Sometime on Saturday I started prepping my wife for her first Meat Fight, the annual barbecue competition organized by our long-time columnist, Alice Laussade, and her husband, Mike.
It's more meat than you realize, I cautioned. You don't want to finish the meat from every station, 'cause you'll end up stuffed. Pace yourself. Be cautious. Mind your meat.
Cut to yesterday, about nine minutes after food service started at the Observer-sponsored meatgasm at Four Corners Brewery. There I was, hunched over a table, slipping into a meat coma that could only be staved off with a popsicle, pie, a cup of Noble Coyote coffee and a lot of audible groaning.
Meat Fight, in other words, almost killed me again. I think that means it was a success. Here's what else you missed:
The Celebrity Parks and Rec star Nick Offerman arrived as promised, and spent much of the evening in his Meat Throne, shoveling dead animal into his face and trading notes with his fellow judges, who included Slow Bone owner Jack Perkins and Daniel Vaughn, the barbecue editor at Texas Monthly. He also auctioned off a beautiful piece from his woodworking studio that he said could be used as a table top, a charcuterie board or to support his giant testicles. He also judged a face-beard contest, because of course he did. I did not win, because I have the facial follicles of an Olsen twin.
By all accounts he was sweet and gracious, and everything that came out of his mouth was, as expected, hilarious.
The Competition There were three teams of four chefs, each competing in four categories (brisket, pork ribs, sausage and hot-smoked salmon.) Here are the teams, with the winners in italics:
Meattallica Brian C. Luscher, Luscher's Post Oak Red Hots (brisket) Jeana Johnson, Mot Hai Ba Jeff Bekavac, Neighborhood Services Omar Flores, Driftwood
Cool Arrows Chad Houser, Cafe Momentum David Uygur, Lucia Jeffery C. Hobbs Anastacia Quinones, Komali
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Notorious P.I.G. (winning team) Tiffany Derry, TiffanyDerry.com (smoked salmon) Nathan Tate, Boulevardier (sausage) Eric Dreyer, Fearing's Cody Sharp, Nick & Sam's Steakhouse (ribs)
The Charity Meat Fight, of course, benefits the National MS Society, with 100 percent of all proceeds going directly to the charity. Between ticket sales and the live auction -- which included a ticket to skip the line at Pecan Lodge, a 40-person party at Slow Bone and dinners at other great restaurants, including Lucia -- the event raised $50,000 to help fight MS. Not too shabby, for something that started off as a ruse to eat more brisket.
See also: The Making of Meat Fight