Barbecue

A Look Back at the Best from Troubador Festival, a Texas BBQ & Music Experience

Candy apple pork belly burnt ends from Dayne's Craft Barbecue from Fort Worth.
Candy apple pork belly burnt ends from Dayne's Craft Barbecue from Fort Worth. Sean Welch
The meat sweats have passed, and we’re reminiscing about what could easily be considered the barbecue event of the year. Over the weekend, as many as 8,000 people gathered to sample some of the best food and music that Texas has to offer. The sold-out festival combined 40 top Texas pitmasters, multiple taco trucks and a few popular names in the Texas Country scene, including special guest Randy Travis.

Earlier this year we told you to mark your calendars for the first annual Troubador Festival, a Texas BBQ & Music Experience. Chase Colston and his team at Double Tap Entertainment partnered with the city of Celina, as well as a few other sponsors, to bring the ultimate smoked meat and music experience to Old Celina Park.
click to enlarge Pork belly from Smiley's Barbecue. - SEAN WELCH
Pork belly from Smiley's Barbecue.
Sean Welch
The gates opened at noon last Saturday and the pitmasters were ready and waiting. We brandished our passes as we made our way through the horseshoe-laden entrance. The crowd flowed in like the smoke flowed over the vast sea of meats across the campgrounds.

From stand to stand there were creative small bites, extravagant menus and pitmasters flanked by their teams that aided in creating an experience unlike we’d ever seen before. We tried delicious treats like candy apple pork belly burnt ends, smoke enchiladas, brisket tortas and even carrot soufflé. With around 60 different samples to choose from, we’re not sure it’s possible to pick a favorite, but we definitely have some we’re still thinking about.
click to enlarge Chile relleno sausage with a carrot soufflé from Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue. - SEAN WELCH
Chile relleno sausage with a carrot soufflé from Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue.
Sean Welch
Among them is the smoked pork chop topped with cabbage marmalade from Mimsy’s Craft Barbecue, in Crockett.  Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue from Tomball offered an amazing chile relleno sausage and carrot soufflé.

click to enlarge Bet you're sorry you missed this, now. - SEAN WELCH
Bet you're sorry you missed this, now.
Sean Welch
Local smokers Vaqueros Texas Bar-B-Q had a cochinita pibil taco. Helberg Barbecue in Woodway had wild boar merguez with winter fruit and teres major with a blackberry mezcal demi-glace.

As the day went on, the hunt for Texas barbecue continued as more people rolled in. At 4 p.m., after the feast had come to an end, a few of the pitmasters and a couple of the local taco trucks, with the help taco aficionado Anthony Macias, decided to sell what extra food they brought.

As the food went on sale, the live music started. Kyle Nix and the 38’s led off. With each act, the crowd grew louder until quite possibly the loudest roar was let out as Randy Travis took the stage to perform with Josh Abbott Band.

Finally, Pat Green shut it down, concluding a profoundly successful night. As days have passed since the first annual Troubador Festival, the whispers continue on as people recount the remarkable day. If you’re reading this and sad you missed it, pay attention and don’t miss out next year for round two.
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