Celebrated local chef Tim Byres is en route to New York City as we speak with a hell of a carry-on: dinner for 80, plus booze. Executive chef of the Belmont Hotel's posh barbecue outfit Smoke, Byres will cook a sold-out $165/plate dinner this Friday night for the Beard Foundation, a NYC-based nonprofit "dedicated to exploring the way food enriches our lives." Friends, this is a big foodin' deal. As Smoke owner Christopher Jeffers says: "It's for the Stephen Pyles of the world. This is such a big honor."
Byres is bringing barbecue to the Big Apple, with a menu that includes Smoke's andouille with caraway cabbage, pit-roasted cabrito and "Big Texas Beef Barbecue Three Ways," giving diners a (classy) food pile of coffee-cured brisket, short ribs and a smoked paprika hot link served with hominy casserole and "creamer peas" straight from the Dallas Farmer's Market. Austin boozers Real Ale and Becker Vinyards will whet palates.
There won't be much time for seeing the city sights, as Jeffers, who leaves tomorrow, will be back on hand in Dallas on Saturday to manage things back at Smoke. Jeffers says of the whirlwind trip: "You're transporting your brand and your identity and moving it to one house in New York City for one night and coming back."
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Beard Foundation guest chefs tote all their wares -- food and all -- with them, so we can forgive Byres for being tied up today, though we'll update this post with a Q&A as soon as we hear from him. I know I'd like to hear more about the most economical way to transport large quantities of booze, because my current method, transport-by-belly, has failed me more than once.