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Famed Texas pitmaster Aaron Franklin brings his Hot Luck food festival to Oakland

If you’ve ever been on a barbecue pilgrimage through the Lone Star State (as this Texas native naturally has), Austin’s Franklin Barbecue was likely your first stop. You either arrived at 5am with your lawn chair and cooler of Shiner Bock in tow as any savvy eater would in order to get a brontosaurus-sized beef rib or hunk of fat-slicked brisket before the place ran out; or you did the drive by, caught a glimpse of the line and thought oh hale no, and continued on to the perfectly good Micklethwait Craft Meats down the street (as this Dallas to SF transplant did).

If, like me, you’ve never had the pleasure of sinking your teeth into what is regularly hailed as the best barbecue in Texas, get excited: Aaron Franklin, the James Beard Award–winning dude who runs the famous Franklin’s, is coming to Oakland this October with a special edition of his Hot Luck food and music festival, Hot Luck Road Trip, and he’s corralling some of the Bay Area’s best chefs to join him.


Teaming up with chef Ryan Farr of 4505 Burgers & BBQ, Franklin is bringing his meat-meets-music game to 4505’s new Oakland location, where we can already imagine that the patio will be prime beef-smoking, chowing-down territory. Also cooking up eats will be Chris Kronner (Henry’s); Ravi Kapur (Liholiho Yacht Club); Reem Assil (Reem’s California); Rodney Scott (Scott’s BBQ); and Farr, of course.

Hot Luck is an annual festival, sponsored by Yeti, that goes down over Memorial Day weekend in Austin; now the team—including Franklin’s cofounders James Moody (Guerilla Suit principal and The Mohawk owner) and Mike Thelin (cofounder of Feast Portland)—is taking it on the road.

According to the press release, “Hot Luck is what happens at the fire—in the flames. It’s where the inspiration turns into food. And that food feeds the people, and the music, and the next round of crazy ideas that flicker to life.”

// Hot Luck Road Trip, Sunday, Oct. 13, 6-9pm at 4505 Burgers and BBQ, 5505 MacArthur Blvd. (Oakland); for tickets ($65) and more info, go to hotluckfest.com.

*UPDATE (4pm, Sept. 17): The festival sold out in less than an hour.


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