beer, and you've got yourself a nice little Friday afternoon.

The musical lineup was announced:



Here are the bands, in the order listed on their website (a great resource to learn more about the bands and also listen to samples of their music, BTW.)
Lee Fields and the Expressions
Robert Randolph and The Family Band featuring Anders Osborne
Rebirth Brass Band
The Apache Relay
Eric Lindell
The Revivalists
Mississippi Rail Company
Lost Bayou Ramblers

I got a chance to talk to Hogs co-founder Rene Loupre, who filled me in on the format of the second day of HftC. There are two events on Friday night (March 23), and the "Friday Night Tailgate Experience" will be at the same City Park location as the following day's usual all-day celebration, tasting and judging, but will be a more laid back opportunity to meet the contenders, eat, drink NOLA beer, and listen to music. It's a $5 charge for entry, and all food and drink is for sale. Starts at 4:30pm, you can check out more specific info here

There's also a fancy option happening for $300, which is called the "Southern Asado Gala Dinner" coordinated by Chefs Stephen Stryjewski and Ryan Prewitt of the Link Restaurant Group. This "Whole Animal Feast" inspired by Argentinian meat throwdowns, looks AMAZING. The menu and more info for purchasing tickets can be found here.. (Definitely pricier, it's $300 per ticket.)

And on Saturday, March 24, will be the fifth year of the main Hogs For the Cause event, the Ben Sarrat, Jr. "High on the Hog" Cookoff. The location will still be in City Park, but will be bigger, with more parking, and more shade! Eighty teams will be competing for the Grand Prize, and it's the attendees who are the real winners here. Mark your calendars!

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