The Austin Food and Wine Alliance (AFWA) announced today the full chef lineup and menu for the return of Austin’s most anticipated celebration of all things meat, Live Fire! In its sixth year, the continuously sold out event will once again be held at the Salt Lick BBQ’s Pecan Grove Pavilion in the Texas Hill Country on Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. and will raise funds for culinary grants. Tickets are $85 each and are on sale now at


Live Fire! brings together a chef congress featuring protein royalty from all over the Lone Star State, highlighting the talent, skill and commitment to Texas’ beef, cooked over live fire by award-winning chefs.


Local heroes of blues grooves and Texas roots Eve & The Exiles will bring their own brand of juicy rhythm and blues to perform at Live Fire! The band has recently opened for Grammy-Award-winning blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr.

The famed Salt Lick BBQ Pecan Grove Pavilion will again be the setting for Live Fire!, providing a pristine backdrop along the banks of Onion Creek. Live Fire! attendees will enjoy live music, curated wine, spirits, and craft brews along with a dazzling menu of innovative hot-fire cooked beef dishes prepared by celebrated chefs. Tickets are expected to sell out again and are available for online purchase now.


For its sixth edition, Live Fire!, regarded as one of the country’s foremost celebrations of beef, is showcasing a stellar chef lineup, including Austin favorites Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue and Rene Ortiz & Laura Sawicki of Fresa’s Al Carbon and Launderette and Dallas culinary firebrands John Tesar of Knife, Cody Sharp of Filament, and Katherine Clapner of Dude Sweet Chocolate.


Additional all-star talent turning up the heat at Live Fire! this year will be Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye, Miguel Vidal at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ,Jason Stude of Boiler Nine Bar and Grill, Evan LeRoy of Freedmen’s, Ryan Shields of Bullfight, Robert Weinstein of The Carillon,Christina Cheng of SPUN Ice Cream, Jodi Elliott of Bribery Bakery, Fiore Tedesco of L’Oca D’Oro, Zack Northcutt of Swift’s Attic, Kristine Kittrell of Weather Up, Ben Runkle and Bryan Butler of Salt & Time Butcher Shop and Maggie Field of Whole Foods Market. Out-of-town guest chefs include Becky Masson of Fluff Bake Bar in Houston, San Antonio’s Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurants and John Brand of Supper, and Josh Kaner of Pieous in Dripping Springs.

 Live Fire

Chef specialties include the following:


Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue will again headline Live Fire! bringing his acclaimed smoked meat expertise.


Rene Ortiz & Laura Sawicki of Fresa’s Al Carbon and Launderette

El Califa Taco with Bistec, Queso Chicharron and Salsa Verde and Laura’s legendary handmade ice creams


John Brand of Supper  (San Antonio)

Smoked Beef Cheek with Charred Eggplant and Corn Pudding


Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurants (San Antonio)

Grilled Ribeye Meatballs with Charred Rapini Pesto, Heirloom Tomato Jam and Burrata


Maggie Field of Whole Foods Market

Charred Brisket Bulgogi on Rice Pancake with Spicy Slaw


Kevin Fink of Emmer & Rye

Confit Short Rib with Tomato and Sonoran Wheat Shoyu


Evan LeRoy of Freedmen’s

Bloody Mary Beef Rib, Celery Root Puree, Smoked Bone Tomato Jus, Celery Salt and Horseradish Rub


Josh Kaner of Pieous (Dripping Springs)

House Smoked and Cured Pastrami Sourdough Slider and Chocolate Brownie Bite with Creme and Raspberries


Kristine Kittrell of Weather Up

Steak Au Poivre with Yummy Butter


Zack Northcutt of Swift’s Attic

Roast Beast: Slow-Roasted Texas Akaushi Strip Loin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes


Ben Runkle and Bryan Butler of Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria

Whole Top Blade with Mole and Chochoyotes


Cody Sharp of Filament (Dallas)

Beef Tongue Pastrami, Cabbage Jam, Smoked Jalapeño Dressing, Potato Whey Roll

Ryan Shields of Bullfight

Braised Beef Shank Paella with Green Garlic and Almonds


Jason Stude of Boiler Nine Bar & Grill

Brown Sugar-Grilled Brisket, Sourdough Soubise, Colatura and Beer Bread with Smoked Beef Fat Butter


Fiore Tedesco of L’Oca D’Oro

Smoked Dry Aged Brisket and House Ricotta Meatball Stuffed with Preserved Lemon-Infused Bone Marrow Emulsion


John Tesar of Knife (Dallas)

Grilled Bone-In Beef Ribs with Creamy Polenta and Black Truffle Emulsion


Miguel Vidal at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

Mesquite-Smoked Sliced Brisket Taco with Tangy Slaw, Sea Salt Lime Guacamole, Tomato Serrano Salsa and Housemade BBQ Sauce


Robert Weinstein of The Carillon

Spice-Crusted Ribeye Taco, Charred Eggplant Puree Laffa Bread and Ancho Caciotta Cheese

And for sweets, featured chefs include the following:


Christina Cheng of SPUN Ice Cream

Mint Ice Cream with Beef Fat Jalapeno Shortbread Crumble, Watermelon Gelee and Charred Lime Chip


Katherine Clapner of Dude Sweet Chocolate (Dallas)

Churros with Valentina’s BBQ and Anejo Drinking Chocolate


Jodi Elliott of Bribery Bakery

Strawberry, Lime and Rosemary Caramel Parfait


Rebecca Masson of Fluff Bake Bar (Houston)

Mini Mint Chocolate Chip Drumsticks

live fire sign


Spirit makers will be on hand to pour Knob Creek, Dripping Springs Texas Vodka and Gin, Patron and Bone Spirits Distillery. Chauncy James of Garage Cocktail Bar will be serving up the Official Drink of Austin 2015: Indian Paintbrush made with Dripping Springs Vodka. Live Fire! will also feature four craft breweries including Friends and Allies Brewing Company, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Hops & Grain and Jester King Brewery. Attendees will also sample AFWA Grant Recipients Meridian Hive Meadery and Argus Cidery.


Attendees will have the opportunity to skip the 25-minute drive from downtown Austin and be chauffeured to the event in a charter bus with Park & Ride from Palmer Events Center for an additional $20 fee round-trip. Shuttle riders will be treated to beverages and snacks enroute.


Live Fire! is a fundraising benefit for the Austin Food & Wine Alliance, the culinary nonprofit dedicated to fostering awareness and innovation in the Central Texas food and beverage community. Proceeds from the sizzling tasting event will help the AFWA give back to the local culinary community through a vibrant grant program for chefs, farmers, artisan producers, and nonprofits by funding projects focused on culinary innovation.

AFWA hosts engaging culinary events throughout the year to raise funds for the grants, the nation’s first grant program based on culinary innovation. Since 2012, the nonprofit has awarded $115,000 in grants to fund local culinary projects.


As the key beneficiary of the Austin Food + Wine Festival, April 22–24, AFWA features educational programming and culinary events showcasing Central Texas’s chef talent along with artisan and local producers, world-class wine and spirit makers, and craft brewers.


The Alliance enjoys tremendous community support with Whole Foods Market® as presenting sponsor and other key supporters, including theAustin Food & Wine Festival, Texas Beef Council, Giant Noise, AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, Twin Liquors, Republic National Distributing Company, Glazer’s, ABC Bank, FreshPoint, CultureMap Austin, Max Photography, Premiere Events, Butler Wood, Balcones Recycling, Culinary Agents, Gardere, Fetzer, Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, Honest Tea, RedRoc, Beam Suntory, Austin Foodshed Investors, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and Nikko’s Worldwide Chauffeured Services.

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